[Book]: Rhymes With

1171820222334

Posts

  • AntoshkaAntoshka Miauen Oil Change LazarusRegistered User regular
    Finished Harrow the 9th

    I'm looking forward to the next, but boy
    Gid / John / AL are going to have one hell of an interesting family tree , and there are a number of ways to read that ending.

    Speculation:
    I take it , that by implication, Harrow's approach to Lyctordom more closely mirrors John's, and therefore they may be able to maintain individual existence, both being effectively unkillable?

    n57PM0C.jpg
    Kana
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    The only preparation Malazan requires is saying, 'hey this is really in depth, far ranging and a lot of the stuff you read won't make sense until later". If she's cool with that then she can settle in for one of the better sprawling epics of modern fantasy.

    Yeah I mean if someone understands they are embarking on 12,000 pages of book, which presumably they do, their demographics are irrelevant and they presumably they can be trusted to understand their own wants. Malazan is a really fun series! My only recommendation is to read them all in a row instead of stopping between them, because there are so many characters and locales it can be hard to remember if you take a break.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    CptHamiltonMoridin889A Dabble Of Thelonius
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    edited August 2020
    Oh also I just finished the first Chronicles of Amber book by Roger Zelazny--I swear I read it before or maybe started it before, but I didn't have any memory of it. I don't like it. It's pretty well-written in a very direct style, and the parallel worlds scenario is pretty interesting, and it very boldly drops you into the middle of a conflict and doesn't waste a lot of energy on long descriptions or setting the scene. The problem is that the characters utterly lack character. It's very hard to care about the protagonist or any of his siblings, as they are never given a single moment to be human--every conversation they have throughout the book is a status update on their campaign or on the location of their other siblings. Zelazny never chooses to slow down and doesn't zoom in on anything other than fights (and even then he often skips through them).
    And of course, since this is 1970*, all of the female characters are completely useless and disregarded, except for the one underwater queen where we find out that she has green hair and also the carpet matches the drapes and she fucks the protagonist in one sentence because??? who knows, we just need to understand that he gets laid I guess and she's the only woman you meet that isn't his sister, but again we don't zoom in on any dialogue that reveals anything about the protagonist's character so it's another non-scene of a scene.
    I might read the next one and see if the author allows any of the characters any room to breathe, since the books are really short anyway and I want to know why people feel fondness for them, but this one gets a big meh from me. I'm going to order some modern books today though so I'll have some good shit to look forward to.

    *certainly some authors in 1970 believed women were people, but a lot of them didn't

    credeiki on
    Steam, LoL: credeiki
  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    edited August 2020
    Aww, I remember liking that series in high school, but I don't really remember much about them so it's likely possible i'd end up in the same place as you if i reread them. It was my first high magic fantasy series so I've just always held it higher because of nostalgia and the fact that I've read so much complete garbage fantasy in the years since.

    What do I even remember...

    I feel like the magic system was super cool with the path. The setting/scenario was super interesting and even now the setting feels like it would be fairly fresh if you could avoid dark tower comparisons.

    There is another character that you get POV from in the second half of the series that was just way more interesting to me than the initial protagonist. But I don't really remember the characters as much as the actions so I would not be surprised to learn they lacked depth.

    It's also hard for me to look back at old sff and decipher from "ugh this is just an old trope" vs "oh this is where the trope came from" so I'm probably giving it some slack in memory that I wouldn't if i tried to reread it.

    initiatefailure on
    I Do Design | I PSN- Subtle_Ties | 3DS: 3840-5210-2008 (Subtle)
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    So, anyone else found it impossible to focus on reading books during the pandemic? It's super weird, since reading is one of my main hobbies, but I can't get more than a chapter done every few weeks.

    Didn't help that the book I'd started is apparently written by a dude who has apparently been prone to harass women at cons and now I feel gross about reading his work.

    :so_raven:
    credeikiSeptusSatanic JesusN1tSt4lkerTuminSolarQuid
  • TenzytileTenzytile Registered User regular
    Corvus wrote: »
    So, anyone else found it impossible to focus on reading books during the pandemic? It's super weird, since reading is one of my main hobbies, but I can't get more than a chapter done every few weeks.

    I'm not sure if I'd consider reading a main hobby, but I can usually get through 15-20 novels a year. I've been stuck on the same one since March---though I'm going away for a few days and plan to finish it during my trip.

