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>> No. 5456 Anonymous
4th April 2014
Friday 3:02 am
5456 Vurt
This was really good.
Expand all images.
>> No. 5457 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 4:26 pm
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Seconded. I enjoy novels where reality is either flexible, blurred or distorted by the viewpoint of a particular character, and Jeff Noon does these things well. I also like the light touch to the surrealism in Vurt which probably shouldn't work, but does.

Also, thanks for the reminder; I still have Falling Out of Cars to read.
>> No. 5458 Anonymous
5th April 2014
Saturday 11:53 pm
5458 spacer
I read a rather interesting analysis of vurt shortly after finishing it which tied the ideas and themes into fractal geometry and some of the ideas put forth by Hofstadter in Eternal Golden Braid and I am a strange loop. It was particularly interesting to me as I'd not made the connection but had bought all three second hand on a whim the same day from the same shop. I also bought something by Campbell that day, who is also mentioned. Not that my own instances of apophenia are of interest to anyone else. Here's the analysis anyway: http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/113/wenaus.html
>> No. 5459 Anonymous
12th April 2014
Saturday 6:56 pm
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This was weird and genius in a number of ways. About fifty pages too long. Should be required reading for conspiracy theorists, it might shut them up occasionally.
>> No. 5461 Anonymous
25th April 2014
Friday 3:35 pm
Oh, this is bloody marvellous. And weird yes, but in the right way.

I'm considering to read Wilson's Prometheus Rising. Looks promising.
>> No. 5462 Anonymous
25th April 2014
Friday 3:59 pm
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This was an easy enough read but a bit pointless. Just well-meaning pop-psych/pop-evo-psych. The whole thing can be summed up in a paragraph.

>Men sexually imprint at about 6 to 10 years of age, women don't imprint but are generally more flexible. Failing to properly teach kids about sex causes more and weirder paraphillias, like plants growing through concrete. It's not their fault they get twisted. Also the author used to wank over pictures of Neanderthals when he was young.

Funnily enough I just ordered a copy of that.
>> No. 5463 Anonymous
25th April 2014
Friday 4:04 pm
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This was entertaining but very silly. Strong YA fiction. The way cyberspace (or levels-of-reality) was handled doesn't compare to the artfulness of Vurt, however.
>> No. 5464 Anonymous
25th April 2014
Friday 4:08 pm
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This is astonishingly well written for a seventeen year old. Reminiscent of Moorcock in terms of themes but the prose is much clearer and entertaining. Sadly the plot is a little bit aimless but it's less than 200 pages so you won't feel like you've wasted much time on it. The what look to be wood-cut illustrations are charming.
>> No. 5465 Anonymous
25th April 2014
Friday 10:50 pm
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> Funnily enough I just ordered a copy of that.

Share your thoughts after reading a few pages of it, please.
>> No. 5466 Anonymous
28th April 2014
Monday 1:12 am
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Vurt Konnegut?
>> No. 5467 Anonymous
28th April 2014
Monday 12:08 pm
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I've not read Prometheus Rising(been meaning to for ages), but The Illuminatus Trilogy blew my tiny little mind when I were a teenlad. Also Cosmic Trigger is well worth a read, it's quite short and a lot more biographical but really interesting. RAW is pretty out there in a lot of ways but the humour and deeply humanistic slant he has on things is lovely.

I'd say also check out some of his talks on youtube, he's a great speaker and just great fun to listen to. Some of his ideas are maybe slightly dated but he was very much a product of his time. Highly intelligent and just seemed like a lovely bloke.
>> No. 5468 Anonymous
28th April 2014
Monday 2:37 pm
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The humour and humanistic slant reminded me of Douglas Adams. So did the plot, in some ways.
>> No. 5469 Anonymous
28th April 2014
Monday 3:33 pm
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Yeah they both have that highly intelligent but absurdist take on things which I enjoy. I can barely remember the plot to Illuminatus it's been so long, aside from the conspiracy within conspiracy Hail Eris! bonkerness of it. I remember it being a proper head fuck and really enjoying it though. Some of Wilson's ideas are pretty fucking mad but he always seems open to the idea that he's entirely wrong about them which is, I think, an admirable quality. All the stuff about channeling entities from the Sirius star system and Pucas and his love of synchonicty are all just fucking bonkers but he seems like a beacon of sanity amongst the madness when you actually listen to or read him.
Either way he is/was an incredibly interesting bloke. I still often listen to his talks and interviews on youtube, there's something really comforting about them. I wish there were more "Old Bobs" about.

I also think he's actually been quite influential on a lot of counter cultural type stuff. I'm sure he'd fucking love all the insane music industry illuminati symbology and theory that is so prevalent nowadays. Although maybe the fact that it often seems to be nothing other than a marketing gimmick nowadays is a bit shit.
I reckon Operation Mindfuck has definitely been in full effect for a while now though.

I think I'll grab Prometheus Rising and maybe Vurt as well. Haven't read any good scifi in a bit.

Also if people are into their scifi and haven't read any of Iain M bank's 'Culture' novels you really are missing out. They're flipping great books.
>> No. 5470 Anonymous
30th April 2014
Wednesday 9:13 pm
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genuinely brilliant, words fucking on a page, not quite so much as nymphomation but still lyrical.
>> No. 5471 Anonymous
30th April 2014
Wednesday 10:04 pm
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Only finished the preface and introduction to PR and I already feel like I should probably rewatch the lectures on the 8-circuit mind then read the Dhammapada and Intro to General Semantics before I carry on with the rest of the book. Never mind, time for that later.
>> No. 5472 Anonymous
30th April 2014
Wednesday 11:52 pm
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This one. Quite good, I'd say.
>> No. 5473 Anonymous
1st May 2014
Thursday 1:37 am
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I've heard Stephenson is quite unsubtle and more for the YA market than anything. Do correct me if I'm wrong.
>> No. 5474 Anonymous
1st May 2014
Thursday 3:39 pm
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I don't really know, lad; I'm no expert in appraising books. I find his books (so far I have read the Baroque Cycle) interesting and entertaining.
>> No. 5475 Anonymous
6th May 2014
Tuesday 2:32 pm
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This took a lot longer to finish than I expected as life got in the way. I started off making notes on each chapter as I went along but they weren't anything of any interest to anyone else and were making me pick holes in the writing rather than appreciating it for itself so I stopped after a couple of chapters.
It is definitely worth reading. Witty and full of interesting ideas presented clearly. Some of it is clearly false or suspect but the author acknowledges that as being unavoidable and it doesn't really detract from the theories. There's probably some validity to the stuff about circuits but I'm not entirely convinced. The imprinting stuff seems close to the mark. The best bits are probably the way he explains subjective reality, even if you are aware of it, it's very good at repeating the same point in a way that isn't boring but makes it easier to remember yourself and use as a tool in that way. The Milligan-esque drawings are a nice touch. I'd certainly recommend the book, it's generally logical and nothing like the hippy claptrap one might expect. Not a whole lot in it that you couldn't learn from Illuminatus! if you tried but it does clarify the points he's making.

Sorry, I'm instinctively inclined to be snobbish about books, completely unfairly in this case as I've never read anything of his. I'll give it a go in the near future.
>> No. 5476 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 6:43 am
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I wouldn't bother with Stephenson, to be honest. I picked up Quicksilver from my local second hand bookshop, because it was big, cheap, and the owner had heard it might be worth a read. I guess it isn't bad, but yeah more YA I feel. I got about two thirds of the way through, put it down because I had picked up something else, and haven't bothered picking it up again for over a month. I don't usually do that.

Also, Stephenson is nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is. Nowhere near...

If you haven't read any Iain M Banks, go for that. Get Excession. I think you will enjoy that as a (incredibly intense) starter book.
>> No. 5477 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 11:53 am
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Maybe I am far too YA in my head for my own good still but I liked Stephenson's earlier work particularly Snow Crash which is still a latter-day classic of the genre. I found Cryptonomicon a bit too over-arching for me and I would have preferred if it'd just stayed on the present-day thread. I haven't read any of his Baroque trilogy stuff because it seemed just too self-masturbatory. The last book of his I managed to complete was The Diamond Age which I seem to have fond memories of despite not actually enjoying reading it at all at the time.

Pic related is one of my more recent reads, just to reduce the pointlessness of this post slightly.
>> No. 5478 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 2:21 pm
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I've read a lot of Greg Bear and Asimov, but only Ian Banks not Ian M. How does he compare to the other two?

Any comments to make on that 69 book?
>> No. 5479 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 2:52 pm
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> Any comments to make on that 69 book?

Bizarre but enjoyable enough that I'm hunting down one of his other books at the moment. The main downside is that the author obviously tries far too hard to be clever (or perhaps I mean tries far too hard to be avant-garde/post-modern/arty. You could almost imagine the book being displayed in the Tate Modern).

His writing style could be comparable to Will Self or William S Burroughs, although I'm sure the author himself would hate such comparisons.
>> No. 5480 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 4:11 pm
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It's okay, lad. I don't mind I am a bit like that myself. And thank you for the comment on „Prometheus rising”.
> Also, Stephenson is nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is. Nowhere near...
Can you please elaborate on that?
>> No. 5481 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 4:27 pm
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I know the author slightly and know just how much he would indeed hate those comparisons. I think your overall assessment is about right. Other titles of his which are especially worth seeking out are Come Before Christ and Murder Love and Memphis Underground.
>> No. 5482 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 5:47 pm
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Thanks for the tips. I'm currently waiting for an Amazon marketplace vendor to send me an apparently out of print Down and Out in Shoreditch and Hoxton. I'll see if I can track down the ones you recommend too.
>> No. 5483 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 6:36 pm
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Oh that is a good one. A curious fact about it is that every paragraph is exactly 100 words long - he was inspired by the sort of literary self-restrictions used by Georges Perec where he wrote a book without using the letter 'E'.

With 69 Things one of his primary sources was Ann Quin's novel 'Berg'. "A man called Berg, who changed his name to Greb, came to a seaside town intending to kill his father..."
>> No. 5484 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 10:23 pm
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Those are both pretty awesome things to know, thank you. I look forward to receiving Down and out, apparently some paragraphs are essentially cut-n-pasted with only key words changed in an almost Burroughsian style. That's about the only other thing I know about it.
>> No. 5485 Anonymous
7th May 2014
Wednesday 10:30 pm
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Just picked up a copy of Berg off Amazon, allegedly an original 1964 copy (although I'm dubious). Thanks again.
>> No. 5486 Anonymous
12th May 2014
Monday 2:46 pm
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Just finished this. Seems like a strong early novel but the use of alliteration and pointlessly obscure vocabulary crowbarred in detracts from the immersion somewhat. It felt like a serious version of Pratchett's, which is no bad thing. Not much connection felt to the characters plus the creature design was a bit weak. Points for effort in not using the same old fantasy world though. The world itself was intriguing and the plot enthralling enough. Very hard to shake the impression it wasn't just set in a weird London but that's ok. It's about on par with the city and the city, the best of his books in my humble opinion.
>> No. 5487 Anonymous
15th May 2014
Thursday 11:30 am
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This was an interesting contrast to Perdido Street Station. There are a lot of things to take issue with such as the oddly simplistic way her world functions, the obvious satires, the retro-active attempts to crowbar cultural references into the third novel and most particularly the infantile understanding of computers. A lot of it was just silly and it's unclear how intentional that is. In terms of the setting it's a lot weaker than The Handmaiden's Tale if only because that book didn't try to explain their reality in much detail so there's less to fall apart. But I'm being massively over-critical, because none of that stuff is particularly important. The storytelling and the dialogue is wonderful, the female characters seem very real and human, they're beautifully portrayed. Particularly the format she uses in the final of the trilogy, it was an engaging read.
Trigger warning: all three of these books have overt feminist and ecological agendas. Almost to Sexing the Cherry level of dogmatism but without the unpleasantness.
>> No. 5488 Anonymous
20th May 2014
Tuesday 10:49 pm
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A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking by G.R. Haskins.
A nice intro to cognitive biases, arguments and things like that.
>> No. 5489 Anonymous
20th May 2014
Tuesday 10:59 pm
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So simultaneously wacky, pretentious, yet ultimately middle-of-the-road. Sounds like standard Míeville to me.
>> No. 5490 Anonymous
20th May 2014
Tuesday 11:41 pm
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For some reason HR Giger dying inspired me to finally get around to reading Dune, he was meant to work on the film that never happened.

Also bought Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and a Ray Bradbury short stories collection for good measure.
>> No. 5491 Anonymous
21st May 2014
Wednesday 1:21 am
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Please don't remind me of Railsea. I maintain that Looking For Jake was a solid collection of stories.

