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  1. #141
    Ooo, I love The Man Who Was Thursday. I read it as a teenager and didn't understand it at all. Read it again a couple years ago and it made tons more sense.

    Finished The City and the City by China Mieville this morning. I've heard that the ending is divisive, but I found it to be both enjoyable and appropriate of the world that Mieville had created. This was my first time reading one of his books, and I may have to check out some of his others. Any suggestions?

  2. #142
    Activated Node DukeOfChutney's Avatar
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    Sea Harrier over the Falklands by Sharkey Ward is my current read. Its good if you want to read some British Jingoisim and internal forces politics.

  3. #143
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus ColOfNature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Innocent View Post
    This was my first time reading one of his books, and I may have to check out some of his others. Any suggestions?
    The Bas-Lag series are fantastic - read them in order for best effect (Perdido Street Station, then The Scar, then Iron Council) but they're pretty much stand-alone. My favourite was The Scar, but they're all good. Un Lun Dun was a fun read, even if it is a kids' book. I got stuck a few pages into Kraken and ended up returning it to the library, but that was probably my fault.


  4. #144
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    Working my way through George McDonald Fraser's Flashman books. And thoroughly enjoying it.
    I saw Flashman on the shelf in a bookshop a while ago and thought it looked interesting, but didn't buy it. I'll have to give it a try sometime.

  5. #145
    Obscure Node solipsistnation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams O'Donnell View Post
    I assume we have lots of Iain M Banks readers in here. Are any of his non-M books worth reading? I can't tell if I like him for his writing or for the concept of the Culture.
    His writing is generally good enough that he's interesting even when he's writing about some Scots dude coming of age or whatever.

    Wasp Factory: YES. Look, just read it.

    Walking on Glass: A little on the experimental side, still decent. Tries to be clever, mostly is.

    The Bridge: Fantastic. Arguably a crypto-Culture novel (and not even in the way that since the Culture is out there all his mainstream fiction is secretly Culture novels). Has a happy ending, but it shows up in another book entirely and is only mentioned in passing. Highly recommended.

    Espedair Street: Rock biography, and I always like those, even though it's a little lighter than he tends to be. I like rock bios.

    Canal Dreams: Basically dreck and not worth bothering with unless you're really desperate and stuck in an airport or something.

    Complicity: Not bad, not great.

    Whit: I liked it, but it wasn't terribly heavy reading or anything. Interesting ideas that he doesn't do as much with as he could.

    A Song of Stone: More experimental than most-- heavy on the style. Actually one I haven't re-read.

    The Business: Again, a little light and kind of forgettable.

    Dead Air: Post-9/11 something-or-other that I honestly haven't bothered reading. Even the Iain (M) Banks mailing list I'm on mostly gave it a pass.

    The Steep Approach to Garbadale: Kind of a Crow Road reprise-- coming-of-age thing, not bad, nothing to write home about:

    Transition: Wasn't this SF? Hm. I liked it-- a return to form I think, although not to the extent that Surface Detail was.

    ...so there you go. For comparison, I loved Use of Weapons and Consider Phlebas more than Player of Games, really liked Feersum Endjinn, generally enjoyed Against A Dark Background, found Excession interesting but not as awesome as other Banks fans, and enjoyed Inversions and the other newer Culture novels.
    Вы такие сексапильные, когда злитесь.

  6. #146
    Activated Node DukeOfChutney's Avatar
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    "Wasp Factory: YES. Look, just read it."

    agreed wasp factory is a good book

    if your into space opera, i'd say Alistair Reynolds revelation space series are the best going, particularly chasm city
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chasm-City-A...076355&sr=1-10

  7. #147
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus ColOfNature's Avatar
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    And Reynolds' latest, Terminal World, is awesome.


  8. #148
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    Almost finished A Dance with Dragons, not sure what I think of it tbh.

  9. #149
    i too felt clash of kings seemed more like a promise of good things (nasty things?) to come, and i can promise you after reading the second part/book of storm of swords that the payoff is swearwordingly amazing.

  10. #150
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sinister agent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Innocent View Post
    Ooo, I love The Man Who Was Thursday. I read it as a teenager and didn't understand it at all. Read it again a couple years ago and it made tons more sense.
    Every time I play Deus Ex, I tell myself "I really must get round to reading that". It's not even on The Pile yet, shamefully enough.

    Currently reading the Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and about to start on Dracula on the side for a miniature book club thing that may or may not be a ploy to touch a lady person on the bottom.

    Wildfell Hall is great so far, I have to say. It's pretty much the inverse of that horrible romantic crap that the rest of the Brontes peddled, where the male lead is an abusive tosser but deep down he's ever so lovely, and if a woman will just accept enough of his bullshit then he'll magically change. Makes me sick, that does. But in this, the "good on the inside" romantic character is, like his real life counterpart, actually an abusive dickbag who ruins the lives of everyone he meets. PUNCHLINE HERE.

  11. #151
    Network Hub Joseph's Avatar
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    I've just finished reading Metro 2033, which I thought was fantastic. I got a little burnt out with it towards the end but then when the last few pages actually come it's just brilliant.

    Not sure what I'm going to read next though, I've got this book called Twelve which is about vampires during Napoleonic times which I reckon I'll be giving a gander.

