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Old 22-05-2007, 20:11:20   #801
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Last month I finished Peter F. Hamiltonís Pandoraís Star and Judas Unchained series. I found them a great read if you like space operas. Vast cast of characters including interesting ďaliensí, spies, interplanetary economics, politics and interstellar and planetary warfare.

Also P. D. Jamesí The Children of Men. A good read totally unlike the movie (which I liked too). The book feels a lot like 1984.
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Old 23-05-2007, 07:52:16   #802
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I started reading The Children of Men but found it really hard to get into. Incredibly slow starting. I might try and get back into it.
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Old 23-05-2007, 15:49:14   #803
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I just read Children of Hurin.

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Old 26-05-2007, 09:16:51   #804
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Felipe Fernando-Armesto: Civilizations

A long book like his 'Millennium', but well worth the effort to read. I like some of his juxtapositions, which take the reader out of the usual 'Triumph of the West' comfort zone.

Also reading Loren Singer's 'The Parallax View'.
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Old 06-06-2007, 10:57:49   #805
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Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka.

Lots of adjectives would apply. All favourable.
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Old 06-06-2007, 12:23:27   #806
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agreed, great book. you're picking up some nice stuff lately.
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Old 15-06-2007, 12:24:03   #807
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All part of this Banned Books collection with The Independent.
http://arts.independent.co.uk/books/article2287632.ece

Began with a free copy of A Clockwork Orange, after which I decided to go with the collection.

Next installment is Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut which only came to my attention after his recent passing. I see you list this as a personal favourite.

Any you recommend I prioritise?
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Old 15-06-2007, 13:00:31   #808
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- Lolita is difficult but brilliant.

- I'm a big Hemingway fan but some people don't like him.

- Naked Lunch is brilliant.

- Last Exit to Brooklyn is also very good.

- Brave New World is well worth reading for the ideas, but not a great book per se.

- Lady Chatterly's lover is cosmic porn shite, tropic of cancer is art porn shite. Wouldn't recommend either.

and aside from the other aforementioned ones i've not read any of the others. Is beautiful losers a novel? I'm a big leonard cohen fan but i thought all his non-music work was poetry.
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Old 15-06-2007, 13:22:13   #809
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re: Cohen. I wsa under a similar impression but now I have it, well it certainly looks like novel.
Blurbs I have read have been quite favourable. Having just embarked on some rapid research......not his only novel either.

I'm a little non-plussed by the war based novels but Lolita and Naked Lunch, maybe Cohen, are likely next reads. Last weeks 'Ginger Man' seems quite appealing as a sordid bohemian tale also.
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Old 15-06-2007, 13:47:19   #810
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Mark Twain - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Was banned? Why?

(Read it a long time ago, when I was a kid and really enjoyed it.)
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Old 15-06-2007, 14:12:00   #811
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....... the onslaughts of an official of Brooklyn Public Library, who charged that the two characters were "bad examples for ingenuous youth."

The controversy began in 1905 when a young woman, superintendent of children's department, insisted that Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer be removed from the children's room because of their "coarseness, deceitfulness and mischievous practices."
That kind of thing. Though I have also just come across an article which claims that the book was banned in Brazil following accusations of communist leanings.

I guess you have to appreciate the era in which the book was first published, although some American institutes still appear somewhat averse to carrying it.

I would have preferred a more worthy example of banned literature to be included.
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Old 15-06-2007, 15:37:17   #812
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Yeah, it really stood out on that list, not quite what you'd imagine people would want.

Of the others not mentioned I've also read Farenheit 451 (couldn't be more appropriate in a banned books list) which was very good. I actually read it twice, because I read it again after I saw the film (totally different endings) and got a lot more out of it the second time.
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Old 18-06-2007, 07:22:29   #813
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Isn't that a crime, reading banned books?
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Old 18-06-2007, 08:01:46   #814
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You think reading banned books is bad, we also cross roads when the red man is showing.
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Old 18-06-2007, 08:28:43   #815
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Sorry, but I will have to report that
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Old 18-06-2007, 10:21:30   #816
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Currently reading Rubicon by Tom Holland.

It's a great way of joining the dots of my knowledge of early Rome.

Picked it up as a 'bookcrossing' book at a cafe in Newport.
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Old 18-06-2007, 15:13:38   #817
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A Thousand Splendid Suns
brilliantly brilliant
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Old 19-06-2007, 08:14:01   #818
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Quote:
Originally posted by MOBIUS
Currently reading Rubicon by Tom Holland.

It's a great way of joining the dots of my knowledge of early Rome.

