OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by eowyn on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 06:28

Big_Bad_Bob wrote:
eowyn wrote:Just started Words by Jean-Paul Sartre, blame Furry.....

Tried to read some Sartre a few years back.

Was warned not to bother...and the warnee should have heeded the warner.

Impenetrable old bollox.

This is the auto-biographical story of his childhood, so far it's rather amusing...........
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by taipan on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 06:29

And a note to Sasha. Labelling a thread as OT on this forum is a bit redundant.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Guest on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 09:26

Good call on David Foster Wallace.

As for Sartre a lot of it is unreadable but I like the basis of his theme with regard to existentialism. His contemporary Albert Camus was a better writer - The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus and his short stories.

Existentialism presented in movies of 70's represent it well, such as Wim Wenders road movie trilogy of Alice In The Cities, The Wrong Move and Kings Of The Road. Two-Lane Blacktop with Warren Oates. Robert Blake in Electra Glide in Blue (the ending of all film endings in that one). I suppose you could also lump Five Easy Pieces (another film with a devastating ending) in with those too.

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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Paul Keating on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 09:51

furriner wrote:Night Of The Long Knives, Hans Hellmut Kirst.

That sounds an interesting read.

How scary must living in Germany have been in the 30s and 40s.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by freddled gruntbuggly on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 09:52

Les Carlyon The Great War
Relieved occasionally when it all gets too heavy with my favourite Austen. And Thomas de Qunicy's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by skully on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 10:06

I'm trying to get into Gilly's book. Not having much luck. It's too much fun forumming.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by JGK on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 10:09

freddled gruntbuggly wrote:Les Carlyon The Great War
Relieved occasionally when it all gets too heavy with my favourite Austen. And Thomas de Qunicy's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater


Is that the 1000+ page book that barely mentions the Armenian genocide?

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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by tac on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 10:15

A farkin disgrace, eh?
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Jontyh on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 11:13

Sans Souci wrote:Good call on David Foster Wallace.

As for Sartre a lot of it is unreadable but I like the basis of his theme with regard to existentialism. His contemporary Albert Camus was a better writer - The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus and his short stories.

Existentialism presented in movies of 70's represent it well, such as Wim Wenders road movie trilogy of Alice In The Cities, The Wrong Move and Kings Of The Road. Two-Lane Blacktop with Warren Oates. Robert Blake in Electra Glide in Blue (the ending of all film endings in that one). I suppose you could also lump Five Easy Pieces (another film with a devastating ending) in with those too.

Easy Rider? The anti-establishment corollary to Electra-Glide. Great soundtracks, too:
"Zipper. Let's take a little ride.."
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Jontyh on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 11:16

Oh, sorry - it's a book thread.
Gates of Fire, Stephen Pressfield. Even better second time round.
Just finished Exit Music by Ian Rankin and was slightly gutted as that's all of the Rebus novels knocked off.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by taipan on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 11:18

Jontyh wrote:Just finished Exit Music by Ian Rankin and was slightly gutted as that's all of the Rebus novels knocked off.

Yeah, and where does he go to now with Rebus retired?
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Bradman on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 11:25

Camus' 'The Plague'.

One of my faves.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Jontyh on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 11:45

Dunno, Taips. Short stories aside, his non-Rebus novels haven't been that great. Maybe Rebus PI is on the cards..
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by taipan on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 11:49

Jontyh wrote:Dunno, Taips. Short stories aside, his non-Rebus novels haven't been that great. Maybe Rebus PI is on the cards..

Siobhan has to be fitted in somehow.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Jontyh on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 12:41

Have you tried the Inspector Banks series by Peter Robinson?
Identikit Rebus, but none the worse for that.
Henning Mankell's Wallender novels are a good generic take - gets the bleak existential Norse angst into it brilliantly.
Also, Elizabeth George is well researched and written. You'd never guess she's a Seppo!
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by taipan on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 12:44

Jontyh wrote:Have you tried the Inspector Banks series by Peter Robinson?
Identikit Rebus, but none the worse for that.
Henning Mankell's Wallender novels are a good generic take - gets the bleak existential Norse angst into it brilliantly.
Also, Elizabeth George is well researched and written. You'd never guess she's a Seppo!

Then there are Quintin Jardine's Skinner novels. Change of place from Rebus but also set in Edinburgh.

Elizabeth George isn't bad, but the TV series is awful.

Reginald Hill is still a fave.

Have read one of the Banks series
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by doremi on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 12:51

None.

To read : The trial by Kafka.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Jontyh on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 13:01

taipan wrote:
Jontyh wrote:Have you tried the Inspector Banks series by Peter Robinson?
Identikit Rebus, but none the worse for that.
Henning Mankell's Wallender novels are a good generic take - gets the bleak existential Norse angst into it brilliantly.
Also, Elizabeth George is well researched and written. You'd never guess she's a Seppo!

