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Flawless books?

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    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Rendezvous with Rama was pretty good for a straight exploration book.

    Was that the first Rama book? If so, it was truly excellent.

    If it's any other Rama book, holy Jesus that sucks.

    Rendezvous was the first. I read the second one, and oh boy, big mistake there. Instead of talking about this huge alien artifact we are walking on, lets have this stupid murder mystery! Awesome!

    I was young and stupid when I read them, and read like four Rama books before I realized how much shit the ones after #1 were. I had depression for like a year.

    Christ, were the others as bad? I only made it through the second because I adored the first. When I finished Rama II I threw it down in disgust, no way in hell I'm reading another in that series.

    [Tycho?] on
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    arod_77arod_77 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    arod_77 wrote: »
    I think that depends on what critical perspective you approach the novel from

    explain your qualms with the section and I will tell you why it was written as is

    Literary criticism: Twain spent a lot of the book really ripping into racism and pointing out how flawed it is. We see Huck and Jim becoming the best of friends, with Jim becoming a protective father figure to Huck. The really racist people in the book (ie Huck's dad) are also generally mean characters. Then we have Tom come in. When Tom and Huck are trying to free Jim, Tom puts Jim through an obstacle of rediculous, demeaning tasks, solely for Tom's own delight. Jim complains a bit, but goes along with it since the "white people know best", and Huck, despite earlier saying he would rather go to hell than betray Jim, also goes along with it. Tom gets shot, but just in the leg and so probably doesn't learn his lesson. Then the book ends. Its like Twain was making a big point with his social commentary, and then just forgot about it for the last part of the book.

    non-literary criticism: Tom Sawyer is irritating as all fuck.

    This section of the book is the culmination of Huck's deferment to his place in society. He has always been the one in the gang that is content to stay out of trouble, whereas Tom goes for the grandiose and overly complicated solutions. Huck is far more mature than huck, but he is unable to see past what society tells him. Tom is "the good boy" and Huck is "the bad boy", Huck merely takes his failings for granted and rarely questions what is told to him.

    Even in his decision to go to hell rather than betray Jim, or his decision to not turn him over to the slavers, Huck is not percieving himself as more moral or "correct". Huck is rebelling for what are, in his mind, selfish and ignoble reasons. The whole point of this is to portray that society does not, in fact, know best--and often the greatest good comes from the ignorant and "low-down and ornery"

    arod_77 on
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    Bad KittyBad Kitty Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I've always enjoyed Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway as such an enjoyable book to read.
    Likewise Ursula LeGuin's Tehanu from the Earthsea Cycle, I've read and enjoyed multiple times.

    Bad Kitty on
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    Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Dune. It just is.

    Thats about the only sci-fi book I can think of that I would consider flawless. Neuromancer would be up there, but I find it a tad purposely convoluted for me to consider it flawless. Ender's Game was excellent, but has flaws. Rendezvous with Rama was pretty good for a straight exploration book.
    Blegh, Dune.

    I can think of about 50 SF novels I liked better.

    Although Ender's Game is definitely not on that list.

    Anyway, there's no such thing as a flawless anything.

    I think a more interested discussion would be what flaws nag at you in books you otherwise enjoy.

    Target Practice on
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    Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Trevor wrote: »
    If short stories are to be included then I think a lot of Poe's stuff really does it for me. The Tell-tale Heart, The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether, The Black Cat, The Cask of Amontillado, The Gold Bug, The Masque of Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Pit and the Pendulum spring immediately to mind. Also, I haven't read as much H.P. Lovecraft as I would like, but I found The Call of Cthulu and Dagon to be pretty nifty.

    I think that Shadow out of Time is the best of the Lovecraft bunch.

    Loren Michael on
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    Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Rendezvous with Rama was pretty good for a straight exploration book.

    Was that the first Rama book? If so, it was truly excellent.

    If it's any other Rama book, holy Jesus that sucks.

