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Author Topic: Whats everyone reading?  (Read 847002 times)

The Mind of Wolfie Smith

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7005 on: 28 November, 2021, 11:09:10 PM »
hey barrington, thanks for the kind words. i'm only about a quarter way through and i've slowed right down, sighing at the opening ... this will be a lifetime thing.
i guess i still love the conceit and the potential. but some very fine writers (and some very average writers) have clearly agreed a template from which they must not veer. i dunno ... there are many great books and movies that only come alive at the end and so i perhaps foolishly still have hope. but so far each book could probably be summarised in a short paragraph - and many of those summaries would be near identical ...

Barrington Boots

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7006 on: 30 November, 2021, 10:22:57 AM »
...some very fine writers (and some very average writers) have clearly agreed a template from which they must not veer....

This I think is the crux of it - these guys are writing to a template, and it means very few of the books rise above a sort of bland mush of bolters and serious men banging on about duty.
I've read some of the Primarch books and they're kinda the same too. I'm not sure what the best Black Library book I've read is... Drachenfels is a contender for sure, but where 40k is concerned I can't think of many that stand out.
You're a dark horse, Boots.

rs_jr

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7007 on: 06 December, 2021, 01:46:30 AM »
is the Asterix hachette english collection still happening ?

Colin YNWA

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7008 on: 06 December, 2021, 06:26:15 AM »
is the Asterix hachette english collection still happening ?

Oh I gave up hope on that some time ago. Haven't heard anything new for ... years... it was first floated before the pandemic wasn't it?

Rara Avis

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7009 on: 10 December, 2021, 06:00:22 AM »
Purity by Jonathan Franzen. I may have mentioned it before but I am still plugging away at this, really starting to enjoy it though .. it's all coming together (rubs hands gleefully).

The Mind of Wolfie Smith

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7010 on: 11 December, 2021, 01:02:31 AM »
well, if you like superlative magical realism and a gut wrenchingly emotional novel partly narrated by a fig tree, the island of missing trees by the great elif shafak should be your destination.
i'm enraptured by it, and it's soo much better than my words above probably suggest.
book of the year? almost.

Tiplodocus

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7011 on: 23 December, 2021, 08:02:11 PM »
SLEEPER vol 1 by Brubaker and Phillips.

I genuinely wasn't expecting supers in this (so much so that I kept looking at one of the first images and thinking "Phillips has got the perspective all wrong. It looks like those two are flying...") But they are a welcome addition to the double crossing, femme fatales and bad ass bad guys.
Be excellent to each other. And party on!

milstar

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7012 on: 09 January, 2022, 07:26:21 PM »
Daredevil Yellow

A rather poignant story of Daredevil's earliest days, told in one big flashback. How Matt lost his Dad, how he met Karen Page, how his friendship with Foggy Nelson suffered a crisis, the latter falling in love with Karen etc. Owl has a minor role, but manages to utter perhaps the cheesiest, stupid, yet amusingly cracking line I ever heard from a supervillain. Mosaically constructed plot overshadows coherence of the same, but I find the story quite easy to follow. And could be interesting read for newcomers.
I think it was decent for rain afternoon, but I cannot stomach Loeb's dry prose and less Sale's impressionist art.
Reyt, you lot. Shut up, belt up, 'n if ye can't see t' bloody exit, ye must be bloody blind.

Colin YNWA

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7013 on: 14 January, 2022, 08:26:15 PM »
I think I've done one of those bad comic things. Those things you shouldn't do, you know you shouldn't do, you feel bad you did it... but you have to accept it.

I've read Mister X: The Archives. All 14 issues of the Vortex series and a load of other material...

...reading it isn't the bad thing.

Not liking it is.

I wanted to like it. I tried to like it. I remember liking the bit I read as a kid - which it seems weren't from this series but I could have sworn where from Vortex??? Anyway I just didn't. The Hernandez Bros issues just didn't gell into anything meanful for me . I think from there I might have been lost. I tried to get back on into it. I tried to engage but just drifted from it. It simply didn't have a central narrative that did enough for me. It didn't convince me it meant anything, rather that it was trying to mean something, didn't really know what and so fudged around being enigmatic, but ultimately pretty shallow.

Now I'm pretty sure that's me, not it. I think I am the problem, but thats what I got from it. I can't pretend otherwise.

You know what even Seth's art annoyed me. In moments quite fantastic, then on just a page turn just utterly lacking in what I think it was trying to do.

Again me, not it, but art is subjective isn't that always the case.

So there you have it. Read Mister X and unlike so many of its contemporaries which I love I didn't enjoy it.

There's no need to ever speak of this again.

milstar

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7014 on: 18 January, 2022, 08:41:09 PM »
Outrageous Tales From the Old Testament

Meh... I picked it up solely on the creator's names (some of em). At the end, the impression is disappointment, at best. Some of the Bible stories were quite brutal, with strong moral message. Close retelling of these stories is ocassionally wrapped in dry, sardonic humour, but as overall, I felt that creators either misread Bible or were just doing it in their spare time. No wit, no thoughtful writing. As it is, Alan Moore's stuff is the best. Neil Gaiman's...well, the part he did with Dave McKean is an inch behind Moore's, but his output here generally sucks (some of his stories nearly landed a publisher in jail in Sweden). The art is mostly bonkers as well. There are some good images, Dave McKean's stuff is in class of its own, but some are just either awful to look at and/or are simply unreadable. Oh, and the collection starts with a three pages poem, that easily can be whittled down to one.
Reyt, you lot. Shut up, belt up, 'n if ye can't see t' bloody exit, ye must be bloody blind.