I could be mistaken but I think Giger did do quite a bit of art in prep for it. I'm picturing a strange baby-faced tank. If you haven't seen them they're probably floating around somewhere assuming I didn't just imagine this.
>> No. 5492 Anonymous
21st May 2014
Wednesday 1:47 am
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Search for a documentary called Jodorowski's Dune, it shows a lot of the artwork that Giger and Moebius did for the film.
>> No. 5493 Anonymous
29th May 2014
Thursday 9:58 am
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Thanks, grabbing that now. Sounds fascinating.
>> No. 5494 Anonymous
3rd June 2014
Tuesday 10:59 pm
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Correct me if I'm wrong but I sense a slight despisal towards YA literature in your posts. Why? Lack of mature finesse? Lack of depth?
>> No. 5495 Anonymous
3rd June 2014
Tuesday 11:35 pm
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I don't know if I analyse literature in enough depth to know exactly what I dislike about it, I just usually find some fault or another with it.
Then again, I'm probably just trying too hard to feel like an adult.
>> No. 5496 Anonymous
4th June 2014
Wednesday 11:03 pm
5496 spacer
All right, cheers.
>> No. 5497 Anonymous
4th June 2014
Wednesday 11:48 pm
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Just finished re-reading this. Not much to say except it was definitely better the second time around. There's an awful lot I missed out on originally but it was much easier to understand the second time. The prose (even translated) is fluid and beautiful, the ideas complex and fascinating. It's a little like reading a kaleidoscope. Very difficult to explain to anyone what it's about.
In a way, not unlike the Stanley Parable of fiction. Only less depressing.
>> No. 5513 Anonymous
5th June 2014
Thursday 10:59 pm
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Orwell's "Politics and the English language". I tend to think that it can be applied to some other things as well, not only to the language.

Also I have started reading the aforementioned Prometheus Rising. Makes me wonder how will I carry out the bloody party exercises being a recluse. So far I have read only the introduction and the first chapter. Looks promising.
>> No. 5518 Anonymous
5th June 2014
Thursday 11:58 pm
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>> No. 5520 Anonymous
6th June 2014
Friday 12:33 am
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That article is far worse than the fact of any adult reading YA fiction. It's also addressing a far more juvenile level of novel than Gibson, Stephenson et al who've been name-dropped in this thread thus far.
>> No. 5521 Anonymous
6th June 2014
Friday 12:46 am
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>> No. 5548 Anonymous
6th June 2014
Friday 4:04 pm
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That prejudice only makes sense if you're one of those weirdos who fetishises the very idea of books and reading and want to make sure everyone knows what you're reading and what an intellectual you are.
>> No. 5578 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 2:24 pm
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You sound more than a little intellectually insecure yourself.
>> No. 5579 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 2:41 pm
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Nice one, "no u" is a classic of the genre.
>> No. 5580 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 2:51 pm
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It's also a valid observation.
>> No. 5581 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 3:59 pm
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I'll be sure to take note, Sigmund.
>> No. 5582 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 4:13 pm
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Four chapters through so far. It does assuredly maintain its status as an interesting book. Still struggling with exercises. I suppose it is all right, since the whole idea is about overcoming your "programming" but anyway.
> Animals outline their territories with their excretions, humans outline their territories by ink excretions on paper.
> 2. Get roaring drunk and pound the table, telling everybody in
a loud voice just what dumb assholes they all are.
Gave me a good laugh.
>> No. 5583 Anonymous
29th June 2014
Sunday 4:33 pm
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I'll look forward to your equally lucid rants on /e/ and /v/ at people daring to discuss their opinions on the media they've enjoyed lately.

He has a great sense of humour. Do you think you'll try any of the exercises?
>> No. 5584 Anonymous
30th June 2014
Monday 3:53 pm
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> Do you think you'll try any of the exercises?
I have already. Haven't found enough coins yet but anyway. The one with discerning what people's Thinkers think and Provers prove is interesting but I think I haven't reached the full understanding. Assumptions only.

The "50-something questions" exercise was kind of easy. Get in and there are all kinds of weird questions flood in, just pick those on-topic. A very good thing to do whilst in the bogs.

The "can I beat the shit out of that person" exercise makes me somewhat wary. I think that's partly because of my combining it with Cooper's advice on remaining in condition yellow [1] when not home. As for getting pissed and knocking the table - tough shit.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Cooper#Combat_Mindset_and_the_Cooper_Color_Code
>> No. 5598 Anonymous
30th July 2014
Wednesday 3:54 pm
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>> No. 5599 Anonymous
30th July 2014
Wednesday 4:15 pm
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>> No. 5650 Anonymous
16th August 2014
Saturday 9:56 pm
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Going forwards. Chapters 8 and 9. This is where it starts to echo with some stuff I read earlier. Upbringing methods, specifically, and other things related.

> 1. Recreate vividly in imagination your first orgasm. To what extent do you still use the same accessories (stimuli) to turn you on?
Bloody hell. I have been consulting prof. Hans Jerkov since the age of 7, I think. It is going to be tough.
> 2. Try to change your sexual imprint. See if you can reach orgasm by some method that has been taboo or unthinkable to you before.
Well, shit. What do I do now, wank to fat transsexuals? This is going to be fun indeed.

There is another problem I have run into whilst reading this book. I think I have finally realised (or I am approaching to that realisation) how actually daft and ignorant I am. Not sure whether this is good or bad. I'd say it's rather good but something needs to be done about this.

Otherwise, continuing to read the book.
>> No. 5651 Anonymous
16th August 2014
Saturday 10:12 pm
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> 2. Try to change your sexual imprint. See if you can reach orgasm by some method that has been taboo or unthinkable to you before.
Doesn't sound like a very healthy book to me...
>> No. 5652 Anonymous
16th August 2014
Saturday 10:15 pm
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> I think I have finally realised (or I am approaching to that realisation) how actually daft and ignorant I am.

Cleverer individuals than you have been saying for a long time that the trick to being intelligent is remembering precisely how little of absolutely fuck all you actually know. You'll be fine.
>> No. 5653 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 2:45 pm
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Funniest book i've read.
>> No. 5654 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 3:10 pm
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>> No. 5655 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 3:27 pm
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This one advice is really innocent. See the discussion above.
I hope so.
>> No. 5656 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 5:31 pm
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>> No. 5657 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 7:10 pm
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This was really quite interesting. I read it as a child and somehow only picked up on one of the plots which stuck with me for years, but it was well worth re-reading.
>> No. 5658 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 7:13 pm
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This was ... weak. The plot is under developed and while striving to cover a great deal, feels short. It's also weirdly self-consciously sexist; the protagonists wife being a generally useless proto-MacGuffin who is aware of her own status as something to simply run around after the protagonist.
>> No. 5659 Anonymous
17th August 2014
Sunday 7:16 pm
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I haven't yet finished reading this but it is much better than Time. Sadly, a lot of what's interesting about it wouldn't make sense without having read Time. I don't know how sensible any of the authors ideas are, really, the stories being not very hard science, but reading this has thrown a lot of light on what Baxter and Pratchett are trying to achieve with the Long series.
I guess if you read the first and enjoy it, save your time and money by reading a synopsis of Time rather than reading the book itself, then move onto this one.
>> No. 5686 Anonymous
2nd September 2014
Tuesday 9:34 pm
5686 Chapter 10
> Refute this whole book
Well Mr. Wilson, I have been wondering when you'd ask. Whether the expectation of such request is obvious or not, I have been asking this question to myself since I started to read this book.

Anyway. Going through the "we are all right, you are all wrong; it is unlikely that one as wrong as you will become right ever but we'll try to teach you" part has reminded me one particular tech forum. I doubt they had ever been trying to reimprint someone (and if they had, they probably failed miserably) but the principle echoes the very principles of communication with "newchaps" on that forum. I do even recall behaving like that myself sometimes. Damn shame.

I have also hit the metaphorical trap door of thinking about brainwashing evasion. It seems to be fairly easy from the comfy arm-chair but I doubt that it really is. I am not sure what would I do if I were drafted and thrown into a boot camp. Could I theoretically devise a strategy to remain myself, throw out all incoming bullshit whilst learning anything that's good? Or would that be too resource-consuming?

The following exercises propose to learn to listen and to observe. Maybe that'll help.
>> No. 5687 Anonymous
5th September 2014
Friday 3:12 pm
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At Swim-Two-Birds- image 3.jpg
Some fantastic and witty meta-fiction writing here, aside from the occasional segment composed of Epic Irish poetry, which tends to drag. At just over 200 pages this is a great light read.
>> No. 5688 Anonymous
5th September 2014
Friday 3:19 pm
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This is just absolute excellence in writing. The sort of book you can read and re-read and keep finding new stuff in. I've no idea where the treasure is hidden yet. There's not even any noncing, other than a strong pederast subtext, the most graphic of which is a sentence which refers to "plucking ripe figs and peaches" (paraphrased). It's worth reading for the poem alone, never mind the commentary. Best to not get a copy that says the author's name in a large font anywhere if there's any chance anyone will see it, else you will get some funny looks.
>> No. 5689 Anonymous
5th September 2014
Friday 3:29 pm
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>Best to not get a copy that says the author's name in a large font anywhere if there's any chance anyone will see it, else you will get some funny looks.
Which is a damn shame, because even Lolita is not the book people think it is. You do get some bloody funny looks if you read it on the bus though.
>> No. 5690 Anonymous
10th September 2014
Wednesday 7:38 pm
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This book is hilariously ineptly written. The author doesn't seem to know anything about teenagers or drugs.
>> No. 5691 Anonymous
10th September 2014
Wednesday 10:54 pm
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Oh, she's gloriously bad. Her name escapes me, but she wrote loads of similar books claiming to be the diaries of teenagers who got involved in [insert scare topic here] and had various awful things happen. I found 'Jay's Journal' in a charity shop a while back, which is another of hers, and it's hilarious. A teenager sells his soul to the devil via a demon named Raoul, with cattle mutilation and all sorts of other nonsense thrown in.
>> No. 5692 Anonymous
10th September 2014
Wednesday 11:00 pm
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This https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay%27s_Journal ?
I can't help but think Sparks has more harm than good with these ludicrous diaries. I'm sure she means well.
>> No. 5693 Anonymous
10th September 2014
Wednesday 11:45 pm
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That's the one; apologies for mis-spelling the demon's name. Comedy value of the books aside, I've no doubt you're right that she's done more harm than good, though given some of the allegations of unethical behaviour against her (the Barrett family aren't the only ones unhappy with the way she used material given to her if I remember rightly) I'm not sure if she genuinely means well or is simply the equivalent of a tabloid editor at their worst, not caring that's she's exploiting real people's misery and then distorting it beyond all recognition because she knows it'll sell. It really was the most overblown and hysterical nonsense, a version of Satanism so cartoonish that a seventies Hammer film would look tame in comparison - she's a lot like Jack Chick, actually.
>> No. 5694 Anonymous
10th September 2014
Wednesday 11:51 pm
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Well, she is a Mormon. Jack Chick is a pretty good comparison.
>> No. 5695 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 8:07 am
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I wish I was part of a Satanic cult, but they'd probably just boot me out for being a dickhead anyway.
>> No. 5696 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 3:36 pm
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The Man Who Was Thursday. I stumbled upon it whilst playing Deus Ex. Cannot say anything as I've just started reading it. The excerpts from the game were quite intriguing though.
>> No. 5697 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 5:44 pm
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Only at a Satanic cult meeting would the bald prick in the next row forward so obstinately stand in the way of the shot.
>> No. 5698 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 6:22 pm
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>> No. 5699 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 8:18 pm
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Well you've ruined that picture for me, thanks very much.
>> No. 5700 Anonymous
11th September 2014
Thursday 9:47 pm
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That fucking Anton.
>> No. 6016 Anonymous
13th July 2015
Monday 4:10 pm
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Finished Aldington's Death of a Hero.
I was told it is an anti-war novel but it seems to me that the author steamrolled many other things as well in it. Good read. Wish I read it several years ago.
>> No. 6017 Anonymous
13th July 2015
Monday 4:46 pm
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Posted about 10 months ago, but still got a laugh out of me. Good job.

Assuming this is the 'what are you reading' thread, I'm getting through Broca's Brain by Carl Sagan at the moment. I ditched it a year ago because the bulk of the book is made up of debunking, point-by-point, questionable scientific arguments in texts from the period it was published that really aren't very relevant anymore. It's a bit tedious getting through the fine details of debates that ended forty odd years ago, but I'm trying to draw more general knowledge out of it, and Sagan's writing is really pleasant.

I really love his short biography of Einstein, not cloying, but captures what made him an inspirational figure.
>> No. 6018 Anonymous
13th July 2015
Monday 4:51 pm
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Apologies for double posting, but not coincidentally there was a lovely bit about Sagan and Voyager's audio recordings on the BBC World Service's Science Hour just recently. It's why I picked up the book again. Worth a listen:

>> No. 6162 Anonymous
5th September 2015
Saturday 1:28 pm
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Just finished this over my morning coffee. Definitely lives up to the reviews, and just as stylish as his Mars trilogy. I've always maintained that good SF is a study of human nature, and this really excels at blending the technological aspects with the human story without falling into the trap of just becoming a dumpload of dry technical data. Very enjoyable book.
>> No. 6178 Anonymous
7th October 2015
Wednesday 5:54 pm
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Geoff Thompson's Dead or Alive. I don't even remember where I got this one.