  12. #152
    Was going to read Dance With Dragons but my friends told me its not that great so it's been moved down the queue a little, about to start reading Finch by Jeff VanderMeer
    Last edited by TheLastBaron; 21-07-2011 at 08:03 PM.

  13. #153
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    Currently reading Rule 34, by Charles Stross. I am addicted to this guys writing style.

  14. #154
    Network Hub corbain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastBaron View Post
    Was going to read Dance With Dragons but my friends told me its not that great so it's been moved down the queue a little, about to start reading Finch by Jeff VanderMeer

    Alec just tweeted he didn't enjoy Dance With Dragons which is a little disconcerting as his complaints are ones that are nagging at me already, and i've only just started Clash of Kings- namely that it is a soap opera written by a dirty old man, and intellectual candy floss.

    I'm thinking of treating the series as something to be read slowly, the books interspersed with something a little weightier (between GoT and CoK i read Infinite Jest, but perhaps that's taking weighty a little too literally), not in one greedy, indigestion inducing feast. Hopefully by not overindulging I won't get GRRM overload, as I loved the first book and want to love the rest of them.

  15. #155
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    that it is a soap opera written by a dirty old man
    You have to have some kind of soap operishness, characters drama and all that because thats what connects us to the the story and fills the story, otherwise it would be a bit short. Thats how TV series and all that kind of stuff have so many seasons.

    The dirty old man thing though I can't really deny, he does like to have his sex scenes. Though I have to say the TV people are a little bit more dirty since they seem to put random sex scenes that weren't in the book and are a little bit distracting and not needed.

  16. #156
    Activated Node Stormbane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    The dirty old man thing though I can't really deny, he does like to have his sex scenes. Though I have to say the TV people are a little bit more dirty since they seem to put random sex scenes that weren't in the book and are a little bit distracting and not needed.
    “Sex is one of the most wholesome, beautiful and natural experiences that money can buy.”
    –Steve Martin

  17. #157
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by corbain View Post
    Alec just tweeted he didn't enjoy Dance With Dragons which is a little disconcerting as his complaints are ones that are nagging at me already, and i've only just started Clash of Kings- namely that it is a soap opera written by a dirty old man, and intellectual candy floss. [snip] Hopefully by not overindulging I won't get GRRM overload, as I loved the first book and want to love the rest of them.
    If it's any consolation, I read A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords back to back, and loved them both. The constant sex is a bit annoying AND IN THE BOOK and I understand that it's a bit exploitative ("What's that? You like this character? Well how about I kill them, haha! Wait, you like this character as well? Dead! Hahahahaha! And this one! And that one!") but it doesn't bother me that much. Overall I'm still very much loving the books, and I'm not bothered that they're not intellectually stimulating - if I wanted to learn something or be challenged I'd read a different book.

  18. #158
    Lesser Hivemind Node icupnimpn2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westyfield View Post
    If it's any consolation, I read A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords back to back, and loved them both. The constant sex is a bit annoying AND IN THE BOOK and I understand that it's a bit exploitative ("What's that? You like this character? Well how about I kill them, haha! Wait, you like this character as well? Dead! Hahahahaha! And this one! And that one!") but it doesn't bother me that much. Overall I'm still very much loving the books, and I'm not bothered that they're not intellectually stimulating - if I wanted to learn something or be challenged I'd read a different book.
    Years ago, my mother accompanied me and my wife out of town to look at some houses around a school where I had been accepted. She had forgotten her reading material so I lent her a book that I hadn't yet read but that was being very heavily promoted at that time as the start of the next, greatest fantasy saga.

    A year later, my wife and I stopped at a gas station when visiting with my mother. She went inside to pay and I picked up her romance novel out of curiosity. I started reading random parts to my wife and she was laughing. Then my mother came back and went on the defensive. She was upset, like I had violated a private part of her life. I told her I was sorry but that these romance novels are cheesy. She said, "I know what kinds of books YOU like to read!" and gave me a horrified, indignant, angry look.

    Never let your mom read a book you haven't read first. Like A Clash of Kings.

  19. #159
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    I have A Game Of Thrones sitting on my sidetable, but I keep putting off actually reading it. I started, and about a chapter in I knew that I didn't have the time or patience at that point to keep track of what was happening in the story. Never went back to it once I actually had the time.

    Also, just finished reading Catcher In The Rye. Loved the writing itself, but I found myself getting infuriated with the main character a bit too often. I just really wanted him to shut up sometimes. That being said, it's certainly a good book, with some brilliant sections.

  20. #160
    Obscure Node Plankton's Avatar
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    I've had about 3 or 4 years where I barely read any novels - a real shame, I confess. Though, recently I started spending some time on reading.
    Already forgot the title of the last book I finished. Some story about Neanderthals that survived in a cave system below the North Iranian desert and from there started to infiltrate modern human society... pretty stupid XD

    Now reading some old history book (from the early 60s) on the Russian Revolution that I found in my parents' library.
    I am also reading the German translation of Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski, better known as the first novel in the Witcher series. Before that I read the 2 short story collections The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny. Really having fun with those. (and I haven't even finished the first game)
    And finally, I am reading "Ausser Dienst" by Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of West Germany. It's giving me some really interesting perspective on things.

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