I don't read enough

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 17144
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch,?by Philip K. Dick, is A Very Bad Trip: The Book. Palmer Eldritch, captain of industry and very weird looking dude, comes back from the Prox system with a new drug: Chew-Z. Seemingly designed to put Can-D pushers out of business, this drug doesn't need any props to transport the user to new worlds. The only problem is getting back.

Tiered realities are always a disconcerting concept to explore, and this book goes about as far down the rabbit hole as you would expect from an author like Dick, who apparently had severe neuroses related to the nature of his own reality. By the end of the story, you start to get a glimpse of what Dick's concept of God looks like, and it's not a comforting one.

Populated with morally compromised, unsympathetic characters, the book can feel like a slow march of the damned into Hades, but there's plenty there to keep it interesting for the ~250 pages of story. With movies like The Matrix, Inception, and even Dick's Total Recall, the concept doesn't feel entirely fresh anymore, but this primordial vision of an imperceptibly shifting reality is the most unnerving I've encountered.
Jan 1, 2017 4:06 PM
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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 11792
So I was trying to do a list of all the books I've ever read (because god forbid I not waste my time doing something meaningless) and thought about the various series whose next installments are taking their sweet time. The Winds of Winter obviously but also Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell III and the next part of the Kingkiller Chronicle that I've hate-read 2/3 of and might as well hate-finish. Then I remembered I read all 10 volumes of L. Ron Hubbard's Mission: Earth which totals over a million words and saw that it was published over the course of like two years.?

Anyway, books.
Jan 25, 2017 3:31 AM
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Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 5539
Infinitus CorsairSo I was trying to do a list of all the books I've ever read (because god forbid I not waste my time doing something meaningless) and thought about the various series whose next installments are taking their sweet time. The Winds of Winter obviously but also Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell III and the next part of the Kingkiller Chronicle that I've hate-read 2/3 of and might as well hate-finish. Then I remembered I read all 10 volumes of L. Ron Hubbard's Mission: Earth which totals over a million words and saw that it was published over the course of like two years.?

Anyway, books.

What do you hate about The Kingkiller Chronicle?
Jan 25, 2017 3:50 AM
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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 11792
Wreckloose
Infinitus CorsairSo I was trying to do a list of all the books I've ever read (because god forbid I not waste my time doing something meaningless) and thought about the various series whose next installments are taking their sweet time. The Winds of Winter obviously but also Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell III and the next part of the Kingkiller Chronicle that I've hate-read 2/3 of and might as well hate-finish. Then I remembered I read all 10 volumes of L. Ron Hubbard's Mission: Earth which totals over a million words and saw that it was published over the course of like two years.?

Anyway, books.

What do you hate about The Kingkiller Chronicle?

Untrustworthy narrator or not, reading the adventures of a Mary Sue for two whole books grows tedious.
Jan 25, 2017 4:16 AM
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Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 4388
Infinitus Corsair

Untrustworthy narrator or not, reading the adventures of a Mary Sue for two whole books grows tedious.

How did you feel about that scene where he plays a maestro-level rendition of a folksy tune thereby impressing and amusing all the musicians in that elite musician's club where he funds his studies by being the best fucking musician?

I mean yeah spoilers but seriously, barf.
Jan 25, 2017 4:34 AM
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Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 5539
Infinitus Corsair
Wreckloose
Infinitus CorsairSo I was trying to do a list of all the books I've ever read (because god forbid I not waste my time doing something meaningless) and thought about the various series whose next installments are taking their sweet time. The Winds of Winter obviously but also Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell III and the next part of the Kingkiller Chronicle that I've hate-read 2/3 of and might as well hate-finish. Then I remembered I read all 10 volumes of L. Ron Hubbard's Mission: Earth which totals over a million words and saw that it was published over the course of like two years.?

Anyway, books.

What do you hate about The Kingkiller Chronicle?

Untrustworthy narrator or not, reading the adventures of a Mary Sue for two whole books grows tedious.

