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Thread: What book are you reading?
27-08-2014, 09:13 PM #2261
Okay, time to end this chapter of my life, Timothy Zahn - Judas Solution. First two novels are bad. This one is shit. I rarely say things like that, honest. I rarely judge a product with words worse than "garbage". Judas Solution is utter puke and I'm not even half way into the novel. Now I think I know why it wasn't offered on Google Books or elsewhre. It seems first two novels were rewritten at some point into something coherent but then the author just gave up.
Two things go wrong from the beginning. First thing first, there are like five POV stories with terrible pacing, on different planets even, loosely tied into something that becomes jigsaw puzzle plot at some point I guess. To that end the story is shoehorned to the authors goal by considerably downgrading all characters, especially their competence. In other words, everyone behave like idiots to progress the plot, blind luck progresses the plot, fucking grizzly bear moves the plot once, ridiculous plans work for no reason other than to move the plot, and I remind you that we are talking about uber-human space ninja commandos here, all of them tactician geniouses, lead by the most genious genious tactician.
So what do super-ninjas do after daringly winning against overwhelming odds twice? Suddenly they lose their superhuman abilities and intelligence. They utterly fail at stealth. Announce their presence to the whole world instead of taking a subtle approach. A fucking bear almost mauls one of them and gets away, thats more than any other enemy character in the novels achieved so far. They completely fail to spot a mole among them. One of the oldest and most experienced men in the group suddenly talks about their trump card among enemies for no reason at all. And the genious leader is almost shot to death while running in a straight line at a cluster of marksmen, only saved by outside help. What went wrong? I though you guys were supposed to be competent and not total muppets?
But the worst thing is as usual - repetitiveness and inefficiency of opposition. Third novel in a row Security forces are as dumb and pathetic as ever. Author never even tried to make them menacing. They are armed with weapons, completely useless against the protagonists, 100% useless. Their commanding officers are frowning at mouth retards as usual, purposefully so to make a contrast to Perfect Galaway who is supposed to be an "interesting character" but Christ, not third novel in a row, ffs.
Make it stop.
27-08-2014, 09:58 PM #2262
27-08-2014, 10:10 PM #2263
Dodger by Pterry; for some reason I thought this was a Discworld book. Go figure. It reads rather like one of course, given that Pratchett's style shows in everything he is involved with. I'm only a short ways in and am rather liking it.
One question for you Brits: does tosher rhyme with squasher or kosher? I immediately read it as the former, but in the book Solomon made me think it was the latter, unless it was a quirk of his character in trying to force a rhyme that I didn't get.
27-08-2014, 10:13 PM #2264
As in Squasher, what does it even mean?
27-08-2014, 10:36 PM #2265
Grid Systems in Graphic Design: A Handbook for Graphic Artists, Typographers, and Exhibition Designers.
27-08-2014, 10:41 PM #2266
But sometime around the end of book 3 or start of book 4 - the pace just dropped through the floor. I want to finish the series, but there's a lot more to get through, and if things don't change (your post made it sounds like it doesn't) that doesn't bode well. I guess I'll see!Please feel free to visit my Deviant Art page.
27-08-2014, 11:26 PM #2267
Oh I had that problem with Wheel of Time it got to the point where he was spending many many chapters of the magic women doing nothing and wondering what to do and then they would do one! chapter on the key invasion of a city and I was like no I'm sorry this really isn't fun anymore. And I also had the same reaction of the first few books where was like well it is very LOTR rip off heavy but it does it in quite a nice quick style that I can get into. Thats one book series I would have no qualms with someone making it into a tv show and editing the shit out of it.
28-08-2014, 12:50 AM #2268
28-08-2014, 01:44 AM #2269
I'm sad to say that I didn't really like Echopraxia. It is poorly motivated and wanting for better scenarios, characterization, and plot. Too much of it is an addendum/rejoinder of B-side elements parallel to the main events of Blindsight, and the conclusion essentially undermines the triumph of the Theseus mission (it's not a retcon, but basically the outcome sucks). Whereas Siri's passive observation is a critical element of that story and how it's told, sequel "protagonist" Dan is virtually superfluous and his story lacks meaning. Major elements like thinking tumors and resurrected vampires and rewired religious impulses and alien intelligence have all been presented previously and better by Watts. Fundamentally it's just not the same kind of story, or told in a similar way, or with anything like the original's degree of insight and impact. The info-dumps and thought experiments and discussions of Blindsight are just so much more compelling and better argued and assembled that I found the sequel very disappointing.
The Rifters trilogy had a similar pattern: strong original book, weak sequel that continues the worldbuilding but concludes interestingly, and a sprawling but satisfying third volume. Maybe, with luck, a 3rd book can win me over again.
28-08-2014, 05:37 PM #2270
Yeah I don't think that o can vary much across British accents at all. Lots of vowels soften and harden dependent on region/class, but not o so much. It would probably shorten and elongate though. So squasher may be a slightly overly long o, I'd imagine it more like tosser.
Last edited by Zephro; 28-08-2014 at 05:40 PM.
29-08-2014, 06:53 AM #2271
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
Currently reading The Phantom of the Opera. Quite an entertaining tale (and vastly different from the musical), though I find that the protagonists are irritatingly prone to making terrible decisions. This seems to be a theme in a lot of Gothic horror, though, so I don't necessarily hold it against this book in particular.
29-08-2014, 09:54 AM #2272
Jordan would seize on that sort of thing and bang on about it for entire volumes longer than he needed to - GEE, MEN AND WOMEN SURE ARE FROM, LIKE, DIFFERENT PLANETS OR SOMETHING - but his writing was definitely better for it at times. I loved, loved, loved the Tinkers, and what that plot thread turns into - it was clumsy and too obviously informed by a guy who lived through (served in?) Vietnam - but it felt far more raw, more honest, than Tolkien's oh-the-humanity allegories.