Haven't finished it so nothing substantial to say for now. Sorry for the lousy quality pic.
>> No. 6222 Anonymous
22nd November 2015
Sunday 5:00 pm
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Just 4 months and I've finished re-reading it. I did not notice how the author's snarkiness decreased as I approached the end of the book the first time but I have noticed it now.

I have also really appreciated his description of George's alienation from his former environment. Somewhat reminds me of London's Martin Eden's finale. Exactly as bitter. Exactly as hard to fathom it truly if you have never been in any of the two situations portrayed.
>> No. 6243 Anonymous
13th December 2015
Sunday 4:50 pm
6243 The Day of the Jackal
'They can't shoot straight.'

Then a fuck-up by OAS where a jocular question asked by one of the policemen prompted the reveal of the whole plot.

So far, nice.
>> No. 6244 Anonymous
14th December 2015
Monday 10:27 am
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Picked this up on the recommendation of a friend, enjoyed it quite a lot.
>> No. 6245 Anonymous
14th December 2015
Monday 11:23 pm
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Anything like Snow Crash or The Diamond Age as far as you know?
>> No. 6280 Anonymous
27th February 2016
Saturday 7:22 pm
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Not at all like Snow Crash. Seveneves is very much SF whereas Snowcrash is a homage to/satire of Cyberpunk. Personally I much preferred Seveneves; it goes on a bit but some of the scenes are really magnificent. There's a wonderful description of the end of the world as viewed from the ISS where they're all listening on the radio to the last broadcasts, mainly live orchestras around the world in cathedrals and stadiums and so on, playing various classical pieces as the world dies around them.
>> No. 6292 Anonymous
2nd March 2016
Wednesday 10:14 pm
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God, I found Snowcrash unbearable. It literally gave me a headache at parts.
>> No. 6293 Anonymous
3rd March 2016
Thursday 12:14 am
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I can't say I was a big fan of it. It seemed to be trying to satirise cyberpunk whilst still being a totally sincere cyberpunk novel with nothing new to say.
>> No. 6295 Anonymous
3rd March 2016
Thursday 2:11 am
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It didn't occur to me at any point that it was trying to satirise cyberpunk, but then I've not read that much so there may well have been references or in-jokes I missed. I just found the style of breathless run-on sentences, the "dynamic fast-paced futuristic" tone or whatever, to be exhausting; the cyberpunk I've read has been bad for this but I found it particularly grating in Snowcrash. The characters and plot were also fucking ridiculous.

Which doesn't leave much, really.
>> No. 6296 Anonymous
3rd March 2016
Thursday 2:21 am
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>there may well have been references or in-jokes I missed.
The protagonists name is Hiro Protagonist.
>The characters and plot were also fucking ridiculous.
That's probably part of the "joke", or at least the sort of thing fans of it will claim is the joke.
>> No. 6297 Anonymous
10th March 2016
Thursday 7:46 pm
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Kelly Victor.jpg
Some time last year I thought I'd have a go at reading some modern Welsh literature, see what the taff answer to Trainspotting is, that sort of thing. So I got this on recommendation.
It's not very good. The story of two young people falling into a rather violent love affair, told from both their perspectives. Aside from the plot itself being a non-starter and going somewhere predictable, the prose is tedious. The first half of the book is told from Victor's perspective, then it tells the same story again but from Kelly's. That could be interesting, but it's not. You don't learn anything new from what she says and she narrates in exactly the same way as him, even using the same imagery. If you're into amateurish, dangerously violent sub/dom sex stuff then you might enjoy it, otherwise it's a complete waste of paper.
>> No. 6298 Anonymous
10th March 2016
Thursday 7:55 pm
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At the same time for the same reasons, I picked up The Long Dry by Cynan Jones.
A real gem of a book, if a gem can be made from bleakness and despair. A heartwrenchingly beautiful story of life on a small British farm, I ordered his second and third novels as soon as I'd finished. Really can't recommend this any more highly, especially if you've had any sort of connection with rural life. The other two weren't quite as good, similar stuff; one about a fisherman and a Polish immigrant, one a farmer and a dodgy gypsy but told in the same captivating melancholy style. Cynan Jones makes Irvine Welsh read like cheap, tawdry entertainment.
>> No. 6299 Anonymous
11th March 2016
Friday 7:44 pm
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> with nothing new to say

To be fair it was written in 1992. The genre defining Neuromancer was only written in 1984 (with follow ups released in '86 and '88 respectively) so I'm fairly sure that in 1992 Snowcrash was a breath of fresh air, especially compared to the genre it served to satirize and Gibson's sprawl trilogy that exemplified it.

For what it's worth, I found the plot fairly good when I read it as a teenlad. I especially enjoyed the way it blended religion, linguistics, and a much more realistic and accurate interpretation of virtual reality than Gibson's novels ever did (Second Life, anyone?).

If Snowcrash is guilty of anything, it's being a novel very much of its time. I'll admit that taken out of that context it may not make very much sense at all.

Cryptonomicon and The Diamond Age are also both very good, although the 1000 and 500 page heft of them is enough to put more than a few people off.
>> No. 6300 Anonymous
11th March 2016
Friday 10:10 pm
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I can't say I agree with Cryptonomicon being very good. It was good enough that I bothered to finish reading it but no more. It didn't really have a plot, did you notice that? It was just a bunch of stuff that happened.

>a much more realistic and accurate interpretation of virtual reality than Gibson's novels ever did (Second Life, anyone?).
Are we using Second Life now? Is anyone? The idea that the entire internet would be some sort of Second Life analogue is no more realistic than Gibson's confused reckoning of VR.
>> No. 6302 Anonymous
11th March 2016
Friday 11:07 pm
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> It didn't really have a plot, did you notice that? It was just a bunch of stuff that happened.

It's been nigh on fifteen years since I read it but I'd have to tentatively disagree with you on that, pending my rereading it. The plot was extremely convoluted though, being divided as it was across two time periods, and I felt exceedingly frustrated by the ending of the book; it felt as though there was another book or two's worth of plot missing off the end. Unfortunately Stephenson didn't continue with the story but rather segued off into writing The Baroque Cycle which I didn't take to at all.

> Are we using Second Life now? Is anyone? The idea that the entire internet would be some sort of Second Life analogue is no more realistic than Gibson's confused reckoning of VR.

I suppose my point was much more that at least Stephenson's avatar vision of internet representation has been played out to some extent in reality in everything from Second Life to every MMORPG ever. Granted our own current internet has gone in a totally different and more logical direction, but it's still vastly more realistic than Gibson's vision. We might not literally wander through a 3D internet world, but in some ways Facebook, Instagram etc force us to project an idealized avatar of ourselves, and what difference between the gargoyles in Snowcrash and the majority of us who live glued to smartphone screens?
>> No. 6303 Anonymous
11th March 2016
Friday 11:52 pm
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The book ended with them finding all the gold, as though that was what it had all been building up towards, but we didn't even know it existed until half way through the book, and it didn't feel like anything very important hinged on them doing so. The plot was meandering rather than convoluted. And don't get me started on the sections where he just dumped in mathematical equations related to cryptography that he'd sometimes explain in prose and sometimes not.

I suppose you have a point about the SL thing, but it was written almost ten years later, he must have been more aware of computers and the internet in a way that Gibson wasn't at the time of writing Neuromancer.
>> No. 6304 Anonymous
15th March 2016
Tuesday 12:25 pm
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I'd been meaning to read this for years and finally got around to it now there's a mini tv-series. It's entertaining but utterly ludicrous and morally iffy, at best. The human race is essentially eaten by a vast, unknowable hive-mind intelligence and this is to be applauded. Was Clarke a psychopath? All the characters seem to be identikit manipulators and there's little emotion in the prose beyond his euphoria at what seemed to me an incredibly dark apotheosis.
>> No. 6305 Anonymous
16th March 2016
Wednesday 8:12 pm
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He did almost the same in The Baroque Cycle, featuring the 1660+ timeline and the 1714 timeline. As the plot progresses they slowly converge into one year 1714 timeline.

It's nearly 3,000 pages long. I enjoyed it. But I'm no stranger to long novels.
>> No. 6310 Anonymous
5th April 2016
Tuesday 11:47 pm
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Shall I continue with this (with other people welcome to contribute as they always have) or will I just get shit for "showing off" how much I've read?
>> No. 6311 Anonymous
5th April 2016
Tuesday 11:52 pm
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Don't pay any attention to or respond to someone like that.
>> No. 6312 Anonymous
6th April 2016
Wednesday 3:12 am
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Yeah mate. I look forwards to your threads about which Operas you've been to see lately, and your inevitable /uhu/ post about your new wine cellar too.
>> No. 6313 Anonymous
6th April 2016
Wednesday 4:23 am
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To help you along here are a couple mildly-sozzled capsule reviews of two books I've read lately:

The first is A decent ride by Irvine Welsh. If you're primarily a fan of Porno, Filth, Glue, or Skagboys you will probably not like this book. However, if you were a fan of Carry On or the first part of Ecstasy then you perhaps might. For, unlike earlier novels involving 'Juice' Terry, this book has much more of a Confessions of a window cleaner vibe with most of the book played out in a very slapstick "wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more" manner with most of the action happening off page, and with what was described being, as I said, predominantly slapstick as opposed to realist in nature.

On the plus side I read this book in less than 24 hours due to its very easy-reading nature. I would liken the experience of reading this book to the feeling of reading the latest Viz while taking a leisurely shit, or the warm fuzziness of hurling abuse at Question Time whilst drinking your sixteenth can of Strongbow.

The second is Death of a princess by Alex Norris. This book was recommended to me by the self same person who recommended 69 things to do with a dead princess and I shall forever curse his immortal soul for doing so, for it is a hellacious wankstain of a book.

If you want a detailed review of it then just imagine the tabloid coverage of the death of Princess Diana taking place within the backdrop of 1984 blandly reimagined into a mildly dystopic near future by a version of Will Self lacking all the original's charm, wit, and talent.
>> No. 6314 Anonymous
6th April 2016
Wednesday 10:30 am
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Fucking posho.
>> No. 6346 Anonymous
11th April 2016
Monday 4:18 pm
6346 Slobgollion
>Squeeze! squeeze! squeeze! all the morning long; I squeezed that sperm till I myself almost melted into it; I squeezed that sperm till a strange sort of insanity came over me; and I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers' hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this avocation beget; that at last I was continually squeezing their hands, and looking up into their eyes sentimentally; as much as to say,—Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill-humor or envy! Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness.

I wrote a really long-winded post explaining in detail all the things I didn't like about this book, which mostly amount to the 400-odd pages of (often wrong) whale biology, and the narrator being a bit of an unreliable dickhead who can't decide whether he's an omniscient narrator or a character in the story. That said, if you can get over the Shakespearean language and endless soliloquising, the introductory description of Nantucket and getting to know Queequeeg were as enchanting as the final encounter with the whale was gripping. But it's an unbelievable slog to read the adjoining parts. The sense of awe Ishmael seems to be trying to create in the whale by describing it in endless detail simply fell flat for me, reading instead like so many tonnes of dripping mammalian gore.
>> No. 6347 Anonymous
11th April 2016
Monday 4:45 pm
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I picked up a fair few Penguin Classics last year because they were going cheap at a local bookstore. The Maldive Shark convinced me not to read anything further from Melville. The same applies to Dostoevsky after reading The Meek One.
>> No. 6348 Anonymous
11th April 2016
Monday 5:01 pm
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That's probably reasonable. I wouldn't really recommend Moby Dick to anyone unless they were planning on joining the merchant navy and needed something to read on the way.
>> No. 6349 Anonymous
11th April 2016
Monday 10:30 pm
6349 The new and improved Romie Futch
I read this as a palette cleanser after Moby Dick; someone recommended it to me on the basis I was reading the former. It was lovely; while the narrator has a little habit of dropping quotations and references that scream "liberal arts school education" it never quite becomes obnoxious, and there's a reason for it all in the end. The book is often compared to Moby Dick but that seems erroneous; it just mentions him a lot. I want to compare it to Atwood's Oryx and Crake Trilogy. Not only are a lot of the themes and messages or at least attitudes similar, but they both have the same sort of contemporary references and wonderfully clear storytelling style - except in these examples, Elliott does both better.
Moby Dick is a lot more quotable though. There isn't a single sentence in this book that stood out to me that wasn't an overt quotation or reference to another work or recent cultural phenomenon.
>> No. 6350 Anonymous
11th April 2016
Monday 10:59 pm
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"Palate" cleanser. The only thing that cleans your palette is turps.
>> No. 6351 Anonymous
11th April 2016
Monday 11:01 pm
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Noted, thank you.
>> No. 6352 Anonymous
12th April 2016
Tuesday 12:34 am
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Turps does make a delightful palate cleanser if you've been on the meths all day.
>> No. 6354 Anonymous
12th April 2016
Tuesday 1:16 am
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Fuck me lads I think I just emotionally scarred myself before bedtime. A bit of a slow start to this one but the ending is like a car crash in slow motion and visceral detail. You can see what's coming and it gets closer and closer and then it's no longer just the vague idea of it and you have to see all the horrible details. One for the resting actors and anyone who's ever felt badly used or manipulated. Far too fucking believable.
>> No. 6359 Anonymous
13th April 2016
Wednesday 3:51 pm
6359 Pattern Recognition - William Gibson
Pretty solid novel as far as writing goes. Good pacing, some good characters, all threads (maybe too) satisfyingly tied up at the end. Gibson's undeniably a competent author but there's nothing really new here. I don't feel like I gained anything from having read it. It has more of that American obsession with 9/11 in that personally I'm sick of hearing about but for its 2003 publishing date it's not the book's fault. It's not at all cyberpunk, which is counter to my expectations of Gibson. Frankly, Thomas Pynchon's Bleeding Edge is more cyberpunk than this, although they're both pretty similar, that being a less schlocky version of this in many ways.
>> No. 6360 Anonymous
13th April 2016
Wednesday 11:35 pm
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Finish the trilogy; it gets better. And worse, in ways. Gibson's trilogies always do.
>> No. 6361 Anonymous
13th April 2016
Wednesday 11:38 pm
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While I'm here, and you probably already know this, I might as well crib this from Wikipedia:

In September 2001 Gibson had written about 100 pages but was struggling to finish. He stopped writing after watching the September 11, 2001 attacks on television and "realized [the novel] had become a story that took place in an alternate time track, in which Sept. 11 hadn't happened". He considered abandoning the novel but a few weeks later re-wrote portions to use the attacks as a motivating factor for the distress the main character feels.
>> No. 6362 Anonymous
14th April 2016
Thursday 1:25 am
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I wasn't aware it was a trilogy even. I probably won't read the other two in the near future, sorry. There are way too many books that might be better.
>> No. 6364 Anonymous
14th April 2016
Thursday 2:15 am
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He went full American Psycho on this one, every character is described in terms of what brands they're wearing, few of which mean anything to me or I imagine to most other .gs users.
>> No. 6365 Anonymous
14th April 2016
Thursday 2:33 am
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Sorry deleted post just after you had posted this since I realized I had used redundant words in the sentence. (I'm quite tired).
>> No. 6366 Anonymous
18th April 2016
Monday 3:50 am
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He put the cigar to his lips. "Goddamn" he said grimly. She took a drag on her cigarette. He lit a match. He was too distracted to light his cigar. She brushed imaginary ash off her lap.
"Why is everybody in the world but us such a goddamn phony?" she whined nasally. He lit his cigar with a fresh match and took a deep drag.
"Don't be such a goddamn fool about it", he replied grimly. "You don't understand. You have to take multiple, contradictory religious ideologies at face value as truth, simultaneously." He tapped the ash from the end of his cigar. She lit a fresh cigarette.
"So what's the point of it all?" she asked, stubbing out the cigarette and lighting a new one.
"You have to act for God". And everything was resolved.
>> No. 6367 Anonymous
18th April 2016
Monday 7:23 pm
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That reminded me some book from Deus Ex.
>> No. 6368 Anonymous
18th April 2016
Monday 7:33 pm
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It was a good read but I do wonder if it was sponsored by Chesterfields or something. Every character smokes, and is smoking almost constantly.
>> No. 6369 Anonymous
18th April 2016
Monday 8:02 pm
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It's hard to convey chiaroscuro lighting and smooth jazz in prose, so he had to compensate somehow I suppose.
>> No. 6370 Anonymous
18th April 2016
Monday 8:13 pm
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That's what the past was like. Everyone was smoking all the time.

>> No. 6371 Anonymous
18th April 2016
Monday 8:17 pm
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I still sometimes use the phrase sad-making. Thankyou Mr Salinger.
>> No. 6372 Anonymous
23rd April 2016
Saturday 7:26 pm
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I don't think I've seen such a succinct capsule review of book anywhere else, ever. I really, really like both F&Z and Catcher in the rye but that summation really made me giggle. It's spot on.


>> No. 6373 Anonymous
25th April 2016
Monday 11:09 pm
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>> No. 6374 Anonymous
27th April 2016
Wednesday 4:50 pm
6374 Three books by Kevin Mitnick
The Art of Intrusion, The Art of Deception and Ghost In The Wires.

Someone on here recommended these to someone else. I don't suggest you bother reading them all.
Intrusion's a fantastic primer/workbook on how to improve the digital security of the business you're running — fifteen years ago. Not without value still.
Deception is the most varied of the three, quite a quick read even for something of that length as it has stories taken from a range of backgrounds with different approaches which keep it light and entertaining.
Ghost was a slow biography of Mitnick's hacking life which left me reeling with obsolete technical jargon about VMS switches, telephone loops and rooting .rhost files. A harrowing tale of addiction to hacking despite it ruining pretty much every human relationship he had. The man wasn't a ghost in the wires he was a blathering idiot who just would not stop doing pointless hacks despite being fully aware of the law enforcement attention it was drawing. Technically very accomplished of course but his MO varied so little, by the nth long winded description of hacking and social engineering yet another phone company I was rooting for him to get nicked. I think what he did was very interesting and approve of the hacker ethos presented but I regret having read about it in such depth.

I think I'd recommend Underground by Dreyfus and Assange above these as it has the variety of Deception with the human interest of Ghost and a third of the length of these three combined.

Around page 1250 of this "trilogy" I took a break to read the short version of Flowers for Algernon, which was really quite touching (even if the prose seemed a little affected and/or inconsistent in places). Worth the thirty minutes maximum it'll take you to read.
>> No. 6375 Anonymous
27th April 2016
Wednesday 5:39 pm
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Everyone always seems to recommend this book, so I read it and now I do too. Bit of a slog to read, it pathologises everything Corporate, blaming them (seemingly fairly) for all sorts of atrocities.
The copy I read was a modern edition which had an introduction reframing the Obama administration as a government reworking of this Body without Organs modern corporate face, fascinating perspective given that a similar thing is happening here with the privatisation of the various social services. Worth reading that introduction alone if you don't feel like being bashed over the head with her full anti-globalist message for three days.
>> No. 6376 Anonymous
27th April 2016
Wednesday 7:03 pm
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They were recommended to me. I haven't even started — life got in the way. Besides, I've recalled that I want to read the Cosmic Trigger trilogy mentioned somewhere above in this thread.

Thanks for the review. I'll keep it in mind.
>> No. 6377 Anonymous
27th April 2016
Wednesday 7:06 pm
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American Pyscho always seemed like such an overhyped obvious book to read.

I don't mean that in a snobby sense, but I couldn't help get the feeling it probably wasn't that good because it was one of those that 'everybody else read it so it must be good'.

I'm not regretting my ignorance, I'm really enjoying it and it's really fantastic. I enjoyed the film, but as usual, it doesn't even come close to touching on the book.

Are there any others people can recommend similar to this, a bit morose and black comedy themed with a hint of mind-fuck.
>> No. 6378 Anonymous
27th April 2016
Wednesday 7:27 pm
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I really liked Ghost In The Wires because it made a lovely counterpoint to The Fugitive Game, and I dare say that the inverse is true. Say what you like about Mitnick's technical skills (and they are dross and why I haven't read the other two books mentioned) but reading this more autobiographical book was a joy; the guy had serious balls.

Underground is probably the best hacker book yet written, although The Hacker Crackdown might be the most poignant. On a slight tangent, although it's not a book, there is a fantastic article available online that was published in Esquire in 1971 entitled "Secrets of
the Little Blue Box". It is, in my very considerable opinion, the absolutely best piece of writing on (early )hackers and (early) hacker culture ever written.


If you liked American Psycho then you'll probably like My Idea Of Fun by Will Self.
>> No. 6379 Anonymous
27th April 2016
Wednesday 8:25 pm
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I may be judging Ghost too harshly as I'm definitely suffering from hacker lexicon fatigue right now; I'll look up the others you mention when I've had some time to recover.

I'll second that Self novel, too. Maybe it's just because one's a Brit and the other's septic but B.E.E doesn't hold a candle to Will.
>> No. 6380 Anonymous
27th April 2016
Wednesday 10:42 pm
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Honestly if you're not completely au-fait with the terminology I could see the book being quite tiresome. The main reason that I enjoyed it was that it provided an opposite point of view to Takedown by John Markoff (not The Fugitive Game as I said before, that was actually a more even handed book by a third party) as it was written by the man himself, not the man who helped to bring him down. I suppose that after decades of Mitnick hype it was just refreshing to read (even a grandiose) tell-all from the man himself.

Kingpin by Kevin Poulsen (when will his tell all be out?) and Darkmarket by Misha Glenny (of McMafia fame) are both hugely accessible journalistic insights into their respective areas of cybercrime.

> I'll second that Self novel, too. Maybe it's just because one's a Brit and the other's septic but B.E.E doesn't hold a candle to Will.

Will Self is definitely one of my favourite contemporary authors.
>> No. 6381 Anonymous
27th April 2016
Wednesday 10:48 pm
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While we're on the topic of books about hacker culture, my favourite is probably Kingpin by Kevin Poulsen. It's a good companion to The Hacker Crackdown, as mentioned by >>6378 (the two would be my picks out of the books in that field); The Hacker Crackdown is fascinating largely because it documents just how tame the 80s/early 90s hacker scene was, a bunch of kids goofing around on (almost completely unsecured) networks, who got slammed by a grossly disproportionate response from law enforcement agencies that didn't have the first clue what these kids were doing. By contrast, Kingpin covers the encroaching criminal element of the 2000s, the carding scene (credit card fraud) and so on, and provides a good insight into the gradual metamorphosis of hacking from being primarily a pastime for tinkerers, to being the new playground for organised crime.
>> No. 6383 Anonymous
28th April 2016
Thursday 12:42 am
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That sounds like it's edging on True Crime fiction which is a lot less interesting.

Just FYI, all the hacker culture books we've mentioned so far are available on libgen (dot) io.
I found Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy on there something like two months before it was originally released.
>> No. 6384 Anonymous
28th April 2016
Thursday 12:49 am
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> [The Hacker Crackdown and Kingpin provide] a good insight into the gradual metamorphosis of hacking from being primarily a pastime for tinkerers, to being the new playground for organised crime.

And to top it all off read The Cuckoo's Egg by Cliff Stoll. While I found myself more and more infuriated with the author's unthinking, unquestioning, work a day attitude the further I got into the book it tops the other two books off by being an example of how global spy agencies have been using computer intrusion since at least the early 1980s.

If you follow this up with some light reading on Robert T Morris (both Sr and Jr) then you'll have a fairly good idea of exactly how far the NSA et al are in front of everyone else and also that they've been there since around the 70s.

The more things change, and all that.
>> No. 6394 Anonymous
3rd May 2016
Tuesday 6:24 pm
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I mentioned reading the short-story version of this earlier. I just finished the novel and it was significantly better. The prose isn't terribly exciting and feels a little gimmicky to begin with, but the themes and motifs work beautifully and the plot/message is tragic. You know that horrible drop in your gut when you realise you've unknowingly been the butt of a cruel joke? This novel is that feeling.

There are a few bits I thought were odd, the way the bakery workers suddenly like Charlie again when he becomes retarded and why they even hated him to begin with. They had motivations but those felt inadequate justifications for their actions. I also struggled to reconcile Charlie's original condition with the idea of someone that you can just make smarter and they'll appeal totally normal. I could be wrong but don't most people with severe mental deficiencies tend to also have physical abnormalities, too? It's not important.
>> No. 6395 Anonymous
4th May 2016
Wednesday 5:24 am
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what am i doing here.jpg
A couple of amusing stories in here, but the rest of it gives a peculiarly fresh glance at a variety of people and places during the 20th century. I don't know if it's Chatwin's writing style or choice of subjects (mainly now-forgotten artists) and places to write about, but he manages to make interesting a number of things I'd never have thought to read about.
I don't know if it was intentional, but I did crack a smile at his agreement with Werner Herzog that
>Walking is virtue, tourism deadly sin.
in the last section of the book before he writes about travelling, at times in arranged tourist groups.

