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King_Ghidra
11-12-2001, 16:26:33
Here's my 10: I'm hoping to be proved wrong :D

The good soldier Svejk - Jaroslav hasek
A hilarious comic novel following a hungarian soldier's adventures through the first world war

The physiology of taste - M. Brillat-savarin
Paean to the gourmet lifestyle written by 18th century french writer

A rébours - J K Huysmans
19th century story of a hedonistic nobleman and the pursuit of various kinds of pleasures. A stunning book.

120 days of Sodom - Marquis de Sade
One of the most terrifying, insane, bizarre and awful books i have ever read. An experience rather than a novel.

Monkey - Wu cheng en
Remember the tv series? This is the original. Hilarious and captivating chinese mythology. Eat your heart out Harry Potter.

Naked Lunch - William Burroughs
a mad journey into a world of drugs, buggery and paranoia (not surprising given the first two). One of the greatest works of imagination of the 20th century.

Passovotchka - ?
Chronicles the visit of Dynamo Moscow football team to England in the fifties. Fascinating stuff.

Crash - J G Ballard
The writer Will Self would like to be. As Ballard put it, Crash was an attempt to: 'rub the human face in its own vomit and force it to look in the mirror.'

Saturday night, sunday morning - Alan Silltoe
Classic story of how society grinds down wild young single men and makes them into downtrodden married ones. Not as depressing as it sounds.

Ullysses - James Joyce
This is a gimme, no one has ever read it all ;)
I've probably read half and it's still bloody great.

Funkodrom
11-12-2001, 17:10:25
Monkey - Wu cheng en
Remember the tv series? This is the original. Hilarious and captivating chinese mythology. Eat your heart out Harry Potter.

I wanted to read this but MikeG took it to Londinium with him. Bastard. Just 'cause he owned it...:rolleyes:

Spartak
11-12-2001, 17:58:46
A good mate of mine from Moscow is a Dynamo fan. His dad actually attended the Dynamo - Chelsea game and had an official programme which my mate donated to the Dynamo museum.

Good bars at Dynamo stadium BTW.

Resource Consumer
11-12-2001, 18:24:34
I've read Naked Lunch (Ticket that Exploded as well) plus amost everything by Ballard (short stories especially good).

Spartak, have you ever read Mosckva-Petushki by Yerofeev by any chance? Has Mrs Spartak?

King_Ghidra
12-12-2001, 13:03:11
Originally posted by MikeH
Monkey - Wu cheng en
Remember the tv series? This is the original. Hilarious and captivating chinese mythology. Eat your heart out Harry Potter.

I wanted to read this but MikeG took it to Londinium with him. Bastard. Just 'cause he owned it...:rolleyes:

i have a copy - you can borrow mine :)

Qweeg
12-12-2001, 13:15:28
Zen and the art of Motocycle Maintenance.

i read this so i could impress the kind of arty college students i fancied at the time- but it turned out to be an interesting read- though a little difficult.

After two years my friend made me give it back.

Phaedrus lives.


Wonderland Avenue.

i read this so i could impress the girl i was going out with at the time. The guys dick turns purple and almost drops off at the end, so i decided not to try smack after all for the second time since that business at Grange Hill.

i have read other books too, and i can also draw.

Funkodrom
12-12-2001, 13:30:18
Originally posted by Qweeg
Zen and the art of Motocycle Maintenance.

i read this so i could impress the kind of arty college students i fancied at the time- but it turned out to be an interesting read- though a little difficult.

After two years my friend made me give it back.

My mate Chuckle was reading that at university... for 4 years.

King_Ghidra
12-12-2001, 13:34:31
Yeah i've read this - hmmm...well it's quite heavy going and philosophically i'm not sure how sound it is...the author gets bogged down in a concept that he struggles and probably fails to define adequately. As a whole it's worth a read though.

Qweeg
12-12-2001, 14:04:15
It made me realise that yeah, the education system does suck- and is mainly the process of making everybody think the same, and nt bother to question things- and yeah- what exactly IS the nature of 'Quality'

the book certainly provokes thought. Only took a few weeks intensive reading though, the rest of the time was me saying

"whatdya want Pepper"
"have you still got my-"
"Get lost Pepper"

I study Homer you see.

