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Thread: What book are you reading?
28-07-2011, 06:06 PM #161
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Finished Rule 34 - very easy to read compared to Halting State, felt more pacey and slickly done. Rather enjoyable.
Now started The Name of the Wind, because many friends recommended it to me - the writing style is interesting. Deliberately personable, even when relating 'big picture' details, it sort of feels a bit like Tolkien but without being incredibly dry. Lots of singing and poetry and subtlety and dark portent means it's feeling a lot like the opening of the Fellowship, but again, without being meandering or dry.
28-07-2011, 11:09 PM #162
I wrote a 2-star review on Amazon complaining about the impossibility of the story within the story actually being told within a single night, as it supposedly was.
28-07-2011, 11:23 PM #163
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Errr, well unless you spoiled it, it pointedly takes 3 days. Not one night. It's the first thing Kvothe basically points out to the Chronicler. That there's no way he can do it in less than 2 days.
Also I don't recall Kvothe describing himself as a master storyteller - indeed when he begins, he asks the chronicler how one should tell the story, faffs around a bit trying to find the beginning, and eventually gets started? But then I'm only on page 112.
29-07-2011, 12:49 AM #164
Finished with Bierce and moved on to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I may not have read the book before the film as is required in white culture, but I'm reading it before the other film!
Incidentally, I notice that almost all of Bierce's tales are set in America despite Bierce spending time in England. This stands in interesting contrast to Poe who never ventured outside America but who set most of his tales in one European nation or another anyway. I wonder if the difference might not merely reflect the idiosyncrasies of two men but also the evolution of American identity across the period separating them. I don't know enough about the literature of the period to do more than wildly speculate, of course.
29-07-2011, 01:57 AM #165
Rereading "The Turing Option" by Harry Harrison and Marvin Minsky. It's ... sort of interesting, but feels like they had a lot of thoughts about how real AI could be done and what it could be used for, so they gathered all those thoughts and tagged a not all that convincing crime story onto it. The whole thing is a tad stilted.
29-07-2011, 11:05 PM #166
a random person on a random other forum also discribes him as a self-proclaimed master storyteller.
Didn't mean for it to be a spoiler, but the three planned books of the series are supposed to correspond to "the three days necessary to tell the tale." It kind of says "The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One" on the title page. Kvothe is such a master storyteller that of course he knows exactly how long his amazing tale takes to tell. You may have heard of him. Here's a non-spoiler part of my Amazon review to lay out my gripe with the length of the tale:
The main conceit of this book is that the main character, Kvothe, is telling his own tale to other characters in the book. Kvothe - a self-proclaimed master storyteller - declares that he will speak of his past experiences in three parts, or over the course of three days - of which this book comprises the first.
This is pretty much impossible.
If we take all of Kvothe's narration to be "as he spoke it," then there simply isn't enough time in the day for a person to comfortably tell this tale. I won't link out to it, but the Audible version of the Name of the Wind audio book clocks in at 27 hours and 58 minutes.
Now, not the entire book is comprised entirely of Kvothe's telling. There are framing sequences set in the book's present day that make up anywhere from 10-15% of the text. But even taking account for that, the characters in the book aren't depicted as spending 24 hours of that first day solely on listening to Kvothe's telling. There are other events taking place that take up time, and the characters do go to sleep at night.
A true master storyteller wouldn't be rush, rush, rushing to get through his life story. Pacing, gestures, and facial expressions would all be a part of the experience. So we shouldn't believe that the characters were speaking and acting really, really fast. And indeed, the audio book's runtime confirms what I'm saying.
That leads me only one explanation: Rothfuss has made a freshman mistake. This book is too long, his time frame too short. For me, it has affected both the story's believability and my perception of the main character's credentials. So much is boasted about Kvothe's abilities. Many reviewers have mentioned that the character is overblown. Here is real evidence that the character was credited with too much! And yet I doubt that Rothfuss will correct this mistake in his next book, which takes place during the second of three days of telling. If anything, I expect the page count to blossom, as the author is buoyed by his fledgling success.
Last edited by icupnimpn2; 29-07-2011 at 11:09 PM.
30-07-2011, 03:57 PM #167
Throwing all my unwanteds into a bag for trade in at the local used book store. Gleaned some suggestions from here, and also copied down some author's names from two books titled The New Space Opera. I can't recommend those two, though -sorry fellas (the compilers), but the short story format is not a proper space opera, imo.
