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The "What Are You Reading" Thread

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Posts

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    I have been trying to get through the first book for almost three months now.

    I just don't gel with his style I guess.

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  • Tiger BurningTiger Burning (poster is a bear)Registered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
    shryke wrote: »
    I can't think of a single story I've ever read that couldn't have been rendered inert by poor writing. I've never thought, "Good story, poor writing - thumbs up!"

    I mean, do you have examples of that? Books that you consider good yet poorly written?

    What do you consider poor writing?

    I can certainly think of books where the writing is good enough but nothing special, but where everything else is well done enough to make them very enjoyable.

    It's an impossible question to answer precisely, of course. At a minimum I need to not be frequently noticing how bad the writing is. Nothing is perfect, of course, but if once or twice every chapter I find myself rolling my eyes at stilted dialogue or groaning at some piece of clunky or unnecessary exposition, then I probably won't finish. But that probably describes a lot of people, and what level of writing meets that standard will vary from person to person.

    If the question is how bad is too bad for me, I guess Brandon Sanderson is pretty close to the cut-off. I'm a fan of the genre, so he gets some slack I wouldn't give a writer in another genre, but his Way of Kings was probably as badly written a book as I could say I nevertheless liked, on balance. I've picked up and put down the second book in his Mistborn series twice now, though (the second time just a couple of days ago, in fact).

    In related news, after putting aside the Mistborn book I picked up Stations of the Tide based on recommendations in this thread. Whoever recommend that - thanks, you are credit to team.

    “You could tell by the way he talked, though, that he had gone to school a long time. That was probably what was wrong with him.”
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    I can't think of a single story I've ever read that couldn't have been rendered inert by poor writing. I've never thought, "Good story, poor writing - thumbs up!"

    I mean, do you have examples of that? Books that you consider good yet poorly written?

    What do you consider poor writing?

    I can certainly think of books where the writing is good enough but nothing special, but where everything else is well done enough to make them very enjoyable.

    It's an impossible question to answer precisely, of course. At a minimum I need to not be frequently noticing how bad the writing is. Nothing is perfect, of course, but if once or twice every chapter I find myself rolling my eyes at stilted dialogue or groaning at some piece of clunky or unnecessary exposition, then I probably won't finish. But that probably describes a lot of people, and what level of writing meets that standard will vary from person to person.

    If the question is how bad is too bad for me, I guess Brandon Sanderson is pretty close to the cut-off. I'm a fan of the genre, so he gets some slack I wouldn't give a writer in another genre, but his Way of Kings was probably as badly written a book as I could say I nevertheless liked, on balance. I've picked up and put down the second book in his Mistborn series twice now, though (the second time just a couple of days ago, in fact).

    In related news, after putting aside the Mistborn book I picked up Stations of the Tide based on recommendations in this thread. Whoever recommend that - thanks, you are credit to team.

    Sounds like about my level. Way of Kings was painful to get through in some parts. After that 2nd (3rd?) prologue with the guy running on walls I almost gave up the writing was occasionally so bad.

    I didn't find Mistborn 2 that bad on that account though. It more suffered from being slow in the middle rather then being badly written.

  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    I just finished Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" this afternoon. I felt really dumb after reading it because I had no idea what the point of the book was. I had to look up some online literary analysis to see what other people said about the story. I'm still not satisfied. People always herald Hemingway as one of the great American authors and I want to understand why. I just don't "get" it.

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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    I just finished Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" this afternoon. I felt really dumb after reading it because I had no idea what the point of the book was. I had to look up some online literary analysis to see what other people said about the story. I'm still not satisfied. People always herald Hemingway as one of the great American authors and I want to understand why. I just don't "get" it.

    Don't feel bad, I couldn't stand TSAR. But I can't stand Hemingway anyway.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • LucascraftLucascraft Registered User regular
    I like the concept of minimalism as Hemingway employs it. But I'm also dense enough that a lot of the understated and implied themes go right over my head. I want to get to the point where I can understand his stories on my own, rather than having to have someone else tell me what it was about.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    I can't think of a single story I've ever read that couldn't have been rendered inert by poor writing. I've never thought, "Good story, poor writing - thumbs up!"

