I think Garth Nix was pretty good at this, too. Sabriel still holds up for me in re-readings, and Shade's Children is one of the most compelling science fiction stories I've ever read. The "adults disappear" thing is a bit gimmicky as is the name Goldeneye. But the writing was so well handled that I didn't mind. Then again, I haven't read his Keys to the Kingdom series which is even more directly aimed at young readers.
Last edited by gwathdring; 19-12-2011 at 06:02 AM.
I'm currently reading "The Code of the Woosters" by PG Wodehouse amongst a number of comics and graphic novels. Tis very good.
Just finished Storm of Swords (which went on and on but I really enjoyed, despite getting a little annoyed with GRRMs obsessions with menstruation, lists of food/knights and characters making very odd decisions)
Kidnapped by R.L.Stevenson - cracking boy's own style adventure, first half probably better then the second. Enjoyed reading the dialogue in particular with a real Scottish brogue in my imagination, the accent just leaps off the page
Now reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Cormack MacCarthy, Child of God.
Certainly a novel that shows what a master of his craft can achieve. One man's descent into utter depravity and madness. It's odd. The characters are unlikable and they do the most revolting things but somehow he writes with a style that suggests a certain respect and sensitivity towards them that I would not believe possible if I weren't reading it myself.
"You go up to a man, and you say, "How are things going, Joe?" and he says, "Oh fine, fine — couldn't be better." And you look into his eyes, and you see things really couldn't be much worse. When you get right down to it, everybody's having a perfectly lousy time of it, and I mean everybody. And the hell of it is, nothing seems to help much." - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. I'm about 2/3 of the way through. It's a ghost story set on the island of Spitsbergen (in the Svalbard archipelago) in 1937. A group of chaps go on an Arctic expedition but eventually, for various reasons, there's just one left at the camp, and because it's inside the Arctic Circle it's dark for several months at a time.
It's not the shitty "look this guy is a bit nasty and he likes killing people" horror, it's full-on 'mind turning in on itself, gradual descent into obsessive madness' horror. Perfect reading for long winter nights, it takes me back to when I was a wee nipper afraid of the dark.
Edit: Finished it this evening. An excellent novel throughout. It's quite a quick read though, it's a slim book with fairly large print. The photographs at the start of each chapter are lovely.
Last edited by westyfield; 23-12-2011 at 10:46 PM.
Ray Bradbury- Fahrenheit 451.
A wonderful book that bizarrely fills me with optimism, given that it's set in a post-literature dystopia. Full of awesome quotes as well, my favourite being thus:
"There was a damn silly bird called a Phoenix back before Christ: every few hundred years he built a pyre and burned himself up. He must have been first cousin to Man. But every time he burnt himself up he sprang out of the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it looks like we're doing the same thing, over and over, but we've got one damn thing the Phoenix never had. We know the damn silly thing we just did. We know all the damn silly things we've done for a thousand years, and as long as we know that and always have it around where we can see it, some day we'll stop making the goddam funeral pyres and jumping into the middle of them. We pick up a few more people that remember every generation."
If you enjoyed that, you might also like The Solitude of Thomas Cave, the story of a 19th century sailor who takes a bet to spend a winter alone on Svalbard. It's an intensely cold book, with hints of the supernatural, incredibly atmospheric.
Last edited by Rii; 24-12-2011 at 03:18 PM.
You'd describe yourself as a pessimist, presumably? I think of myself as quite an optimist personally, perhaps that's why it resonates differently. Like, I can see that hope sometimes is foolish, but I've still got my faith in humanity. That'll probably get beaten out of me at some stage, so I'm going to enjoy it while it's still extant.
Haven't read much nowadays but I'm still going to finish Stephen Clarke's 1000 Years of Annoying The French just for laughs. And maybe some history lessons if whatever he wrote is true in that book.
Also, done reading My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk ages ago after I got it as an impluse buy. Surprisingly beautiful book, beautifully written.
Been reading Christmas presents:
Terry Pratchett - Jingo
William Gibson - Pattern Recognition
Iain M. Banks - Use of Weapons
(I'd read the latter two before, but have never had paper copies of them until now).
Rather good books to spend a few days with.
I think I'll reread Heller's Catch-22 next; feels like it's time.
Finished The dervish House by Ian Mcdonald.
Definitely a lot more character driven then the idea driven River Of Gods(that was character led but it did have a lot of ideas). This was definitely still good since the mysteries and the characters were quite interesting. Set in the future Istanbul where nanotechnology has changed quite a bit. The nanotechnology thing is more background(though its quite important to the main plot) and it serves to let the characters do there thing. Definitely recommended
Tonight, I'll be reading this:
that's barbara gordon right? meh. I prefer Cassandra. or Stephanie.
Edit: oh wait. that's older Batgirl, actually stephanie. Didn't read that :D
Last edited by Lukasz; 29-12-2011 at 10:05 AM.
Just gave up on "Atlas Shrugged". It was almost painful to read.
Just started Small Gods though. As a big fan of Pratchett, its hooked me like I would've expected and I'm wondering why I haven't bought it before...
Also, I'm feeling slightly guilty over pirating books I already own hard copies of, for my kindle. Its a sad day when I realise getting my favourite books on my library would cost me over 100 quid, when the real ones are on my shelf.
So don't get the pirate versions, 'cos you already have them then.
It's a problem of your own doing.
Talking of which I've just bought (and started reading) Japanese Grammar & Vocabulary on the Kindle in between dipping in and out of the nature of narrative (good call Gooseking) another Kindle purchase. Really need to jailbreak my Kindle though because the screensaver pictures suck.