I loved the Whitecloaks (was that their name?) - even when I was much younger I could still tell they were a little too close to moustache-twirling villains but even pantomime blind religious fundamentalism felt like something Middle Earth sorely needed to acknowledge (Denethor would probably be the closest Tolkien gets, or Saruman, maybe, and even those are far too highfalutin' to be completely effective, IMO).
Jordan deserves a hell of a lot of the mockery he gets, and I wouldn't blame anyone for calling it quits before the end - I did, after all. I barely read #8 and #9, just skimmed huge chunks of them. But that's not to say there's nothing worth praising in what he did. More so, arguably, than a lot of people seem at all willing to concede.
29-08-2014, 06:05 PM #2273
- Join Date
- Aug 2014
- San Diego, CA, USA
Lately I've read Nick Harkaway's Tigerman, which wasn't as good as Angelmaker (one of my favorite novels of the past few years), but was delightfully madcap and compassionate and British. And I'm near done with Lev Grossman's final Magicians book, which is the best of the three.
Has anyone read Vandermeer's Southern Reach books? I read Annihilation in one sitting last week and was deliciously creeped out. Best use of an unreliable narrator ever: I felt like not only could I not trust her, but that she couldn't trust her own perceptions.
29-08-2014, 06:15 PM #2274
29-08-2014, 06:28 PM #2275
- Join Date
- Aug 2014
- San Diego, CA, USA
29-08-2014, 08:54 PM #2276
I know why he's doing it, yes, I just disagree with how effective it is, I suppose.
Victim blaming isn't quite the right term. It's very hard for me to articulate how I feel about it. I suppose put very crudely he doesn't make me feel like what happens to her should have happened. Had to happen, perhaps. He seems like he thinks he's gunning for some deeper commentary about how young people so blithely tangle with complex issues in the search for identity without ever really appreciating what they're doing (he's just using eeevil/pagan magick as a metaphor, natch). And 1) I don't think that kind of commentary is anything like as clever and incisive as he seems to believe, and 2) he doesn't fully sell me on the idea that it was always going to go disastrously wrong, or that Julia was genuinely too stupid and self-absorbed to realise it. And I could argue she is defined by what happens, I think. I never really got a coherent sense of her as anything but "Why me and not you?".
(For some context on 1), I cannot stand hipster romances or slice-of-life movies etc. that present everything anyone ever did between the ages of, say, 17 and 35, as laughably stupid and inconsequential.)
At the same time I can't deny that it's tremendously well written. I'm jobless and hard up, so I seriously can't just drop the cash on a relatively new book just like that, but I'd certainly like to finish the trilogy. We'll see.
Never read Peter Watts (or heard of him, really). The brain-eating in Hannibal made me physically ill: I haven't read it in a long time, mind you, so I don't know if it'd still have that effect.
31-08-2014, 03:35 PM #2277
I tried to finish Misspent Youth by Peter Hamilton but I just gave up. I've read few times books which did not manage to grab my attention, or were just badly written but this one takes the cake. It is pretty much the worst book I had ever read. I didn't finish it but got halfway and then just read the last chapter and an entry on Wikipedia.
Even Baldur's Gate was written better and I consider that book to be an abomination.
Nonsensical plot,awful dialogs, boring characters.... I think that's the worst part. Who is interested in teenagers just being teenagers? Not saving the world, solving crimes or fighting evil wizard. Just teens being fucking teens. Going to party talking about who dates who and just trying to fit in.
Main character, Jeff is in a way worse. Zero personality no motivations no real back story. Yet the plot supposed to evolve around him.
And Hamilton is highly critical of EU but that's not an issue with a book but something which just pissed me off.
Sorry for the rant but I just had to vent my disappointment and anger. After great night's dawn he wrote something so bad it's frankly sad. I understand the reason. Wanting to write something down to earth, more personal and lesser in scope. Unfortunately he touched a subject which is definitely not his forte and brings out weaknesses of his writing style without having his strengths present.
Yet I am still hyped for his new book which should be coming this year.
04-09-2014, 10:45 AM #2278
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
Finished Metro 2033. Wow, it was really nice. I've excepted some crap (bestsellers are mostly either very good or very bad), got book with decent plot and very rich, detailed world. I liked the Roadside Picnic esque moments with some strange anomalies.
04-09-2014, 11:35 AM #2279
Drew Karpyshyns new book comes out in Europe today so I'm going to pick that up. The first one wasn't bad, despite some of the characters being a bit trope-y (one in particular couldn't be more of a trope) and set up for what could be a good fantasy story. It also covered a good chunk of time so from here on out it looks like it's going to be much more about the current events as opposed to giving a quick telling of how the characters came to be.
Seriously though, one of the characters is a good looking girl who has scars, grew up on the streets and became a masterful pickpocket who uses daggers as her weapons, is great with them and her name is Scythe. Fucking. Scythe."Halo is designed to make the player think "I look like that, I am macho sitting in my undies with my xbox""
04-09-2014, 01:47 PM #2280
I read Catcher in the Rye and I absolutely loathed everything. Boy, was I sore from all the whining. It just killed me. Boring crap about being a rich teenager, and first-person perspective is grating.
Boy, was it grating. What about all the repetition? He kept repeating stuff, for no reason. Boy, that made me sore.
I can't see how this wasn't adapted into a film. The hipster crowd would love it, and it would make a lot of dough. Millions of dollars. I really don't like the pictures a lot.