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GrimReality
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« Reply #330 on: November 02, 2007, 01:14:41 PM »

I decided I needed to read more of the "classics" so I put Thomas on hold and went out and bought Catcher in the Rye. I just finished it last night.
WTF is the big deal about this book? Was it controversial at the time of release due to the language/content?
The stream of consciousness writing is really quite obnoxious. Holden is an odd character, and certainly not very likable. He's really quite an idiot.
I'm really confused as to why this book is held in such high regard.
As for my next classic? Any recommendations? Perhaps A Clockwork Orange?
Back to Thomas for now.
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« Reply #331 on: November 02, 2007, 01:31:52 PM »

It was language and content that got Catcher in the Rye banned from a lot of high schools.  I read it in high school and I liked it... probably because it was one of the only books I read in middle and high school that didn't completely suck.  The book was fairly easy to read and back in high school, I liked that I was reading a book about a disillusioned somewhat modern day character close to my age rather than some stodgy adult in the distant past.  It seemed every book I had to read in the middle and high school canon felt old and stodgy.  Catcher in the Rye didn't.  

You'd probably have a different view if you read the book at age 15 than now.  I was a sophomore in high school when I read it, so I was probably 15 or 16.  Remember, I was in high school from 1992- 1996, the grunge era, so Holden seemed to resonate more with us back then.  

Animal Farm was probably the best book I read for school, pre-college.
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Vanguard
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« Reply #332 on: November 03, 2007, 07:35:23 AM »

Quote from: "GrimReality"
I decided I needed to read more of the "classics" so I put Thomas on hold and went out and bought Catcher in the Rye. I just finished it last night.
WTF is the big deal about this book? Was it controversial at the time of release due to the language/content?
The stream of consciousness writing is really quite obnoxious. Holden is an odd character, and certainly not very likable. He's really quite an idiot.
I'm really confused as to why this book is held in such high regard.
As for my next classic? Any recommendations? Perhaps A Clockwork Orange?
Back to Thomas for now.


Yeah, I hated Holden. All he did was bitch. I understand its historical place in literature, but as far as classics go, this is one I could have gone without reading.

A Clockwork Orange is great, but it's a challenge, I will warn you. If you didn't already know this, the entire book is written in Nadsat. Nadsat is basically the hipster language that the protagonist and all his friends (the'yre all teenagers) speak in. It's some weird mix of all of these Russian and Slovak dialogues. You can find a translation sheet for all the words on the internet, but after the first 30-50 pages you get what he's saying and don't really need it.

You should give Tropic of Capricorn a try. However, you should know what you're getting into before you just check it out of the library or buy it. There's no plot in it. At all. It's a book written in a sort of stream of conscious style, and Henry Miller, the author, just writes about life and strings all these little anecdotes together. Honestly, all I can tell you is that the feeling after you finish it is indescribable.
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« Reply #333 on: November 03, 2007, 11:35:11 PM »

Wow - you guys are making me feel lame.  I just finished the third book in "The Edge Chronicles," a series targeted at probably early teens.  I read the first two a while ago after liking the Series of Unfortunate Events books, and had to read the third one to finish out the first trilogy.

I'm now reading the third book in David & Leigh Eddings' series "The Dreamers."  I was reminded fairly quickly that this series is kind of weak, even if you're a fan of their work, but oh well.  I have read pretty much everything he/they have ever written (he used to just put his name on everything, but later said "you know what?  My wife has really been a big part of writing these books" and started putting her name on all of them too.

Guess I'm in "finish old series" mode right now.
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« Reply #334 on: November 03, 2007, 11:57:02 PM »

I've been neglecting the shit out of my reading lately, but I did manage to find time to finish up "The War of the Worlds" by H.G. Wells.  I think my age was in single digits the last time I read this.  I had totally forgotten the aliens were fucking vampires. :P
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« Reply #335 on: November 07, 2007, 09:47:29 PM »

About a month ago, I wandered into Borders and James Rollins was there signing books.  I'd never heard of him before, but have always been a fan of the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child partnership and people were saying his books were similar.  Anyway, I've now read all but 2 of the 8 novels he's written.  I'd highly recommend his Sigma Force series if you're into action/suspense thrillers, but some of the earlier books weren't great.

The other thing I read recently was the long, short story I Am Legend.  I was discussing holiday movies with a friend and they said the Will Smith movie of the same name was the one they were looking forward to the most.  Being ignorant of the storyline, I expressed disdain at watching a movie with only Will Smith in it as the last person alive.  I was quickly given a copy to read and was surprised it was actually about vampires.  It's a pretty good read given when it was written and is a quick read (barely 150 pages).
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« Reply #336 on: November 07, 2007, 10:48:45 PM »

In case you were interested, I Am Legend has been made into a movie twice before.  