Funkodrom
12-12-2001, 14:12:10
Going to school taught me that.

Qweeg
12-12-2001, 15:07:13
u went 2 scul!?

:lol: my sense of humour is so advanced its frightening.

Lazarus and the Gimp
13-12-2001, 23:05:08
I've read all of "Ulysses". It was a piece of piss.

"Finnegan's Wake" on the other hand.....

Resource Consumer
14-12-2001, 12:12:33
is an Irish pub in Paris. (as, indeed, are two James Joyce's, an Oscar Wilde and a Kitty O'Shea)

Qweeg
14-12-2001, 13:48:25
Do they have toilets with fray and fyrn or something written on them too? i went for a piss in a Finnigans once, and there were lots of fyrns in the can, turns out fyrns are women. they didn't scream and go nuts at me though so... maybe next time.

Qweeg
14-12-2001, 13:55:12
Laz, i meant the great Homer Simpson, not that other Homer guy your talking about. Tried to read the Illiad once, but it didn't entertain me, very poorly written, no structure, messy description- overwhelms the reader with characters that go by way too many names, not to mention the really unlikely situations, (a war over some guys girlfriend for chrissakes). that other Homer really sucks man, an ancient greek pensioner huh, well it shows.

The film version was alright though, if a lil dated.

Funkodrom
14-12-2001, 13:56:51
Originally posted by Qweeg
Do they have toilets with fray and fyrn or something written on them too? i went for a piss in a Finnigans once, and there were lots of fyrns in the can, turns out fyrns are women. they didn't scream and go nuts at me though so... maybe next time.

Finn and Fir?

Qweeg
14-12-2001, 15:37:40
Thats the one Mikey, i like firs, i think- took me a little trial and error to discover i was a Finn, i think... oh damn i'm genderaly confused again, and with no pint of Guiness's patented ash-water-tasting iron supplement to jollify the experience... nooooo!

i might be a firasexual, how will i tell my parents!:confused:

Lazarus and the Gimp
14-12-2001, 21:19:33
Why is Qweeg talking to me about Homer?

Lazarus and the Gimp
14-12-2001, 21:20:37
Ah. I've worked it out.

I was talking about James Joyce novels, not "The Iliad" or "The Odessey".

King_Ghidra
17-12-2001, 09:15:33
Originally posted by Qweeg
Tried to read the Illiad once, but it didn't entertain me, very poorly written, no structure, messy description- overwhelms the reader with characters that go by way too many names, not to mention the really unlikely situations, (a war over some guys girlfriend for chrissakes).

hmmm i hope this was a joke - it hardly seems fair to talk about 'unlikely situations' when you're in a world in which the gods live on a mountain and their ruler often makes women pregnant in the guise of a bull, swan, shower of gold, etc.
I think a little suspension of belief is required for greek myth(!)

actually agree about the names thing though. it seems like every character has got two or three. Although i think one of the problems with this mythology is that they couldn't agree amongst themselves on a unified version of any of the people involved in the 'actual events'.

Robert Graves 'The greek myths' is a really good book that tries to provide an overview on the whole Greek mythological history whilst also noting the various versions of the same events.

Funkodrom
17-12-2001, 09:24:37
I found the Iliad really hard going for that reason too. Not only do the characters have several names but they are often refered to as things like "Odyssyus' third cousin's wife's friend's butler"

The gods are cool though and the story. It's still sitting on my shelf awaiting a time I can read it properly. It's too hard to think about in my usual reading time which is on the train on the way too and from work as I'm barely awake then.

Snapcase
17-12-2001, 22:02:56
Oooh. Litterature. The only "real" literature I've read recently (ie. since I was forced to by my nefarious set of english teachers back in High School) is Lord Byron's Don Juan, which is goddamn marvellous- the Simpsons for the 19th century, really, disjointed drastic comedy interspersed by wacko pop culture references. Oh, and it's in Ottava Rima, which is a bit discouraging until you realise that it's the only verse form where you can make really dirty rhymes in triplicate. :)

(Okay, I also read some Sheakspeare plays. But they're just lightheaded fun.)

