[Literature] Currently Reading (discussion)

Yeah. You read right. This is for everything that doesn't have anything to do with Eva.

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Dr. Talos
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Postby Dr. Talos » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:34 pm

Recently finished up Blindsight by Peter Watts. It's excellent hard as nails scifi and manages to be an extremely thought provoking book where Watts examines consciousness through the lens of first contact with an alien species. Throughout he looks at different forms of consciousness, asks questions of it's role in intelligence and comes to some rather disturbing conclusions. Add to that a convincing if slightly unnerving depiction of near future of human society, a dose of psychological horror and you have an immensely compelling and bleak book.

Now I'm starting Heike Monogatari for a dose of epic poetry and Oryx and Crake for some Margaret Atwood goodness.

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Postby Shinoyami65 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:45 am

View Original PostBlue Monday wrote:I did The Fifty-Year Sword in one sitting. You get used to the presentation and format after 15 minutes or so I found. What I liked most about it was the imagery, i.e. the ending in the snow and the Man with No Arms to name only a couple examples. It's a quaint ergodic exercise, better than Only Revolutions, but nothing on the scale of House of Leaves.

By the way, MZD has a new book out in a few months time; The Familiar. I'm pretty excited as it's his first proper novel length work since HOL, and from what I can gather it's about cats in some way, too.

^_^


Yeah, while TFYS is better than Only Revolutions, it loses out to HOL in terms of length, breadth and variety.

I am excited to hear that a new MZD novel is coming out, though, and just in time for my birthday too ^_^
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Postby Blue Monday » Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:49 pm

    “Certain experiences you can’t survive, and afterward, you don’t fully exist, even if you failed to die. Everything that happened is still happening, only now it’s 20 years later, and what happened is just a story.”

Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto. A stream of consciousness southern Gothic narrative from the writer and showrunner of True Detective; what I'd imagine of prose when William Faulkner meets Cormac McCarthy (I say imagine because I've never read any Faulkner, but the opening quote is a dead giveaway). On the same day he is diagnosed with a terminal illness, Roy Cady, a mob enforcer, is double-crossed on a routine collection job. His boss wants him dead. The situation goes south and Roy barely makes it out alive. With two young girls in tow, mere strangers, they flee from New Orleans to Galveston, Texas, where they hide out in a seedy beach-side motel - no hope for a future, trying to figure out what to do next.

I really enjoyed this one, a fairly lite read done in two late night sittings. Cady becomes quite sympathetic, even though he's a self-confessed "bad man", Pizzolatto's depiction is quite honest, almost brutally so, never trying to cast the protagonist in a particularly favourable light as such. The ending itself is very moving. Soul-crushing almost, but vindicating too. Kind of smacked me the way I least expected. Strongly recommended for people wanting emotionally resonant psychological crime thrillers and/or dramas. Reminds me a lot of No Country for Old Men...
"Eva(Geeks) is a story that repeats."
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Postby caragnafog dog » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:27 pm

View Original PostDr. Talos wrote: Heike Monogatari
This is quite the work, formative for Japan in both historic and literary terms. There's a heavy buddhist bent, so be ready for that. But mostly be ready for lots of battles and crying. Read the Tale of Yoshitsune when you're done if you want more great but doomed characters.

Also read the Noh play "Atsumori" after the section in the Heike of the same name. There's some marvelous continuity there.
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Postby Dream » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:07 am

Recently finished The Catcher in the Rye. Stylistically it was a joy to read and with interesting (if vaguely unlikeable) characters. Couldn't relate to Holden all that much until the last quarter of the book or so, although he was an interesting portrayal of deppresion/mental illness. Thematically i felt i didn't quite understand it and felt specially confused by the whole "i'd like to be the Catcher in the Rye" thing. That said:

"Did you ever get fed up?" I said. "I mean did you ever get scared that everything was going to go lousy unless you did something? I mean do you like school, and all that stuff?"


This scene hit me quite deeply, as well as the conclusion with his sister.

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Postby Blue Monday » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:16 am

You know, I really disliked Catcher when I first read it, which is odd, because it was initially at a time when it would've been most relevant; having just come out of high school and struggling with university and such. All that stress of what to do with my life, failing studies, not wanting to be what others wanted me to be, questioning what was really important. All that shit. Still, it just didn't take. Sure, it was entertaining enough on its own but I just couldn't see the praise. Then, for some vague reason, I picked it up and gave it another shot a few years later. By that time I'd gotten a decent steady job (even though I ended up dropping out of uni) and had some measure of what I'd consider contentedness in my life, bringing me to where I am now in my life.