The segment on Madeleine Vionnet was especially pleasing.
>> No. 6396 Anonymous
4th May 2016
Wednesday 7:51 am
6396 My Secret Garden (1973) by Nancy Friday
my secret garden.jpg
>… there’s this giant centipede or prawn, or a cross between the two, crawling into me head first, my legs being really wide apart to accommodate him. As he crawls into me, his thousands of fuzzy legs fall off onto the sheets around me. He tickles and excites me as he undulates and wiggles from side to side getting further and further in, and he becomes drenched with my nectar, which he licks up and is strengthened by. He goes on up and up. This all takes hours as he is ten thousand feet long, but I like every inch of it …

This book is really badly organised so I'm not going to organise my thoughts on it, to reflect that. It's a compilation of anonymously submitted women's sexual fantasies, apparently with the intention of blowing everyone's minds by proving women do have sexual fantasies. Welcome to The Seventies.
Old-fashioned views on lesbians ("they must masturbate and use their imagination more than heterosexual women because of the thought required to switch from imagining they're a man to a woman, and back"), so many references to "blacks" or "negroes" and she barely understands bisexuality, let alone transgenderism or anything else on the possible gamut. So dated.
So, so, so many of these fantasies involve other women, but are listed as "other women" fantasies, not bisexual.
So many women would apparently love to have "faceless" people watch them have sex. To a lesser but still surprising degree are sheer number of dog and piss fantasies, although not usually at the same time.
Supports the idea that fantasies/kinks are from formulating experiences when young.
There's a big undercurrent of women wishing their partners would make more noise during sex. Especially talking. It seems like people benefit more from just talking about their fantasies while fucking than they ever get from actually experiencing them, if they get the chance.
The number of women with sadist or masochistic fantasies and the pure evilness of what they imagine makes me recategorise guro comics I've seen online as almost unremarkable. There's a funny contrast between the women who begin their fantasies by warning the author that "this might be too shocking" then telling her something completely vanilla and the woman who freely admits to actually making little boys strip naked before she whips them, then asks if the author can send her some of the right sorts of whips.

Somewhat unsurprising number of women like being dominated or made to feel like they're not in control of it, even though it's what they want.

Some of them are pretty outlandish but with others they're very much composed from a small set number of topics. Someone watching, that person is black, they are female (feel guilt for this), there is a dog licking them, someone is pissing in their vagina; you could build an erotic Aarne-Thompson classification system from this and generate all the possible standard variations on women's fantasies.

This might be TMI but I was interested to note that despite the majority of the book being vivid descriptions of sex, it was only very select parts of it that I found actually sexy. Not always the parts I expected, either.

Eye-opening in some ways, in others the author and the subjects seemed blinkered or naive.

>The next morning, happily exhausted, I begin the ritual of carefully gathering up the thousands of orange fuzzy legs that surround me, and take them in a wicker basket to the kitchen. There I dump them into my blue enamel jam making pot, and add sugar, orange peel, lemon, nutmeg, banana peel scrapings, and a bit of hash when available (very optional). At the hard-ball, or so-called crack stage of cooling, I pour the orange mass into penis-shaped molds (can be bought in your nearest sex shop), and allow them to cool and harden. To be sucked later when desired, but I usually give mine away to my friends, as the penis-shaped mold itself is far more satisfying and I share him with no one. You’d be surprised how many of my friends drop by for their sucks.
>> No. 6397 Anonymous
4th May 2016
Wednesday 8:19 am
6397 Slaughterhouse V
I decided it was about time I re-read this, now as an adult. Fantastic piece of work, seemed totally heart-felt and honest in the way he admitted to struggling so much with finding the right way to write about such a tragedy. The little bit about Mary O'Hare seemed like it must have been true. Not sure what to make of the Tralfamadorians though.
>> No. 6398 Anonymous
4th May 2016
Wednesday 11:06 am
6398 spacer

Some of my most furious early teen lad wanks were to that, unless the porn fairies had deposited Razzle/Knave/Penthouse in some bushes.
>> No. 6399 Anonymous
4th May 2016
Wednesday 11:44 am
6399 spacer
Even the one about the woman who fantasised about being vivisected then eaten?
>> No. 6403 Anonymous
9th May 2016
Monday 6:57 pm
6403 Season of Storms
I read this a few months ago. All right. Almost made me smile wryly when the effeminate lame psychopathic antagonist was killed. A bit full of himself he was.
>> No. 6404 Anonymous
13th May 2016
Friday 12:38 pm
6404 spacer
One more thing. The magicians from the Rissberg Castle seem quite an allusion to the real world IT sector. To me, at least.
>> No. 6405 Anonymous
27th May 2016
Friday 10:05 pm
6405 Bonk: The Curious Coupling Of Science And Sex
I didn't actually set out to read this as I've read so many other books about the psychology and so on about sex lately but I glanced at the intro and was hooked for the whole thing. It covers a lot of the same stuff as the others mention but Ms Roach obviously did an awful lot of research and she has a fucking brilliant sense of humour, I genuinely laughed out loud a couple of times every chapter. I wasn't expecting that.
>> No. 6406 Anonymous
27th May 2016
Friday 10:10 pm
6406 spacer

The last time I attempted to read any popular work about 'science' and sex, it was full of terrifying and inaccurate social Darwinist assumptions. I probably should have expected it, as it was called Sperm Wars, but it put me off the entire genre.

That being said, I'd be interested to know what you gleaned from this.
>> No. 6407 Anonymous
28th May 2016
Saturday 12:39 am
6407 spacer
>what you gleaned from this
All sorts of little tidbits that I'll remember in conversational context but I can't really reel off the top of my head. Wearing polyester underwear decreases the sex drive of mice compared to other sorts of underwear, lots of stuff about sounding, Kinsey was almost definitely a massive filthy voyeur, having sex in a MRI scanner is not very sexy, pigs are the only other creatures that like having their nipples rubbed to get them off, bulls are quite often gay, the smell of men's cologne decreases blood flow to the vagina and so on. She doesn't make too many assumptions, just tells you what the results of various studies were.
>> No. 6408 Anonymous
28th May 2016
Saturday 4:07 am
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What kind of underwear do mice like then?
>> No. 6409 Anonymous
28th May 2016
Saturday 7:27 am
6409 spacer

I don't know about mice, but wearing my linen boxers makes me feel well horny.
>> No. 6410 Anonymous
28th May 2016
Saturday 10:01 am
6410 spacer

Just got this book on the basis of your post. Thank you for the recommendation.

Sage for not adding anything useful to the converaation
>> No. 6411 Anonymous
28th May 2016
Saturday 2:07 pm
6411 spacer
It was rats, not mice, my mistake.
>There were seventy-five rats. They wore their pants for one year. Shafik found that over time the ones dressed in polyester or poly-cotton blend had sex significantly less often than the rats whose slacks were cotton or wool. (Shafik thinks the reason is that polyester sets up troublesome electrostatic fields in and around the genitals.
She obviously means trousers as she's a septic, but they weren't wearing any underwear under their trousers so it's pants that are the issue.

Good, I didn't pay for it and she deserves at least one sale out of that. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
>> No. 6412 Anonymous
28th May 2016
Saturday 6:38 pm
6412 spacer
How did the rats take off their trousers/pants to fuck?
>> No. 6413 Anonymous
9th June 2016
Thursday 8:35 pm
6413 Ian M. Banks - Feersum Endjinn
I'm slightly less impressed by Hannu Rajaniemi's work after reading this, as they seem remarkably similar in tone and ideas. Having read The Quantum Thief first meant this made less of an impression on me that it really should have. It was a bit of a slog to read in places, particularly the bits narrated by Bascule (although he was a great character the phonetic spelling was a pain). The plot wasn't paced brilliantly, seemed a bit confused in places (more than once one narrator would "spoil" the plot of what was going to happen to another, then you'd have to read that bit too) and the dénouement was deus ex. Still a good book though. A solid read.

It didn't say
>> No. 6414 Anonymous
11th June 2016
Saturday 2:12 pm
6414 spacer

Funnily enough I've just finished re-reading Feersum Endjinn. I go back and read all of Banks' sci-fi every so often. I think this one stands up better after the first read, as you can follow the plot more coherently in my opinion. The phonetic spelling can be a bit of work, I agree. I quite like all that though.

Although this book isn't technically part of the Culture series or universe, having read some of those definitely helps with understanding a lot of what's going on; many of the themes are present in the Culture series, like the worlds within worlds, virtual existence, and technological ideas.

I did feel that the world he had created wasn't served particularly well by the mixed perspectives, it was part of what stopped me really creating a solid visualisation of the whole environment, though individual descriptive elements were top notch, and I liked all the castle and fortification stuff.
>> No. 6415 Anonymous
11th June 2016
Saturday 2:36 pm
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I had no problem with the phonetic spelling in other works (Clockwork Orange, Trainspotting, Riddley Walker) but Bascule was tricky. I think it's due to the use of ½ and similar things. It's a different mental language and breaks my concentration. I had a similar problem with Miéville's use of the ampersand in Railsea.
Understanding the things you mention from Culture wasn't a problem. They're used heavily in Rajaniemi's work too.
>> No. 6416 Anonymous
12th June 2016
Sunday 5:42 pm
6416 Ian Banks - Walking on glass
I remember that I read The Wasp Factory when I was quite young and found it really unpleasant. I thought that, being older, may as well try his other books. No, it's worse if anything. Ian is an evil sadistic bastard. Towards the end this book I felt almost physically sick, followed by gladness and then some really positive frisson at how it was all tied up. I wouldn't call it clever but it's extremely well crafted. None of that Bascule-style phonetic wankery so the whole thing was a breeze to read.

I hope his novels aren't all this dark, I have seven more to work through and if they're similar then I'm going to be suicidal by the end of it.
>> No. 6417 Anonymous
13th June 2016
Monday 4:34 am
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Just read a bit of the synopsis to The Wasp Factory.

Fucking hell.
>> No. 6418 Anonymous
13th June 2016
Monday 5:32 am
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You should read the whole thing, it only takes 5 minutes.
>> No. 6419 Anonymous
13th June 2016
Monday 6:22 am
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He mellows a bit in his later books, but he usually digs the knife in somewhere.

Some of the early ones are properly horrible though, it's true.
>> No. 6420 Anonymous
13th June 2016
Monday 6:26 pm
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>really unpleasant

That is kind of the point, lad. He writes about humanity red in tooth and claw.

>I hope his novels aren't all this dark

Heh. Good luck mate.

You should also try the Culture novels. I would advise starting with Excession if you really want a serious headfuck.
>> No. 6421 Anonymous
14th June 2016
Tuesday 5:34 pm
6421 Ursula Le Guin - The Birthday of the World and other stories
On a quick break from Mr. Banks.

Interesting collection of seven fairly short stories. The 6th, titular one was a bit odd as it didn't seem to follow much in the way of a cohesive narrative. The ones immediately before and after it were the best in terms of being stories; especially the last one which had a lot of interesting ideas or what it might be like to live on a generation-ship explored, how religion might impact that with a lovely affirmation of "hardship makes life worthwhile" at the end. One quote from it;
>“You have a sense of duty,” Bingdi told him affectionately. “Ancestral duty — go find a new world . . . Scientific duty — go find new knowledge. . . . If a door opens, you feel it’s your duty to go through it. If a door opens, I unquestioningly close it. If life is good, I don’t seek to change it. Life is good, Luis.”
struck me as mirroring a line from Walking on glass;
>They had been Promotionaries, on their respective sides of the Wars (which were not, of course, between Good and Evil at all, as non-combatants of every species always assumed, but between Banality and Interest)

The other five stories were quite fun. Very short; something like Margaret Mead of the free-love '70s meets John Norman (author of the Gor books). Peculiar sorts of relationships and cultures explored. It's funny how much female authors write about sex, especially about sex between children exploring their sexualities. I hadn't expected le Guin to do that. Either all women are perverts or it's more to do with when she grew up.
>> No. 6422 Anonymous
28th June 2016
Tuesday 10:00 am
6422 Iain Banks - The Bridge
the bridge.jpg
This one took a surprising amount of time to read for something so short but it's probably as I kept taking breaks in order to properly digest it. Not sure why you lot were talking about his work all being so red in tooth and claw, this one was lovely. The little fantasy worlds he comes up with are all really imaginative and somehow seem as real as the "real" plot threads. Brilliantly described scenes and set pieces, real characters, brilliant wordplay here and there. The twist, if you can call it that, (what was actually going on) seemed pretty obvious right from the first page but I don't think that lessened the enjoyment of this book in any way. Presumably it was intentional or the situation has been overused recently so I could recognise it easily. This was a really rewarding read, far more so than Walking On Glass or The Wasp Factory. He doesn't try to gross you out or rip out your heart with this one, it's just life.
>> No. 6423 Anonymous
10th July 2016
Sunday 8:00 pm
6423 Iain Banks - Espedair Street & Canal Dreams
Not a lot to say about Espedair Street beyond that it was a solid and entertaining novel although the main character's motivations felt a bit forced in parts.

