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  #12781  
Old 03-04-2019, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Rosewood View Post
I'm on Wyrd Sisters.

I wonder if anyone has ever followed the good advice of skipping the first three or four Discworlds if they want to read the series. Not a dig on Lady, I didn't follow it either! And doing things that way was helpful because between Colour of Magic, Light Fantastic, and Eric I now know that the Rincewind books are very skippable. I skipped Sourcery and will probably never read it. :P
I can't recommend that you do, from here at 60% in!

It's really frustrating because I remembered hating Rincewind prior to this reread, but I didn't find him that annoying in colour of magic or light fantastic, and I think that is because he has skills to offer. He's initially the only person that can communicate with two flower, and later, has one of the spells needed to save the disc. People don't necessarily take him seriously, but he's not just a truck they can dump on. In Sourcery, the dumping has commenced, and suddenly, I remember why I didn't like his books before.
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  #12782  
Old 03-04-2019, 03:03 PM
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It's really frustrating because I remembered hating Rincewind prior to this reread, but I didn't find him that annoying in colour of magic or light fantastic, and I think that is because he has skills to offer. He's initially the only person that can communicate with two flower, and later, has one of the spells needed to save the disc.
I think Granny Weatherwax, Vimes, and the Patrician were Flanderized to a greater degree than Rincewind, but not as badly; the problem is that with Rincewind, unlike the others, it was his negative traits that were emphasized. Imagine if the later books had focused more and more on Granny's provincial ignorance, Vimes' alcoholism, the Patrician's fondness for candied jellyfish. Perhaps Rincewind is a victim of the comedic value of cowardice, and a more drama-oriented Rincewind would have turned out more like Moist von Lipwig - lacking traditional 'heroic' qualities, but surviving adverse circumstances through wit and people skills. Their differences in morality seem to be largely circumstantial. They're both petty, self-interested men who mostly help others accidentally or because they have no better options. They actually have near-identical thoughts about weapons:
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Originally Posted by The Last Continent
He hated weapons, and not just because they'd so often been aimed at him. You got into more trouble if you had a weapon. People shot you instantly if they thought you were going to shoot them. But if you were unarmed, they often stopped to talk. Admittedly, they tended to say things like, "You'll never guess what we're going to do to you, pal," but that took time. And Rincewind could do a lot with a few seconds. He could use them to live longer in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Going Postal
He looked around in desperation. There was nothing in here to use as a weapon, and in any case weapons made him nervous, which was why he'd never, ever carried one. Weapons raised the ante far too high. It was much better to rely on a gift for talking his way out of things, confusing the issue, and if that failed, some well-soled shoes and a cry of "Look, what's that over there?"
Moist's redemption story is also Pratchett redeeming the fundamental Rincewind character, with a new many new names and histories (hence Going Postal's eighth chapter callback).
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  #12783  
Old 03-06-2019, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosewood View Post
I wonder if anyone has ever followed the good advice of skipping the first three or four Discworlds if they want to read the series.
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Originally Posted by Octopus Prime View Post
I did, but not by design so much as by ignorance. I zig-zagged through the entire series.
Same. I first discovered Pratchett through the Legends collection, which led to me ordering a random couple of Discworld books from the Sci-Fi book club (Reaper Man and Guards! Guards! IIRC) and then slowly wandering my way through the series as I discovered the various sub-series.
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  #12784  
Old 03-06-2019, 05:44 PM
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This Body Isn’t Big Enough for the Two Of Us is a detective story that falls under the “Unusual Detective” heading. In this case, conjoined twins (one very analytical, one very impulsive) who are split internally, constantly squabbling for control. Like Twoface, if he was split between Sheldon and Deadpool.
I read this one for my old job as a professional reader of books and had mixed feelings too. I do love that the opening chapter is basically a James Bond pre-credits sequence that ends when the title page pops up.

I don't think I posted my most recent Tor.com review, so here are my thoughts on Sandra Newman's The Heavens. Short version: I really, really like it.

Come to think of it, I don't think I cross-posted my review of Sylvain Neuvel's recent novella either. It's good, even though it features no giant robots.

Currently reading:
The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcolm - It has a famous first paragraph, but the rest of it is really good too.
Why Me by Donald E. Westlake - A Dortmunder caper, or perhaps anti-caper, since it's about our hero's attempt to unsteal a precious ruby. Not my favorite in the series, but pleasant.
Love in Infant Monkeys by Lydia Millet - Short stories about celebrities and animals. Very good: breezy but not light, funny but also sad. Will need to read more of her books.
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  #12785  
Old 03-08-2019, 07:35 AM
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I finally sat down to read some Shakespeare (I only encountered a short version of one of his stories, the one with the witches, in school, no other contact with any of his stuff). I had bought To Be or Not To Be on Steam, so Hamlet was the obvious choice.