Vincent Fandango
17-12-2001, 22:13:02
My favourite book nobody read is Italo Svevo's ""La coscienza di Zeno"
" aka "Zeno Cosini". It's brilliant and very funny (I'm not sure if it's supposed to be funny).

http://www.ilnarratore.com/anthology/svevo/svevo.html

Vincent Fandango
17-12-2001, 22:16:09
"The good soldier Svejk - Jaroslav Hasek" I read that one when I was young.

Vincent Fandango
17-12-2001, 22:19:56
Originally posted by Resource Consumer
Spartak, have you ever read Mosckva-Petushki by Yerofeev by any chance? I read that in German, "Die Reise nach Petuschki". Reading it made me drunk & sick.

King_Ghidra
19-12-2001, 08:58:19
Originally posted by Vincent Fandango
I read that in German, "Die Reise nach Petuschki". Reading it made me drunk & sick.

ok you guys have piqued my curiosity, what is this book about?

Vincent Fandango
19-12-2001, 09:29:47
He travels from Mos-cow to Petushki and drinks. No, he DRINKS. And his thoughts are getting more and more bizarre. He's getting sick, drinks, getting sick, drinks. Everyone drinks on the train.

The best book about getting really drunk and what it feels like.

http://cweb.middlebury.edu/s99/RU152a/Erofeev/mppage.html

King_Ghidra
20-12-2001, 12:17:46
thanks, i'll see if i can track down an english copy :cool:

Snapcase
23-12-2001, 20:48:12
Just read "Adventures in Bukhara" by Leonid Solovyev, a humorous adventure classic. Which no-one here will have read, except possibly the Russian speakers, because the only english edition was published in 1956 and now costs ~£50. :)

DaShi
02-01-2002, 06:19:39
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
Here's my 10: I'm hoping to be proved wrong :D

Naked Lunch - William Burroughs


I can think of two things wrong with that title. ;)

Spartak
07-01-2002, 17:16:36
Originally posted by Vincent Fandango
He travels from Mos-cow to Petushki and drinks. No, he DRINKS. And his thoughts are getting more and more bizarre. He's getting sick, drinks, getting sick, drinks. Everyone drinks on the train.

The best book about getting really drunk and what it feels like.

http://cweb.middlebury.edu/s99/RU152a/Erofeev/mppage.html

This reputedly one of (if not the) best samidazt novels from the time of the end of the soviet union.

The Shaker
13-01-2002, 17:31:20
The illiad was a good read in latin, but the english version just didn't do it for me. it was virgilly unintelligable.

King_Ghidra
15-01-2002, 12:22:54
Shakey baby, how could you stoop so low as to drag my highbrow thread into the world of bad puns? Shame on you.

Lady_of_Chicken
27-01-2002, 02:39:17
I haven't read any fiction in a very long time. School burned me out. Usually I lose interest halfway through.--but I read tons of non-fiction, just about anything

So I have been looking for new authors and think I like suspense (usually a faster pace), ergo why I picked up From The Corner of His Eye.

Better yet, was re-reading Jaws last year and the other shark book that Benchly wrote...Great White(?) Oh, well, it was fascinating and suspenseful.

I remember Zen/Motorcycle Maintenance from 10th grade. It still impresses me all I learned about motorcycles and road trips...like how a tire can explode if you drive at too high a speed on a very hot day...and the difference between riding in a car and on a bike...no comparison. I tried it, it's true. But as for the philosophy, I guess I missed it.

I've read A Hundred Years of Solitude and would like to read that again (by Gabrield Marquez(?)). Also, The Heart is A Lonely Hunter. (Koontz might learn something by reading that one.)

Lately I picked up a copy of Primary Colors and Battlefield Earth (10 cents each at the library). Not suspense, but looked interesting.

I saw the movie Beloved and was really impressed with the story and the way it was told. Would like to read that book next--has anyone else read it/seen the movie?