Canal Dreams was far better, definitely a departure from his usual Scottish settings and hallucinatory weirdness. I think I read somewhere in an interview with him that he likes to do a lot of research for his novels and you can really see that come through in this; he talks fluently about a number of specialist topics. Excellent use of Chekov's Gun, everything that's in there is there for a reason, he doesn't waste a word. I will say I didn't like how the protagonist is a professional cellist too scared to get on a plane but somehow capable of stealth-killing a shipload of trained mercenaries but he was at least sort of convincing about how she made that transition. Not as good as The Bridge though.
>> No. 6424 Anonymous
11th July 2016
Monday 7:58 am
6424 Iain Banks - The Crow Road
A partial return to type with a Scottish setting again, but no dreamlike weirdness this time. Faultless book. Witty, intelligent, fantastic characterisations, a melancholic beauty and his prose has become significantly smoother to read. Got through this one in almost one sitting; multiple, intense experiences of frisson at the end.
>> No. 6425 Anonymous
11th July 2016
Monday 5:43 pm
6425 Chameleon On A Kaleidoscope - Anonymous
The sequel to >>6354, it has been sat on my shelf for some time. There are some humorous scenes and ideas in this but the Anonymous author seems to think that having an unreliable narrator means also omitting things like formatting, spellcheck, page numbers, consistent character names and a plot. He clearly has material for "that notoriously difficult second novel", but that's all this is. Material. Not a story. What made the first book worthwhile and not just some Mick arsehole crowing about how clever and cruel he thinks he is, is missing entirely.

I'm amused that he openly admits in this one to using underhanded/guerilla marketing schemes online to sell the first book as that is how I came across it.

Anyway, this lazy clusterfuck of a novella that's little more than a continuation of a sociopath's actual diary of his descent into total misanthropy apparently is intended to be the second part of a trilogy. I feel like the only fitting ending would be the third book never being finished as the author relapses into alcoholism and drinks himself to death in misery. It's just embarrassing.
>> No. 6426 Anonymous
29th July 2016
Friday 4:54 pm
6426 Iain Banks - Complicity, Whit, A Song of Stone, The Business
Whit and The Business were the strongest of the four, although ASoS was a very nice mood piece (almost Borgesian in simplicity but without the philosophy/metaphysics). He did a fantastic job of describing a war situation but without explaining what or where the war was or it being frustrating that he did so; the focal point was the characters and it felt appropriate the entire way through that nothing else was brought up.

Whit was great and The Business was an interesting world to explore but what plot there was didn't start until about 200 pages in and wasn't really resolved in the end but that didn't really matter.

It's interesting to binge read authors like this, you pick up on particular repetitions (and not just his thematic ones; castles and incest) but the protagonists of The Business, Canal Dreams and Espedair Street are all afraid of going on planes, even more specifically the female protagonists of TB and CD are advised by uncle figures to deal with it by getting so drunk the night before that their hangovers make them welcome the idea of dying in a plane crash. It feels a lot like he's recycling character notes when that happens. I binge-read the last dozen Discworld books in January or February and noticed a great deal of repetition like that, but had put it down to Pratchett's Alzheimer's; perhaps it's more common than that.

He makes interesting use of second person narration in both Complicity and ASoS, I felt it worked better in the former as it was intentionally a mystery story but in the latter the reader is clearly a character in the book but she does things off-page that we have no knowledge of, that bothered me a little.
>> No. 6427 Anonymous
29th July 2016
Friday 5:00 pm
6427 Osamu Dazai - No Longer Human
Well that was fucking dismal. More of a pamphlet than a book, reminded me of the XKCD strip of all the stick people on a train simultaneously thinking that they're the only ones who can think for themselves and that everyone else is a sheep. Except with more womanising and narcissistic self-loathing. Osamu did a great job of making Yozo's internal motivations consistent with his actions, even if he is a fuckhead. I'm certain there's more to this than I read into it but I'd need more culturally contextual information. Sparknotes perhaps.
>> No. 6428 Anonymous
30th July 2016
Saturday 12:29 pm
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>It's interesting to binge read authors like this, you pick up on particular repetitions
I hate to bring up politics, but I did notice over the years when working through Banks' novels that there's usually a salt-of-the-earth working-class bloke who gets in a good old rant for socialism (or railing against right-wing politics) at some point.

He always nailed it and I always guiltily enjoyed it, woolly lefty that I am, and you're always going to get an author's political leanings coming through in their work eventually, but after the first couple of times these odd little diatribes stuck out. Maybe they just struck a chord with me because I agreed with them (and forgot similar rants that I didn't); I read his books over the course of a decade and a half, so it's hard to say.

Anyway, since you're picking up on highly granular similarities, I'd advise you to finish his novels before reading Raw Spirit (I'm assuming you'll get around to that one too). It's ostensibly a whisky travelogue, but really it's just Iain telling stories about his life and friends and so on. I found that reading the last handful of his that I had left afterwards was rather like reading fiction that someone close to you has written - the blurring between inspiration and invention, the second-guessing, became distracting.
>> No. 6429 Anonymous
30th July 2016
Saturday 12:45 pm
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That happened in Walking on Glass, Espedair Street, The Crow Road and Complicity but hasn't in the last three. I find myself agreeing with him too, so I don't mind. Characters with different viewpoints don't get as much of a word in, I don't think you forgot anything.
I hadn't thought about Raw Spirit, I was just reading the fiction but I will if you recommend it.
>> No. 6430 Anonymous
30th July 2016
Saturday 12:53 pm
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Come to think of it, the Grandmother in Whit makes a half-hearted defence of hedonism but it's not all that.
>> No. 6431 Anonymous
30th July 2016
Saturday 3:19 pm
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Memoirs are inherently self-indulgent (I generally find this a little uncomfortable), and you probably want a passing interest in single malts, or at least, a passing interest in Banks' thoughts on them. If you can cope with these caveats then you'll find his usual wit, and a collection of anecdotes that provide an insight into the man and his work.

Is that something you want to read?
>> No. 6432 Anonymous
30th July 2016
Saturday 5:10 pm
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Sounds like it could be interesting. I'll see how keen I am to read books by other people I am by the time I'm done with his fiction.
>> No. 6433 Anonymous
31st July 2016
Sunday 4:36 pm
6433 Deus Ex: Icarus Effect
This wasn't particularly deep or anything. Just a piece of action and a prequel to DX: The Fall. I expected worse. Turned out to be a fairly alright novel regarding action but it could do better in terms of conspiracies all that shit.

I will probably read the other two. I like the spirit.
>> No. 6434 Anonymous
1st August 2016
Monday 4:12 pm
6434 Iain Banks - Dead Air
No castles or incest this time but left-wing rants make up about 60% of the content of this one. Still quite entertaining despite the plot being a bit unfocused. It started out as though it was going to be something sort of political about 9/11 but he got distracted by gangsters and women and a couple of minor plot arcs that materialised from nowhere and rapidly went back there.

I do miss the surreal nature of The Bridge and Walking On Glass.
>> No. 6435 Anonymous
1st August 2016
Monday 5:23 pm
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You'll get your predicted commentary/allusions to post-9/11 imperialist politics in Garbadale. Transition returns to the fantastical; I'll be interested to hear if you rate it or not. it didn't stand out as being anything like as enjoyable The Bridge, which made me wonder whether I had changed or whether Banks' writing had (again, a decade and change here, rather than your mad-dash "Banks month" - impressive stamina, by the way).
>> No. 6436 Anonymous
1st August 2016
Monday 6:01 pm
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I'm on Garbadale now. I keep finding misplaced apostrophes and one instance of their/there being confounded. It seems like it may be intentional as it's just Tango's POV which does it so far but it doesn't really add anything.

I remember that Banks said he hadn't written anything as grand as The Bridge when he started on The Quarry, hopefully that one will match up.
>> No. 6437 Anonymous
2nd August 2016
Tuesday 12:22 pm
6437 Iain Banks - The Steep Approach To Garbadale
☑ Stately Home
☑ Incest
☑ Left-wing rant
☑ Adultery
☑ Womanising
☑ Cocaine and whisky
Technically more of the same but this time it feels like he's using it more to full effect; before they were the focus, perhaps a bit experimental, but now they're set pieces which fit together nicely to create a more coherent book as a whole. Solid characterisation and development all around, some beautifully described set pieces. Aside from the slightly unlikely boardgame-to-console development of Empire! this world and its people felt real.
My only criticism is that the narration seemed to be limited third-person but switched to tell the story from a slightly different limited third-person, as though changing protagonist even if that person was only in two scenes. It felt like a slightly odd mix of first and third. I'm sure other books do this fine but it was distracting here.

Hypothetically if someone wanted to know which book gave the best impression of his work as a whole, this would probably be it.
>> No. 6440 Anonymous
3rd August 2016
Wednesday 3:36 am
6440 Iain Banks - Transition
Well that was bloody brilliant. Combined all the best stuff of the previous novels into some The Long Earth meets Abu Ghraib madness.
Granted it lacked the dark elegant simplicity of earlier stuff, a blockbuster compared to an indie movies but still damn good. It even had a real plot arc, for once.
Only gripes: The Pitcher's plotline felt ill-conceived, analogous characters appear in a couple of the other books and whatever it is Iain thought was interesting about them he has failed to communicate to me. The description of Madame d'O at the party made me picture something like Ursula from Disney's The Little Mermaid. In fact that whole segment felt cartoonish.
>> No. 6442 Anonymous
5th August 2016
Friday 2:56 pm
6442 Iain Banks - Stonemouth
Not a lot to say about this. Just another Iain Banks book. Well written characters, nice slow reveal of stuff not underestimating or patronising the reader. Nothing innovative or challenging about it though either. Pumped-out schlock. Higher quality schlock than most but that's not an excuse.
>> No. 6443 Anonymous
5th August 2016
Friday 2:57 pm
6443 Alissa Nutting - Tampa
I'm not entirely sure what the point of this was. Apparently it was intended to point out the hypocrisy of what attractive female child molesters can get away with but Alissa seemed very good at writing about the beauty of adolescent boys. Towards the end she definitely tries to undermine Debra Lafave's court defence by making it seem totally dishonest but there are some extremely pornographic segments which undermine that.
A much better book than the exercise in millennial narcissism that was Lolito by Ben Brooks, but Lolita it ain't.
>> No. 6444 Anonymous
5th August 2016
Friday 4:08 pm
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Sexy older ladies molesting me would certainly have me 'nutting', that I can assure you if you know what I mean ;^)
>> No. 6445 Anonymous
7th August 2016
Sunday 12:07 am
6445 Iain Banks - The Quarry
This was... incredibly bitter and full of self-loathing. The story of a man dying (relatively) young from cancer as told through the eyes of his social disorder-ridden son. The son behaved outwardly as you'd expect someone with a degree of Aspergers to, but his internal dialogue (the prose itself) was far too normie for it to scan. Still, the man's rant about the state of the world and how he wasn't sad to leave the mess we've made struck home. A bit meta at times, when Guy, the father, disappears and they think he may have gone to kill himself the first places they check are a bridge, a tower and a lake which seem like overt references to the author's favourite set pieces. High quality but not mind blowing literature, although given that Banks was dying of cancer when he wrote it, it does feel very genuine and heartfelt.

A moving farewell letter to the world. R.I.P Mr. Banks.
>> No. 6497 Anonymous
11th September 2016
Sunday 5:10 am
6497 Olivia Laing - The Lonely City
This was a drunk purchase for reasons I forgot, but it was really fascinating. I don't feel I learned a great deal about loneliness specifically, in fact I got a bit annoyed at the author for her actual period of loneliness didn't exceed six months and the small r9k part of me was insulted by her little jaunt into being alone, like a rich kid playing at being poor, but once I got over that the book was hard to put down.
It has a slight preoccupation with loneliness induced by homosexuality in the 80s, but I learned a great deal about Henry Darger and gained an actual appreciation for Warhol as well as a better understanding of why various pieces of modern art why the way they are, or at least some semblance of the idea that there is reasoning behind them, they're not always as wank as they appear to be on the surface.
I felt like I learned a lot of interesting stuff as well as it opening up a lot of new avenues for things to learn about that I was unaware of previously.
>> No. 6510 Anonymous
28th September 2016
Wednesday 1:56 pm
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Re-reading Forsyth's The Dogs of War. One hell of a preparation they do. That Manson guy is one sly magnificent bastard.
>> No. 6512 Anonymous
19th October 2016
Wednesday 2:42 pm
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So American Pyscho.

Did anybody else feel it was a struggle to read? I'm not quite sure how to phrase it, it wasn't bad, it wasn't badly written either, it was really enjoyable, yet it was a bit draining trying to keep up with his thoughts (which I guess was the idea).

Can somebody explain the last two chapters to me? When he gets mugged by the taxi driver, is he just being mugged but merging his crazy thoughts into his story to make it match up, that he's being attacked for murdering somebody and not just because he's actually being mugged by chance?

