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  1. #521
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Have you considered that 17 isn't underage everywhere
    Legally, sure, but to somebody in California, it doesn't matter what they say in Spain; that shit is ew.

    That being said, if you wanna talk sympathetic protagonists who also happen to be convicted of statutory rape, there's always One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
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  2. #522
    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Have you considered that 17 isn't underage everywhere and that your conclusion that you're being manipulated into sympathising with the protagonist is erroneous and based on a faulty premise? (that the author thinks it is a: illegal and b: immoral, and is therefore trying to skew your opinion to ignore that, when in actuality it could be perfectly legal where the author is, and legality and morality do not share complete overlap to begin with)
    The girl is also described as never having had her period and not having any pubic hair (specifically hairless, not shaved), so stating her age as 17 is at best, disingenuous, when those are the characteristics of someone much, much younger. The man is in his mid-thirties, so legality aside, it is a bizarre and uncomfortable relationship.
    Edit: If such a relationship was morally and legally ok in Japan, then why would the author go to such ridiculous lengths to make the male passive? Why couldn't they have a mystic sex ceremony, or better yet, unmystical normal sex where the male was an active participant instead of paralysed and partially unconscious? It's details like that, that make me think the author is uncomfortable with his own subject matter.

    That said, I just remembered that there is a particular rare chromosome combination that results in a completely hairless body and a very stereotypically "beautiful" female appearance. If I remember correctly (psych class was a long time ago), that chromosome combo is also technically male, and wouldn't undergo menstruation. Hmm, it would be kind of cool of that is the case, and it might also explain the character's dyslexia, as most abnormal chromosome combinations also cause mental disabilities. The author hasn't shown that this is what he had in mind though, so I am just guessing at this point.

    A friend of mine also mentioned that Murakami might be playing with gender roles, since the male protagonist is completely passive and exhibits a lot of feminine traits.
    Ok, I have to admit this is interesting stuff even if I don't like the book. Back to reading!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    That being said, if you wanna talk sympathetic protagonists who also happen to be convicted of statutory rape, there's always One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
    I haven't read this. Is it worth reading as someone who liked the movie?
    Last edited by Snargelfargen; 01-02-2012 at 10:18 PM.

  3. #523
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snargelfargen View Post
    I haven't read this. Is it worth reading as someone who liked the movie?
    There's like three movies in total that are arguably as good as the books they're based off of.

    So, yes. YES! ffs, read it.
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  4. #524
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    only very few places on this planet, or even in USA have age of consent at 18. yet hollywood raised us to think differently.
    and it is rare but not unheard of boy or girl not actually hitting their puberty late into teen years or even adulthood. various things may cause that but if she was on medication her whole life she might not ever had a proper period and her secondary sexual traits never properly developed sans the young look.

  5. #525
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    Dracula came loaded on my Nook I got last month. I just started it a couple of days ago. I'm 100-some pages in, really liking it so far.
    "What were we talking about? Pegasuses, pegasii, that's horses with wings. This motherf*cker got a sword that talks to him. Motherf*cker live in places that don't exist, it comes with a map. My God."

  6. #526
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    Recently noticed a Chinese novel I read about fifteen years ago, I translate its title as "Strange Phenomena Witnessed With The Two Decades". It is one of the Four Late Ching Social Criticizing Novels. As the genre name suggests, the novel was to criticize the late Ching society in all aspects. The first historic event covered in this novel was in chapter 14 out of 108, the Sino-French War (1884-85), about a Chinese naval warship captain who, under warning of incoming enemy vessel, ordered the whole crew to abandon the ship before even seeing the smoke of that enemy warship. Of course that turned out to be a right warning, but the fact a military officer deserted his post in such manner pretty much tells you much how corrupt the Ching military was during that time. This timing also gives you a brief idea of the time zone this novel covers. I recommend this novel because this book strikingly resemble the nowadays Chinese society we are living in. The protagonist told the story in first person, but had his name covered, and was known as "One Survivor Among Nine Deaths". As his father passed away, he had to leave his home town with his mother to make living. Yet he witnessed more than enough how corrupt the society was and recorded as many as he could. This novel is of course fictional, but mostly inspired by true event, including the little war story mentioned above.

    You may read this book online here. Dont mind about the copyright because it has long expired.