Resource Consumer
28-01-2002, 09:42:25
Originally posted by Vincent Fandango
He travels from Mos-cow to Petushki and drinks. No, he DRINKS. And his thoughts are getting more and more bizarre. He's getting sick, drinks, getting sick, drinks. Everyone drinks on the train.

The best book about getting really drunk and what it feels like.

http://cweb.middlebury.edu/s99/RU152a/Erofeev/mppage.html

The bit I liked was where he drew the graphs demonstrating the vodka consumption habits of the workforce and the observation that bborders were unnecessary because there were only 2 sorts of people - Russians who were drunk and non-Russians who were not. Hello Angels.:)

It is published in English now under the title "Moscow Stations".

MattHiggs
28-01-2002, 10:54:38
The last book I read was Of Mice and Men, for GCSE English.

Vincent Fandango
28-01-2002, 11:42:34
I bet

King_Ghidra
28-01-2002, 11:46:54
Yeah i have a hundred years of solitude but haven't motivated myself to read it yet. I think it's Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Of Mice and Men is a fantastic little book. I tried reading East of Eden but it didn't agree with me. I bought a second hand copy of The Grapes of Wrath, and old penguin paperback from the fifties, but haven't started that either. I'd like to read Cannery Row too.

Just ordered 'Mosckva-Petushki' or Moscow Stations by Yerofeev from Amazon. £5.59 - bargain!

Funkodrom
28-01-2002, 11:49:43
Cool, can I borrow it when you've read it? :D

Vincent Fandango
28-01-2002, 12:03:20
Is that the version with the two bottles of vodka?

King_Ghidra
28-01-2002, 12:14:50
i'm not lending mike two bottles of vodka - i know what would happen there :clueless: :vom:

Funkodrom
28-01-2002, 12:18:36
I don't really drink much Vodka so it'd be OK... probably.

Resource Consumer
28-01-2002, 14:19:41
Oh yeah. And I forgot to mention the cocktails that he makes as well. A very famous username comes from one of those.

Funkodrom
28-01-2002, 15:00:58
Hi Nadia!

Spartak
28-01-2002, 15:02:46
Hi ToTKG

jsorense
28-01-2002, 16:51:21
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
Yeah i have a hundred years of solitude but haven't motivated myself to read it yet. I think it's Gabriel Garcia Marquez.


King_Ghidra,
Please give it a try. The book is wonderful and one of the best examples of "Magical Realism." This book has also been recognized as one of the greatest novels of all time.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982.
j

Hi Nadia,
Where has RC been keeping you these days?
:)

Aredhran
05-02-2002, 14:26:24
random bump

King_Ghidra
27-02-2002, 09:55:20
Originally posted by King_Ghidra


Just ordered 'Mosckva-Petushki' or Moscow Stations by Yerofeev from Amazon. £5.59 - bargain!

just got my copy today!

From what i've read so far it looks hilarious!

Spartak
04-05-2002, 23:19:38
How was the book?

The Mad Monk
05-05-2002, 07:37:46
I think the problem many people have with Illiad and other ancient works is due to poor translation. I had no trouble at all with the version we used in college.

King Ghidra, the great thing about Steinbeck's books is how true they really are. As great a novelist as Steinbeck was, he was even more so a journalist. Grapes of Wrath can make you very angry, which it was written to do. I've yet to read Cannery Row, but from what I've read it's based on what happened in Steinbeck's life while he was in California.

King_Ghidra
07-05-2002, 12:51:53
Originally posted by Spartak
How was the book?

great! mad ending, quite sad, but a brilliant work of imagination - love the cocktail recipes! :clueless: :vom:

Guynemer
20-05-2002, 17:15:08
"House of God" It's like "Catch-22", only a) it's better, and b) it's about the living hell that first-year MDs go through.

jsorense
21-05-2002, 14:46:11
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
Yeah i have a hundred years of solitude but haven't motivated myself to read it yet. I think it's Gabriel Garcia Marquez.



