Author Topic: Book Thread Continued

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Der Jermeister

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 902
  • It's-a me!
    • View Profile
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

  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15,609
    • View Profile
    • RPGFan
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.
The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know a darn thing.

Der Jermeister

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 902
  • It's-a me!
    • View Profile
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

  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15,609
    • View Profile
    • RPGFan
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 »
The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know a darn thing.

Der Jermeister

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 902
  • It's-a me!
    • View Profile
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

  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15,609
    • View Profile
    • RPGFan
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 »
The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know a darn thing.

Tooker

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 14,056
    • View Profile
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.
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
—Kurt Vonnegut

Rucks

  • RPGFan Survey Hero
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,030
  • Salvum est Vita!
    • View Profile
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.

"This goes way beyond pumpkin spice" "Whale oil beef hooked"

ironmage

  • chaotic neutral observer
  • RPGFan Survey Hero
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 325
  • I know what you did and I wholeheartedly approve
    • View Profile
Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1943 on: January 21, 2018, 11:25:40 AM »
Leviathan Wakes:  This was entertaining, and a quick read, but I couldn't help but be somewhat disappointed.  Although this is in the science-fiction / space opera genre, there wasn't anything original happening here; although well-executed, it was largely a rehash of old ideas.

The characters were well written...but I didn't like any of them very much. One of the characters was a police detective, which you would think would imply a twisty story, but none of the plot twists surprised me, and frankly, for anyone who has seen Farscape, the title alone makes the ending pretty obvious.

The style of the book is very visual and dialog driven, making it suitable for adaptation to TV (which has apparently already happened:  The Expanse).  I think I might enjoy that series more than this book, but I haven't subscribed to the Space channel in years.

But beyond all that, Leviathan commits a cardinal sin.  There's a scene where a major space battle occurs, and the main characters are stuck in a room in a battleship.  We don't get to see what happens outside.  I get what the author was trying to do here:  being stuck in a room with Big Things happening outside that you have no direct knowledge about, no control over, and could kill you in a blink would be an incredibly dramatic experience.  But you know what would be even more dramatic?  GETTING TO WATCH THE DAMN SPACE BATTLE.

Dincrest

  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15,609
    • View Profile
    • RPGFan
Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1944 on: January 24, 2018, 06:38:39 PM »
Slowly getting back into the swing of reading. 

I'm still in the first chapter of Return of the King where Pippin
Spoiler: show
pledges himself into the service of Denethor- the steward of Minas Tirith.  This is a good Pippin chapter as it shows that he's far more clever than we initially thought.  At first he seemed like a dunce or nuisance class clown, but he's proving to be rather resourceful.  Like Gandalf says, hobbits never fail to surprise.
  This chapter is really long, but I'm digging it.
The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know a darn thing.

Rucks

  • RPGFan Survey Hero
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2,030
  • Salvum est Vita!
    • View Profile
Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1945 on: January 29, 2018, 02:15:03 PM »
Finished the Trotsky bio. Spoiler - he gets axed to death in Mexico.  Shocking I know.

On to Metal Floss' History of the World (which is about as "light" as a survey of 6000 years of civilization can get).

"This goes way beyond pumpkin spice" "Whale oil beef hooked"

Dincrest

  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15,609
    • View Profile
    • RPGFan
Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1946 on: January 29, 2018, 06:21:46 PM »
More LOTR this past weekend and I have what could be one of my favorite parts in the book.  It's when
Spoiler: show
Aragorn and Eowyn verbally spar about how she wants to ride with him, he says no she has to stay and rule, and she objects to being told, "Woman, stay in the kitchen and make me a sammich!"  This felt the most like real actual dialogue I've seen in the book.  And how great it was to see some stronger and more fiery character personalities. 


Return of the King, so far, is the best book in the trilogy.  It feels like Tolkien started really getting a better bead on creating character personalities through dialogue that feels like dialogue and not just characters being mouthpieces for exposition dumps. 

UPDATE: "The Pyre of Denethor" was another amazing chapter in a book filled with amazing chapters.  The immediacy and intensity of it, and the book as a whole, is blowing the doors off the place.  This is SO worth the occasional slogs in the first two books. 
« Last Edit: February 11, 2018, 04:44:53 PM by Dincrest »
The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know a darn thing.

Steelstalker

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • stalker
    • View Profile
Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1947 on: February 13, 2018, 10:25:28 AM »
And I'm reading the National Geographic Magazine. In general, I really like such articles in a field of nature, as well as travels. A huge plus of this magazine in its magnificent photos.
It inspires me and now I keep in mind some exotic places that I’d like to visit
“There are no accidents; there is only some purpose that we haven’t yet understood”

Dincrest

  • RPGFan Editor
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 15,609
    • View Profile
    • RPGFan
Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1948 on: February 17, 2018, 09:47:31 PM »
I finished the first half of Return of the King, which was all about The Fellowship gearing up for their last stand.  I also just started the second half of it (which focuses on Frodo's errand) and hopefully finish Lord of the Rings before spring. 
The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know a darn thing.

Jimmy

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1,543
  • Wakens the Ferine Strain
    • View Profile
Re: Book Thread Continued
« Reply #1949 on: Yesterday at 01:33:56 PM »
I had to read Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë for a class this semester. A slow read, but fascinating. I ended up really enjoying it despite 19th century British novels usually being very tedious.

Outside of school, I decided to make Ready Player One my Spring Break recreational read since the movie is coming soon and it’s right up my alley interest-wise.