    I mean, do you have examples of that? Books that you consider good yet poorly written?

    What do you consider poor writing?

    I can certainly think of books where the writing is good enough but nothing special, but where everything else is well done enough to make them very enjoyable.

    It's an impossible question to answer precisely, of course. At a minimum I need to not be frequently noticing how bad the writing is. Nothing is perfect, of course, but if once or twice every chapter I find myself rolling my eyes at stilted dialogue or groaning at some piece of clunky or unnecessary exposition, then I probably won't finish. But that probably describes a lot of people, and what level of writing meets that standard will vary from person to person.

    If the question is how bad is too bad for me, I guess Brandon Sanderson is pretty close to the cut-off. I'm a fan of the genre, so he gets some slack I wouldn't give a writer in another genre, but his Way of Kings was probably as badly written a book as I could say I nevertheless liked, on balance. I've picked up and put down the second book in his Mistborn series twice now, though (the second time just a couple of days ago, in fact).

    In related news, after putting aside the Mistborn book I picked up Stations of the Tide based on recommendations in this thread. Whoever recommend that - thanks, you are credit to team.

    Sounds like about my level. Way of Kings was painful to get through in some parts. After that 2nd (3rd?) prologue with the guy running on walls I almost gave up the writing was occasionally so bad.

    I didn't find Mistborn 2 that bad on that account though. It more suffered from being slow in the middle rather then being badly written.

    A problem I had with The Way of Kings was that Sanderson seemed in full blown ADD-mode. "And then he.......(we interrupt this message to bring an important announcement about subject X, which is kinda almost relevant now, but hey, I have this great hook later on, wink wink!).....smashed into a wall.".
    It seemed a case of "I want ot write about so many things. WHERE DO I FIT IT ALL?".
    I'll still read the next one!



    shryke wrote: »
    I can't think of a single story I've ever read that couldn't have been rendered inert by poor writing. I've never thought, "Good story, poor writing - thumbs up!"

    I mean, do you have examples of that? Books that you consider good yet poorly written?

    What do you consider poor writing?

    I can certainly think of books where the writing is good enough but nothing special, but where everything else is well done enough to make them very enjoyable.

    I LOVE THE KATE DANIELS BOOKS. THEY ARE GREAT.
    Spoiler:

    zeeny on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Way of Kings was even "better" for interrupting every single action scene with a repeated description of how the PnP RPG we are watching being played in front of us works.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    I just finished Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" this afternoon. I felt really dumb after reading it because I had no idea what the point of the book was. I had to look up some online literary analysis to see what other people said about the story. I'm still not satisfied. People always herald Hemingway as one of the great American authors and I want to understand why. I just don't "get" it.

    Well I love The Old Man And The Sea & For Whom The Bell Tolls. Massively. But The Sun Also Rises bugged me, probably because of the characters. The Old Man And The Sea is short - check that out.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • BullioBullio Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    I just finished Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" this afternoon. I felt really dumb after reading it because I had no idea what the point of the book was. I had to look up some online literary analysis to see what other people said about the story. I'm still not satisfied. People always herald Hemingway as one of the great American authors and I want to understand why. I just don't "get" it.

    Well I love The Old Man And The Sea & For Whom The Bell Tolls. Massively. But The Sun Also Rises bugged me, probably because of the characters. The Old Man And The Sea is short - check that out.

    A friend of mine, who is quite possibly the most bookish person I've ever met, had The Old Man and the Sea assigned to him as a high school reading assignment. He hated it. He hated it so much that I think it turned him off of Hemingway forever. His hatred for that book is so strong that it even had me going into For Whom the Bell Tolls years later with a great degree of caution.