K_G,
This is really a must read. It is fantastic. Read it and you will know what I mean.
:bounce:

King_Ghidra
27-05-2002, 11:53:18
I started reading this on the train a while back - it is very, very good, incredibly well written, amazingly imaginative and funny too. Shame it's so dense, because i'm going to need to lay aside some serious time to read it properly.

I've just been distracted by Don Dellillo's Underworld, which is stunning.

Snapcase
27-05-2002, 12:22:41
100 years of solitude is nice, but I still think the real masterpiece of Magical Realism is House of the Spirits by Isabell Allende.

Qweeg
27-05-2002, 15:36:38
Clays Arc by Octavia Butler

I read this book the first time when I was about 15 or something, but it disturbed me so much I could'nt finnish it, took me a month just to forget about it again.

Then I tried again when I was about 17, thinking myself more advanced, more mature- a man of the world, not so easy to make uneasy this time. Didn't work, I still ended up cowering in my room afraid to leave the house. Its not that there are terrifying monsters or anything- its more like a terrifying concept.

Anyway, you've been warned, if you see this book somewhere- try not to read it- you'll only be scared into a state of agraphobia.

Noisy
27-05-2002, 22:17:15
agraphobia = scared of places in India.

-- :rolleyes: Why do I bother? :nervous: --

Snapcase
28-05-2002, 00:16:37
Duh. He obviously means Angoraphobia.

Funkodrom
28-05-2002, 08:44:21
Isn't it SpellingAnorakaphobia?

Qweeg
28-05-2002, 15:06:54
yeh- whatevr, aggraphobia... my point though is THE BOOK!!!

-fear it.

Immortal Wombat
07-01-2007, 05:32:07
:necromancy:

Originally posted by Snapcase
Just read "Adventures in Bukhara" by Leonid Solovyev, a humorous adventure classic. Which no-one here will have read, except possibly the Russian speakers, because the only english edition was published in 1956 and now costs ~£50. :)
This is perhaps no longer the case. I recently acquired a copy for ~£5, and am enjoying it immensely.

Scabrous Birdseed
07-01-2007, 09:55:44
I gots bumped!

What on earth made you remember that post? I don't even remember making it!

Immortal Wombat
07-01-2007, 15:52:36
I only found this thread a while ago while searching for something else, so it was more like a four day memory than a four year one.

Scabrous Birdseed
07-01-2007, 16:20:35
Well, good luck with the book, anyway - it used to be my mother's favourite when she was a kid. It's a comedy classic of Soviet literature.

Fergus & The Brazen Car
08-01-2007, 11:22:50
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
Here's my 10: I'm hoping to be proved wrong :D

The good soldier Svejk - Jaroslav hasek
A hilarious comic novel following a hungarian soldier's adventures through the first world war

The physiology of taste - M. Brillat-savarin
Paean to the gourmet lifestyle written by 18th century french writer

A rébours - J K Huysmans
19th century story of a hedonistic nobleman and the pursuit of various kinds of pleasures. A stunning book.

120 days of Sodom - Marquis de Sade
One of the most terrifying, insane, bizarre and awful books i have ever read. An experience rather than a novel.

Monkey - Wu cheng en
Remember the tv series? This is the original. Hilarious and captivating chinese mythology. Eat your heart out Harry Potter.

Naked Lunch - William Burroughs
a mad journey into a world of drugs, buggery and paranoia (not surprising given the first two). One of the greatest works of imagination of the 20th century.

Passovotchka - ?
Chronicles the visit of Dynamo Moscow football team to England in the fifties. Fascinating stuff.

Crash - J G Ballard
The writer Will Self would like to be. As Ballard put it, Crash was an attempt to: 'rub the human face in its own vomit and force it to look in the mirror.'

Saturday night, sunday morning - Alan Silltoe
Classic story of how society grinds down wild young single men and makes them into downtrodden married ones. Not as depressing as it sounds.

Ullysses - James Joyce
This is a gimme, no one has ever read it all ;)
I've probably read half and it's still bloody great.

With regards Joyce, Ballard, Sillitoe, Huysmans, Burroughs, de Sade and Hasek, I've read 'em.