    If you find it difficult to follow without some basic knowledge of modern Chinese history, I recommend this textbook, The Rise of Modern China by Dr. Hsu C. Y. It covers history of China since the Ching dynasty (i.e. since 1644) I was told that this is a very popular textbook in America's colleges for introductory courses in modern Chinese History, the kind of free elective courses one would take aside from major courses. It was supposed that this book would be updated periodically so that the latest development of China would be included. Unfortunately Dr. Hsu died a few years ago so the latest edition is already the last edition. Mine is not the last one.

    BTW, talking about novel, currently I am reading The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly. The book is not exactly new but it was out within last year. The legendary criminal defense lawyer Micky Haller in L.A. switched his main business to foreclosure defense since most criminals could not afford to hire lawyer like him, and went to public defenders instead. While Micky thought this would be all his new business he was going to excel in, one of his client, Lisa Trammel, was charged of murdering her banker Mitchell Bondurant. The suspect motive was too obvious to argue: Mr. Bondurant was to foreclose Lisa's mortgaged home, and Lisa was fighting to resist it. Very naturally Lisa immediately appointed Micky as his defense attorney. Micky's strategy was to uncover some of dirty business Bondurant had been doing before being murdered. Of course Micky was no social fighter. All he hoped to achieve was a criminal motive of someone else to murder the victim so that a reasonable doubt could be established for his client. It was almost immediately that he and his associate found out Bondurant was in financial trouble in real estate investment and he himself might have five mortgaged properties being foreclosed. I've read Part 1, containing 10 chapters.

    I looked forward to this novel for some good reasons. I am recently very fond of financial thrillers. Japan happens to produce tons of them. Economic downturn for two decades has made financial crisis such a hot topic for Japanese, I guess. Last month I've read 4 such novels and I just couldn't have enough. Yet I cannot read Japanese so I have to rely on translation. This novel is a crime and legal thriller in nature, but the main theme is about financial crime, which is about to be uncovered by violent crime. Interestingly, Bondurant was not Lisa's original banker. Bondurant's WestLand Financial bought the loan from Lisa's original mortgage bank, of which name was not yet mentioned in Part 1, probably since it is not relevant in the novel anymore. This kind of financial transaction is prevailing in many economy, even in China. They occurred when market value of collateral fall substantially that repayment is in doubt. Some financial institutes may buy those loan in discount and estimate that an amount more than one paid for the purchase could be made. I read from news media that in China, such transactions often involve western banking powers. Morgan Stanley is definitely a major player, but I can't name the others since they are unfamiliar names to me. Anyway those transactions in China involve loan with enterprises as debtors. I didnt read that personnel loans are also being transferred, maybe too difficult to evaluate. This novel, however, is the first source I read to realize that transfers of personal loans have become common place in western economies, and I am shocked to realize how this ruins individual livings. But of course, here come's another issue. Given Lisa's original banker didnt sell her loan, would her property not be foreclosed? Her husband ran away, and her income as a teacher alone was not enough for the montgage payments, not to mention that she later lost her job.

    BTW, even this is not commented in the Part 1 of the novel, I dont think Micky lost his businesses in criminal defense just because economic downturn dry up everything as Micky put it. It is for the nature Micky always look for the easy score that he lost his business. As he himself commented, that crime rate hadn't fallen. In fact, how can you expect the crime rate not to rise in the midst of economic recession? Problem is, Micky tried his best to stay away from gangster groups, where the real money is. The closest he could get is a illicient motor racing group called Saint Road something I read about in the first book in the series, The Lincoln Lawyer. Of course, you can imagine that gangsters' money will never be easy money. However, if a lawyer practising criminal law could not take the risk of entering a gold mine, how could one complain about economic outlook?