    I wanted to come away from FWtBT having liked it, but I just can't. I hated Robert and Maria's relationship; it felt incredibly cheesy. And I couldn't stand the writing style. I understand why he wrote it that way, but I still hated it and it ruined my enjoyment of a lot moments that I think would have been truly amazing otherwise. I couldn't stop reading it like a Shakespearean play. There is an impression of Shakespeare ingrained into my mind where the dialogue is overacted and ridiculous, and I can't get rid of it. I read it in that voice, and it made the whole damn thing feel cheesy. Maybe it's not a good first choice for Hemingway, but my experience with one of his best works and my friend's experience with another of his best works has done enough to convince me that trying to get into his work is a lost cause.

    Bullio on
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  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Have you actually watched much professional Shakespeare? Movies or stage? Lots of people have problems with Shakespeare due to having only read him and seen parodies with intense guys yelling at skulls.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Have you actually watched much professional Shakespeare? Movies or stage? Lots of people have problems with Shakespeare due to having only read him and seen parodies with intense guys yelling at skulls.

    Think you hate Shakespeare? Watch David Tennant's Hamlet or Patrick Stewart's Macbeth, both available on PBS' website inside the United States. They're fantastic.

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  • Tiger BurningTiger Burning (poster is a bear)Registered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
    Bullio wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    I just finished Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" this afternoon. I felt really dumb after reading it because I had no idea what the point of the book was. I had to look up some online literary analysis to see what other people said about the story. I'm still not satisfied. People always herald Hemingway as one of the great American authors and I want to understand why. I just don't "get" it.

    Well I love The Old Man And The Sea & For Whom The Bell Tolls. Massively. But The Sun Also Rises bugged me, probably because of the characters. The Old Man And The Sea is short - check that out.

    A friend of mine, who is quite possibly the most bookish person I've ever met, had The Old Man and the Sea assigned to him as a high school reading assignment. He hated it. He hated it so much that I think it turned him off of Hemingway forever. His hatred for that book is so strong that it even had me going into For Whom the Bell Tolls years later with a great degree of caution.

    I wanted to come away from FWtBT having liked it, but I just can't. I hated Robert and Maria's relationship; it felt incredibly cheesy. And I couldn't stand the writing style. I understand why he wrote it that way, but I still hated it and it ruined my enjoyment of a lot moments that I think would have been truly amazing otherwise. I couldn't stop reading it like a Shakespearean play. There is an impression of Shakespeare ingrained into my mind where the dialogue is overacted and ridiculous, and I can't get rid of it. I read it in that voice, and it made the whole damn thing feel cheesy. Maybe it's not a good first choice for Hemingway, but my experience with one of his best works and my friend's experience with another of his best works has done enough to convince me that trying to get into his work is a lost cause.

    The thing to remember with For Whom the Bell Tolls is that all the dialogue, while in English, is composed as if it were a direct translation of the fairly formal Spanish that was spoken at the time in Spain. That's what makes the language seem kind of stilted and unnatural. Not that any of this helps you now, of course.

    edit: But then you say that you understand why he wrote it that way, so maybe this isn't news to you. Nvm.

    “You could tell by the way he talked, though, that he had gone to school a long time. That was probably what was wrong with him.”
  • BullioBullio Registered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Have you actually watched much professional Shakespeare? Movies or stage? Lots of people have problems with Shakespeare due to having only read him and seen parodies with intense guys yelling at skulls.

    Think you hate Shakespeare? Watch David Tennant's Hamlet or Patrick Stewart's Macbeth, both available on PBS' website inside the United States. They're fantastic.

    I don't have much experience with well-performed Shakespeare, no. Most of my experience is through text and terrible movies I've had the misfortune of watching. I'll check both of those PBS specials out at some point, though. If Patrick Stewart can't change my impressions then I don't think anything can.

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  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Sanderson's first published book, Elantris, was much much worse than Way of Kings. He's actually come a long way as a writer.