I've no interest in football, reportage or otherwise, so the chronicles of Dynamo Moscow passed me by.

Brillat-Savarin's book is something I've always meant to read, but never found time too. 'Monkey' I found incredibly irritating as a television series, and there's so much else to read.

My ten:

1. Annette von Droste Hulshoff: Die Judenbuche or The Jew's Beech Tree

Novella concerning a murderer and the murderer's origins and psychology, set in Westphalia. A forerunner of works such as Sartre's 'La Nausee', Camus' 'L'Etranger' and Jim Thompson's 'The Killer Inside Me'.

2. Idries Shah: Tales of the Dervishes

Full of humour humanity and local detail, a compendium of fables and historical tales of the Sufi mystics- a constant reminder that Islam is not some monolithic entity composed solely of wild-eyed fanatics.

3. Claudia Roden: Coffee

If you like coffee as it should be drunk (that is, not some hell-bound second cousin to 300 year old brick dust marinated in hot water) then this is pretty much a necessity. It deals engagingly with the origins and dissemination of coffee drinking, has humorous anecdotes, details of the coffee drinking habits of the author and various countries and civilizations, and the multitude of coffee varieties and specialist coffee drinks.

4. Samuel Beckett: Malone Dies

Not as depressing as the title might indicate. Some people like mixtures of farce, black humour, tragedy and comedy and this has them all. As a fallback, I'd recommend 'Murphy' by the same author, especially the disposal of Murphy's ashes. Denis Healey was so impressed, he reportedly memorized a few pages...

5. Ibn Battutah : 'The Travels of Ibn Battutah' translated by Tim Mackintosh-Smith

Forget Marco Polo- this man was the real deal, his travels encompassing the Muslim world of his age, from al-Andalus to India, East Africa, Mali and South East Asia. With scathing remarks on people whose hospitality was less than gracious in his eyes and a keen eye for the distinctive beauties of the areas he visits, this is a book that's easy to dip into and read again and again.

6. Fernand Braudel: The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II

One of those monumental works of history which is less daunting than it first appears. Chock full of the kind of research and footnotes one would expect from an historian of the 'Annales' school, it still has the power to make me marvel at the depth of his knowledge.

7. Ursula K Le Guin: The Wind's Twelve Quarters (anthology)

It must have one of the few appearances of an autistic protagonist in fiction of any kind before the recent craze for characters with Asperger's.

In the short story, 'Vaster Than Empires And More Slow' published in 1971 and nominated for a Hugo in 1972, the autistic crew member 'reads' other humans' emotions immediately, as if they were as palpable as hot or cold air on sunburnt skin.

Fortunately for him he finds a planet that can set him free from the constant emotional noise of other people and yet still offer him companionship of sorts.

8. Edward Snow: A Study of Vermeer

One of the best books about any artist of any time- I suppose it does help that Vermeer is one of my favourites, but the depth and breadth of learning exhibited, not just about pictorial detail and historical background, but also about how we see and interpret paintings, is heartening.

9. Gertrude Stein: Three Lives

Much of what she wrote seems like gibberish, or dully repetitious but this little book (modelled on Flaubert's 'Trois Contes') is very different from her 'The Making of Americans' or 'Tender Buttons'.
A deceptively plain prose style illuminates the lives of those often overlooked.

10. Abbess Hildegard of Bingen: Scivias- Know The Ways of The Lord

The advantage of reading anything by the polymath Abbess Hildegard is that you might, just might, want to listen to some of her music being performed or look at some of her illuminated manuscripts. A diplomat, scholar, visionary, herbalist, composer, dramatist and writer of hymns, she seems remarkably modern and far ahead of her time.

Either way, along with her mystical writings, her music and art will enrich your life.

maroule
08-01-2007, 11:57:56
" Fernand Braudel: The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II" great indeed

if youn liked it, try "grammar of the civilisations"
it's the school book he prepared for french students (16-17 years old) overseeing the history of all civilisation. Mind stunningly brilliant.

King_Ghidra
08-01-2007, 12:13:57
:beer: for the bump.