First, it was The Last Man on Earth, starring Vincent Price.  That one's available on Google Video for free because it's old enough to be public domain.  I've seen it two or three times, and I think it's a pretty good film.  It leaves out some of the interesting stuff from the story (like the answer to the question "what if a vampire is jewish?"), but it's still good.

After that, it was made again as The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston.  I haven't seen that one, but it's very different from the book, and I hear it's not very good.  Here's a trailer.

I just finished listening to the book on tape of The Picture of Dorian Gray.  Great book.  It's kind of twilight zoney, and I like that.  It's available for free too, also because it's public domain.  I found it at Librivox.  

While I'm plugging free stuff, if you want to read old books for free (rather than listen to them), you can download them for free at Project Gutenberg.

More recently, I found out that Baen books has stuff available for free too!  Baen puts out fantasy books, in case you don't know them by name.  There aren't a TON of books there, but hey, they're more recent books and they're available legally for free, and that's pretty nice.
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« Reply #337 on: November 08, 2007, 10:24:37 PM »

Dude Tooker, Gutenberg is flippin awesome. Thanks for that!

For me, it's been Martin's A Feast For Crows.  I'm really looking to get through this one so I can finally scour the internet for this series' community without worry of the threat of spoilers.  Also, I'll be diving headlong into New Jedi Order in all its hugeness after this.
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« Reply #338 on: November 09, 2007, 12:36:28 PM »

Reading "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margeret Atwood. Definitely reminds me of 1984 but I think that I'm enjoying this a bit more. It's scary and intriuging enough to keep me reading.
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« Reply #339 on: November 12, 2007, 08:14:59 PM »

I'm currently reading Nikki Sixx's "The Heroin Diaries".  Very Good read.  I had no idea he was that far gone back then.  I'm amazed that they were able to release "Girls, Girls, Girls" at all.
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« Reply #340 on: November 12, 2007, 09:45:48 PM »

It's not a traditional book but... the last PostSecret book, A LifeTime of Secrets. I always liked looking at PostSecret and those sorts of things.
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« Reply #341 on: November 13, 2007, 09:55:21 AM »

Finished The Handmaid's Tale. It was an overall good and solid read. May be one of my favourite contemporary classics, now that I think about it. I pity the fools who have to study this for lit class, though. :P

Started reading "King Leopold's Ghost" for a background understanding of The Poisonwood Bible (Congo and all!).
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« Reply #342 on: November 22, 2007, 07:17:42 PM »

Quote from: "Esper_Crusader"
I'm currently reading Nikki Sixx's "The Heroin Diaries".  Very Good read.  I had no idea he was that far gone back then.  I'm amazed that they were able to release "Girls, Girls, Girls" at all.


Have you read Motley Crue's "The Dirt" at all?  If you liked Nikki's book, you should check out The Dirt.  The Mick Mars chapters are probably the best ones in the book.  And I gained a whole new respect for John Corabi after reading The Dirt.  

Nikki Sixx must have superhero-esque powers.  I mean, the guy went into the hospital for a heroin overdose, died, came back to life, went back home, shot up again, and is still alive, kicking and rocking today.

It's kinda funny how some rock star autobiographies start out with a whole "drugs are bad, don't do them... now let me tell you about the totally awesome and crazy life I had while fucked out of my mind on drugs!"
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« Reply #343 on: November 22, 2007, 08:45:23 PM »

Quote from: "Tooker"

After that, it was made again as The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston.  I haven't seen that one, but it's very different from the book, and I hear it's not very good.  Here's a trailer.


I actually liked The Omega Man, but I'll be damned if I actually have any reasons to back up why I liked it.

As for reading, recently I've read two books. First up was Brave Story by Miyuki Miyabi. There's a PSP game set in the same world, though the book is way fucking better, and an excellent read. Most especially if you like fantasy, this book is great.

Second, I read The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. This one is a true account of the author's attempt to live by the Bible's rules literally for a year. It was both hilarious and informative.
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« Reply #344 on: December 22, 2007, 10:15:41 PM »

I'm about 5 chapters into "Better than Real" by Huw Lyan Thomas.  It's a sci-fi (post modern cyberpunk) book.  The writing is a tad choppy and the story is nothing original (it evokes aspects of various anime and comics I've liked), but the pacing is excellent and the characters are cool.  Part of me thinks that this book would actually work quite well as a movie, at least so far.
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