Then there are Quintin Jardine's Skinner novels. Change of place from Rebus but also set in Edinburgh.

Elizabeth George isn't bad, but the TV series is awful.

Reginald Hill is still a fave.

Have read one of the Banks series

Read a couple of Jardine's but didn't think they were as good as Rankin or Robinson.
Love Dalziel and Pascoe, Joe Sixsmith (?) less so..
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by PeterCS on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 13:21

I am on a Terry Jones (& Alan Ereira) run at the moment.

"Barbarians" (related to the TV series) - just finished. Great read. And one of those that challenges your thinking, beyond historical reflections.

Some of it

Philosophical tilt 1: The Roman Empire had many fascist features. Primacy to the army, heavy exaction of taxes and dues from subjugated peoples, indeed seizure of (more abundant) natural resources from abroad by military campaigns, insistence on imposing Romannness and Roman order, intolerance of any sort of diversity. Aside from military technology, the Romans tended also to squash innovation and engineering. Claims to innovation (e.g. road building excellence) predated the Romans.

Philosophical tilt 2; The "barbarians" were often more "civilised" in modern senses than the Romans. Developed assets and lifestyles, technological progress, development of natural or man-made sources of wealth (even fashion). Hatred from the Romans ....

Philosophical tilt 3: Ruthlessly distorting historiography from the very start by the Romans, continued as a dishonourable tradition by Catholicism.

Hence a fallacy to base any historical or contemporary "sense of order" on the Ancient Romans. But also. no justification for a fundamental belief that "anything goes". The "barbarians" - not even the HUNS - were not quite like that. And certainly not the (much put-on!) Vandals, the Goths, the Visi- or Ostrogoths, ..... who were not mindlessly marauding semi-naked militaristic primitive all-destructive savages. .... Not even the Huns. ..


"The Crusades" next. I know what's coming - saw the TV series.

I have been on a Rankin run, but am on a break after about 13 of them (!)

Also fitting in a Social History of Cricket - which is great, and brilliantly written. But bit by bit. Like cricket itself, it develops best gradually.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by PeterCS on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 13:24

PS Honourable exceptions in historiography by such as the brilliant Tacitus. Who however had his own motives for praising some "Barbarian" qualities!
In order to lambast rottenness, corruption and negligence in Rome.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Guest on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 17:18

Jontyh wrote:
Sans Souci wrote:Good call on David Foster Wallace.

As for Sartre a lot of it is unreadable but I like the basis of his theme with regard to existentialism. His contemporary Albert Camus was a better writer - The Stranger and The Myth of Sisyphus and his short stories.

Existentialism presented in movies of 70's represent it well, such as Wim Wenders road movie trilogy of Alice In The Cities, The Wrong Move and Kings Of The Road. Two-Lane Blacktop with Warren Oates. Robert Blake in Electra Glide in Blue (the ending of all film endings in that one). I suppose you could also lump Five Easy Pieces (another film with a devastating ending) in with those too.

Easy Rider? The anti-establishment corollary to Electra-Glide. Great soundtracks, too:
"Zipper. Let's take a little ride.."

Yes the ending is a definite tip of the hat to Easy Rider but I think Electra-Glide is a far far superior film all round.

Back to books - You can't go wrong with Raymond Cerver and Frank O'Connor when it comes to short stories. And anything by Kurt Vonnegut is always worth reading.

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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Jontyh on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 19:40

Agreed about Electra-Glide, especially the road shot at the end.
Short stories? Borges and Irvine Welsh for me.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by furriner on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 19:50

Paul Keating wrote:
furriner wrote:Night Of The Long Knives, Hans Hellmut Kirst.

That sounds an interesting read.

How scary must living in Germany have been in the 30s and 40s.

Yup. But the bulk of Germans, I'm guessing, just went along, as most people would. Living as a Jew in 30s and 40s in Germany would have been truly terrifying.

BTW, Kirst isn't all that hot a writer, IMO. Maybe it's the translation.
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by Winkle Spinner on Tue 17 Feb 2009, 22:30

Franz Kafka, the trial. I've only just started, any good?

I saw an old friend the other day and it turns out the last three books we'd read were exactly the same, despite having no communication on the matter. How serendipitous is that?
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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

Post by JGK on Wed 18 Feb 2009, 03:12

Winkle Spinner wrote:Franz Kafka, the trial. I've only just started, any good?

I saw an old friend the other day and it turns out the last three books we'd read were exactly the same, despite having no communication on the matter. How serendipitous is that?


I guess it depends on your view on his taste in books.

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Re: OT: What book are you reading at the moment?

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