Picked it up as a 'bookcrossing' book at a cafe in Newport.
bookcrossing the rubicon?
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i check my hair at the elevator mirror and the highlight of my day when I say hi to a girl who's opposite of the elevator door at my floor. the one i went out with.
after that, it's the same old fucking thing all over again.
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Old 20-06-2007, 14:02:53   #819
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Funnily enough I took it with me to Lanzarote and found out a district of the island is called Rubicon, I thought it would be cool to leave it somewhere there and see if the person who picked it up made the connection - but I was too lazy to finish it...
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Old 26-06-2007, 13:18:55   #820
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Today I read 'Howl' by Allen Ginsberg. Fine.
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Old 26-06-2007, 13:35:01   #821
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Just started Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. So far it's basically Neuromancer. I can deal with that.

Next up will be Myths of the Near Future by J G ballard
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i check my hair at the elevator mirror and the highlight of my day when I say hi to a girl who's opposite of the elevator door at my floor. the one i went out with.
after that, it's the same old fucking thing all over again.
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Old 26-06-2007, 13:37:33   #822
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I enjoyed it a lot!
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Old 26-06-2007, 15:17:14   #823
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I had some time to read over the past two weeks and finished three books. First, I read Michel Hoeullebecq's 'Elementary particles' (at least, that's the literal translation, not sure if that's also the real English title) which was on my to read-list for some time now. It's a good and interesting book, but a bit of a depressing read since his view on modern society is not exactly very flattering.

I didn't bring any other books with me, so limited by the books on offer in Spain/Barajas airport, I ended up finally reading the Da Vinci Code. I quite enjoyed it actually, it's a quick, fun read despite it's 500-something pages. Finally, as they cost next to nothing and I remembered enjoying some of them in the far past, I bought an Agatha Christie novel, but it was rather shit. The plot was okay-ish but a bit predictable, but the old-fashionedness of the characters and the society she portrays annoyed the shit out of me. 'Oubollig' and 'tenenkrommende personages' are my qualifications, ask Mike for the translations, he's fluent.
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Old 26-06-2007, 15:26:21   #824
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in the last few days I read:

Primary Inversion

In Conquest Born

both were pretty uninspiring, I had already read "In Conquest Born" but had forgotten (I thought I had just read part way through)

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Old 27-06-2007, 17:29:07   #825
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Do you know what I really enjoyed despite how much I hated Hyperion? Dan Simmons' dualagy of Olympos and Ilium.

I also like Neil Gaiman's American Gods.
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Old 28-06-2007, 08:17:28   #826
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re-reading Harry Potter books, currently Order of the Pheonix.

I thought Neil Gaiman's American Gods was brilliant, I think I mentioned it on here when I read it?
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Old 03-07-2007, 20:22:11   #827
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Quote:
Originally posted by Funko

I thought Neil Gaiman's American Gods was brilliant, I think I mentioned it on here when I read it?
What about "ignore" don't you understand?
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Old 04-07-2007, 07:52:09   #828
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the "no" part.
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Old 04-07-2007, 08:15:08   #829
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Recently read Theif of Time again. Pratchet is funny, if a bit boring.

Currently reading Making All Things New, it is very short, so should finish it tomorrow.

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Old 04-07-2007, 12:41:54   #830
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The Golden Age Of Persia by Richard N. Frye.

Very enjoyable indeed.
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Old 04-07-2007, 13:26:51   #831
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Quote:
Originally posted by JM^3
Recently read Theif of Time again. Pratchet is funny, if a bit boring.
You read a book again that was a bit boring?
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Old 04-07-2007, 15:49:12   #832
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Yep...

I get very bored at times.

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Old 09-07-2007, 15:22:00   #833
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Nearly finished Snow Crash. I've enjoyed it, though it's no Neuromancer. Some of it is very silly indeed.

Also i have to wonder if Neal Stephenson is some kind of misogynist/paedo, because the two books of his that i've read feature respectively a 15 yr old girl shagging some monstrous older guy, and a young teenage girl being raped by chinese soldiers.

The Diamond Age is worth reading though.
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i check my hair at the elevator mirror and the highlight of my day when I say hi to a girl who's opposite of the elevator door at my floor. the one i went out with.
after that, it's the same old fucking thing all over again.
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Old 09-07-2007, 15:34:06   #834
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Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon.

I imagine most people here have read this, its hardly a secret. Amazing stuff and certainly "difficult"

491 - Lars Goring

Found this for a $1. Excellent book, slighty Salinger-esque, very dark.
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Old 09-07-2007, 17:07:37   #835
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Book I'm reading that I'm ashamed of reading:

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

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Old 10-07-2007, 09:14:00   #836
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Originally posted by Scabrous Birdseed
Book I'm reading that I'm ashamed of reading:

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

Why ashamed ?
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:43:18   #837
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Selby's irrational disdain for apostrophes is quirky bullshit. But I'm enjoying Last Exit To Brooklyn, currently The Queen Is Dead.