Interesting stuff, and the language barrier wasn't quite as big as I assumed. The dialogues were often relatively easy to read, but there were a few monologues where I had no idea what the people actually said. It was fine, I got most stuff that didn't have to do with the war.

The story has a lot of interesting stuff in it, but the ending just felt ridiculous, with every single important person in the play dying in the very last scene (I guess I don't need to spoil Shakespeare, but why not, I guess). I get that it's a tragedy, and bad things are done that lead to more bad things, but maybe spread it out a little? Couldn't help but be amused by that.

That said, I probably missed a lot of nuance, and while I enjoyed the read somewhat, I think I will stick to stuff that is easier to read. Or at least stuff that is German, which makes even this antiquated form of writing at least a bit easier.
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  #12786  
Old 03-08-2019, 07:44 AM
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The ending of Hamlet rules
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  #12787  
Old 03-08-2019, 07:56 AM
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Last time I saw a performance of Hamlet my impression was the ending has absolutely been ruined for me by the cliche of "everyone dies" endings, and parodies thereof.

The scene where they put on a play within a play to accuse his uncle is still vicious though.
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  #12788  
Old 03-08-2019, 08:42 AM
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Hamlet isn't even the Shakespeare play with the highest body count, I think King Lear has it beat.
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  #12789  
Old 03-08-2019, 10:56 AM
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It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I didn’t like the Billy Shakes version of Hamlet nearly as much as I did the Ryan Norths.

He elevated the work.
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  #12790  
Old 03-08-2019, 12:41 PM
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You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read it in the original Klingon.
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  #12791  
Old 03-08-2019, 01:47 PM
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Inside Oscar by Mason Wiley and Damien Bona. I may be biting off more than I can chew, reading an even bigger book after the last one, but screw it, life is short and the Academy Awards fascinate me
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  #12792  
Old 03-08-2019, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Büge View Post
You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read it in the original Klingon.
Don't forget that this is an actual book you can buy.
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  #12793  
Old 03-11-2019, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Lady View Post
I can't recommend that you do, from here at 60% in!

It's really frustrating because I remembered hating Rincewind prior to this reread, but I didn't find him that annoying in colour of magic or light fantastic, and I think that is because he has skills to offer. He's initially the only person that can communicate with two flower, and later, has one of the spells needed to save the disc. People don't necessarily take him seriously, but he's not just a truck they can dump on. In Sourcery, the dumping has commenced, and suddenly, I remember why I didn't like his books before.
so after Rincewind gets separated from his party members that were constantly making fun of him, the remainder of Sourcery got a lot more tolerable. Still wouldn't really recommend it.

Pyramids was really good, though! The only thing that was frustrating, and this is rather small, was how Teppic's aunt just slides into the background to be referenced once at the end and never of any import.

[edit- forgot to mention Wyrd Sisters, but there was no doubt that one would be good]

Last edited by Lady; 03-12-2019 at 10:19 AM.
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  #12794  
Old 03-11-2019, 05:08 PM
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I liked Pyramids a lot. I think it doesn’t get referenced as one of the good ones so much because much of it gets recycled later into Small Gods, which is a much stronger (but less fun) book.
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  #12795  
Old 03-12-2019, 06:07 AM
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Aye, that's probably why I can barely remember it! I remember enjoying it, but I think it's been largely supplanted in my brain since I read it.
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  #12796  
Old 03-12-2019, 10:08 AM
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Transgender History 2nd ed. :I learned a few new things, and it helped put a lot of people, events, and orgs into context with one another. It's not exactly an overly academic text, but could maybe use a little more flavor. Regardless, this would be a good thing for anyone and everyone to read.

And I'm working my way through a big pile of YA fiction a friend let me pick out when she was clearing out after she closed her bookstore (it was doing fine she just wanted to do other things). They were mostly picked out by vague impression, so.

The Ghost Prison: this was a very short ghost story with really excellent pen and ink illustrations and some pretty gnarly stuff in it. Probably less than an hour to read. I had to hide it because my 2.5yo was obsessed with it, carrying it around and continuously asking me what a certain picture was depicting (teeth in a puddle of blood). "Where ghost story go?"

