Author Topic: Book Thread Continued

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Der Jermeister

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1935 on: December 29, 2017, 07:36:28 PM »
Right now I'm dividing time between The Magicians series by Lev Grossman and James Dashner's Maze Runner books, since the TV series of the former returns next month and The Death Cure comes out later in January. I've just started The Magicians and as I've felt before it's kind of like an adult Chronicles of Narnia, and I've read both prequels to The Maze Runner, which I enjoyed as well.

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1936 on: January 01, 2018, 06:20:20 AM »
Last night, I finished the first half of The Two Towers, leaving off where Pippin
Spoiler: show
sneaks a peak into the palantin
and Gandalf
Spoiler: show
whisks him off to Minas Tirith.
  I'm now at the second half, chronicling Frodo and Sam's journey after the breaking of the fellowship.
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Der Jermeister

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1937 on: January 04, 2018, 08:22:56 PM »
I finished the Magicans books. Sort of border on literary nonsense, but they weren't total writeoffs.

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1938 on: January 04, 2018, 08:38:08 PM »
I'm more than halfway through The Two Towers, going through the portion of the story focusing on Frodo, Sam, and Gollum.  I'm at the part where they encounter Faramir. 

This part of the book is hit or miss.  When it's good, it's engaging.  But when it's off, it's incredibly tedious.  Some chapters were nothing more than characters just sitting around engaging in stream-of-consciousness pondering that really goes nowhere, fails to flesh out/develop them meaningfully, and does little to nothing to progress the story.  But then again, this isn't the first time Lord of the Rings has gone off the rails into what feels like lengthy drug-fueled tangents where I'm left scratching my head and wondering, "Where in blue blazes is this even going?"  (Council of Elrond chapter comes to mind.) 

EDIT: Further into the book.  I just finished the chapter about the forbidden pool. 

I've had people tell me how awesome Faramir is in the book, but I'm not seeing it.  He really could have been a dynamic and interesting character, but so far he has been nothing more than another ho-hum flat character who serves merely as a mouthpiece to dump exposition.  So far, the only characters who really have personalities in the book are Pippin, Gollum, and to a lesser extent Merry and Sam (who's starting to come into his own.)

I blaspheme when I say I vastly preferred the film's version of Faramir, because he was a more believable character than book Faramir so far.  It makes sense to me that someone in his predicament would have a more stony disposition, given the boulder sized chip on his shoulder, and would most certainly be at least a little bit tempted by the Ring. 

I mean,
Spoiler: show
Faramir's dad, Denethor, either hates him or doesn't think much of him, strongly (perhaps obsessively) favoring the elder son Boromir- who is now dead.  Faramir's homeland, Gondor, is doomed.  Faramir is determinedly fighting the good fight, but is still pretty much damned if he lives, damned if he dies.  So in all that turbulence, he finds two suspicious hobbits (Frodo and Sam) who know something, but are withholding the truth.  They particularly withheld a major truth about their third companion, Gollum- who is later caught breaking a sacred rule punishable by death in Faramir's creed but is spared simply because one of the suspicious hobbits requests it. 


So no, I'm not buying that
Spoiler: show
given all of these circumstances, Faramir would trust and welcome Frodo and Sam so quickly, treat them like honored guests in the secret stronghold, and proffer information to them that could prove deadly if it fell into enemy hands... which is where Frodo's errand is pretty much taking him.  Plus, Faramir just lets them go with no big reservations.     
All this makes book Faramir seem like a total Mary Sue.  Nobody in his shoes would be that gregarious and incorruptible, even in the realm of fantasy and especially when it comes to the Ring.   

I think once I finish Lord of the Rings, I'm done with Tolkien.  I will finish LOTR, though, because having come this far I'm too invested not to see it through. 

EDIT 2: To break things up a little, I read a sample from the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary Wolf.  Roger Rabbit is my all time favorite movie, so finding out that it was loosely based on a book was eye-opening.  I liked the sample.  It is very different from the movie, but that's what makes it intriguing.  One thing that's interesting is not only the tension between humans and toons, but also tension among toons between "humanoids" (cartoon people) and "barnyards" (cartoon animals.) 
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 02:24:24 PM by Dincrest »
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Der Jermeister

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1939 on: January 09, 2018, 05:33:24 PM »
Finished the Maze Runner series, and enjoyed it, despite some similarities to the Hunger Games books.

Dincrest

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1940 on: January 15, 2018, 04:53:08 PM »
I finished reading The Two Towers and will start Return of the King before bed tonight. 

The chapter after the Shelob confrontation where Sam
Spoiler: show
is trying to define himself without Frodo or anything familiar about him and steeling his resolve to do what's good and right
was terrific and it ended at a really tense cliffhanger.  That Sam chapter was the most un-put-down-able chapter in the book.  WOW!  This cements why he's awesome.  What is up with Sams having such amazing integrity?  That's why I love Samwise Gamgee in LOTR and Samwell Tarly in ASOIAF/GoT. 

For all the griping I do about Lord of the Rings, I cannot deny that it is a really damn good book.  I can totally see why it's such an enduring cultural phenomenon.  It's like The Beatles.  I don't like all their music, but I see why they are an enduring cultural phenomenon to this day, and the Beatles songs I do like never fail to make me stand up and shout.  (My favorite Beatles song is Helter Skelter.) 
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 08:46:53 AM by Dincrest »
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Tooker

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1941 on: January 17, 2018, 12:56:15 PM »
I've been continuing the Abhorsen trilogy. I'm on the last book now, and it's still good stuff. If you like books with good female protagonists, you should check them out.
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Rucks

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Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1942 on: January 17, 2018, 03:28:46 PM »
Reading a pretty decent biography on Trotsky.  I need to check out some primary sources to be sure (I'm terrible at reading primary sources), but he seems a lot more reprehensible than I had originally believed.

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