The Official Book Thread

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by ES on Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:10 pm

But to be completely serious, i jumped into Malazan a few years back and i felt as if it was too slow and things weren't picking up on the speed that i want them. Though, i might give it a try after WoT

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by Bellabong on Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:46 pm

The third act of Gardens of the Moon was originally a movie script and then repurposed into a book about ten years before Deadhouse Gates was written but it still holds up well. The reason it thrusts you right into a world which defies most fantasy is because Erikson is against "holding the readers hand" with long winded expositions that are pretty useless when you want to reread and that's what sets it apart (Apart from Erikson's masterful climaxes, or in Malazan terms convergences). It is by far one of rereadable book series ever and the books take completely new dimensions upon rereading. It is definitely a series for hardcore readers but if you put in the effort you will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams. A lot of people recommend going for DG and one of the reasons could be the Chain of Dogs, you read that story arc and you just want to read what else Erikson has to offer because it's absolutely brutal and crushed me. For me it was the point were I decided this could be one of the best fantasy series ever. Gardens of the Moon is an information overload and Deadhouse Gates is a bit easier to digest.

Then I read Memories of Ice and House of Chains and yup it's the best. I've never felt so rewarded as a reader ever.

I just have you reiterate again that Erikson is THE master at ending a book.

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by Bellabong on Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:23 pm

Erikson's comment and "justification" on the difficulty of Gardens of the Moon and getting into the series in general in the preface of a later print of GotM;

In writing Gardens, I quickly discovered that 'back story' was going to be a problem no matter how far back I went. And I realized that, unless I spoon-fed my potential readers (something I refused to do, having railed often enough at writers of fantasy epics treating us readers as if we were idiots), unless I 'simplified', unless I slipped down into the well-worn tracks of what's gone before, I was going to leave readers floundering. And not just readers, but editors, publishers, agents...

But, you know, as a reader, as a fan, I never minded floundering – at least for a little while, and sometimes for a long while. So long as other stuff carried me along, I was fine. Don't forget, I worshipped Dennis Potter. I was a fan of DeLillo's The Names and Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. The reader I had in mind was one who could and would carry the extra weight – the questions not yet answered, the mysteries, the uncertain alliances.

History has proved this out, I think. Readers either bail on the series somewhere in the first third of Gardens of the Moon, or they're still sharing the ride to this day, seven going on eight books later.

I have been asked, would I have done it any differently in hindsight? And I honestly don't have an answer to that. Oh, there are elements of style that I'd change here and there, but ... fundamentally, I'm just not sure what else I could have done. I am not and never will be a writer happy to deliver exposition that serves no other function than telling the reader about back story, history, or whatever. If my exposition doesn't have multiple functions – and I do mean multiple – then I'm not satisfied. Turns out, the more functions in it, the more complicated it gets, the more likely it will quietly shift into misdirection, into sleight of hand, and all the back story elements, while possibly there, end up buried and buried deep.

This was fast-paced writing, but it was also, bizarrely and in ways I still can't quite figure, dense writing. So, Gardens invites you to read rip-roaringly fast. But the author advises: you'd best not succumb to the temptation.

Here we are, years later now. Should I apologize for that bipolar invitation? To what extent did I shoot myself in the foot with the kind of introduction to the Malazan world as delivered in Gardens of the Moon?. And has this novel left me dancing on one foot ever since? Maybe. And sometimes, on midnight afternoons, I ask myself: what if I'd picked up that fat wooden ladle, and slopped the whole mess down the reader's throat, as some (highly successful) Fantasy writers do and have done? Would I now see my sales ranking in the bestseller's lists? Now hold on – am I suggesting that those ultra popular Fantasy writers have found their success in writing down to their readers? Hardly. Well, not all of them. But then, consider it from my point of view. It took eight years and a move to the UK for Gardens of the Moon to find a publisher. It took four more years before a US deal was finalized. The complaint? 'Too complicated, too many characters. Too ... ambitious.'

I could take the fish-eyed retrospective angle here and say how Gardens marked a departure from the usual tropes of the genre, and any departure is likely to meet resistance; but my ego's not that big. It never felt like a departure. Glen Cook's Dread Empire and Black Company novels had already broken the new ground, but I'd read all those and, wanting more, I pretty much had to write them myself (and Cam felt the same). And while my style of writing did not permit imitation (he's a terse one, is Cook), I could certainly strive for the same tone of dispirited, wry cynicism, the same ambivalence and a similar sense of atmosphere. Maybe I was aware of the swing away from Good versus Evil, but that just seemed a by-product of growing up – the real world's not like that, why persist in making Fantasy worlds so fundamentally disconnected with reality?