    I haven't had much of a problem getting into a movie, or a game, or even getting through some non-fiction slowly, but literature has been a real task since the lockdown.

    Currently watching: 1960/unseen Criterions
    Corvus
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    My advice re: Malazan.

    Note that they're basically written like short stories that are novel length: there's a density to them which demands attention in a way few novels do, so they'll be slower reads than she might be used to. This also leads to confusion, but a large part of the experience is the revelations you make along the way.

    Also note that GotM is a good bit rougher: it went from D&D campaign -> movie script -> novel before being shopped around for a long time before being accepted. Due to the nature of that, around the time she'll find her footing it'll be ripped out from under her and she'll start fresh with a new cast. You kinda just have to roll with that.

    Aside from that, grab various international artwork/subpress artwork because it's awesome and adds a lot to helping mental images of some of the crazy shit.

    latest?cb=20131013110158
    latest?cb=20180417081323

    Like, those two images will help a ton to contextualize what the fuck is Moon's Spawn and what's going on in that initial battle.

    BlackDragon480CptHamilton
  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    Corvus wrote: »
    So, anyone else found it impossible to focus on reading books during the pandemic? It's super weird, since reading is one of my main hobbies, but I can't get more than a chapter done every few weeks.

    Didn't help that the book I'd started is apparently written by a dude who has apparently been prone to harass women at cons and now I feel gross about reading his work.

    I know that losing my train commute basically stopped me reading for a while and I've had to make hard choices at home about when I want to pull myself away from something to read.

    I Do Design | I PSN- Subtle_Ties | 3DS: 3840-5210-2008 (Subtle)
    flamebroiledchickencredeikiQuid
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Aww, I remember liking that series in high school, but I don't really remember much about them so it's likely possible i'd end up in the same place as you if i reread them. It was my first high magic fantasy series so I've just always held it higher because of nostalgia and the fact that I've read so much complete garbage fantasy in the years since.

    What do I even remember...

    I feel like the magic system was super cool with the path. The setting/scenario was super interesting and even now the setting feels like it would be fairly fresh if you could avoid dark tower comparisons.

    There is another character that you get POV from in the second half of the series that was just way more interesting to me than the initial protagonist. But I don't really remember the characters as much as the actions so I would not be surprised to learn they lacked depth.

    It's also hard for me to look back at old sff and decipher from "ugh this is just an old trope" vs "oh this is where the trope came from" so I'm probably giving it some slack in memory that I wouldn't if i tried to reread it.

    So I don't think it has a problem with being tropey--the setting feels not exactly fresh but definitely still interesting and really vivid. There's a lengthy (I have to assume very drug-inspired) scene where they are driving from earth to amber by adding elements and it's really very cool. Amber itself, yeah, medieval fantasy, but because Zelazny doesn't feel like he needs to spend time detailing castles and bodices, you don't feel like you're being bored with already tread ground or anything.

    I really do think the problem is in the characterization, which might be a flaw of the time period, where a decent number of genre authors thought that writing genre meant only setting and no personality, but might be a flaw of the specific author/specific book. It's just very hard to care about Corwin as a person because you simply never get to see him having any human interactions or thoughts. Like he apparently recruited 100,000 furry little people creatures to be in his army--that just takes a sentence and we don't see him do it, nor do we ever see him actually talk to one of them. So we basically don't get a sense of him as a commander. It's so bizarre the author elects not to zoom in on that at all!

    Ah yeah and the other big flaw is one of suspense and direction. This is actually a problem of not being tropey enough. The plot is...weird. He has a climactic duel with his main rival/enemy about one third of the way into the book. There's a military campaign that also ends with a lot of book left, and you just never quite understand what it's driving toward/what you should be expecting. And because of that, there isn't a lot of dramatic tension, because you're just have no clue what you should be hoping for or worried about (and because of the lack of characterization, it's hard to care or root for or against the protagonist or any of the siblings). So you keep reading but more just kinda vaguely wondering what it is this book is about than because you want to know what happens next or you want to see some plot element resolve.