  7. #527
    In recent months, I've read


    • The Profession (Steven Pressfield) -
    Love his writing style. A book about professional mercs in the near future.
    • The Heroes (Joe Abercombie) -
    Easily becoming one of my favourite authors - shame I've read all his books now. Very good novel about a battle taking place over a few days, with POVs from both sides.
    • Starship Troopers (Robert Heinlein) -
    I've been meaning to read this for some time. Good book, very different to the film. Reminds me of Haldemans
    Forever War
    (or is that the other way round, was Troopers written first??)
    • Dyson Sphere (Pellegrino / Zebrowski) -
    I'm not a Star Trek fan, but I am a fiend for Dyson Spheres. Didn't enjoy this too much, felt it was too short, and glossed over any real 'fun' exploration that could have been had. Any other good 'Sphere books out there? (I've done the Ringworlds and Judas Unchained ones)

    Now reading - Revelation Space (Alastair Reynolds). A hard sci-fi series I'm told, just 10% in at the mo, quite liking it so far.
    Planetside2 / Firefall: Crustycuffs
    Mechwarrior Online / Blood Bowl: Mrchinchin25
    GuildWars2: Shiifty (Mesmer) Frank Tankborn (Warrior)
    Raptr: mrchinchin25 Steam: mrchinchin25 Origin: ​Crustycuffs

  8. #528
    Network Hub Cable's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed starship troopers too, but they are very different. Not only in that the movie is "dumb" (yet enjoyable) whereas the book obviously has a lot of thought behind it but just the difference between the foot soldiers in the movie who are pretty much walking tanks with nukes in the book.

  9. #529
    Network Hub Rakysh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cable View Post
    Not only in that the movie is "dumb" (yet enjoyable)
    I sort of think you might have missed the point of the film there. It's quite a clever skewering of fascism and US imperialism, and remarkably prescient regarding the post-9/11 word.

  10. #530
    Network Hub Cable's Avatar
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    Fair enough, i did get some of that but I may have missed it on a higher level

  11. #531
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Vexing Vision's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrchinchin25 View Post
    • The Heroes (Joe Abercombie) -
    Easily becoming one of my favourite authors - shame I've read all his books now. Very good novel about a battle taking place over a few days, with POVs from both sides.
    Just let me chime in for the love of Abercrombie - while I thought that The Heroes was his weakest book so far, I still found it immensely enjoyable, and his next books are bought blindly.

    His next one is supposed to hit around Q4 this year, and I can't wait for it.
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  12. #532
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    I'm about halfway through Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie, and just finished the first of the Hunger Games books.

    After this, I think The City and The City by China Mieville and Catching Fire, the second hunger games book.

  13. #533
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Catching Fire, the second hunger games book.
    Which is the second best, and second worst one.

    Mockingjay is just utter bollocks.


  14. #534
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    Which is the second best, and second worst one.

    Mockingjay is just utter bollocks.
    I just don't even want to know. [spoiler]I'm still really, really quite upset about Rue :([/spoiler] I don't think that'd have happened if I went in with preconceptions.

  15. #535
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    True. Sorry :p


  16. #536
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    On my "to read" shelf;
    - Eisenhorn Trilogy (Dan Abnett)
    - Best Served Cold (Joe Abercrombie)
    - The Heroes (Joe Abercrombie)
    - The Travels of Ibn Battutah (Tim Mackintosh-Smith)
    - Revelation Space (Alastair Reynolds)
    - The Tent, The Bucket and Me (Emma Kennedy)
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  17. #537
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    Currently on Magician (R E Feist). It's the first time I've decided to read a book again - I read a lot of Fiest when I was young(er), but a few months back I saw the books again and suspected I was probably too young to have taken in everything. Being about halfway through the book, I think I was right in my thinking; there's bits I remember very well, some where I can't recall who the characters are, and parts I thought were in entirely different books!

  18. #538
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Are the Hunger Games books worth reading as an adult? They're children's books, right? Would it be like reading Harry Potter (which I found childish when I was nine) or like reading Mortal Engines (which will remain awesome for all time)? Kinda interested in them as the film's coming out soon.

  19. #539
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westyfield View Post
    Are the Hunger Games books worth reading as an adult? They're children's books, right? Would it be like reading Harry Potter (which I found childish when I was nine) or like reading Mortal Engines (which will remain awesome for all time)? Kinda interested in them as the film's coming out soon.
    No, they're Young Adult books.

    The first should definitely be read - it's a clever mix between 1984 and Battle Royale. The second is fairly similar to the first, but shaken up a bit, and the third is... oh dear. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it's not like the first two.


  20. #540
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Althea View Post
    No, they're Young Adult books.

    The first should definitely be read - it's a clever mix between 1984 and Battle Royale. The second is fairly similar to the first, but shaken up a bit, and the third is... oh dear. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but it's not like the first two.
    Oh excellent, I'll give them a read then. Thanks!

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