The Return of Talking Time

Go Back   The Return of Talking Time > Talking about media > Talking about books

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11791  
Old 07-10-2017, 09:05 PM
Rascally Badger's Avatar
Rascally Badger Rascally Badger is offline
This Guy
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hell, Earth
Posts: 8,859
Default

I've been reading some lesser known Agatha Christie, So Many Steps to Death and They Came to Baghdad. Did you know she wrote some Bond-esque spy mysteries? The two I've read feature an unassuming woman who gets recruited to do some spying an stumbles ass backwards into helping people out. They are like Bond movies if you take Bond out and have his female companions solve everything. I'm not quite sure if that is great or not.
Reply With Quote
  #11792  
Old 07-11-2017, 11:32 AM
masterthes's Avatar
masterthes masterthes is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 649
Default

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
Reply With Quote
  #11793  
Old 07-11-2017, 12:59 PM
Bongo Bill's Avatar
Bongo Bill Bongo Bill is online now
oh my car
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Colorado Land
Posts: 19,362
Default

Y'all better be reading 17776. Updates daily.
Reply With Quote
  #11794  
Old 07-11-2017, 03:31 PM
FelixSH's Avatar
FelixSH FelixSH is offline
Child of the Sun and Sky
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 786
Default

Done with Guards, Guards, which was a lot of fun. Another one of the really good early Discworld books.

I thought I'd take a break from Discworld for now, so I decided to go for something completely different. After watching the movies half a year ago I started reading Atlas Shrugged. It makes me laugh a lot - the characters are ridiculous, especially the main one feels more like a robot.

Also, everyone knows how Tolkien goes on and on about the landscape? Rand does the same, only with a steel factory. Not good in any way, the whole thing, and way too long, but surprisingly entertaining. Reminds me of Twilight, in terms of quality.
Reply With Quote
  #11795  
Old 07-11-2017, 03:34 PM
muteKi's Avatar
muteKi muteKi is offline
Peter Parker's Webcam
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Green chile cheeseburger capital of the world
Posts: 8,857
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bongo Bill View Post
Y'all better be reading 17776. Updates daily.
I love how the key joke remains "nobody in the NFL actually knows what the fuck a completion / possession actually is"
Reply With Quote
  #11796  
Old 07-11-2017, 07:19 PM
Matchstick's Avatar
Matchstick Matchstick is offline
Nonplussed
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Skullcrusher Mountain
Posts: 7,279
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by estragon View Post
Does anyone have any other Lem recommendations? I want to read more, eventually.
The Futurological Conference - A bunch of futurists go to a conference, get caught up in a riot, get dosed with hallucinogens, and have problems figuring out what's really happening.

The Cyberiad - A pair of robot engineers roam through the universe and have whacky adventures with other robots.

Tales of Pirx the Pilot - Average astronaut gets in and out of trouble (generally by the seat of his pants).
Reply With Quote
  #11797  
Old 07-12-2017, 02:17 PM
muteKi's Avatar
muteKi muteKi is offline
Peter Parker's Webcam
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Green chile cheeseburger capital of the world
Posts: 8,857
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bongo Bill View Post
Y'all better be reading 17776. Updates daily.
In a way the setting for the story is almost exactly the opposite of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, and yet the story itself is almost the same one.
Reply With Quote
  #11798  
Old 07-12-2017, 03:17 PM
estragon's Avatar
estragon estragon is online now
この世の最も無智なる者
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 14,880
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchstick View Post
The Futurological Conference - A bunch of futurists go to a conference, get caught up in a riot, get dosed with hallucinogens, and have problems figuring out what's really happening.

The Cyberiad - A pair of robot engineers roam through the universe and have whacky adventures with other robots.

Tales of Pirx the Pilot - Average astronaut gets in and out of trouble (generally by the seat of his pants).
Thank you!
Reply With Quote
  #11799  
Old 07-14-2017, 08:51 AM
masterthes's Avatar
masterthes masterthes is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 649
Default

The Quincunx by Charles Palliser
Reply With Quote
  #11800  
Old 07-15-2017, 11:01 AM
masterthes's Avatar
masterthes masterthes is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 649
Default

My DNF game has unfortunately been very strong this year. I gave this last one about 65 pages before calling it quits. Anyway, reading something a little bit lighter: Strip Tease by Carl Hiassen. Never read anything by him, so this should be interesting
Reply With Quote
  #11801  
Old 07-17-2017, 07:24 AM
Dracula's Avatar
Dracula Dracula is online now
Video Monster
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: If you go in the direction of the arrow.
Posts: 2,370
Default

Finished American Gods last week. Very good. Want to check out the TV show now. Also now I feel like reading a bunch of folklore and myth.

Instead I'm reading 1984 because I never finished it when I was supposed to read it back in high school.
Reply With Quote
  #11802  
Old 07-17-2017, 07:55 AM
Taeryn's Avatar
Taeryn Taeryn is online now
-ryn
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: The Old Dominion
Posts: 2,418
Default

Continuing to mine the top fantasy novels list for all the stuff I should have been reading.