    Rendezvous was the first. I read the second one, and oh boy, big mistake there. Instead of talking about this huge alien artifact we are walking on, lets have this stupid murder mystery! Awesome!

    I didn't think the second book was that bad, though it certainly pales in comparison to the first.

    Now the third and fourth books, those are terrible.

    Target Practice on
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    Alchemist449Alchemist449 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Alright scratch the complete works (I forgot about MSND) and just put Macbeth and the better king plays.

    Alchemist449 on
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    TrevorTrevor Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I think that Shadow out of Time is the best of the Lovecraft bunch.


    Then I'll definitely have to check it out, I really only read the things that I've heard about. Here's to hoping it's on Wikisource.

    Trevor on
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    Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Trevor wrote: »
    If short stories are to be included then I think a lot of Poe's stuff really does it for me. The Tell-tale Heart, The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether, The Black Cat, The Cask of Amontillado, The Gold Bug, The Masque of Red Death, The Fall of the House of Usher, and The Pit and the Pendulum spring immediately to mind. Also, I haven't read as much H.P. Lovecraft as I would like, but I found The Call of Cthulu and Dagon to be pretty nifty.

    I think that Shadow out of Time is the best of the Lovecraft bunch.

    I'm partial to "At the Mountains of Madness", as it's the only one that really creeped me out. The others were cool, but largely hard to relate to, but Antarctica is still very mysterious and eerie to me.

    Vincent Grayson on
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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Alright scratch the complete works (I forgot about MSND) and just put Macbeth and the better king plays.

    Romeo and Juliet was the best because he killed off the stupid kids.

    Incenjucar on
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    arod_77arod_77 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Lets talk about what "classics" really suck

    I submit Great Expectations

    arod_77 on
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    Alchemist449Alchemist449 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Really? I didn't like the humorous part of the play (i.e. the first half).

    Alchemist449 on
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    elevatureelevature Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    There are no flawless works of literature, but there are some that are near perfect...

    Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion.
    Murakami Haruki's Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
    William Faulkner's Light in August
    Shakespeare's Richard III

    elevature on
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    arod_77arod_77 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Faulkner's only flaw to me is how utterly unreadable his stuff can be at times

    arod_77 on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I think a more interested discussion would be what flaws nag at you in books you otherwise enjoy.

    Well, then, the goddamn camera in Transmetropolitan. The entire series was excellent, and then the climax hinges on a side character taking a picture of something with a camera that she got after the event took place, and dammit that's no way to ruin an otherwise great series.

    Daedalus on
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    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    arod_77 wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    arod_77 wrote: »
    I think that depends on what critical perspective you approach the novel from

    explain your qualms with the section and I will tell you why it was written as is

    Literary criticism: Twain spent a lot of the book really ripping into racism and pointing out how flawed it is. We see Huck and Jim becoming the best of friends, with Jim becoming a protective father figure to Huck. The really racist people in the book (ie Huck's dad) are also generally mean characters. Then we have Tom come in. When Tom and Huck are trying to free Jim, Tom puts Jim through an obstacle of rediculous, demeaning tasks, solely for Tom's own delight. Jim complains a bit, but goes along with it since the "white people know best", and Huck, despite earlier saying he would rather go to hell than betray Jim, also goes along with it. Tom gets shot, but just in the leg and so probably doesn't learn his lesson. Then the book ends. Its like Twain was making a big point with his social commentary, and then just forgot about it for the last part of the book.

    non-literary criticism: Tom Sawyer is irritating as all fuck.

    This section of the book is the culmination of Huck's deferment to his place in society. He has always been the one in the gang that is content to stay out of trouble, whereas Tom goes for the grandiose and overly complicated solutions. Huck is far more mature than huck, but he is unable to see past what society tells him. Tom is "the good boy" and Huck is "the bad boy", Huck merely takes his failings for granted and rarely questions what is told to him.

