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      CommentAuthorAdam Witt
    • CommentTimeJan 29th 2011
    @jonah -- re: psychedlic mind-fuck. It's not totally hardboiled, but I loved INHERENT VICE by Thomas Pynchon.

    And I'm glad somebody feels the same way about RAW SHARK TEXTS that I did.
    • CommentAuthorsacredchao
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2011
    Just finished Nabokov's Pnin. Decent, though it's no Pale Fire or Lolita. Almost plot-less, though not completely. Amusing at times. It did not absorb me the way Pale Fire did, but not everything can be a top-shelf masterpiece. There's a review on amazon that says:
    The entire story is Pnin, a bumbling Russian professor, giving a series of rambling and often bizarre lectures on everything from the nature of being, love, and death to the finer points of Romanian cuisine. I've been told that these lectures hold the key to the story: copy the first and last words of each sentence and slowly the story within the "story" of Pnin begins to emerge.

    I have no idea what the reviewer is talking about, and haven't been able to find any other reference online. There's also no real demarcation in the book as to when these "lectures" start, as Pnin never really lectures anyone; there is some meditating on those topics by the narrator, but I didn't really notice any lecturing. I can only assume the reviewer has no idea what he or she is talking about, which is kind of disappointing.

    I also read his Laughter in the Dark last week. Also decent. Very dark. The last 1/3 is excellent, and I would have liked to have seen the first 2/3 compressed and that last part expanded.
    Once Rex and Margot get the blind Albinus to the chateau, the dark comedy flows like wine. Lots could be done there - most would soon overdo it, but I think Nabokov could manage.

    That's three Nabokov books in a month. I don't think I've ever done that unless I've been absorbed in some kind of easily-digestible fantasy series. I think that'll be enough for now, though. Not sure what I'll read next.
  1.  (9362.123)
    @Adam & Jonah
    i slogged through to the end of Raw Shark Texts and at no point did it get to be any good.
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2011
    Finished Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep. I'm not sure what to say other than it was fine all around (and enjoyed paralleling the Sternwoods to the Nighs of Ellis's own Desolation Jones). I enjoy Chandler and find he's worth the hype to me, however, I can never make my own reviews hyperventilate quite so much. I like noir - mostly, it's dated demeaning attitude to women and gay men is not something I necessarily forgive - I love the age it conveys and happily skulk around the byways of 1930s and 40s Los Angeles. Maybe because I like the lexicon well enough, but I don't *love* it.

    My copy is a thrashed pocket sized paperback, the pages are almost all loose from the torn spine and yellowed with the most fabulous smell of musty forgetfulness. I found it on sale at a used book store (after more than 100 years said bookstore no longer exists, now there's a tragedy) for a dollar. When I took it to the counter the cashier picked it up and binding immediately disintegrated. She let me have it for free. I've taken my sweet time reading it, taking it with me to coffeeshops in a plastic baggie and huffing it like a glue addict while I read. Half of the pleasure of reading this book has been the tactile experience. Now it's carefully put away and I contemplate people ferociously driven by their desires and instincts.

    Also working on Norah Vincent's Self-Made Man.
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2011
    i've been buzzing through some Agatha Christies this week, for the first time in my life.
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2011
    Used to love Agatha Christie growing up. CARDS ON THE TABLE and THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD were particular favourites.
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2011

    To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf - A strange, dreamy, interlaced look at the relationships, thoughts, motivations and emotional entanglements of a family and their guests at their coastal summer residence. A bit disorientating at times but I liked it.

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon - Heart-breaking and engaging with an amazingly innovative premise and set of characters.

    The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan - Yep, vampires are going to kill us all. It's going to be pretty brutal. Just the way I like my horror fiction.

    Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford - Jane Austen is alive and well as a vampire, bemused by the cult that has grown up around her and frustrated by her inability to get a book published since her 'death'. An amusing parody, light reading.

    Deadly Decisions
    Fatal Voyage
    Grave Secrets
    Bare Bones
    by Kathy Reichs - I love crime fiction/police procedurals and I'm on a bit of a Kathy Reichs kick. There's a good blend of forensic data, investigation, character interaction and completely mental body disposal techniques (rendered all the more mind-boggling by their basis in the author's real life experiences).

    Still chipping away at No Logo by Naomi Klein.
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2011
    Ian Carr - Miles Davis
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2011
    i re-started and finally finished Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo. it's annoyingly good. i'm starting to see a pattern in his books, where the third quarter is always obnoxious and cheesy, which i think is just a device on his part to make the ending feel that much better, because if all four quarters of each book were flawless it would be monotonous.
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2011
    Just finished Kraken today--loved it.

    Followed up with The Windup Girl, and it's bleak, man. Just grim. Not The Road grim, but man, it's trying.
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2011 edited
    Loved THE WINDUP GIRL. Best novel I read last year along with ZERO HISTORY.
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2011
    Just finished Let The Right One In. Wonderful book. Cried a little.
    • CommentAuthormunin218
    • CommentTimeFeb 1st 2011
    Most of the way through Charlie Huston's SLEEPLESS. I like it a lot.

    Trying to get back into the swing of working at my own novel. 12600 words so far.

    Finishing The Strange Affair of Spring Helled Jack, as well. Lots of fun, that one.
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2011
    @nigredo Yeah, I'm halfway through and loving it.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2011
    @Fauxhammer: Same here. Grim but compelling.
    • CommentAuthorD-
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2011
    I finished the dharma bums by Kerouac. I liked it but it's not to read at the beach.
    I finished life, the universe and everything else by Douglas Adams. I liked a lot, really funny.
    Now I'm re-reading fear and loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter Thompson
  2.  (9362.137)
    Just finished Cory Doctorow's Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town which was really weird. I've been about 9/10ths finished with Iain Banks' Matter for about a week and a half now, and after I finish that I'm planning on giving Rick Moody's The Four Fingers of Death a go at my mother's suggestion.
  3.  (9362.138)
    Just finished this:

    fantastically sleazy! I enjoyed it. it reads like a combination of Kurt Vonnegut and Charles Bukowski. I might have to track down Cave's first book now.
  4.  (9362.139)
    Morning folks. I'm currently plowing my way through Mark Chadbourn's Age of Misrule trilogy after some recommendations on here. I'm around 3/4 of the way through the second book at the moment and am really enjoying it. The hints and links to a myriad of mythology that vaguely tug at memories work amazingly well, as is intended.

    While wandering around WH Smiths the other day, I came across an awesome looking leather-bound edition of Lovecraft's Neonomicon and had the sudden, and slightly embarassing, realisation that I'd never read anything by him properly. That collection can be picked up for a respectable price but what are the essential tales I should be looking out for as well? If I can grab any from the library to dip my toes in before laying out hard cash, I will do
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2011
    Finished "Windup Girl"; I think the ending felt kind of rushed, but otherwise a fantastic story.

    Reading Stephen King's "On Writing" now.