That second time really took. I think it's because I could look back and empathise with the emotions, in comparison to at the time where I'd just kept myself preoccupied with parties, drugs, crushes and music (after a particular bender of a year, five years of solemn soberness followed). But yeah, it resonated. Maybe it just had to do with the fact that I had changed a lot in the span of only a few years. Who knows.
"Eva(Geeks) is a story that repeats."
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Postby caragnafog dog » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:28 pm

Anyone looking for some down and dirty Burakumin lit should check out Nakagami Kenji. He only has a few stories translated but two of them are exceptional in their desperate sense of community and resentment.
On 11/10/14, at 8:43 PM, Merrimerri wrote:
fhycjubg beat tge sgut iyt if gun
On 6/2/15, at 10:14 PM, Delispin wrote:
> Wow. I've disgusted even myself.

https://qnuw.wordpress.com/ The hottest new meme, revived in blog form. qnuw/qnuw. qnuw/qnuw. qnuw/qnuw.

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Postby Joy Evangelion » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:19 pm

View Original PostDream wrote:Thematically i felt i didn't quite understand it and felt specially confused by the whole "i'd like to be the Catcher in the Rye" thing.


Don't mean to sound like my high school English teacher here, but the jist of the whole thing was he was imagining a rye field with some kids playing in it and he wanted to be the guy who saved kids from falling over a poorly placed cliff that's next to the field. Basically he's just wants children to preserve their innocence.

Although it's a bit cliche to say, it's definitely one of my top three favorite novels and has been for quite some time now. It's like NGE in that it's highly lauded and can be easily criticized for being "too whiny" or whatever, but both works are fantastic at speaking to people who don't feel like they quite belong with the world around them. Unfortunately, since it's so widely assigned in American high schools I think a lot of peoples opinions on it are based on their teachers only discussing the works symbolism instead of the wonderful story that it is; like, if you don't want to have spent a weekend in 1950s NYC by yourself lamenting about the crappiness of life, I don't want to know you. It's also one of the funniest books ever written, i.e. the ugly girl at the bar calling the clarinet a "licorice stick" and Holden's anecdote about the kid farting during the presentation by the Pencey Prep undertaker alum.
I used to work in a factory and I was really happy because I could daydream all day -- I.C.
And thanks to EVA, I've started like myself and that has made me very happy. Mr. Anno, please keep working on EVA a lot more.
and thank you so much for everything!!

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Postby chee » Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:58 pm

Reading Baudrillard is an experience where you trudge through pages upon pages of circular near-gibberish until suddenly a single sentence or two causes everything to click together in a single instant of sudden horrifying clarity and your mind basically starts fucking itself silly.

But then you realize that you can't talk to anyone about it because you're primarily a visual learner and pretty much every dense philosophical idea you manage to comprehend is basically mapped out in your head in a series of mental diagrams that only make sense to you.

In other words:

SPOILER: Show
Image

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Postby Shinoyami65 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:09 am

Started reading Let the Right One In. I knew the characterisation would be very different from the English film, but it was still very surprising how much Lindqvist hammers home the protagonist's insecurity and pathetic life situation early in the novel; it sort of stretches the boundary of sympathy which I suppose is to highlight the moral ambiguity that is at the heart of much of the text.
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I always thought I might be bad
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Because I think you're so good
And I'm nothing like you

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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:25 pm

Some holiday reading --

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett is a fantasy murder mystery/political thriller set in a city where reality broke when its gods were slain; it fits somewhere near China Mieville's style of urban gothic, andkept me turning the pages all Sunday afternoon.

The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis -- I liked his Weird War Two trilogy (Bitter Seeds, et seq.), so seeing this one about an early 20th century setting, where clockwork men are a 250 year old miracle of arcane Dutch technology, was an obvious choice. However I think I must have been reading it wrong. I mean, it's almost as if you're supposed to be rooting the for French!
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Postby caragnafog dog » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:42 pm

Shiga Naoya is the absolute realest. Some of the most evocative snapshots in the short story format I've read since Hemmingway. Others show off an extremely detailed understanding of domestic strife and they're all steeped in the ambiguity that makes good short fiction great. I hope his long novels are as good.
On 11/10/14, at 8:43 PM, Merrimerri wrote:
fhycjubg beat tge sgut iyt if gun
On 6/2/15, at 10:14 PM, Delispin wrote:
> Wow. I've disgusted even myself.

https://qnuw.wordpress.com/ The hottest new meme, revived in blog form. qnuw/qnuw. qnuw/qnuw. qnuw/qnuw.

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Postby JonnyNova » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:54 pm

Has anyone read any of Miracles Jones' short stories? I can't do them any justice trying to describe them succinctly. Fair warning though, almost all of them contain explicit content in some form or another.