    Even in his decision to go to hell rather than betray Jim, or his decision to not turn him over to the slavers, Huck is not percieving himself as more moral or "correct". Huck is rebelling for what are, in his mind, selfish and ignoble reasons. The whole point of this is to portray that society does not, in fact, know best--and often the greatest good comes from the ignorant and "low-down and ornery"

    I agree with everything here, but I dont really see what it has to do with the first sentance. Yes, Huck thought he was going to hell because he thought he was doing a terrible thing by helping Jim. But then he proceeded to just go along with Tom afterwords. I dont really think that there is an overall message to this part of the book, it just seems tacked on, as someone else mentioned it seems like it goes back to being a kids book. It seems to just show that Tom is an idiot, and Huck does what Tom does. And even if Twain was making some sort of point in relation to the earlier parts of the book, he could have done it in a much shorter and less irritating way.

    [Tycho?] on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    arod_77 wrote: »
    Lets talk about what "classics" really suck

    I submit Great Expectations

    [quote=Mark Twain'"Classic." A book which people praise and don't read.[/quote]

    moniker on
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    TrevorTrevor Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Hey, I just remembered that I liked Orwell's Animal Farm a lot, especially since I read it before and after I had some history classes and could understand the historical allusions.

    Trevor on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    MrMister wrote: »
    I nominate:
    Dubliners, by James Joyce (though it's a short story collection)
    The Tombs of Atuan, by Ursula K. LeGuin (the best Earthsea book)
    Hey, Wait... by Jason

    The last one I especially recommend as being both approachable (it only takes a half hour to read), and deeply moving. It's one of the closest things to perfect I've read.

    You thought the Tombs of Atuan was the best Earthsea book?

    Man what?

    Shinto on
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    arod_77arod_77 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    arod_77 wrote: »
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    arod_77 wrote: »
    I think that depends on what critical perspective you approach the novel from

    explain your qualms with the section and I will tell you why it was written as is

    Literary criticism: Twain spent a lot of the book really ripping into racism and pointing out how flawed it is. We see Huck and Jim becoming the best of friends, with Jim becoming a protective father figure to Huck. The really racist people in the book (ie Huck's dad) are also generally mean characters. Then we have Tom come in. When Tom and Huck are trying to free Jim, Tom puts Jim through an obstacle of rediculous, demeaning tasks, solely for Tom's own delight. Jim complains a bit, but goes along with it since the "white people know best", and Huck, despite earlier saying he would rather go to hell than betray Jim, also goes along with it. Tom gets shot, but just in the leg and so probably doesn't learn his lesson. Then the book ends. Its like Twain was making a big point with his social commentary, and then just forgot about it for the last part of the book.

    non-literary criticism: Tom Sawyer is irritating as all fuck.

    This section of the book is the culmination of Huck's deferment to his place in society. He has always been the one in the gang that is content to stay out of trouble, whereas Tom goes for the grandiose and overly complicated solutions. Huck is far more mature than huck, but he is unable to see past what society tells him. Tom is "the good boy" and Huck is "the bad boy", Huck merely takes his failings for granted and rarely questions what is told to him.

    Even in his decision to go to hell rather than betray Jim, or his decision to not turn him over to the slavers, Huck is not percieving himself as more moral or "correct". Huck is rebelling for what are, in his mind, selfish and ignoble reasons. The whole point of this is to portray that society does not, in fact, know best--and often the greatest good comes from the ignorant and "low-down and ornery"

    I agree with everything here, but I dont really see what it has to do with the first sentance. Yes, Huck thought he was going to hell because he thought he was doing a terrible thing by helping Jim. But then he proceeded to just go along with Tom afterwords. I dont really think that there is an overall message to this part of the book, it just seems tacked on, as someone else mentioned it seems like it goes back to being a kids book. It seems to just show that Tom is an idiot, and Huck does what Tom does. And even if Twain was making some sort of point in relation to the earlier parts of the book, he could have done it in a much shorter and less irritating way.