Well, I don't know. It's exhausting just thinking about it.

Gardens is what it is. I have no plans on revision. I don't even know where I'd start.

Better, I think, to offer the readers a quick decision on this series – right there in the first third of the first novel, than to tease them on for five or six books before they turn away in disgust, disinterest or whatever. Maybe, from a marketing position, the latter is preferred – at least in the short term. But, thank God, my publishers know a false economy when they see one.

Gardens of the Moon is an invitation, then. Stay with it, and come along for the ride. I can only promise that I have done my best to entertain. Curses and cheers, laughter and tears, it's all in here.

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Henry wrote:"“Stepovers, tricks, that’s not the game. The game is what Thomas Muller is doing. If I had a son right now, playing, I would say to him ‘look at them, look at [Franck] Ribery, look at Muller.’ What Ronaldo does, and Messi, they’re just freaks. Don’t try to copy those guys. You can copy from Ribery, you can copy from Thomas Muller. What he did at the World Cup, people don’t talk about it. They don’t talk about it, but they should talk about it. He plays the game the right way: he defends, he attacks, he controls the ball when he has to control it, he reverses when he has to reverse it. When he has to finish, he’ll finish. He doesn’t do stepovers, but when he has to perform, he performs. He does what the game asks him to do.”"

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by The Black Sheep on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:40 am

Intuition by Osho is a must read in my humble opinion!

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by CBarca on Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:47 am

I forgot about this thread. I've read King Lear, Tess of the D'urbevilles and Heart of Darkness since I've last been in this thread.

King Lear is a fantastic play...but what do you expect from Shakespeare? Probably my favorite that I've read from Shakespeare, on par with Macbeth. Though I'm not exactly a Shakespeare expert by any means, nor do I go out of my way to read much of him outside of school. Though I certainly plan on it.

Tess was kind of boring, in my opinion, but was a good story. Those who like a good love story will enjoy it. His descriptions of scenery are Steinbeck-esque at times, and he has impressive diction. Still, I found the book far too slow and lacking in much to keep me on my toes and reading. I only really read it because I had to. It's a book I could have read on my own, very slowly throughout time while I was reading other books, but it is not a book I would have sat down and read on my own. Still, those who are fans of Victorian-age British literature would probably enjoy it.

Heart of Darkness is incredibly dense and stylistic- and made for difficult reading at times. The writing of Conrad, who isn't a native born English speaker, is absolutely incredible. Similar to Tess, I found it a bit boring, especially in the beginning... the writing is so dense that unless you truly have an appreciation for amazing vocabulary and rather incredibly detailed descriptions of everything, it could be a struggle to get through at times. Once you get to the middle of the book though, it picks up. In terms of some of the dialogue, symbols, and images presented, I found it terrific. Themes on imperialism and the "fascination of the abomination" of man are quite brilliant and I found myself looking back on the book and enjoying it a lot in hindsight. The fact remains I do enjoy and believe more in more simplistic writing, not because I can't read hard literature but simply because that is the type of writing I prefer, but despite this, I quite enjoyed Heart of Darkness.

Currently reading Their Eyes Were Watching God which is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. I find it a fun, though not challenging read. I guess I don't care for the story too much, but it's OK.

On the other hand, I've been trying to fit in East of Eden on my own, but I have trouble finding the time. Or when I do, I find myself hanging out with people or something instead. Still, I'm slowly making my way through it. Love it so far- I'm definitely becoming more and more of a fan of Steinbeck.
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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by ES on Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:16 pm

I'm 1/4 of the way through The Gathering Storm and Ho Lee Schitt. Sanderson takes the story and just runs with it :bow:

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by RealGunner on Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:22 pm

Finished 'The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror' by Thomas Ligotti

Interesting work of philosophy. It explores a pessimistic side of the human race. A very nihilistic view on life. I wouldn't say I agreed with a lot of it but I did find myself agreeing to quite few of his ideas.

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by zizzle on Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:45 pm

Such a convenient time to bump this thread. I've been without my laptop for the past 3 days and i wont get it back from maintenance until next wednesday. With all that time in my hands i began reading one of the many books that are collecting dust in the corner waiting to be read.

Right now im reading David Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. I'm half way through that book and i have to say it's not Gladwell's best work. Compared to the tipping point and the outlayers this book is too vanilla, but it has a nice collection of stories and there are things to be learned from it. I'd say It's a good entertaining read if you're looking for something light and interesting.