    That said, the writing is good (weird to say with all these criticisms). I think what I mean is, the writing style is good--it's really specific and direct and you get strong, evocative visuals. Action is conveyed quite well. And I like how weird setting elements are introduced boldly with no attempt to explain or justify them. That probably made it really enjoyable to read as a younger person.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    Mahnmut
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Corvus wrote: »
    So, anyone else found it impossible to focus on reading books during the pandemic? It's super weird, since reading is one of my main hobbies, but I can't get more than a chapter done every few weeks.

    Didn't help that the book I'd started is apparently written by a dude who has apparently been prone to harass women at cons and now I feel gross about reading his work.

    Yes! I used to do all my reading at the coffee shop and metro. When the pandemic started, I didn't read a book for probably two months at least. What I've done to start reading again is 1. I found a book I really wanted to read and knew would be too fun and engaging for me to put aside because of stress (gideon the ninth :D ) and 2. decided that every morning I would drink coffee on the porch and not bring my phone or laptop out and just read then. So now I have porch reading time; it's somewhat less than my prior daily reading time, but it's gotten me back into the habit, and sometimes when I'm in the mood I'll also now read inside too.

    It's some weird combination of having your house also be your workplace/prior reading locations being unavailable/straight-up stress that makes reading really difficult, I think. But recognizing these impediments and actively combating them is definitely possible.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    CorvusMahnmutQuid
  • AbsalonAbsalon Registered User regular
    Gideon the Ninth just came out and next week it's time for The Tyrant Baru Cormorant which has seen a few strong reviews. I must have been a good boy this year.

    We are all as God made us and frequently much worse
    Brody
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    Corvus wrote: »
    So, anyone else found it impossible to focus on reading books during the pandemic? It's super weird, since reading is one of my main hobbies, but I can't get more than a chapter done every few weeks.

    Didn't help that the book I'd started is apparently written by a dude who has apparently been prone to harass women at cons and now I feel gross about reading his work.

    Yes! I used to do all my reading at the coffee shop and metro. When the pandemic started, I didn't read a book for probably two months at least. What I've done to start reading again is 1. I found a book I really wanted to read and knew would be too fun and engaging for me to put aside because of stress (gideon the ninth :D ) and 2. decided that every morning I would drink coffee on the porch and not bring my phone or laptop out and just read then. So now I have porch reading time; it's somewhat less than my prior daily reading time, but it's gotten me back into the habit, and sometimes when I'm in the mood I'll also now read inside too.

    It's some weird combination of having your house also be your workplace/prior reading locations being unavailable/straight-up stress that makes reading really difficult, I think. But recognizing these impediments and actively combating them is definitely possible.

    I like this porch idea, I could do that in the morning.

    :so_raven:
    credeikiBrody
  • N1tSt4lkerN1tSt4lker Registered User regular
    edited August 2020
    Corvus wrote: »
    So, anyone else found it impossible to focus on reading books during the pandemic? It's super weird, since reading is one of my main hobbies, but I can't get more than a chapter done every few weeks.

    Didn't help that the book I'd started is apparently written by a dude who has apparently been prone to harass women at cons and now I feel gross about reading his work.

    Yes. I was doing pretty well during the distance teaching phase because I would spend my lunch time sitting outside and reading to separate self from work. Then after school ended I struggled. I read Record of a Spaceborn Few, and loved it, then turned to Neal Shusterman's Dry and just fizzled. It's not even that I didn't like the book. It's pretty good. But it's also a little...depressing for the current times...and I put it down and then just didn't pick it back up. It's just easier to get lost scrolling twitter or something. The last couple of weeks I picked up the Shadow and Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo and actually made really good headway, but with school starting, I'm afraid I'm going to lose focus again. I know it shouldn't, but it feels a little like a personal failure. I know it's not at all, and brains respond to things like global pandemics and anxiety in weird ways, but still. Brains also know how to make you feel bad about it.

    Edit: I can't Neal.

    N1tSt4lker on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City: It’s a pretty quick story about an army engineer who accidentally ends up commanding a city during protracted siege.

    It’s got a dry wit that reminded me a bit of terry pratchett. A fun protagonist who’s completely out of his depth and some nice twists

    I liked it a lot and apparently a second in the series just came out

    A Dabble Of Thelonius
  • Moridin889Moridin889 Registered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    Aww, I remember liking that series in high school, but I don't really remember much about them so it's likely possible i'd end up in the same place as you if i reread them. It was my first high magic fantasy series so I've just always held it higher because of nostalgia and the fact that I've read so much complete garbage fantasy in the years since.