Boy Proof: A pretty quick 2-3 hour read, where a nerdy sci-fi fan overcomes a few of her crippling antisocial behaviors, kisses a boy, dips her toes into activism, and decides not to go to college. I think I would have considered this "too easy" even when I was in the appropriate age group, but it's fun to see how themes have changed in a story of this type.
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  #12797  
Old 03-12-2019, 11:28 AM
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Ok, so i finished book two of Legends of the Condor Heroes, and god, this is so good. i desperately want more kung fu fiction in my life.
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  #12798  
Old 03-12-2019, 12:01 PM
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Ok, so i finished book two of Legends of the Condor Heroes, and god, this is so good. i desperately want more kung fu fiction in my life.
Now you're making me want to read these.
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  #12799  
Old 03-14-2019, 05:17 PM
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A friend gave me Snow Crash, which he loved. So far it's... fine. I really liked the action pizza delivery scene that opens the book but now that things are slowing down a bit to let the story breathe and build some world, it's a little less engaging. People seem to love this one, so I am anticipating it being better.
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  #12800  
Old 03-15-2019, 03:14 AM
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One of my goals this year is trying to read more world literature, so I'm going to be reading A true Novel by Minae Mizimura
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  #12801  
Old 03-15-2019, 07:02 AM
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Right now i'm reading Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. As someone who was born in a place without electricity, is brazilian and has a phd in physics, the beginning of the book hits all of my sweet spots.

It would be nice to read more latin american literature this year.
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  #12802  
Old 03-15-2019, 03:25 PM
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Right now i'm reading Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. As someone who was born in a place without electricity, is brazilian and has a phd in physics, the beginning of the book hits all of my sweet spots.

It would be nice to read more latin american literature this year.
That's one of my favorite books of all time.

I just finished I'll Be Gone in the Dark and it's excellent. It's not as harrowing as I'd feared it would be, and it's really compellingly written and personal at the same time.
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  #12803  
Old 03-15-2019, 07:03 PM
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I wrote about the new Library of America edition of Ursula K. Le Guin's Always Coming Home for Tor.com.

Current reading:
Negrophobia: An Urban Parable by Darius James - An exorcism in the form of an unfilmable screenplay. Not an unqualified recommendation, but unique.
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  #12804  
Old 03-16-2019, 06:12 PM
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I decided to change my mind, because I'm crazy, and instead decided to read Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
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  #12805  
Old 03-18-2019, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Violentvixen View Post
I tried so hard to get into this and just couldn't. Curious what you think!
I forgot to come back to this thread, but:

Hope Never Dies: An Obama-Biden Mystery was... not actually very good at all! It wasn't hard-boiled enough to be a good parody, it was neither Biden nor Obama enough to be funny (realistically or parodically), and now that Biden is running again and we have to consider him a real politician (blech) instead of the greatest running joke the Onion ever came up with (yes please) it was a lot harder to be charitable about the whole thing.

I followed up by finally starting John Dies at the End. Loving it so far, and when I say "so far" I mean I'm already 3/4 through. It's been a while.
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  #12806  
Old 03-19-2019, 07:54 PM
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I followed up by finally starting John Dies at the End. Loving it so far, and when I say "so far" I mean I'm already 3/4 through. It's been a while.
I finished it and I really liked it! There was a lot of stuff that really toed the line of being pretty problematic that gave me pause, but other than that it was a great read. Kind of want to dive right into the next book. There's even a third?? And another book he wrote? huhmm
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  #12807  
Old 03-20-2019, 09:44 AM
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The sequel was pretty good. I have yet to read the third though
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  #12808  
Old 03-21-2019, 10:10 AM
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I finished it and I really liked it! There was a lot of stuff that really toed the line of being pretty problematic that gave me pause, but other than that it was a great read. Kind of want to dive right into the next book. There's even a third?? And another book he wrote? huhmm
I liked a lot of it but not all of it. I remember really liking the reveal at the end and some of the times when it did go for the scary. Its been a while but after seeing so much praise, I thought it was just OK. I feel like the quality largely ranged from fine to pretty good with occasional great moments.
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  #12809  
Old 03-21-2019, 05:03 PM
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Excellent review, keele, and thanks for the heads up on the LOA edition of the book. I got the U of CA edition a year or two ago and there was a moire effect on the printed text that was very disappointing in a paperback that cost over 30 bucks.
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  #12810  
Old 03-22-2019, 06:02 AM
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Taking a break from the mammoths, because I'm in a bit of a rut and decided to read Inside Oscar 2 by Damien Bona, which covers the Academy Awards up through 2000
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