    I think of it in the sense that it eases Huck back into what would be, yes, a classic kid's adventure. But this time it is an adventure with very serious consequences, and Tom can attempt all the romance about it he wants, but he is the one who gets shot in the leg isn't he now? Its a game to Tom, everything is a game to Tom, and maybe Huck doesn't fully understand the ramifications either.

    Yet.

    It took these children , naive as they are, to accomplish the greater good in a world of blind adults.

    arod_77 on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.

    Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra by C.S. Lewis.

    The Wayward Bus by John Steinbeck.

    Huck Finn sucked. S-U-C-K-E-D. Even before Tom Sawyer delivered the killing blow at the end.

    Shinto on
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    JimothyJimothy Not in front of the fox he's with the owlRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    arod_77 wrote: »
    Lets talk about what "classics" really suck

    I submit Great Expectations

    Agreed so hard.

    It opens with something like, "My name is Philip Pirip, but since that's hard to say, people just call me Pip."

    You know right then that you are in for one of the worst books in history.

    Jimothy on
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    arod_77arod_77 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Worth noting that Dickens was paid by the word


    doesn't that explain alot?

    arod_77 on
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    Alchemist449Alchemist449 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    That sucks 'cause Desmond waited to make that the last thing he ever reads.

    Poor bastard.

    Alchemist449 on
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    CrimsonKingCrimsonKing Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Gold Bug is sex.

    CrimsonKing on
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    MrMisterMrMister Jesus dying on the cross in pain? Morally better than us. One has to go "all in".Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    You thought the Tombs of Atuan was the best Earthsea book?

    Man what?

    Did you dislike it, or just think that one of the others was better?

    MrMister on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    MrMister wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    You thought the Tombs of Atuan was the best Earthsea book?

    Man what?

    Did you dislike it, or just think that one of the others was better?

    I somewhat disliked it, and felt that both the first and third books were better.

    Shinto on
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    CrimsonKingCrimsonKing Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    arod_77 wrote: »
    Worth noting that Dickens was paid by the word


    doesn't that explain alot?

    None of my high school teachers believed that. I once got into a shouting argument about it senior year.

    CrimsonKing on
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    SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    R.A. Salvatore - The Leged of Drizzit compliation.

    Dark Elf Trilogy, and Icewind Dale Trilogy, to be exact.

    The rest are meh.

    O_o

    Uh. Yeah, ok.

    I wanna nominate Stephen King's something or other, but there's bits that suck in those. The Gunslinger is pretty amazing.

    SniperGuy on
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    TreelootTreeloot Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    arod_77 wrote: »
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    Flawless my ass, the entire last 3rd of the book where Tom Sawyer enters in is intolerable.

    That section contains the best quote of the book.
    No, there warn't no real scarcity of snakes about the house for a considerable spell.

    Treeloot on
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    CrimsonKingCrimsonKing Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The thing about The Gunslinger is that is flows like oil. Like, I don't think I've ever read anything so smooth, ever.

    I am referring to the original version.

    the Dark Tower series in itself could be close to perfection if half of book five and books six and seven hadn't taken a bath in idiotic, lazy shit.

    CrimsonKing on
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    Bad KittyBad Kitty Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    You thought the Tombs of Atuan was the best Earthsea book?

    Man what?

    Did you dislike it, or just think that one of the others was better?

    I somewhat disliked it, and felt that both the first and third books were better.

    I used to dislike Atuan the most, but after re-reading it I quite like it now. I guess because it was such a shocking departure from the first as Ged doesn't show up until well into the story. I thought the Farthest Shore was the worst of the initial 4.

    Bad Kitty on
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    AdrienAdrien Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    arod_77 wrote: »
    Worth noting that Dickens was paid by the word


    doesn't that explain alot?


    According to the Dickens Project, he was paid by the installment.

    Adrien on
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    SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The thing about The Gunslinger is that is flows like oil. Like, I don't think I've ever read anything so smooth, ever.

    I am referring to the original version.

    the Dark Tower series in itself could be close to perfection if half of book five and books six and seven hadn't taken a bath in idiotic, lazy shit.