Two of my personal favorites:
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Postby Trajan » Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:17 pm

Finally stopped procrastinating and finished A Clash of Kings today. Now I can start on A Storm of Swords and hopefully finish it this time around. I started reading it years ago and only got about 75% of the way through until I got depressed and moved on. That was about a year before the TV show came out now that I think about it. I'm committed to finishing it this time, hopefully before winter this year (the things enormous, I've got to pace myself) and then move to A Feast for Crows / A Dance with Dragons afterwards.
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Postby Joy Evangelion » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:52 pm

Over the last four weeks I've gotten my act together and have been reading some novels at a somewhat respectable pace. Somethings I've taken down;

Rabbit Redux by Updike. The second and probably best entry in the Rabbit tetralogy, and still relevant after all of these years. Rabbit Angstrom, the prototypical WASP, finds himself living in a world whose rules he not only hates, but barely even understands. The years he spent as a star high school basketball player are now even further away than they were in Rabbit, Run and the monotony of adult life has lulled him into a daze so severe that he doesn't realize he's in it until his family life begins tumbling down all around him. Rabbit is still the selfish asshole the character always has been, but his attempts to just do what's right throughout the work is quite moving to read. Updike's descriptions of Rabbit's hometown and how he views the rest of the world through it is written in beautiful present tense prose from the start. Highly recommended, but obviously read Rabbit, Run first.

The Fall by Camus. Unfortunately I don't have much to say about this one as I read it too fast and now barely remember it. -o-; The conversationalist style of the narration was wonderfully done, and I thoroughly enjoyed the story as it was unfolding, especially the imagery conjured up on the two characters boat trip, with the circling of the birds overhead and the way the boat just barely moved across the water. As Camus lends himself to multiple readings, I wouldn't mind a reread in the near future.

Pylon by Faulkner. Though not Faulkner's best, definitely worth while for a fan or his work. Style definitely dominates over plot here, which(the plot) revolves around a skinny, pale, loner Reporter(who actually ends up being one of Billy's more memorable and likable characters) who becomes obsessed with a group of airplane flyers which visit his southern town. Though the plot is no where near as fun as a lot of Faulkner's others, I imagine he quite enjoyed writing the work himself as he had a well documented airplane obsession, and so a bit of that enthusiasm rubs off on the reader. The prose is sometimes all over the place, so it's typical Faulkner though the plot seems to lag towards the end, and there's not much of a revelation. Gets bonus points for having one of the better descriptions of being drunk that I've ever read, though.

Started Kafka's The Castle this afternoon and I'm definitely looking forward to the absurdity of it all.
I used to work in a factory and I was really happy because I could daydream all day -- I.C.
And thanks to EVA, I've started like myself and that has made me very happy. Mr. Anno, please keep working on EVA a lot more.
and thank you so much for everything!!

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Postby Blue Monday » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:05 pm

I enjoyed Rabbit, Run quite a lot when I read it a few years ago. In particular there are some scenes that stick with me. Oddly, one of them is where Harry's old coach points out that all women are covered with a very fine, practically invisible, sheen of tiny colourless hairs. I hadn't notice before and it's something I've not been able to unsee since.

-o-;

I'll get around to Redux one day.
"Eva(Geeks) is a story that repeats."
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Postby Joy Evangelion » Sat Apr 25, 2015 5:16 pm

Yea, there are a lot of scenes in Rabbit, Run that Updike was really spot on with. The ending is one of the finest in 20th century American literature for sure. Makes me wish I wasn't so turned off by the plots of so many of his other novels. I think I got about thirty pages or so into Couples and found myself thinking this is not something I want to read about anymore, or ever.

------------------------------------------
Anyone on here ever read any Kobo Abe, and if so, any suggestions?
I used to work in a factory and I was really happy because I could daydream all day -- I.C.
And thanks to EVA, I've started like myself and that has made me very happy. Mr. Anno, please keep working on EVA a lot more.
and thank you so much for everything!!

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Postby Ray » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:11 pm

Finished up the first Game Of Thrones Novel. . . and I can definitely see why Tyrion is a fan favorite. Devious and cunning, yet at the same time charismatic and noble to a fault, and even his less than noble moments have some lining of sympathy intertwined with them.

For all the hype about how violent and sexual the books are, at least judging from the first one. . . it's quite tame, at least when compared to the TV show. Though I hear it gets quite gruesome down the line.

Anyways. After finishing up GOT, I'm currently reading another Fantasy Novel called "Throne Of The Crescent Moon". It's a high fantasy Arabian Nights Pastiche.

So far. . . it's just okay. At the very least it's not derivative of European fantasy tropes like so many other fantasy novels. The characters are compelling, but nowhere near as deep as I've come to expect. It's far more simplistic in it's moral outlook than Game Of Thrones.
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Postby TehDonutKing » Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:17 pm

View Original PostRay wrote:For all the hype about how violent and sexual the books are, at least judging from the first one. . . it's quite tame, at least when compared to the TV show. Though I hear it gets quite gruesome down the line.

Hell, the tv show is pretty tame, too, from what little i've seen.

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Postby Kazuki_Fuse » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:59 pm

"Starting Infinite Jest was a mistake" - me
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"Surprise is an insubstantial blade, a sword worthless in war. It breaks when troops rally, it snaps when commanders hold the line, but fear never fades. So let the enemy know we come, let their fears defeat them as everything falls dark, as the worlds sun sets, as the city is wreathed in its final night. Let ten thousand howls promise ten thousand claws. The Night Lords are coming, and no soul that stands against us shall see another dawn"
-excerpt from The Tenebrous Path


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