There is that. Have you read The Stormlight Archive?
Jan 25, 2017 6:34 AM
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Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 11792
Wreckloose
Infinitus Corsair
Wreckloose
Infinitus CorsairSo I was trying to do a list of all the books I've ever read (because god forbid I not waste my time doing something meaningless) and thought about the various series whose next installments are taking their sweet time. The Winds of Winter obviously but also Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell III and the next part of the Kingkiller Chronicle that I've hate-read 2/3 of and might as well hate-finish. Then I remembered I read all 10 volumes of L. Ron Hubbard's Mission: Earth which totals over a million words and saw that it was published over the course of like two years.?

Anyway, books.

What do you hate about The Kingkiller Chronicle?

Untrustworthy narrator or not, reading the adventures of a Mary Sue for two whole books grows tedious.

There is that. Have you read The Stormlight Archive?

I haven't; this is the first I've heard of it. It's kind of poetic, though, for the guy who hired to finish Wheel of Time to launch a massive series that will likely expand beyond his original plan. Like links in a daisy chain.
Jan 25, 2017 7:32 AM
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 12049
Infinitus Corsair
Wreckloose
Infinitus CorsairSo I was trying to do a list of all the books I've ever read (because god forbid I not waste my time doing something meaningless) and thought about the various series whose next installments are taking their sweet time. The Winds of Winter obviously but also Hilary Mantel's Thomas Cromwell III and the next part of the Kingkiller Chronicle that I've hate-read 2/3 of and might as well hate-finish. Then I remembered I read all 10 volumes of L. Ron Hubbard's Mission: Earth which totals over a million words and saw that it was published over the course of like two years.?

Anyway, books.

What do you hate about The Kingkiller Chronicle?

Untrustworthy narrator or not, reading the adventures of a Mary Sue for two whole books grows tedious.

I got about halfway through the first book before I bailed. In addition to what you're talking about, which in the case of this book is so extreme I just came to think of an intentional gimmick (still dumb tho), the portrayal of women, and the protagonist's relationships with them, was so objectifying that it grossed me out. Just a whole bunch of "there should be an entry in the beastiary for women, because they are a different species" being thrown out and, what's worse in some ways, intended as a kind of compliment because women are complicated and hard to understand. I guess, really, part of his Mary Sueness is that women all want to fuck him and all the women are hot and blah blah, did an eight year old write this because he played too many video games? When trying to portray the relationship between the hero's parents a big part of what makes them a loving couple is how much they fuck. It gets old.
Jan 25, 2017 1:57 PM
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 10758
I just read through Watchmen for the first time. It's a depressingly apt read in this era of impending climate change & nuclear war disasters.
Jan 26, 2017 6:22 PM
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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 17144
Well, my reading has fallen off a freakin' cliff this year, but I did get around to finishing Neuromancer. As a massive fan of the Matrix trilogy, it's good to finally meet the parents. Gibson's prose is hypnotic, breathing a seminal, genre-defining world to life so adeptly that it somehow doesn't matter that half the words you're reading are net new. Like Blade Runner, completely of its time and yet still fresh all these years (and countless imitations) later.?
Apr 21, 2017 4:34 AM
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Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 45
Wow, you don't read enough? Well, you don't say. Hey, everybody this douche nugget doesn't read enough, everyone look it's a light reader...?

See? Nobody cares.
Apr 21, 2017 6:31 AM
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Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 9441
Abbie AnayaWow, you don't read enough? Well, you don't say. Hey, everybody this douche nugget doesn't read enough, everyone look it's a light reader...?

See? Nobody cares.

I'm kinda with Abbie on this one.
Apr 21, 2017 6:35 AM
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 8386
I care - this was a good thread. ?I credit RT with getting me onto the Mistborn novels. ?Now in the middle of the second trilogy (which is not as good as the first, but getting better).
Apr 21, 2017 5:36 PM
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Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 41149
I'm Thinking of Ending Things, by Iain Reid.