    What do I even remember...

    I feel like the magic system was super cool with the path. The setting/scenario was super interesting and even now the setting feels like it would be fairly fresh if you could avoid dark tower comparisons.

    There is another character that you get POV from in the second half of the series that was just way more interesting to me than the initial protagonist. But I don't really remember the characters as much as the actions so I would not be surprised to learn they lacked depth.

    It's also hard for me to look back at old sff and decipher from "ugh this is just an old trope" vs "oh this is where the trope came from" so I'm probably giving it some slack in memory that I wouldn't if i tried to reread it.

    So I don't think it has a problem with being tropey--the setting feels not exactly fresh but definitely still interesting and really vivid. There's a lengthy (I have to assume very drug-inspired) scene where they are driving from earth to amber by adding elements and it's really very cool. Amber itself, yeah, medieval fantasy, but because Zelazny doesn't feel like he needs to spend time detailing castles and bodices, you don't feel like you're being bored with already tread ground or anything.

    I really do think the problem is in the characterization, which might be a flaw of the time period, where a decent number of genre authors thought that writing genre meant only setting and no personality, but might be a flaw of the specific author/specific book. It's just very hard to care about Corwin as a person because you simply never get to see him having any human interactions or thoughts. Like he apparently recruited 100,000 furry little people creatures to be in his army--that just takes a sentence and we don't see him do it, nor do we ever see him actually talk to one of them. So we basically don't get a sense of him as a commander. It's so bizarre the author elects not to zoom in on that at all!

    Ah yeah and the other big flaw is one of suspense and direction. This is actually a problem of not being tropey enough. The plot is...weird. He has a climactic duel with his main rival/enemy about one third of the way into the book. There's a military campaign that also ends with a lot of book left, and you just never quite understand what it's driving toward/what you should be expecting. And because of that, there isn't a lot of dramatic tension, because you're just have no clue what you should be hoping for or worried about (and because of the lack of characterization, it's hard to care or root for or against the protagonist or any of the siblings). So you keep reading but more just kinda vaguely wondering what it is this book is about than because you want to know what happens next or you want to see some plot element resolve.

    That said, the writing is good (weird to say with all these criticisms). I think what I mean is, the writing style is good--it's really specific and direct and you get strong, evocative visuals. Action is conveyed quite well. And I like how weird setting elements are introduced boldly with no attempt to explain or justify them. That probably made it really enjoyable to read as a younger person.

    Corwin is much lamer than the other protagonist later on, but the recruitment scene is how all Amberites do it. He just walked to a world where they already served him. Infinite multiverse and all that. No interaction required. The magic system is real neat like that. The series definitely gets better as it goes on, although I may be biased as it is one of the first full fantasy series I read

  • A Dabble Of TheloniusA Dabble Of Thelonius It has been a doozy of a dayRegistered User regular
    Corvus wrote: »
    So, anyone else found it impossible to focus on reading books during the pandemic? It's super weird, since reading is one of my main hobbies, but I can't get more than a chapter done every few weeks.

    Didn't help that the book I'd started is apparently written by a dude who has apparently been prone to harass women at cons and now I feel gross about reading his work.

    Cole or Sykes?

    Or one of the many others...

    Damn, that last wave of harassment outings hit my bookshelf hard.

    Just.. fucking.. don't be gross, guys.

    vm8gvf5p7gqi.jpg
    Steam - Talon Valdez :Blizz - Talonious#1860 : Xbox Live & LoL - Talonious Monk @TaloniousMonk Hail Satan
    BlackDragon480
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Just finished Harrow despite planning on sleeping a few hours ago, also probably should fix some food or something.

    The book starts out with some fun exploration of the stuff the previous book obviously sets up and builds up some tension and drama. Then it just fucking explodes with explosions that are themselves explosions all of which explode to spell out awesome things.

    I did not know how Tamsyn Muir was going to write a sequel. I'm still not sure how the hell she wrote this but I am very happy she did.
    Antoshka wrote: »
    Finished Harrow the 9th

    I'm looking forward to the next, but boy
    Gid / John / AL are going to have one hell of an interesting family tree , and there are a number of ways to read that ending.