Fergus wins, i've read none of his (her?) 10 (although the Beckett Malone stuff has been on my wish list for a while now).

maroule
08-01-2007, 12:42:00
I've read 2 of KG, one of Fergus

here are a few I can think of

1/ The lord of the Rings
Obscure oxbridge teacher reinvents norse mythology. A bit dated and pompous, with silly songs and hairy feet midgets (that will never catch on), but still a very entertaining read


2/ The Bible
Bizarre and archaic collection of self improvements tips, advices on what to eat (and when), and how to get on with the neighbouring tribes. Great for local flavour (of living like a shepherd 2000 years ago).


3/ The little read book
Ego driven china man rambling on everything. Another entertaining self help book, not to be missed (alas, also pretty obscure)


4/ A year in Provence
Absurd fantasy about the south of France, as it was dreamt by an ignorant anglo-saxon fed up with Slough. Thanks God nobody will ever read this one, otherwise this will start a fucking invasion.

5/ Da Vinci Code
Kind of a puzzle book, by another US author with a very limited knowledge of art and history (not even mentioning Parisian geography). Entertaining man hunt, if you can swallow all the clichés (brainy Harvard professor, perky French cryptologist who's also the grand-grand daughter of jesus, etc.)

Immortal Wombat
08-01-2007, 23:04:19
Might as well add mine now I've bumped it.


Lord Chesterfield's Letters to His Son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman
Well, the title pretty much explains it.

Captain Flint's Trunk, by Christina Hardyment
An exploration of the people and places which inspired Arthur Ransome's "Swallows and Amazons" series.

Icarus, by Bertrand Russell
Russell was of course, awesome. This is his vision of the future of Science, written in 1924. As such, it's totally wrong - but this is ok, because it bears a striking resemblance to a certain Aldous Huxley novel published 8 years later...

The Song of the Dodo, by David Quammen
Essentially a history of biogeography and conservation biology, but mostly made up of travelogue, with chunks of fantasy, interviews, and musings on extinction. Wonderful.

The War With The Newts, by Karel Čapek
Less famous than his robots, but wider in scope. This is 1930s Czech satirical science fiction at its best.

Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds, by Berbard le Bovier de Fontanelle (translated by Aphra Behn)
The Behn version is apparently slightly better than the Glanvill, although I can't pretend to care. This is an early popular science book about whether other worlds existed on other planets and stars. Fascinating look at the tone of early astronomical speculations in the post-Galilean world.

The Dumas Club, by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Much richer than the film based on it, it's a noir mystery set in the shady world of antique book dealing.

Magellan's Voyage, by Antonio Pigafetta
The only primary source from the voyage which is even remotely accessible. Notable for containing the first mention of penguins in western literature.

Darwin's Dangerous Idea, by Daniel C Dennett
The scientific ground covered has been done elsewhere by Dawkins, Gould, Ridley, etc, but Dennett also explores the philosophical structure and consequences of natural selection more lucidly than most science writers.

Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers, by Harry Harrison
A wonderful parody of early 20th century space opera. The protagonists are all-American heroes (and college students), who accidentally invent a FTL drive, and explore space, committing genocide and saving the galaxy as they go.


(and Adventures in Bukhara is really good, although obviously unqualified for this list)

Funko
09-01-2007, 08:45:20
I think that must be one of the few Harry Harrison books I haven't read.

King_Ghidra
09-01-2007, 17:14:48
Originally posted by Fergus & The Brazen Car
With regards Joyce [...]I've read 'em.

Don't be so coy, judging by the quantity of your posts that contain direct quotes or references to Ulysses it's your favourite book evah!!!11!1!! :D

Lazarus and the Gimp
09-01-2007, 18:42:07
Originally posted by Immortal Wombat

Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers, by Harry Harrison
A wonderful parody of early 20th century space opera. The protagonists are all-American heroes (and college students), who accidentally invent a FTL drive, and explore space, committing genocide and saving the galaxy as they go.



That's a great one. I liked how the barrel-chested alpha-male heroes turn out to be voraciously gay.