    I guess that's as good an example as any for a book with poor prose/dialogue which I still liked a lot. The plot, characters, and above all the magic system really drove that novel.

    Another author who jumps to mind is Robert J. Sawyer. I've really liked most of his books I've read, and his prose is pretty mediocre.

    On the flip side, William Gibson is masterful in his use of language. I think somebody said earlier he would make a shopping list interesting. I can appreciate and respect that about his writing, as well as his ideas, but his plotting and characterization bore me to tears and he too often puts description over POV. I admire his stories for their strengths and their influence on science fiction, but I don't enjoy reading them. It feels like work.

    OremLK on
    currently playing LoL: Polymath
    a fading melody - my indie platformer for the xbox 360
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    I don't mind Robert Jordan's writing at all but the bizarre (to me) state of male female relations and the constant forefront of said relations drives me fucking crazy. I still am committed to finish the beast off though. Almost done with Crown of Swords.

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    Heh. I sort of like the gender stuff in WoT, at least so far. There are plenty of fantasy worlds rife with misogyny (cough, George R.R. Martin), it's interesting to have a world with a lot of misandry for a change.

    I stopped after book 5 so I wouldn't have to re-read the books everyone says suck when the last installment comes out. I won't mind re-reading the first five, I enjoyed them quite a bit, for the most part.

    currently playing LoL: Polymath
    a fading melody - my indie platformer for the xbox 360
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    That's a weird place to stop. Book 6 is excellent as well. Book 7 is pretty good too.

    Frankly, other then 10, they really aren't that bad if you don't have to wait 2 years between each installment. Book 8, for instance, is pretty damn good, just ridiculously short compared to the rest of the series.

  • RitchmeisterRitchmeister Registered User regular
    Thanks for the recommendations on the last page I will certainly look into some of them. I decided to crack on with Cosmos and I'm about halfway through it and finding myself enthralled with the parts on the ancient Greek philosophers like Empedocles and the such.

    Does anyone know of any good books that cover the ancient Greek philosophers in a bit more detail?

  • EupfhoriaEupfhoria Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Thanks for the recommendations on the last page I will certainly look into some of them. I decided to crack on with Cosmos and I'm about halfway through it and finding myself enthralled with the parts on the ancient Greek philosophers like Empedocles and the such.

    Does anyone know of any good books that cover the ancient Greek philosophers in a bit more detail?

    I haven't actually started reading it yet, so maybe I shouldn't be so quick to recommend it, but I just picked up A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russel which covers Ancient (Greek and Roman) philosophy over about 300 pages.

    (the remainder of the book, about 500 pages, is devoted to Catholic and Modern philosophy, eg Aquinas, Locke, Descartes, Nietzsche, and lots of others)

    unfortunately, I am pretty ignorant about philosophy in general and will probably not get around to reading this book for a while so take this recommendation as you will. It looks pretty good from what I've browsed through though.

    Eupfhoria on
  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    shryke wrote: »
    That's a weird place to stop. Book 6 is excellent as well. Book 7 is pretty good too.

    Frankly, other then 10, they really aren't that bad if you don't have to wait 2 years between each installment. Book 8, for instance, is pretty damn good, just ridiculously short compared to the rest of the series.

    I stopped there because that was when it was announced AMoL was going to be released in January, not October as originally expected. I was originally going to read straight through to the end but it would be too long of a wait between when I finished and when the last book comes out. Figured I might as well leave myself as little re-reading as possible.

    OremLK on
    currently playing LoL: Polymath
    a fading melody - my indie platformer for the xbox 360
  • valgomirvalgomir Registered User regular
    I have recently rediscovered Star Wars EU literature for myself. I read through the whole X-Wing series by Stackpole and Allston, and now I've just finished "Han Solo at Stars' End".
    After that (and the two other books that are part of that story arc) I think I'll read Metro 2033...
    Oh yeah, and there's still the "Chaos Chronicles" by Jeffrey A. Carver, which I started reading in 2009 (I started with the second book) and still haven't finished because I got sidetracked. They are excellent though, especially the second.