    Speculation:
    I take it , that by implication, Harrow's approach to Lyctordom more closely mirrors John's, and therefore they may be able to maintain individual existence, both being effectively unkillable?

    They appear to be short a body currently. I think Harrow may have just Revenant-ed herself to the sword as a holding place. Really hope they manage to get back into two bodies for a happily ever after.

    Also they nearly explode the Sun, twice and that's just kind of an afterthought!

    MahnmutKana
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    I'm like maybe 1/3 into Harrow and so confused

    Excited tho

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited August 2020
    So It Goes wrote: »
    I'm like maybe 1/3 into Harrow and so confused

    Excited tho

    It does start slow and confusing but I found it 1000% worth the trouble. It was really amazingly done.

    I'm in the flush of having just finished reading it but while I really dug Gideon I thought it was a long shot for a Hugo. A little too action-y genre stuff. I think Harrow has a really solid chance with that third act.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    edited August 2020
    The stuff obliquely mentioned in Harrow really makes me want to know more about the ten thousand years of history that led up to that.

    Also sometimes I buy a book based on the cover.

    cfhl22k0suh0.png
    A Wizard's Guide To Defensive Baking
    by T. Kingfisher

    Fourteen-year-old Mona isn't like the wizards charged with defending the city. She can't control lightning or speak to water. Her familiar is a sourdough starter and her magic only works on bread. She has a comfortable life in her aunt's bakery making gingerbread men dance.

    But Mona's life is turned upside down when she finds a dead body on the bakery floor. An assassin is stalking the streets of Mona's city, preying on magic folk, and it appears that Mona is his next target. And in an embattled city suddenly bereft of wizards, the assassin may be the least of Mona's worries...

    Echo on
    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
    Mahnmutwebguy20BrodyshrykeQuidcredeikiMoridin889Lord_AsmodeusFuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudTofystedethchrono_traveller
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited August 2020
    haha, yes I bought that same book, and I couldn't even remember exactly how I ran across it, it just appeared in my kindle through the strength of its title

    so far the book seems merely okay, but it's a heck of a strong premise

    Kana on
    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • EchoEcho Moderator mod
    Kana wrote: »
    haha, yes I bought that same book, and I couldn't even remember exactly how I ran across it, it just appeared in my kindle through the strength of its title

    so far the book seems merely okay, but it's a heck of a strong premise

    I'm halfway through and it feels like a 3/5 so far.

    Echo wrote: »
    Let they who have not posted about their balls in the wrong thread cast the first stone.
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    Interzone #268 was a very good issue. A real mix of styles, from military SF to a fairy tale to a surrealist fantasy to a dystopia to a Buddhist parable.

    V1m
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    Absalon wrote: »
    Gideon the Ninth just came out and next week it's time for The Tyrant Baru Cormorant which has seen a few strong reviews. I must have been a good boy this year.

    Tyrant is out soon? Whoo!

  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited August 2020
    Idled away some time over the weekend watching a Wolfe scholar explain some of the mysteries of his later works, which I thought were more straightforward but which are almost certainly far more difficult to comprehend fully than his earlier stuff. You don't need to understand all this to enjoy his stuff, and I think his later books don't have enough on the "straightforward" level to reach the heights of his earlier work, but I appreciate the multiple depths of his books being uncovered like ancient ruins. Spoilers for An Evil Guest.
    Why do I always forget how Wolfe likes his punning names? Bill Reis is of course almost a homophone for "Will Rise", and Gideon Chase has the same initials as Great Cthulhu, and seems to be a redeemed splinter of the Old One who echoes back through time. There's even a (slim-ish) justification for the computer car that mispronounces R's and L's in a kinda racist Japanese voice, as it's an echo of other scenes where left and right (L and R) are reversed and evil becomes good. And also everything is mixed in with the Perseus myth: you have the ostensible main character of Cassie (Cassiopeia) who wants to "be a star", the birth of Perseus (which means Destroyer) in a "shower of gold", and the almost too neat to be believed echo of the Kraken and Cthulhu as great creatures of the deep. At one point there's a scene in a Baskin Robbins, and the 31 flavours of ice cream are noted. M31 is the astronomical designation of the Andromeda Galaxy.

    Spoilers for the Wizard Knight.
    Able is an unborn twin who dies in the womb and the whole thing is both real and a dream sent to the mother. Or something.