Just finished The Lies of Locke Lemora and man, what a wild ride. Its like ASoIaF (gritty realism, magic on the edges) combined with like an Ocean's Eleven caper. I really like the fantasy bits. Most of the magic being alchemy isn't really that different from our modern world. A glow stick isn't really that different from a glow globe. Other than the Falconer, it feels like a realistic place (sort of Venice with a dash of London in some of the district names). I really liked the story jumping back and forth between past and present to keep the story going but also gradually fill me into the details needed to understand the world.

So thanks again to the top fantasy novels list. Another good recommendation.
Reply With Quote
  #11803  
Old 07-17-2017, 03:07 PM
Büge's Avatar
Büge Büge is online now
Safe Space
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: TO, ON, CA
Posts: 14,366
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taeryn View Post
Just finished The Lies of Locke Lemora and man, what a wild ride. Its like ASoIaF (gritty realism, magic on the edges) combined with like an Ocean's Eleven caper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Büge View Post
Lies of Locke Lamora is like The Count of Monte Cristo meets Ocean's Eleven.
I was half-right, at least.
Reply With Quote
  #11804  
Old 07-17-2017, 08:34 PM
masterthes's Avatar
masterthes masterthes is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 649
Default

Doing a sort of re-read of American Gods, but this is the expanded, tenth anniversary edition, so in a way, it'll be like a new experience for me
Reply With Quote
  #11805  
Old 07-18-2017, 07:25 AM
Dracula's Avatar
Dracula Dracula is online now
Video Monster
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: If you go in the direction of the arrow.
Posts: 2,370
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by masterthes View Post
Doing a sort of re-read of American Gods, but this is the expanded, tenth anniversary edition, so in a way, it'll be like a new experience for me
Since I just read the original printing for the first time, I'm interested in hearing what things you find different about this edition.
Reply With Quote
  #11806  
Old 07-18-2017, 09:21 AM
masterthes's Avatar
masterthes masterthes is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 649
Default

It's been at least ten years since I read the original, so I really couldn't help you there
Reply With Quote
  #11807  
Old 07-20-2017, 01:22 PM
masterthes's Avatar
masterthes masterthes is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 649
Default

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Reply With Quote
  #11808  
Old 07-20-2017, 01:30 PM
Alex Scott's Avatar
Alex Scott Alex Scott is offline
Better be the real thing.
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,161
Default

Finally finished The Book of the New Sun last night. Decided to power through the whole series. I know I still have Urth of the New Sun left, but that's still somewhat on its own, and I can wait on that.

Up next, Orthodox Alaska by Fr. Michael Oleksa.
Reply With Quote
  #11809  
Old 07-20-2017, 01:58 PM
Ample Vigour's Avatar
Ample Vigour Ample Vigour is offline
Is there not one thing
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 21,386
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Scott View Post
Finally finished The Book of the New Sun last night. Decided to power through the whole series. I know I still have Urth of the New Sun left, but that's still somewhat on its own, and I can wait on that.
I hear these books are really politically astute, though they seen things through a conservative lens. Can you comment on that?
Reply With Quote
  #11810  
Old 07-20-2017, 05:16 PM
Loki's Avatar
Loki Loki is online now
#deadfish2017
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 14,379
Default

AMPLE!

My podcast is starting our in depth look at New Sun in a couple months. Please look forward to it.

Alex, Urth is pretty unnecessary. Wolfe was pressured to write it as "an explanation" of sorts. It doesn't really add any thing to New Sun. If you're continuing on, I heavily recommend starting Long Sun instead.
Reply With Quote
  #11811  
Old 07-20-2017, 08:15 PM
Alex Scott's Avatar
Alex Scott Alex Scott is offline
Better be the real thing.
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,161
Default

Loki: Good to know!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ample Vigour View Post
I hear these books are really politically astute, though they seen things through a conservative lens. Can you comment on that?
Hard to say. Most of the time I was devoting so much effort just to understanding what was going on to pick out anything definite. I'd probably have to read it again, but that won't be for a while. I need something easier to digest next.

What fascinated me, though, was the Autarch. He turns out to secretly occupy several offices in the Commonwealth, even low-level ones, without telling anybody. This is in addition to running a brothel and acting as a spy for a rebel who's trying to depose him. And while holding the memories of previous Autarchs, which he passes along to Severian.

I can't help but wonder if there's some kind of metaphor in the Autarch being a eunuch from failing a cosmic Test.


There's also the war, which is so far outside people's everyday experience that you hardly even know it's happening for the first two books. It only becomes a big deal in book 4, when Severian goes to the front. Most people, including Severian, don't know anything about the Ascians they're fighting against. The Ascians, whom we don't meet until book 4, turn out to speak entirely in pre-approved propaganda phrases. It's like "Darmok" crossed with Maoism or North Korea.