What was the significance of the last chapter 'At Harry's'? I wasn't sure if the takeaway (I know there's meant to be some ambiguity) was that it all culminates in a random mish-mash of the same old conversations and he realises, as the sign above the door suggests, that there is no exit from that lifestyle.

Please help, lads.

Edited by a mod because the original poster forgot that we have spoiler tags although why anyone would care about spoiling such an old an well-known book I don't know.
>> No. 6513 Anonymous
19th October 2016
Wednesday 2:51 pm
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>Edited by a mod because the original poster forgot that we have spoiler tags although why anyone would care about spoiling such an old an well-known book I don't know.

N1 mate, even left a capitalised 'SPOILER' in there to remind myself to add it in and then posted anyway. My bad.
>> No. 6514 Anonymous
19th October 2016
Wednesday 2:54 pm
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No worries, it's so relatively unimportant that I almost didn't bother.

As to your question, the entirely unreliable nature of the narrator makes it pretty much impossible to discern what is and isn't reality in the book, so the only real option you have is to take it as his interpretation of the facts, rather than hoping to figure out any "true" narrative.
>> No. 6515 Anonymous
19th October 2016
Wednesday 7:28 pm
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Exactly that. I also think that it's not just the lifestyle he has no escape from, but also that he's reached the absolute limit of his development mentally and emotionally. He's clearly become so stunted and deranged that this is the only reality possible for him.

Thanks for reminding me how much I like the book.
>> No. 6533 Anonymous
7th January 2017
Saturday 10:11 am
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Started reading Brothers Karamazov and, good grief, it's boring. What a shame as the synopsis is chock-full of interesting themes.

Has anyone here read it? I'm on Book Four and unsure whether to stick with it.
>> No. 6534 Anonymous
7th January 2017
Saturday 10:20 am
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The only Dostoyevsky I've read is The Meek One and I found it weary. I'm sure he was seeing how many times he could shoehorn the word magnanimous into a story.
>> No. 6535 Anonymous
7th January 2017
Saturday 10:27 am
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There's a lot of that sort of thing in Brothers Karamazov too. I wonder just how much damage has been wrought by hamfisted translators. Because, conversely, Crime and Punishment was a great read.
>> No. 6536 Anonymous
7th January 2017
Saturday 6:57 pm
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Perhaps this was a poor translation?
>> No. 6537 Anonymous
7th January 2017
Saturday 7:08 pm
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Google says Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky did the most critically/academically acclaimed translation of The Brother's K.
>> No. 6541 Anonymous
3rd February 2017
Friday 9:58 am
6541 Olivia Laing - The Trip to Echo Spring
echo spring.jpg
Interesting sort of travel diary and retrospective of a number of classic American authors who liked to drink too much. Not just Hemingway but Tennessee Williams and Scott Fitzgerald in detail with many others mentioned.
Not as moving as The Lonely City but still more than worth reading; it provides insight into the lives of a lot of these people that you'd otherwise have to read a lot of tedious biographies and collected letters of to find out. It doesn't give much of an answer to why writers drink beyond "these people had a lot of issues" and I feel like Ms. Laing has a bit of a preoccupation with homosexuals.
>> No. 6542 Anonymous
3rd February 2017
Friday 10:06 am
6542 Ursula Le Guin - The Wind's Twelve Quarters
Another short story collection. This was published almost 30 years before >>6421 and it shows in every respect. The ideas and characters aren't as clearly presented and the stories feel a bit muddled and unsure of themselves. I feel like she was just finding her footing for the fantasy/SF cross that she's known for. That's not to say it wasn't worth reading, just that I won't be recommending it specially to anyone.
>> No. 6543 Anonymous
3rd February 2017
Friday 10:21 am
6543 Will Self - Grey Area and other stories
All Englishmen should love Will Self, the man with the lugubrious voice. With some authors works you get the feeling that you know what they're trying to do but it falls short somehow; this is never the case with Self. Some of his novels are a bit intimidating in terms of complexity and length but I feel like Grey Area is a great sampler of the overall tone of his work. Some of his other short story collections are more innovative or entertaining but this is a really solid piece of work.
>> No. 6544 Anonymous
3rd February 2017
Friday 10:27 am
6544 David Benatar - Better Never To Have Been
The most thorough and popular anti-natalist philosophy I'm aware of having been laid out. He does say he's not arguing for suicide but you still may want to kill yourself at the end of it. If you're worried about the Trumpocalypse through nuclear warfare or climate change then this at least will comfort you that, in the end, that's for the best.
>> No. 6545 Anonymous
3rd February 2017
Friday 10:38 am
6545 Vernor Vinge - Across Realtime
Mr. Vinge back with his wonderfully crisp, clear prose. A fantastic storyteller even if this book feels a little dated now. I'm not completely sure why this trilogy is a trilogy, despite the continuing timeline the second book doesn't feel thematically connected to the other two and could be skipped without losing a sense of what's going on. Still, it's entertaining in its own right.

In this trilogy at least Vinge reminds me a great deal of Stephen Baxter's Manifold books, both in the exploration/handling of deep time and the Della Lu/Nemoto similarities. I wonder if she's related to Una Persson?
>> No. 6546 Anonymous
6th February 2017
Monday 5:07 pm
6546 Vernor Vinge - A Fire Across The Deep
This seems to be very "soft" SF. Vinge seems to have re-written a number of laws of physics to create the setting, although perhaps it's just a bit scientifically dated.

Some great conceits* and the pacing had me glued to the book. Some odd stylisations in the prose style that were a bit distracting, things like switching the POV in mid-paragraph and in a number of places, information and dialogue seems to repeat itself in a way that felt like I was reading an unpolished draft of a novel.

*The galactic communications network being portrayed as a pay-for-bandwidth old-style bulletin board with all the cross-wires, half truths and lies that entails was fun the whole way through.
>> No. 6547 Anonymous
8th February 2017
Wednesday 10:20 pm
6547 Gabriel García Márquez - One Hundred Years of Solitude
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Nothing much to say about this that you won't have already heard. Really beautiful book, blah blah, confusing character names. Márquez really is a master of magical realism, I love how the lines are blurred or non-existent.
It's not long but it is quite dense, bears reading in digestable portions over quite a while. Doing that may make it harder to remember which character is which or descended from whom but that's part of the wonder of it. Just let it wash over you.
>> No. 6549 Anonymous
9th February 2017
Thursday 6:51 pm
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I read this summer last year, my edition came with a helpful family tree (as long as you didn't read too far down and 'spoil' elements of the story for yourself).

I agree, it's difficult to write anything about it that hasn't been said already, but I can describe the effect it had on me, and the standout parts.

There are so many standout moments, the death of the family patriarch, the characterisation of all the sons, the anecdote about the murder at a cockfight, the transformation of the quiet boy in the little chemist's lab to a revolutionary Colonel, the ascent of that odd and otherworldly girl to heaven. It's a book that's really designed to furnish your mind with beautiful images.

The way he writes the perception of time is incredibly true to life, what it's really like to live and sense the passage of time. Relatives who seem to live forever, prolonged or shortened adolescences, the dramatic but often imperceptible changes in the environment, seasons, politics, faces, buildings of the town.

Also how this matches up to perception of place, like the bookshop owner who moves away and is dissatisfied no matter where he's living, gave way to what is, in my opinion, the most wonderful passage of the book:

Upset by two nostalgias facing each other like two mirrors, he lost his marvelous sense of unreality and he ended up recommending to all of them that they leave Macondo, that they forget everything he had taught then about the world and the human heart, that they shit on Horace, and that wherever they might be they always remember that the past was a lie, that memory has no return, that every spring gone by could never be recovered, and that the wildest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth in the end.

Another thing that comes to mind is how gracefully the author handled sex and violence. It manages to be mythical and mundane all at once. Not erotic writing in the slightest, but deep and visceral descriptions that struck me as incredibly human. I won't quote any passages out of context here but some of these moments were really powerful when reading.

I'm prattling, here, but it's one that's really stuck with me. There's a hell of a lot of life in that book, in the energy of the world and the subtlety of the writing.
>> No. 6550 Anonymous
11th February 2017
Saturday 2:20 pm
6550 Liu Cixin - The Three-Body Problem
I've heard great things about this book. It was surprisingly bad. Ignoring the weird dialogue because it's translated from Chinese, there are some very nicely written scenes. Cixin has a very vivid imagination for little heroic or dramatic set pieces like paintings of war, but there are only a small handful throughout.
It begins with a premise that the same particle-collision experiments carried out in different places at different times gives wildly inconsistent results, therefore the laws of physics are not universal therefore physics "doesn't exist". Their only two hypotheses for why this is are that either some alien/greater intelligence did it on a whim or some alien/greater intelligence did it to fatten us up like turkeys, so all the scientists start to kill themselves. I know Chinese culture and thought is a little different to ours but nothing about the aforementioned sounds very scientific to me. The larger part of the book is spent with characters who feel like puppets doing illogical things for no real reason and with no real outcome. The last sixty pages or so are spent explaining away the stuff in the first part but it's done in an oddly fairy-tale like manner and is just unconvincing. Underneath its pretensions of complicated maths it's really a very bland piece of genre fiction, about as scientifically rigorous as something PKD could have come up with.

As for why it's so popular in China, I can only guess that good science fiction is banned there so they don't have much to compare it to.
>> No. 6551 Anonymous
11th February 2017
Saturday 5:22 pm
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Hello /lit/lads.

Some time ago (some some time ago) somebody posted this weird dark sci-fi thing about various races in a fictional universe and how their fates had come about. Some of them were sentient machines that had gone full circle and created life only to have it become sentient and re-mechanicalise itself or something like that. Proper interesting, far out weird stuff. I think it might have been background fluff from some sort of tabletop RPG.

Anyway I was wondering if any of you would have the foggiest what I'm on about and direct me towards it, because I want to write some music about it.
>> No. 6552 Anonymous
11th February 2017
Saturday 10:17 pm
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Sounds like something Stephen Baxter or Alastair Reynolds might have written but beyond that I'm not sure.
>> No. 6553 Anonymous
14th February 2017
Tuesday 1:34 pm
6553 Stanislaw Lem - Solaris
Lem has a reputation and it is well deserved. This book addresses some of the same issues that the philosopher Thomas Nagel would become famous for writing about 13 years later, that is, what is it like to experience or fully understand The Other entirely? They both make the same mistake in assuming that people "fully" understand anything but that's really by-the-by, it's a good book and worth reading both for the thoughts it might provoke and just for simply being a landmark piece of science fiction. Lem and PKD were contemporaries and whilst PKDs ideas are probably more complex, Lems are by far more coherent and not schizophrenic. Apparently PKD believed Lem was a group of communist writers all publishing under the same name for cold war reasons, Lem was flattered by this. PKD was mad, whatever.
Good book. The descriptions of the stuff the planet makes evoke images of fractals and similarly DMT-esque things. The (few) characters are very believable, given their circumstances.

Apparently the Tarkovsky film of this is very good, although wikipedia says it focuses too much on the human relations rather than the central ideas of the book, which is the same issue I had with the Soderbergh version which I did see, despite it still being enjoyable but for perhaps different reasons.
>> No. 6554 Anonymous
17th February 2017
Friday 4:07 pm
6554 John Wyndham - Consider her ways and others
Nice little collection of short stories. Wyndham only seems to have the one "voice" and most of these stories hinge on almost identical conceits but he does a rather nice job of approaching them from a variety of people's points of views, seeing how those might turn out. His idea of contemporary society is quite dated (as is to be expected from a 50+ year old book) but in a way that evokes a sense of nostalgia for the previous century. Very comfy, or cosy, or whatever it is bernd says.
>> No. 6555 Anonymous
18th February 2017
Saturday 8:25 pm
6555 Neil Gaiman - Norse Mythology
Good light read, Gaiman's sense of humour makes a nice fitting to his retellings of Prose Edda and the rest of the Norse cycle. The language used in most translations of things like that is often a bit dull to read, this makes it far easier to get through and is about as close to the spirit of the original stories as you're likely to get. Like everything he writes it's aimed at Young Adult readers but I'd recommend it to anyone interested in Norse Mythology but put off by the "originals".
I was especially impressed by his ability to showcase how similar some aspects of the stories are to what we think of as folk or fairytales, without signposting it too obviously.
>> No. 6556 Anonymous
18th February 2017
Saturday 11:30 pm
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>The language used in most translations of things like that is often a bit dull to read
Haven't read Gaiman's take on it, but can confirm, the Vedas/Eddas are pretty tedious. It's all "and then Jon Stromsson struck down Birgitte Hakarlsdottir on the tenth night of the eighth moon, and was summoned to the Althing to address his crimes, for which his father did pay the customary 100 silver pieces, and arranged for their children to be wed". For hundreds of pages. The Icelandic government may be the oldest in the world but murder seemed to be the order of the day for most of it, and not much of anyone cared about it, either. More like a minor inconvenience; a bit of cash exchanged hands, job done (unless it was a slave, in which case nobody even pretended to give a fuck).
>> No. 6557 Anonymous
19th February 2017
Sunday 8:14 pm
6557 Will Self - Cock & Bull
This is actually two, unrelated novellas, save for the name and theme of gender fuck-ups. Cock is about a woman who grows a penis and rapes her husband, Bull is about a man who grows a vagina in the back of his leg. Don't worry, those aren't really spoilers. They both seem chiefly concerned with cynicism about human nature; the first is both frightening and grotesque (not so much the directly sexual parts as everything else, some parts were preminiscent of his novel My Idea Of Fun) and the second darkly humorous. Both display great characterisations and understandings of different parts of life. I'm not sure if he intends to shock with his writing but he certainly relishes and wallows in unpleasantness. Only having read his early works I'm curious to see if he grows out of it.