This novel is short and so engaging that I read it one go. This is both a deeply creepy and tense thriller of sorts and an emotionally resonant character study. The basic premise is this: a young man and his girlfriend are driving late one evening into the country to visit his parents at their remote farm. The story is narrated from the girlfriend's perspective. Theirs is a new relationship, and while they are close in many ways, and there is much about him she likes, she is nonethless wavering on whether she should end things. The first third or so of the book is their drive together--their conversations, and her recalling her past and beginning of their relationship. She is also continually receiving calls from a mysterious person who leaves even more bizarre messages.

They eventually reach the boyfriend's parents' house to have dinner, and the dread that really starts to mount here carries the book through to its conclusion. It is not an ending that everyone will like, but in the context of the rest of the novel it is one that I think works beautifully.

It's just a little too out there to be the next Gone Girl or whatever, but if you're like, "Hey, what if these bestselling thrillers were maybe more Under the Skin and less James Patterson?" then this might be for you.
Apr 21, 2017 8:13 PM
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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 17144
Movie Freak, by Owen Gleiberman

The memoirs of the head film critic at EW for 20 something years that I picked up more for the title than anything else. Enjoyable read, but mostly because it's like reading my life in an alternate reality where I grow up in the 70's and have more talent. He oscillates from personal (at times maybe too personal) stories, to his thoughts on specific films, to the day-in and day-out of a film critic's life, with occasionally cool insight into the mind of a critic.?

This site seems like the only place where recommending it might be a decent idea, as we're all wannabe critics to some extent.?
Jun 3, 2017 3:25 AM
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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 17144
House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski, is about a guy who finds a dead man's exegesis on a Blair Witch-esque found footage horror film, and begins to lose his mind the more he takes up the project of dissecting the events himself. So it's about the guy who finds the dead man's notes, the dead man, and the actual events that lead to the filming of the horror movie. It's a labyrinth of a story about an impossible labyrinth of a house, and it takes copious liberties with the novel format. It's like stumbling into an impossibly dense and messy room, in which lie secrets and hints at some greater truth that you can only begin to put your finger on. The author calls it a love story.

I call it a tedious fucking slog. But hey, if the above description sounds cool, and you want to subject yourself to literally hundreds of pages of footnotes and appendices and psychotic ramblings with the bare ghost of a story haunting this brick of a novel, go nuts. Just try not to lose yourself in the process *ooOOoooOOOo* ?*hand-wavy gestures*
Jul 4, 2017 10:59 PM
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 12049
JeanHouse of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski, is about a guy who finds a dead man's exegesis on a Blair Witch-esque found footage horror film, and begins to lose his mind the more he takes up the project of dissecting the events himself. So it's about the guy who finds the dead man's notes, the dead man, and the actual events that lead to the filming of the horror movie. It's a labyrinth of a story about an impossible labyrinth of a house, and it takes copious liberties with the novel format. It's like stumbling into an impossibly dense and messy room, in which lie secrets and hints at some greater truth that you can only begin to put your finger on. The author calls it a love story.

I call it a tedious fucking slog. But hey, if the above description sounds cool, and you want to subject yourself to literally hundreds of pages of footnotes and appendices and psychotic ramblings with the bare ghost of a story haunting this brick of a novel, go nuts. Just try not to lose yourself in the process *ooOOoooOOOo* ?*hand-wavy gestures*

This is the best review I've ever read by you.
Jul 5, 2017 2:25 AM
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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 17144
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, seems like it would be right up my alley. A middlebrow, grounded fantasy about WARRING GODS written by the author of Sandman?! Yes, please. It's dramatically inert, tho. I mean to say that Shadow Moon, the protagonist of this story, is probably one of the weakest, most passive main characters I've read since noodle-boy in Slaughterhouse-Five. And I really don't think Gaiman was going for the same stuff Vonnegut was.?

It has its moments, but its at its strongest in tangential character sketches. It's almost like Gaiman had a pretty solid short story collection that he shoehorned into a 500-page, mostly boring novel. Meh, I say! Meh!
Jul 9, 2017 3:13 AM
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