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by ES on Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:02 pm

Finished 'The Gathering Storm' last night, and holy cow :bow:

Spoiler:
The last few chapters, where Rand was sitting on the peak of Dragonmount, eyes closed, questioning life, quiestioning the burden that he has to carry, questioning the Creator. Tears welled up in my eyes when he was trying to reminisce his old self Sad

Broke the ter'angreal and banished the madness within, and when he finally opened his eyes. He started laughing, that whole ball of emotions that he kept for 6 straight books finally broke ffs and he felt them. Can't wait to see what he does in ToM

Plus, one of the series' greatest quotes (imo) deserves a place in my sig. Thom Merrilin :bow:

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by CBarca on Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:52 pm

After finishing Their Eyes Were Watching God, I have to say overall I didn't care for it. Probably my least favorite "classic" (if it could be called such, which I don't think it can) that I've ever read. Pretty average.

Next up is apparently The Stranger by Albert Camus.

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by The Black Sheep on Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:57 pm

Do you always finish a book once you start it?

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by CBarca on Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:06 am

ranDOM 10 wrote:Do you always finish a book once you start it?

Personally I keep with it even if I'm not enjoying it for a while if I think it has the potential to get good, but is merely starting slowly. I read The Grapes of Wrath last summer and loved it (I probably wrote something about it in this thread). If I had given up after 70 pages or so on that one, I would never have read the rest...but did I not care for the first 70 pages? I thought there were some interesting parts, but on the whole I found it pretty boring. I stuck with it for a while longer though and I loved it.

However there are some books I read where I'm not enjoying it, and if I don't see it going anywhere, I stop reading it. No point in reading something you're not enjoying. That doesn't mean I give up on it forever...I may try again at a later time. To answer your question however; no, I don't always finish a book once I started it.

On the whole, I do end up finishing most books though.
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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by StrugaRock on Wed May 14, 2014 1:13 am

Just got The Janissary Tree, a detective novel in Ottoman Period, should be interesting, an Ottoman Sherlock

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by M99 on Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:09 pm

Reading Gone Girl. Halfway through the book and gotta say it is quite good. Not a single likable character but I guess that's the point of the book.

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by StrugaRock on Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:18 pm

Just ordered The Broken Empire trilogy, should arrive in a month,

Any of you guys read that? On scale from 1-10 how good is it, and in comparison to GRRM's ASOIAF where does it stand?

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by RealGunner on Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:52 am

Has anyone read 'The Stranger' by Albert Camus?

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by dostoevsky on Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:17 am

I have, loved it.
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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by elitedam on Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:09 am

In high school. About 40 years ago.
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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by Forza on Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:10 am

@RealGunner wrote:Has anyone read 'The Stranger' by Albert Camus?
Classic. It's an odd book that gives an interesting insight into the human condition. Very enjoyable.

Also, I saw CB was talking about Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" above. That's another great book and it's worth noting that Apocalypse Now is essentially the film adaptation of the book, except set in Vietnam instead of the Belgian Congo.
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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by CBarca on Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:19 am

@CBarca wrote:After finishing Their Eyes Were Watching God, I have to say overall I didn't care for it. Probably my least favorite "classic" (if it could be called such, which I don't think it can) that I've ever read. Pretty average.

Next up is apparently The Stranger by Albert Camus.

From earlier up the page RG haha

I read it and really enjoyed it.

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by M99 on Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:05 pm

Loved The Stranger too.

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:22 pm

I finished reading The Martian by Andy Weir, it's a book about an astronaut that gets left behind in Mars and his struggle to survive with very limited resources. Only real science is used, which is what makes it interesting. It's very engrossing and relatively light. It's not great as it's not deep enough, but I highly recommend it. I believe it will come out as a movie later this year by Ridley Scott starring Matt Damon.

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by elitedam on Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:30 pm

I think I'm going to hold off on reading The Martian until after I watch the movie. There are so many great scifi books that I still haven't read while scifi movies are a lot rarer.

Although I did the same thing for Ender's game and that was an awful movie. hmm
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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by ES on Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:07 am

I'm considering reading 'The Gentlemen Bastards' by Scott Lynch, anyone heard of it? I know @Dante has read it and he rates it highly hmm

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by ES on Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:30 am

Too late, i already bought the first book

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Re: The Official Book Thread

Post by Kick on Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:12 am

Laughing

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Re: The Official Book Thread

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