I watched Requiem For A Dream last week too. Good film. Good book?
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:59:34   #838
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Quote:
Selby's irrational disdain for apostrophes is quirky bullshit.
as you venture into the wilds of literature you'll find it's a lot more widespread than you might have thought
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i check my hair at the elevator mirror and the highlight of my day when I say hi to a girl who's opposite of the elevator door at my floor. the one i went out with.
after that, it's the same old fucking thing all over again.
-paiktis
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:07:44   #839
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So its not even quirky.

Who's being more lazy here? Me or the apostrophe haters?

Personally, I'm quite traditionalist with language but accept and sometimes enjoy playful or dark twisting of it in the right context. Skipping basic punctuation seems somewhat futile to me.
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:11:25   #840
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i think all of the the rules of grammar bow to the demands of artistic expression, and the reader should just enjoy the ride

but it might just be laziness, sure
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i check my hair at the elevator mirror and the highlight of my day when I say hi to a girl who's opposite of the elevator door at my floor. the one i went out with.
after that, it's the same old fucking thing all over again.
-paiktis
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Old 10-07-2007, 10:20:46   #841
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I think so. Selby seems to write in a stream of consciousness and apostrophes were perhaps an intolerable delay to that. Albeit momentary.

I appreciate the artistic intentions but i don't think anything was trying to be achieved or expressed by this example. I think its more due to style and/or preference.
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Old 10-07-2007, 11:59:38   #842
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well style/art same thing

if you write in the clipped, punchy, slangy style of a selby or a bukowski you are half way to the atmosphere they are attempting to evoke
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i check my hair at the elevator mirror and the highlight of my day when I say hi to a girl who's opposite of the elevator door at my floor. the one i went out with.
after that, it's the same old fucking thing all over again.
-paiktis
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:32:15   #843
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totally, yet a lack of something like an apostrophe has no bearing on that. I would say this was more a writing habit than an artistic expression.
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:41:40   #844
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we'll have to agree to disagree on that one then. i think his circumventing of grammar is entirely part of the artistic statement.
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i check my hair at the elevator mirror and the highlight of my day when I say hi to a girl who's opposite of the elevator door at my floor. the one i went out with.
after that, it's the same old fucking thing all over again.
-paiktis
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Old 10-07-2007, 12:53:03   #845
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I think it must be a deliberate artistic choice. The lazy way would be just to get your editor to put in any punctuation you miss. Suggesting otherwise to me seems like suggesting an impressionist only paints in that style because they can't paint something that looks realistic.
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Old 10-07-2007, 13:03:41   #846
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Wikipedia sez:

Quote:
Like Jack Kerouac's "spontaneous prose", Selby's writing was often completed in a fast, stream of consciousness style, and to facilitate this he replaced his apostrophes with forward slashes "/" due to their closer proximity on his typewriter, thus allowing uninterrupted typing.
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Old 10-07-2007, 13:22:14   #847
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that seems to place greater emphasis on the simple need to type quickly rather than anything stylistic. but as wiki also says:

Quote:
Selby used his raw language to narrate the bleak and violent world that was part of his youth. He stated, "I write, in part, by ear. I hear, as well as feel and see, what I am writing. I have always been enamoured with the music of the speech in New York."
Quote:
Last Exit to Brooklyn was written in an unusual style that ignores most conventions of grammar. Selby wrote most of the prose as if it were a story told from one friend to another at a bar rather than a novel, using coarse and casual language. He used slang-like conjunctions of words, such as tahell for "to hell" and yago for "you go." The paragraphs were often written in a stream of consciousness style with many parentheses and fragments. Selby often indented new paragraphs to the middle or end of the line.

Also, Selby did not use quotation marks to distinguish dialogue but instead merely blended it into the text. He used a slash instead of an apostrophe mark for contractions and did not use an apostrophe at all for possessives.
Quote:
His prose was stripped down, bare and blunt.
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i check my hair at the elevator mirror and the highlight of my day when I say hi to a girl who's opposite of the elevator door at my floor. the one i went out with.
after that, it's the same old fucking thing all over again.
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Old 10-07-2007, 13:29:53   #848
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Yes. I still think it's an artistic choice.
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Old 10-07-2007, 13:37:52   #849
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The comparison with painters takes the debate much further than I ever intended. I never suggested Selby did not know how to use an apostrophe.

I would only question whether there was an artistic intention. Perhaps an artistic choice of sorts, given that editing was not employed, but with what intention? The sentence construction creates a pace and atmosphere with or without the apostrophe. The lack of apostrophes is almost a sideshow which contributes more to the visual text than the reading. Have I found the artistic intention?

Selby allegedly suffered with chronic ill health, which often hastened his writing. I'm led to believe his style is more borne out of these factors than artistic intentions.
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Old 10-07-2007, 13:42:28   #850
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...and the logistics of typewriting as Funko discovered.

The New York dialect/'music of speech' observation has more impact of the use of language in his writing than the lack of apostrophes, which was the initial point.
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