    A: FPSs suck, all that ever happens is that I get shot!
    B: Well, you DO have to shoot back...
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    One thing that drives me crazy about WoT is how at first Aes Sedai were these incredible beings and by book 8 they shiver at being switched and paraded around naked. The Wise Women's version of Abu Graib. It's a bit like Buffy where at first vampires were scary and they soon became just fodder.

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    One thing that drives me crazy about WoT is how at first Aes Sedai were these incredible beings and by book 8 they shiver at being switched and paraded around naked. The Wise Women's version of Abu Graib. It's a bit like Buffy where at first vampires were scary and they soon became just fodder.

    It's more that your perspective on them changes. This is a big theme of the series. Frankly, probably the biggest.

    It's about how distance, both temporal and physical, distorts events. How real events become story and legend and are shifted and distorted by that process. That's what the series is about: miscommunication, misinterpretation, misapprehension, etc.

    We see the Aes Sedai as these incredible beings at first because that's the myth that's been built up around them. And cause we don't know them, that's all we have to go on. But as we get closer, as we get to actually know them, we peel back the layers of myth to see the real people behind it.

    The Forsaken are the same. We see at the start as these huge unstoppable forces of evil and what are the first two we really get to know? A jilted lover and a musician after immortality.

    You see it further in their own myths of the past that you can obviously trace back to events from the here and now. It's why almost every book ends with a little vignette of the story of the climax moving from place to place and shifting and changing in the retelling.

    shryke on
  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius Registered User regular
    Also that Jordan had some weird gender issues.

    Currently reading the third Johannes Cabal novel. Entertaining as always. Just finished off Taken, the latest Robert Crais. Fast read, enjoyable.

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  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Also that Jordan had some weird gender issues.

    Currently reading the third Johannes Cabal novel. Entertaining as always. Just finished off Taken, the latest Robert Crais. Fast read, enjoyable.

    Yeah, it's the difference between me thinking your world has gender issues, vs. the author having gender issues. GRRM's world may do a lot of unfair shit to women, but you also get the impression that he knows it's unjust bullshit.

    Compare that to say, The Sword of Truth, which is just thousands of pages of the author having issues. Serious, serious issues.

    Granted this is a pretty subjective interpretation, but Jordan never really seemed like he knew his world's gender relations were really messed up. And they're pretty much messed up in the same way from every PoV.

    Kana on
    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    valgomir wrote: »
    I have recently rediscovered Star Wars EU literature for myself. I read through the whole X-Wing series by Stackpole and Allston, and now I've just finished "Han Solo at Stars' End".
    After that (and the two other books that are part of that story arc) I think I'll read Metro 2033...
    Oh yeah, and there's still the "Chaos Chronicles" by Jeffrey A. Carver, which I started reading in 2009 (I started with the second book) and still haven't finished because I got sidetracked. They are excellent though, especially the second.

    Have you read Bounty Hunter Wars by K.W. Jeter? They're amazing.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Also that Jordan had some weird gender issues.

    Currently reading the third Johannes Cabal novel. Entertaining as always. Just finished off Taken, the latest Robert Crais. Fast read, enjoyable.

    Yeah, it's the difference between me thinking your world has gender issues, vs. the author having gender issues. GRRM's world may do a lot of unfair shit to women, but you also get the impression that he knows it's unjust bullshit.

    Compare that to say, The Sword of Truth, which is just thousands of pages of the author having issues. Serious, serious issues.

    Granted this is a pretty subjective interpretation, but Jordan never really seemed like he knew his world's gender relations were really messed up. And they're pretty much messed up in the same way from every PoV.

    How do you miss that he knows the gender politics are screwed up? The entire magic system is designed around this very idea.

  • valgomirvalgomir Registered User regular
    Have you read Bounty Hunter Wars by K.W. Jeter? They're amazing.