IndigoPrime

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7015 on: 26 January, 2022, 02:16:50 PM »
I just finished both volumes of The Golden Age, by Cyril Pedrosa and Roxanne Moreil, translated from the original French (L’âge d’or). The entire tale is available in two luxurious hardcover volumes, and immerses you in a medical saga filled with backstabbing and peppered with the fantastical. The story itself is really good (and, in one area, very French), but the thing that really stands out is the art. I think it’s quite possibly the most beautiful comic strip I’ve ever read, with many pages feeling like proper works of art. I mean, look at this:



Anyway, get these before they’re gone. And if you’re interested in the people behind it, there’s a video interview with them here: https://www.europecomics.com/golden-age-interview-cyril-pedrosa-roxanne-moreil/

milstar

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7016 on: 02 February, 2022, 03:53:34 AM »
Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander

What an ineffable twaddle! If Miller thought that revisiting the world of 300 by doing nothing but a bland potboiler, he can suck up.
While 300 (a much superior comic) was pretty straightforward in its narrative, that it for gave callously inaccuracies, it was at least a devilishly entertaining comic. Xerxes is not. Serving as basically prequel and sequel to 300, covering the period of about 150 years, Miller miserably failed to tell a cohesive story worth reading, even if he had 5 issues at disposal. His narrative is so heavily fragmented and aimless. Of all characters that appear here, none is given a valid arc (and I deem the title of this book misleading and inaccurate), and all of them appear in no more than one (or two, in case of the Athens war captain) issue. If you are interested in Alexander the Great and Darius III, you won't find those answers here, whose conflict is superficially touched, and the ending is awful. And since this is obviously no history book, I guess the only selling point are illustrations. Which, I must say, are not bad, and images of bloody battles are epic and beautiful as were in 300. Also, colors scheme by Alex Sinclair mask well Miller's drawing shortcomings, and I've seen worse Miller. Additionally, I find a bit peculiar how Miller drew characters, soldiers in thongs and over-bejeweled Xerxes. But I guess those only served to cover up the superficiality of the plot.
Better go back to 300, which I might just do, to wash away the emptiness I felt after reading this crap.
« Last Edit: 02 February, 2022, 03:56:22 AM by milstar »
Reyt, you lot. Shut up, belt up, 'n if ye can't see t' bloody exit, ye must be bloody blind.

The Legendary Shark

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7017 on: 02 February, 2022, 07:31:13 AM »

Debt - The First 5,000 Years.

A fascinating book (freely available from the Internet Archive through the above link) that explains what debt actually is, its origins in religious realms, and how modern debts are not what we think they are. The book offers few if any solutions, which doesn't matter as we must first understand the problems before constructing solutions.

Much of what we know is either inaccurate or downright wrong. For example, when talking about the economic system in the past people have triumphantly pointed out that without money we'd all have to barter shoes for cabbages, or potatoes for sweaters just like in primitive societies. But no primitive society has ever been found to operate in this way - the whole "barter economy" was a fantasy invented by Adam Smith - except only rarely, and briefly (because it doesn't work), in the wake of some localised economic collapse.

An excellent thesis, well worth reading.
~~~^~~~~~~~


Dive a little deeper - all is not as it seems. "Cyber pandemic" on the way. Devices to be "quarantined" (disconnected).

wedgeski

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7018 on: 02 February, 2022, 09:25:04 AM »
Just finishing Judas Unchained, the second book in Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga. This has been a slog, I won't lie. So many locations, so many characters, so many viewpoints. The story is excellent and intermittently thrilling, but half the page count would surely have done just as well.

pictsy

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Re: Whats everyone reading?
« Reply #7019 on: 05 February, 2022, 11:02:54 AM »
The Silmarillion

I don't think it bodes well for a piece of fiction that it feels like an accomplishment having got through it all.  This book is tedious.  By magnitudes more-so than Lord of the Rings.  I really understand why so many give up on it.  Nevertheless, I found parts interesting and there was one legitimately good chapter, that being Beren and Lúthien.

It is clear that this was not written as a narrative that was meant to read but a collection of edited notes on the lore of created world.  Things are glossed over, dialogue is dreadful and stilted and there are plenty of interminable lists of similar sounding names.  The latter making it hard to keep track of things, especially as it bounces a little back and forth in the timeline.

My big take-aways from the book is that almost everyone is a dick.  Especially the Elves.  I think it's meant to be a tragedy, but it's hard to feel sympathy for a people that lack redeeming qualities.  There are some nice characters in the book, but they are few and far between.  Then the Númenóreans show up and compete to be bigger dicks than the Elves are.  But they only got one chapter in the book.

In the end I found it all amusing in a macabre way.  There were some interesting things.  Like werewolves and vampires briefly appearing.  In the end, much of lore doesn't matter because it has no relevance to The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings.  The few bits that are relevant are also interesting, but they are few and mostly at the end of the book.