Any more I'm back into hardcore SciFi (as I was as a kid). Burned out on fantasy, and I wish people would get over the softcore vampire porn - it's clogging up the shelves. Any suggestions in the hard scifi arena (modern) welcomed."Unix is user friendly. It's just selective about who its friends are.”
30-07-2011, 04:28 PM #168
Greg Egan does proper hard sci-fi. Get Schild's Ladder and Incandescence if at all possible.
02-08-2011, 11:30 AM #169
hey im reading Big Brother the orwellian nightmare come true at the moment, round 3/4 way through. It looks at in today's society how george orwell's 1984 book has pretty much happened with cameras that can pick you out of thousands of people or from your supermarket club card collecting data on what you buy to then be sold on to company's or even you health insurance to see if you're eating healthy or to put up your premium.
pretty eye opening to just realize how much we are watched by government agencies, from the library books we take out to software that can turn your phone mic on when its off to listen in on your conversationsThe Wild Bunch Clan! Steam: TWB*BlueJohn add me
02-08-2011, 12:07 PM #170
I'm taking a break from sci fi for now, currently half way through Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Really enjoying it, it's set in an alternate history 19th century, where magic is real but no longer practiced, only studied by historians. The plot concerns its revival by the titular gentlemen, and is all written in the style of a book from the time, but manages to do so without becoming tedious or heavy reading.
02-08-2011, 01:04 PM #171
I remember I found the first 100 pages or something of Jonathan Strange quite slow going, but then something happened, don't know if the pace quickened somewhat or if I just got used to the style, anyway I now think it is a most splendid book and I'm glad I persevered.
02-08-2011, 02:02 PM #172
03-08-2011, 03:04 PM #173
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
The Machine Crusade by Frank Herbert
03-08-2011, 04:39 PM #174
It's more like real life in that way. There's very little that ties my high school years and early college years into the present story of my life. I'm still the same person, but time has passed, things change. The pacing of life slows down and speeds up and slows down and speeds up.
I'm kind of a dork. I found myself enjoying Jonathan Strange enough that I put the book aside three or four years ago and still haven't finished it. There's no sequel or anything just yet, and the author took eight years to write this one. Yes there are some short stories by the same author (and some tie into the same world), but really if you read this there's nowhere else to go. The prospect of not having more to read saddens me, so I have laid up the book as a treasure for the future. I think I will begin it again soon, though, and take it to completion.
03-08-2011, 06:53 PM #175
It's nice to know someone else likes Jonathan Strange - I loved it, but I haven't managed to get anyone to read more than a little of it.
03-08-2011, 07:37 PM #176
I'd recommend Herminie Templeton Kavanagh's Darby O'Gill. Tor fantasy sells a version that has been "textually regularized for modern readers." I picked it up for cheaps at a discount book sale after beginning Jonathan Strange and felt like I was putting my foot back into familiar waters. There's a Kindle version available on Amazon that shares reviews for the Tor version, but I think it's a public domain release and may not have the same modernization.
03-08-2011, 07:53 PM #177
Definitely try Gaiman - I haven't seen any of his film work except Beowulf, so I can't really say how it compares to his written work, but Neverwhere is a good entry point if you liked Strange, it has a comparable combination of whimsy and darkness. Good Omens has a similar tone, but with added Pratchett (always a good thing). Anansi Boys is less dark, and American Gods is less whimsical - it's a dense read but probably the best of the bunch.
Edit: also, I said this elsewhere:
Last edited by ColOfNature; 03-08-2011 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Grrrrrr... ammar.
03-08-2011, 07:53 PM #178
Amitav Ghosh, River of Smoke
Has nothing to do with computers, gaming or our specific subculture. Mostly deals with creole languages and the Opium Wars. But that's what I'm reading at the moment.
03-08-2011, 08:17 PM #179
Great film, and I'll be checking out the Fincher version too, but there we part, k? Sorry Mr. Larsson.
So, scratch that. I've moved on to Stephen Baxter's Flood and the works of one H.P. Lovecraft. I am tired of hearing the adjectival form of the latter gentleman's name and knowing not of what is being alluded to.
Last edited by Rii; 03-08-2011 at 08:22 PM.
03-08-2011, 09:22 PM #180
Finished "I Shall Wear Midnight" a couple of days ago and now I'm going through "Neuromancer". Both perfect.