It all kind of reminded me of the world in 1984, with the last remaining nations fighting out of sight on the borders, almost purely for the sake of fighting, as if they're only trying to prove they still can.

Given all that, my first instinct is to wonder if all this is related to Vietnam.


It was easier for me to pick up on the religious ideas--every once in a while Severian will speculate very astutely on theology. Wolfe is more of a Tolkien than a Lewis, so while the story and setting are all very Catholic, there's no direct 1-1 allegory.
Reply With Quote
  #11812  
Old 07-21-2017, 07:04 AM
Ample Vigour's Avatar
Ample Vigour Ample Vigour is offline
Is there not one thing
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 21,386
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Scott View Post
It was easier for me to pick up on the religious ideas--every once in a while Severian will speculate very astutely on theology. Wolfe is more of a Tolkien than a Lewis, so while the story and setting are all very Catholic, there's no direct 1-1 allegory.
Oh, that's really interesting! I heard about the books through War Nerd*, and John Dolan is hardly the type to mention theological discussions in literature.

*Specifically the quote "The armies of this age are weak," which he used to contrast the US attitude towards nuclear "defense" against Mao's.
Reply With Quote
  #11813  
Old 07-22-2017, 02:54 AM
Octopus Prime's Avatar
Octopus Prime Octopus Prime is online now
Mystery Contraption
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The Great White North
Posts: 41,861
Default

Finished off City of Miracles, which wrapped up the Divine Cities trilogy. At least until Robert Bennett decides to revisit it, as it does end with a sequel hook as in the last chapter, millions of new minor Gods are introduced to the world, and now the thing is suddenly an X-Men comic

I did like the book on the whole, as I did the entire series, but a lot of that has to do with the world building, as the setting for the stories is pretty dang unique and really cool.
Reply With Quote
  #11814  
Old 07-22-2017, 04:26 AM
masterthes's Avatar
masterthes masterthes is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 649
Default

Since I'm seeing a production of it on Monday, I just got done reading Twelfth Night, now readingThe Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
Reply With Quote
  #11815  
Old 07-22-2017, 10:22 AM
keele864's Avatar
keele864 keele864 is offline
Evocative
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,829
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Scott View Post

Given all that, my first instinct is to wonder if all this is related to Vietnam
I think Korea, as America's "forgotten" war, might be just as relevant. Wolfe has said parts of the fourth book were based on his experience as a soldier in that war.
Reply With Quote
  #11816  
Old 07-22-2017, 10:23 AM
keele864's Avatar
keele864 keele864 is offline
Evocative
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,829
Default

Some recent reading:

A new John Crowley sampler and James Branch Cabell.
Reply With Quote
  #11817  
Old 07-22-2017, 11:23 AM
Alex Scott's Avatar
Alex Scott Alex Scott is offline
Better be the real thing.
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,161
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by keele864 View Post
I think Korea, as America's "forgotten" war, might be just as relevant. Wolfe has said parts of the fourth book were based on his experience as a soldier in that war.
Case in point: I myself forgot all about it.
Reply With Quote
  #11818  
Old 07-22-2017, 11:06 PM
Paul le Fou's Avatar
Paul le Fou Paul le Fou is offline
We just don't know.
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Seattle
Posts: 18,528
Default

Alex: As a counterpoint, I think Urth is worth reading. It might be worth taking a quick breather or plunging ahead, I couldn't say. It may not introduce anything completely brand-new to the tetralogy or change much about it, but unless you went through the four books and went "Psh, yes, all of this is perfectly clear, duh" (and lord knows I didn't, at least) I think it's worth reading. If for nothing else than picking up some more details here and there. I read it a bit after the tetralogy, but I enjoyed it well enough on its own, too.

(I also didn't like Long Sun nearly as much as New Sun, personally)
Reply With Quote
  #11819  
Old 07-23-2017, 05:27 AM
Octopus Prime's Avatar
Octopus Prime Octopus Prime is online now
Mystery Contraption
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The Great White North
Posts: 41,861
Default

I read Jurassic Park back when I was a fresh-faced teen with his head in the clouds and a dream in his heart. So all I remember of it is that it's different from the movie and had one really stupid part.

Now in adulthood, I've started reading it again and oh... oh man...

There are so many more than one stupid parts...
Reply With Quote
  #11820  
Old 07-24-2017, 10:54 AM
ThricebornPhoenix ThricebornPhoenix is offline
mellow dramatic
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,357
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
It may not introduce anything completely brand-new to the tetralogy or change much about it, but unless you went through the four books and went "Psh, yes, all of this is perfectly clear, duh" (and lord knows I didn't, at least) I think it's worth reading.
At worst, it's a not-strictly-necessary Gene Wolfe novel.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
books , calorie mate reads this , fear of new threads , octo does not do research , reading time , take a look its in a book

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:43 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Your posts ©you, 2007