    I think so, yeah. I mean, I read like 3 or 4 books with lots of bounty hunters in them and I think this was one of them, but I can't remember for sure...

    A: FPSs suck, all that ever happens is that I get shot!
    B: Well, you DO have to shoot back...
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    Also that Jordan had some weird gender issues.

    Currently reading the third Johannes Cabal novel. Entertaining as always. Just finished off Taken, the latest Robert Crais. Fast read, enjoyable.

    Yeah, it's the difference between me thinking your world has gender issues, vs. the author having gender issues. GRRM's world may do a lot of unfair shit to women, but you also get the impression that he knows it's unjust bullshit.

    Compare that to say, The Sword of Truth, which is just thousands of pages of the author having issues. Serious, serious issues.

    Granted this is a pretty subjective interpretation, but Jordan never really seemed like he knew his world's gender relations were really messed up. And they're pretty much messed up in the same way from every PoV.

    How do you miss that he knows the gender politics are screwed up? The entire magic system is designed around this very idea.

    My reading, before I gave up far too many books into the series, was that it managed to be both misogynist and misandrist, and that the way he presented the genders outside of the magic system made me think he thought of the magic system as somehow symbolic of male/female issues.

    I mean, almost all his female characters are idiotic bossy harpies. That's pretty misogynistic.

    And I have to say I'm tired of people laying just about every kind of vice at GRRM's door just because he dared to write a semi-realistic fantasy novel that contains a small sample of the evil shite humans have been doing to each other throughout history. Showing something does not mean you're automatically promoting it! That is the logic book-burning Fundamentalists use!

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    valgomir wrote: »
    Have you read Bounty Hunter Wars by K.W. Jeter? They're amazing.

    I think so, yeah. I mean, I read like 3 or 4 books with lots of bounty hunters in them and I think this was one of them, but I can't remember for sure...

    It was a trilogy that occurred half in the present and half in the past. It began right after Boba Fett escaped from the Sarlacc Pit.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bounty_Hunter_Wars

    It was the reason I became a Boba Fett fan. Also it was a good guide for the Star Wars EU universe when I started reading the novels.

    Harry Dresden on
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Uee Citizen Record #2051 Über Star CitizenRegistered User regular
    The Old Man and the Sea is a fucking immortal classic masterpiece that will be read and debated for centuries. It has bearing on the fucking human condition.
    You don't have to like it or enjoy it (I did). But its importance has absolutely no relation to the personal taste of any of us. Seriously. And Shakespeare?

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  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    The Old Man and the Sea is a fucking immortal classic masterpiece that will be read and debated for centuries. It has bearing on the fucking human condition.
    You don't have to like it or enjoy it (I did). But its importance has absolutely no relation to the personal taste of any of us. Seriously. And Shakespeare?

    Tetchy, but accurate.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    The Old Man and the Sea is a fucking immortal classic masterpiece that will be read and debated for centuries. It has bearing on the fucking human condition.
    You don't have to like it or enjoy it (I did). But its importance has absolutely no relation to the personal taste of any of us. Seriously. And Shakespeare?

    Then what does it's "importance" have relation to then?

  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    One thing that drives me crazy about WoT is how at first Aes Sedai were these incredible beings and by book 8 they shiver at being switched and paraded around naked. The Wise Women's version of Abu Graib. It's a bit like Buffy where at first vampires were scary and they soon became just fodder.

    It's more that your perspective on them changes. This is a big theme of the series. Frankly, probably the biggest.

    It's about how distance, both temporal and physical, distorts events. How real events become story and legend and are shifted and distorted by that process. That's what the series is about: miscommunication, misinterpretation, misapprehension, etc.

    We see the Aes Sedai as these incredible beings at first because that's the myth that's been built up around them. And cause we don't know them, that's all we have to go on. But as we get closer, as we get to actually know them, we peel back the layers of myth to see the real people behind it.