Fergus & The Brazen Car
12-01-2007, 10:28:55
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
Don't be so coy, judging by the quantity of your posts that contain direct quotes or references to Ulysses it's your favourite book evah!!!11!1!! :D

" I'm shy, Hairy Melon, I'm shy..."

;)


Yes, he is a favourite author of mine.

Litotes...

Lazarus and the Gimp
13-01-2007, 12:47:13
Have you actually read "Finnegan's Wake"? That defeated me.

Lazarus and the Gimp
13-01-2007, 13:08:41
OK- I'll pick 10.

"Riddley Walker"- Russell Hoban.

I'm practically an evangelist for this book. I think it's incredible. A young shamen in a post-apocalyptic Kent thousands of years from now, trying to make sense of the past through folk myths and battered allegories.


"If on a winter's night a traveller"- Italo Calvino.

A book about you, the reader, attempting to read "If on a winter's night a traveller" by Italo Calvino, and struggling to do so through loads of interrupting and fascinating book introductions. It's all about the fun of reading, and you get the girl in the end.


"The French Lieutenant's woman"- John Fowles

It's a love story, it's a devastating critique of Victorian hypocrisy and social values, it's a time-blurring playful bag of tricks that repeatedly kicks down the wall between fiction and reality, it's an exploration of whether characters in fiction can really develop lives of their own.


"If you see me comin'"- Adrian Mitchell

A blues singer poised on the brink of a nervous breakdown becomes obsessed with the fate of a condemned prisoner. It was written when Britain still had the death penalty, and remains one of the most damning indictments of it.


"Strandloper"- Alan Garner

Switching from the England of the past to the lives of the Australian aborigines, it's a dreamy and compelling one.


"The bloody chamber"- Angela Carter

Carter's feminist revisiting of old fairy tales makes for a disturbing and powerful set of lushly erotic visions. The film "The company of wolves" was based on this book. If there is a devil in men, it meets its match in women.


"Jennifer Government"- Max Barry

A lethally satirical dystopian tale of runaway capitalism, it focusses on Nike declaring war on what America has become


"The Princess Bride"- William Goldman

Far better than the film. If you don't like reading this book, you don't like reading books.


"The naked and the dead"- Norman Mailer

Loosely based on the battle for Guadalcanal, this is the greatest book about men at war ever written. The huge ensemble cast are all deeply flawed and deeply realistic.


"Tits-out teenage terror totty"- Steven Wells

In theory, this is about secret government ninjas in an epic battle against God, the police and the league of dog-bumming vampires (ie- the Tories). In practice, it's Wells trying to write a book with a bigger bodycount than the Bible, and coming up with what is possibly the most psychotically wired and gratuitously obscene book ever written.

Fergus & The Brazen Car
13-01-2007, 14:25:11
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
Have you actually read "Finnegan's Wake"? That defeated me.

Only large extracts.

I have heard it being read, which is surprisingly pleasant.

Joyce's wife, Nora Barnacle, thought it to be Joyce's real masterpiece.

King_Ghidra
15-01-2007, 09:40:00
Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp
OK- I'll pick 10.

"Riddley Walker"- Russell Hoban.

I'm practically an evangelist for this book. I think it's incredible. A young shamen in a post-apocalyptic Kent thousands of years from now, trying to make sense of the past through folk myths and battered allegories.

read thanks to you. superb book.

Originally posted by Lazarus and the Gimp

"The bloody chamber"- Angela Carter

Carter's feminist revisiting of old fairy tales makes for a disturbing and powerful set of lushly erotic visions. The film "The company of wolves" was based on this book. If there is a devil in men, it meets its match in women.

i found it very hit and miss, but the bits i liked, i liked a lot.

Mr. Bas
19-09-2013, 14:33:30
Stumbled on this by accident, awesome thread. Bump!

zmama
19-09-2013, 16:22:21
I'll chime in with a play cycle, Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O'Neill...Based on the Oresteia by Aeschylus. It's three plays like the Oresteia. Seeing it performed is riveting, but so is the reading.
And another vote for 100 Years of Solitude.