    Spoilers for The Sorcerer's House
    OK so I thought I got this one and it was a case of a con man taking the place of his brother off page but nope it's almost certainly about the Lamia of Corinth and the main character is basically eaten by the house. A whole lot of stuff in the text supports this, but the word "lamia" doesn't appear in the book once (though Corinth does).

    *shakes fist at chuckling ghost of Gene Wolfe*

    I also watched a video by the same scholar try and defend Wolfe's treatment of gender and mostly fail by way of truly unconvincing arguments and flailing bullshit. I love Wolfe more than most people but no come on dude his women often make me roll my eyes, especially in some of his later stuff.

    Bogart on
    Mahnmutshryke
  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    The only male Wolfe I could think of was Tobias Wolfe and it made me think the author got way more wild after this boys life until you said the first name toward the end

    I Do Design | I PSN- Subtle_Ties | 3DS: 3840-5210-2008 (Subtle)
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    Corvus wrote: »
    So, anyone else found it impossible to focus on reading books during the pandemic? It's super weird, since reading is one of my main hobbies, but I can't get more than a chapter done every few weeks.

    Didn't help that the book I'd started is apparently written by a dude who has apparently been prone to harass women at cons and now I feel gross about reading his work.

    Cole or Sykes?

    Or one of the many others...

    Damn, that last wave of harassment outings hit my bookshelf hard.

    Just.. fucking.. don't be gross, guys.

    Cole, but I had a Sykes in my queue too, already purchased. Yeah, getting drunk and harassing women is not a difficult thing to avoid doing.

    :so_raven:
    A Dabble Of TheloniusBrodyMoridin889
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    edited August 2020
    I just finished a rereading of Gogol's Dead Souls. It's really funny. When I read it a decade ago, I read it in Russian, and the language was a struggle that prevented me from enjoying as much the bizarre writing and humor, but I got Pevear and Volokhonsky's translation and it's great. It's a story about a guy in the provinces doing a bit of shady business, and the writing is really unique and bold, with a strong narrative voice. Gogol uses imagery and metaphor in a way that no other author does, and it's all vivid and fun and strange and not real but also grounded in really specific details.

    I think probably some people who read it will get a little tied up in the Russian lit aspect of it and might feel that it's heavy cause it's a classic, but this is a short book (250 pgs) and it's funny.

    credeiki on
    Steam, LoL: credeiki
  • TenzytileTenzytile Registered User regular
    credeiki wrote: »
    I just finished a rereading of Gogol's Dead Souls. It's really funny. When I read it a decade ago, I read it in Russian, and the language was a struggle that prevented me from enjoying as much the bizarre writing and humor, but I got Pevear and Volokhonsky's translation and it's great. It's a story about a guy in the provinces doing a bit of shady business, and the writing is really unique and bold, with a strong narrative voice. Gogol uses imagery and metaphor in a way that no other author does, and it's all vivid and fun and strange and not real but also grounded in really specific details.

    I think probably some people who read it will get a little tied up in the Russian lit aspect of it and might feel that it's heavy cause it's a classic, but this is a short book (250 pgs) and it's funny.

    I have been wanting to read this for a while, I'll keep an eye out for that translation. I love a lot of his short stories.

    I finished my first book in a while: The Grapes of Wrath! The book itself had nothing to do with how long it took me, just quarantine blues. It's a very engaging read. I really like Steinbeck's prose, which is poetically observational and emotionally precise, but never loses track of the more pragmatic dramatic structure and character work. That he's able to believably illustrate a large family with separate arcs across a variety of locations (you always know what each member of the family is up to within the group) is its own achievement. Its very timely and atmospheric portrait of depression era suffering is another.

    But on that note, I have a misgiving: it is too philosophical for its own good. Almost all of the characters are uneducated farmers and many of them are extremely self-aware and launch into lengthy speeches about injustice and faith and duty. It comes across as a bit unbelievable, but it's made more bothersome by Steinbeck's odd omniscient chapters that survey the larger political and topographical environment. These chapters are sometimes enriching, but as the book moves on they become more didactic. That the tone and even language of these chapters matches the already suspect speeches by some of his characters makes both facets feel cheaper.

    Still, I liked it. I think Steinbeck has written better books, though.