    I like the revised better myself. Book five took a trip to boring town, but I don't get people's biffs with six and seven. I thought they were amazing.

    SniperGuy on
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    SavantSavant Simply Barbaric Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    ege02 wrote: »
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    R.A. Salvatore - The Leged of Drizzit compliation.

    Dark Elf Trilogy, and Icewind Dale Trilogy, to be exact.

    The rest are meh.

    O_o

    Uh. Yeah, ok.

    I wanna nominate Stephen King's something or other, but there's bits that suck in those. The Gunslinger is pretty amazing.

    The Drawing of the Three was pure awesome. I think that was the best of the Dark Tower series because he fleshed out some interaction with the 'real world', but it was still very fresh at that point. It also had the nice random oh shit moment at the beginning which created an issue to drive the rest of the story.
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    The thing about The Gunslinger is that is flows like oil. Like, I don't think I've ever read anything so smooth, ever.

    I am referring to the original version.

    the Dark Tower series in itself could be close to perfection if half of book five and books six and seven hadn't taken a bath in idiotic, lazy shit.

    I like the revised better myself. Book five took a trip to boring town, but I don't get people's biffs with six and seven. I thought they were amazing.

    He lost his focus for most of the last books, and did the horrible trick of including himself without accomplishing much at all with it. Algul Siento was pretty good, but the final battle was just stupid.

    And he gave a ditribe against the true ending, when the true ending was completely fitting to the story of the Gunslinger before it started going astray in book 5. It seems to me like he had come up with that ending before he came up with a bunch of the useless stuff in the last few books, but couldn't throw it away even though he didn't like it.

    Savant on
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    arod_77arod_77 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Adrien wrote: »
    arod_77 wrote: »
    Worth noting that Dickens was paid by the word


    doesn't that explain alot?


    According to the Dickens Project, he was paid by the installment.

    Oh I suppose thats true, however thats not really that much better when you have to fit each chapter of your novel to the editor's specifications and wants

    arod_77 on
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    Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I think a more interested discussion would be what flaws nag at you in books you otherwise enjoy.

    Well, then, the goddamn camera in Transmetropolitan. The entire series was excellent, and then the climax hinges on a side character taking a picture of something with a camera that she got after the event took place, and dammit that's no way to ruin an otherwise great series.

    I didn't really think we were counting comics, but whatever.

    I never understood what the point of that was anyhow, when Spider's editor had apparently saved pretty much all of his files anyhow.

    On that note, I hated the "Safeword" arc in Y: The Last Man. Not only did I find the idea totally ridicuous and, dare I say it, insulting (Oh my god! this guy risked his life to save somebody else! He must be suicidal!), but I really don't think getting tortured by some dominatrix with delusions to the psychiatric profession would be the best method of therapy.

    Target Practice on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Of Mice and Men.

    Steinbeck can do more with 100 pages than Dickens or Hawthorne can do with 500. If I had to choose the greatest book ever written, this one would be the first candidate to pop into my mind.

    I cannot believe Stephen King is even being mentioned in here. Almost all of his books are deeply flawed, and even his best are shaky. Enjoyable to read, without a doubt...but flawless? Fuck no.

    Except...maybe Different Seasons. Not the whole book, mind you. But at least two of the novellas in there (Shawshank and The Body [AKA Stand by Me if you've only seen the movie]) are pretty incredible. Apt Pupil was decent, and I don't remember Breathing Lessons (had to actually look it up on amazon.com to see what the fourth one even was). If you like Stephen King, you really ought to read this book. Even if you don't, you should probably give it a shot.

    mcdermott on
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    Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I can't really think of anything bad to say about To Kill a Mockingbird.

    I'm sure somebody here will, though.

    Target Practice on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I can't really think of anything bad to say about To Kill a Mockingbird.

    I'm sure somebody here will, though.

    In spades, but I've done it before a few times. Besides, everyone's taste is subjective.

    moniker on
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