    The Forsaken are the same. We see at the start as these huge unstoppable forces of evil and what are the first two we really get to know? A jilted lover and a musician after immortality.

    You see it further in their own myths of the past that you can obviously trace back to events from the here and now. It's why almost every book ends with a little vignette of the story of the climax moving from place to place and shifting and changing in the retelling.

    Nice!

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I mean, almost all his female characters are idiotic bossy harpies. That's pretty misogynistic.

    I've thought about this in the context of Moiraine, the first Aes Sedai we meet who is a pretty normal feeling woman to my senses. It isn't like he doesn't know what he is doing (giving the benefit of the doubt--Verin and Siuan seem somewhat rational for good sections) so I assume he's going somewhere with the crazy sex relations but god fucking damn is it oppressive. That said it takes a bit of torture to get a payoff so I'm optimistic.

    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    poshniallo wrote: »
    I mean, almost all his female characters are idiotic bossy harpies. That's pretty misogynistic.

    I've thought about this in the context of Moiraine, the first Aes Sedai we meet who is a pretty normal feeling woman to my senses. It isn't like he doesn't know what he is doing (giving the benefit of the doubt--Verin and Siuan seem somewhat rational for good sections) so I assume he's going somewhere with the crazy sex relations but god fucking damn is it oppressive. That said it takes a bit of torture to get a payoff so I'm optimistic.

    Some of it is the authors own strange idea of gender relations but the whole dichotomy between the genders is clearly a theme he's pushing in the series. Like I said, it's embedded in the magic system itself where both sides work against and with each other, with the greatest things only capable of being done when both forces work in harmony, working sort of with and against each other in balance.

    You can see it especially in the lead up to the big finale, which I won't spoil obviously, but where it's a major thing.

    shryke on
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Yeaah, but Moiraine isn't so much a woman as she is Gandalf without a beard.

    History is an account, mostly false, of events, mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Lucascraft wrote: »
    I just finished Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises" this afternoon. I felt really dumb after reading it because I had no idea what the point of the book was. I had to look up some online literary analysis to see what other people said about the story. I'm still not satisfied. People always herald Hemingway as one of the great American authors and I want to understand why. I just don't "get" it.

    God, that is a horrible book. Not the worst I've ever read, but close. Just hundreds of pages of the most pointless characters doing nothing. I've some Hemingway short stories and they were pretty good but he should probably have stayed away from novels.


    Re: WoT

    If I did not know that Jordan was married, I would never have believed he had actually ever met a living, breathing woman. Or man for that matter. But Min is pretty cool and Nynaeve's redemption at least started when he was still writing them so clearly he is not incapable of writing likable female characters. The social mores that have been set up for the world are just retarded. But not more retarded than our own, and I think that might be the irony, intended or not.


    Re: Quality of writing vs story

    I read a lot of Battletech and similarly pulpy fiction. Personally as long as the author can string together words in an intelligible fashion that's good enough. But actually clever writing is also a treat when you can get it.

    HamHamJ on
    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Yeaah, but Moiraine isn't so much a woman as she is Gandalf without a beard.

    Not quite. She's obviously a play on the Gandalf archetype but where Gandalf always felt warm and friendly, Moraine is neither. She's focused and aloof and rather cold in an understandable way. It gives the first book a more interesting dynamic then a standard "wizard guide" would.

    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Re: WoT

    If I did not know that Jordan was married, I would never have believed he had actually ever met a living, breathing woman. Or man for that matter. But Min is pretty cool and Nynaeve's redemption at least started when he was still writing them so clearly he is not incapable of writing likable female characters. The social mores that have been set up for the world are just retarded. But not more retarded than our own, and I think that might be the irony, intended or not.

    I found her annoying as shit when I was younger, but rereading it more recently, I really liked her.

    She's got a good heart, but is hilariously self-deceptive when it comes to anything touching on her pride. There's several times you can see her mentally rewriting a situation that just happened to make herself feel better about how it went down.

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