    Currently watching: 1960/unseen Criterions
    credeiki
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Tenzytile wrote: »
    credeiki wrote: »
    I just finished a rereading of Gogol's Dead Souls. It's really funny. When I read it a decade ago, I read it in Russian, and the language was a struggle that prevented me from enjoying as much the bizarre writing and humor, but I got Pevear and Volokhonsky's translation and it's great. It's a story about a guy in the provinces doing a bit of shady business, and the writing is really unique and bold, with a strong narrative voice. Gogol uses imagery and metaphor in a way that no other author does, and it's all vivid and fun and strange and not real but also grounded in really specific details.

    I think probably some people who read it will get a little tied up in the Russian lit aspect of it and might feel that it's heavy cause it's a classic, but this is a short book (250 pgs) and it's funny.

    I have been wanting to read this for a while, I'll keep an eye out for that translation. I love a lot of his short stories.

    I finished my first book in a while: The Grapes of Wrath! The book itself had nothing to do with how long it took me, just quarantine blues. It's a very engaging read. I really like Steinbeck's prose, which is poetically observational and emotionally precise, but never loses track of the more pragmatic dramatic structure and character work. That he's able to believably illustrate a large family with separate arcs across a variety of locations (you always know what each member of the family is up to within the group) is its own achievement. Its very timely and atmospheric portrait of depression era suffering is another.

    But on that note, I have a misgiving: it is too philosophical for its own good. Almost all of the characters are uneducated farmers and many of them are extremely self-aware and launch into lengthy speeches about injustice and faith and duty. It comes across as a bit unbelievable, but it's made more bothersome by Steinbeck's odd omniscient chapters that survey the larger political and topographical environment. These chapters are sometimes enriching, but as the book moves on they become more didactic. That the tone and even language of these chapters matches the already suspect speeches by some of his characters makes both facets feel cheaper.

    Still, I liked it. I think Steinbeck has written better books, though.

    It (the translation credeiki mentioned) is currently 99 cents on kindle. That was cheap enough to be a go for me.

    I hated Grapes of Warth. I haven't read it since high school but I recall absolutely detesting it and writing my paper for the year about it about why I thought Steinbeck was full of shit.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • TenzytileTenzytile Registered User regular
    I like a physical book if I can swing it, and my local library has that translation, so I might bite when I'm swinging back to Russian lit (I tend to alternate my reads in patterns based on nationality and format and I just did a Russian book right before the Steinbeck). Nice to know it's there and that it's a relatively short read.

    I never had an adverse reaction to a particular book in high school, but I really hated novel studies as a whole: going through a book chapter by chapter with the rest of the students, reading in class, quizzes, papers and bullshit projects. I actually didn't take up reading as a pastime until a few years ago because of how much of a negative experience it was for me---so I feel some facet of that held teenage resentment for sure. I actually don't really hate much of the literary canon; I've found something to enjoy in most of the classics I've read.

    Currently watching: 1960/unseen Criterions
  • AbsalonAbsalon Registered User regular
    edited August 2020
    Only a quarter of the way through The Tyrant Baru Cormorant and the prose is delicious, the internal monologues and philosophical challenges are strong, the world-building, details and plotting are brilliant and aptly handled, the 'scientific' bits are compelling as hell and the revelations flow in naturally and they goddamn dazzle. I am so very happy and impressed.

    Absalon on
    We are all as God made us and frequently much worse
    QuidBrodyN1tSt4lker
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    I've only read the New Sun books, but I can't shake the feeling that Wolfe's convoluted, multi-layer books are just... contortions of plot for their own sake. They're complex and need unraveling, but that's it; there's no meaning or idea there to discover, just more plot. Or if there is an idea, it's just... weirdly and earnestly religious.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
    metaghost
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Monster Baru spoiler/question about Tyrant.
    Does it feel like Seth did a decent job bringing the weird cancer magic in in a reasonable way? The end of Monster Baru Cormorant felt a little out of left field.

    "I will write your name in the ruin of them. I will paint you across history in the color of their blood."

    The Monster Baru Cormorant - Seth Dickinson

    Steam: Korvalain
    CptHamilton
  • BogartBogart Streetwise Hercules Fighting The Rising Odds Registered User, Moderator mod
    If you’re looking for meaning in tBotNS there’s the possibility of redemption for the most unworthy (a professional torturer!), the importance of symbols and how, over time and multiple readings, stories and how we understand them change as we change.

    It’s been seen as a religious allegory (both Apollo and Christ) and a parable about determinism.

    The most common theme I see in his stories is the power of love, as the motivation for both good and bad.

    V1m
  • AbsalonAbsalon Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    Monster Baru spoiler/question about Tyrant.
    Does it feel like Seth did a decent job bringing the weird cancer magic in in a reasonable way? The end of Monster Baru Cormorant felt a little out of left field.
    It is explained how it started and why as well as how it is cultivated and works over time. I have yet to understand if thoughts and memories can actually be carried over into new hosts in the book's setting (which is different than the real world, where only DNA can be carried by tumors) or if that is just a delusion. But it never feels too outlandish or distracting, just very horrifying and gristly.

    We are all as God made us and frequently much worse
  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    hey mail day brought my broken earth set and Gideon the ninth. Gonna hit pause on my animorphs series read for gideon.

    Good timing too. I needed a break since the last animorph book I finished was 1/3 setup the episode's plot, 2/3 brutally torture tobias as a prisoner.

    I'm excited for Gideon though.

    I Do Design | I PSN- Subtle_Ties | 3DS: 3840-5210-2008 (Subtle)
    Kana
  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    hey mail day brought my broken earth set and Gideon the ninth. Gonna hit pause on my animorphs series read for gideon.

    Good timing too. I needed a break since the last animorph book I finished was 1/3 setup the episode's plot, 2/3 brutally torture tobias as a prisoner.

    I'm excited for Gideon though.

    I'm about 1/2 way through Gideon again. It's just a joy to read. I can't wait to dig into Harrow in a week or two.

    Steam ID: Webguy20
    Origin ID: Discgolfer27
    Untappd ID: Discgolfer1981
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Tenzytile wrote: »
    I like a physical book if I can swing it, and my local library has that translation, so I might bite when I'm swinging back to Russian lit (I tend to alternate my reads in patterns based on nationality and format and I just did a Russian book right before the Steinbeck). Nice to know it's there and that it's a relatively short read.

    I never had an adverse reaction to a particular book in high school, but I really hated novel studies as a whole: going through a book chapter by chapter with the rest of the students, reading in class, quizzes, papers and bullshit projects. I actually didn't take up reading as a pastime until a few years ago because of how much of a negative experience it was for me---so I feel some facet of that held teenage resentment for sure. I actually don't really hate much of the literary canon; I've found something to enjoy in most of the classics I've read.

    I didn't like class discussions of books in high school very much--my english teachers were not good, I think. Grapes of Wrath was one of them and I remember being told I couldn't write about the communism that I felt really enthused about and being forced to write about Rosasharn as a woman or whatever. I was p salty about that. (My 16 y o self also had no taste or subtlety, so it's possible I would find those chapters and themes overly didactic or poorly done if I read them today).

    Dead Souls I read with a class in college though, a really close reading, and with maybe 5 students total in the class, and it was a fantastic experience. I like being in a situation where you can actually talk about the text in detail. Taking lit classes in college has really enhanced my enjoyment of books in adulthood.

    Oh I should mention this translation also includes at the end the surviving bits of Volume 2 of Dead Souls. I elected not to read them, at least not right now, because I feel weird about reading novels not intended for publication. Although Gogol was definitely having problems when he burned the manuscript so, what did he really feel about the manuscript in this form--who knows (and regardless it's incomplete, just 5 chapters).

    I got a shipment today that contained A Memory Called Empire, Harrow the Ninth, and The Raven Tower, so I'm pretty hype. I did not like Provenance, but I am willing to give Leckie the benefit of the doubt since Ancillary was so great, so let's see how her fantasy book is.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
    durandal4532
  • flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
    I also read Dead Souls in a small college lit class and really enjoyed it, though we read the older Constance Garnett translation. I bet the P&V version is even better. Anna Karenina and Brothers Karamazov on the other hand were just way too dense to get through in even a few weeks.

    Another supposedly hilarious Russian satire that I've been meaning to get around to is The Twelve Chairs by Ilf & Petrov.

    y59kydgzuja4.png
    credeiki
Sign In or Register to comment.