I was amused to find, in my second-hand edition of this book, two bus tickets used as bookmarks. One from May 2001 just over two-thirds of the way through and another, two dozen pages from the end, dated January 1998.

Mr. Self is a very strange man.
>> No. 6558 Anonymous
19th February 2017
Sunday 8:49 pm
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>I was amused to find, in my second-hand edition of this book, two bus tickets used as bookmarks. One from May 2001 just over two-thirds of the way through and another, two dozen pages from the end, dated January 1998.

I think I've finally found a use for the decades worth of receipts I've got scattered around the house; I'm going to start putting them in random books in charity shops.
>> No. 6559 Anonymous
20th February 2017
Monday 9:20 pm
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Please do. I love finding other people's train tickets and receipts in charity shop books; little anonymous windows in the lives of others fascinates me.
>> No. 6560 Anonymous
20th February 2017
Monday 9:36 pm
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You can have my dead car if you want.
>> No. 6561 Anonymous
20th February 2017
Monday 9:56 pm
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Can I? The missus wrote the car off this week and I'm brassic.
>> No. 6562 Anonymous
20th February 2017
Monday 10:57 pm
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He seems like an alright bloke.

>> No. 6563 Anonymous
21st February 2017
Tuesday 7:30 am
6563 Ryan Holiday - Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator
This was a bit of an eye opener. I'm always a bit wary of the content of any book written by someone who claims to be good at manipulating or lying to people but the evidence for what he says is really all around us, he just provides an explanation for it. What he did when working for Tucker Max and American Apparel, someone is very obviously doing for Milo Yannohisname. It really boils down to "all media stuff is nonsense and lies made up to get click-throughs, let's cross our fingers until someone works out a better way to do it or it stops working on its own". I'd add "keep your adblock on at all times unless you're certain the page belongs to the original content creator and isn't news". Given that it's now five years old, things are probably worse than he describes by now.

The man himself comes across as a bit of a turd, all the examples he gives are either something bad he's done (for which he makes excuses and swears he's turned over a new leaf) or others (and are blatant character assassination of media figures he doesn't like). That doesn't really invalidate what he says however. I'm sure you're sort of aware of all this but it's far more insidious than most realise.

Given how much time you spend on the internet you should definitely read this.
Don't give him your money though, download it. It's on libgen.
>> No. 6564 Anonymous
21st February 2017
Tuesday 1:14 pm
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He's not as much of a shit as the book makes out. He's brutally self-critical, but it's easy to overlook the fact that he started working for Tucker Max when he was 19. The combination of immense talent and total immaturity is perilous. His recent book Ego is the Enemy is a 256 page penance.
>> No. 6565 Anonymous
21st February 2017
Tuesday 3:15 pm
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This is odd. I saw that book somewhere yesterday, but I can't place exactly where.

My life is a dream and nothing is real.
>> No. 6566 Anonymous
25th February 2017
Saturday 1:48 pm
6566 Vernor Vinge - Rainbows End
This sort of cyberpunk-lite is a lot more entertaining than his space opera-esque novels but... I don't know. Vinge is capable of writing high-concept stuff but this just seems like well-written, generic futurism. It's a bit dated even now, due to some of the cultural references but if works if you think of it as an alternate future-present that split off around the time the book was released. Better world-building than the Maddaddam series but sort of aimless. Lots of fun little details using an anime avatar to avoid kids because they'd find it too sophisticated and old-fashioned was a great sly move yet there's little in this that leaps out and grabs you as a concept. Advances in medical, networking and VR tech are old hat.
Some moral questions are thrown up but never really addressed for example the villain's justification for his actions is actually quite reasonable but the novel never contradicts them or gives any hint that he's right or wrong; the main characters simply stop him and that's it.
The prose is clear, the characterisations and development are good, the pacing is ideal but something is missing. Innovation, perhaps. As great a storyteller as Vinge can be, he's still a man of his time, and as such, a writer of his time's future.
>> No. 6572 Anonymous
13th March 2017
Monday 10:32 pm
6572 David Wojnarowicz - Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration
I can't spell this man's name for shit.
This is a book in two parts, it felt like. First was very dense but beautiful prose, the memoir part. It never occurred to me that an anonymous casual gay encounter could be beautiful, but Wojnaro... fuck. David made it so. It is a little over the top at times, but not to the degree that it spoils the rest of it.
The remaining 200 pages were transcribed interviews and phonecalls about a friend of his who committed suicide, obviously in much simpler prose. Lots of being angry about the lack of safe-sex education and how homosexuals are poorly treated, mainly raging against now-irrelevant political and religious figures. I think Reagan is the only person mentioned that I knew of.
Worth reading just for the first half; it is full of despair and tragic beauty.
>> No. 6574 Anonymous
15th March 2017
Wednesday 12:35 am
6574 Haruki Murakami - Kafka on the Shore
I have decided that I don't really like Murakami (Norwegian Wood bored me shitless), but will admit that this one captivated me toward the end. Honestly I'd have preferred if he hadn't decided to include the whole Oedipus allusion thing, the surreal otherworldliness was solid enough to carry the book without that nastiness.

(Apparently the book contains several riddles, but apparently I'm too stupid to pick them up.)
>> No. 6575 Anonymous
15th March 2017
Wednesday 5:28 pm
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dancing in the no fly zone.jpg
Incredibly good. Brings me back to when I was there, pre and post invasion.
>> No. 6578 Anonymous
15th March 2017
Wednesday 10:27 pm
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I'd be interested in reading more about the book/your thoughts on Iraq.
>> No. 6579 Anonymous
15th March 2017
Wednesday 10:32 pm
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Have you considered buying the book? And my thoughts? I am just a poster on an anonymous imageboard, bust ask away.
>> No. 6581 Anonymous
15th March 2017
Wednesday 10:42 pm
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I've got a reading list longer than my arm, so honestly no, not really. As for your thoughts: I'm interested in what Iraqis you know thought about the invasion. I met a Kurd who rather it be called a "liberation", thought it was for the good, and made me feel very ignorant about the whole thing.
>> No. 6582 Anonymous
18th March 2017
Saturday 9:34 pm
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Depends on the people I guess. I met an Iraqi taxi driver in Egypt. It was very depressing. He spoke about how he had a decent life, family, a business, and how he lost it all along with 3 kids.

Made me feel really bad.
>> No. 6583 Anonymous
21st March 2017
Tuesday 7:53 pm
6583 Michel Houellebecq - The Possibility of an Island
I think this book is supposed to be philosophy in the way that Camus or Kafka can be but there wasn't a great deal of that, at least not in the way they handle it. The book deals with potential eternal life in a way that doesn't seem to me to be even remotely philosophically sound. Immortality through cloning yourself and injecting some liquid from your brain into the clones that supposedly gives it your personality but not, it seems, any of your memories.

It's sort of a pessimist romance novel in a way; the characters have some ideal of love or passion that seems very important to them but also unattainable while that's not important. Perhaps it's the idea of the possibility of them that makes things worthwhile, not ever getting them?
I don't know. I enjoyed the central character's cynicism and mildly idiotic (for seemingly ironic reasons) sense of humour. Gloomy and grumpy but it never occurs to him to give up on things. Lots of sex without really being sexy. Sex is an act clearly relished, but the telling of it is quite matter-of-fact. It's very masculine French; I felt as though cigarette ash and the smell of dried red wine were billowing out of the pages as I turned them. If you have any idea what the author looks like, it's impossible not to picture the character as much the same.
He does mention Islam a few times but he's just as rudely dismissive about other religions; perhaps his work Submission is what got people really riled about his apparent Islamophobia. I had other things to say about the book but I forgot them so they're probably not important.
>> No. 6584 Anonymous
26th March 2017
Sunday 10:32 am
6584 Michel Houellebecq - The Map and the Territory
This was better, definitely scratched a philosophical itch and seemed to be saying something interesting about models, maps, children, all sorts of reproduction and their eventual decomposition, a very melancholy book by the end of it and kept thematically tight.
I did find myself becoming exasperated at the lengthy descriptions of the history of Bichon, William Morris and the lives of flies but they were there for a good reason in the end.
>> No. 6585 Anonymous
28th March 2017
Tuesday 9:21 am
6585 China Miéville - The Last Days of New Paris
I've been fairly critical of Miéville in the past but reading this I think he's finally matured as a writer. It has many of his favourite themes (anti-fascism, partisans, mech-people, urban fantasy, etc) but they're assembled cogently, the world makes "sense" and is full of interesting stuff he has clearly researched extremely thoroughly. At just over 100 pages, unlike Embassytown you don't get the sense that he's stretched out a small number of ideas needlessly for the sake of being the length of a novel.

If you're going to read anything of his, let it be this.
>> No. 6586 Anonymous
4th April 2017
Tuesday 8:28 pm
6586 John Rechy - City of Night
Some superficial similarities to Close to the Knives, but pre-AIDS so somewhat different. It's not unlike a series of character studies in segments tied together into an over-arching narrative of the narrator's own journey. Lots of very real, very lonely and insecure people. A very powerful piece of writing.

>“It’s strange that we should have to force ourselves not to love—or share, if you dont like that other word—even force ourselves not to acknowledge that love is possible. And so we make the world even more rotten than it was when we discovered its rot; justifying ourselves by saying it’s the only way: Get tough. Or be swallowed by it. And we further that original alienation. . . . And by ‘rot’ I mean only all the things that repress and forbid—the rot created by people in order to keep themselves from facing the real horror—within themselves—the coldness, the lack of understanding—. . .”
>> No. 6594 Anonymous
14th April 2017
Friday 12:46 pm
6594 Patrick Rothfuss - The Name of The Wind
Someone lent me their copy of this, recommending it.
Nope. Nopenopenope. Empty calories for the brain. An immensely dislikeable Gary Stu protagonist in a fedora and the friend zone. Fuck this book and fuck Patrick Rothfuss.
>> No. 6595 Anonymous
28th April 2017
Friday 1:53 pm
6595 Jean Baudrillard - Simulacra and Simulation
Everything is a copy of a copy and the copy is the reality. This is really dense to read and takes a lot of digesting, even though it's not saying much that couldn't be more easily summed up by someone who just accepted the presupposition and wasn't trying to argue it. If you define everything as a copy, doesn't that render the distinction between copy and reality, and from there the entire thesis, meaningless? I think postmodernism is quite possibly little more than crypto schizophrenia. Deleuze and Guattari don't even bother with the crypto part. Still, it's interesting and they make me feel funny when I read them.
>> No. 6597 Anonymous
5th May 2017
Friday 8:28 am
6597 Reza Negarestani - Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials
I can't say I got anything out of this or really understood anything more than the general idea. This is touted as "theory fiction" which means it's a knowingly false psychoanalysis of war for oil through some sort of Mesopotamian religious lens. It's not even a headfuck, just a barrage of invented Theosophy and Numerology. The Middle-East as egregore. I think Borges was right to write reviews of fictional books instead of writing the books themselves; some ideas are neat but don't need to be fully realised like this. Postmodernism a shit.
>> No. 6598 Anonymous
11th May 2017
Thursday 6:11 pm
6598 Georges Perec - A Man Asleep
I don't know what to say other than that this was quite beautiful.
>> No. 6599 Anonymous
24th May 2017
Wednesday 10:41 am
6599 Philip K. Dick - The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch
This was really quite nightmarish in a way that the bland characters just seemed to accept. The setting and technology is fairly campy in that way Dick usually approaches future settings, but then the central conceit starts to kick in about half way through and that all goes out the window. I'm left reeling a little, trying not to think too hard about what was actually supposed to be happening because it'll just descend into schizoid branching loops. Good book, totally mental.
>> No. 6600 Anonymous
28th May 2017
Sunday 9:53 am
6600 Robert Shearman - They do the same things different there
An overlooked gem of a book. The weakest stories in here are horror, because horror isn't scary, but the weird things and particularly the characters are brilliant; humanly portrayed and touching descriptions. Apparently the author's best known for writing for Doctor Who and frankly that's a shame because he's clearly so much better than that. Highly recommended.
>> No. 6601 Anonymous
20th June 2017
Tuesday 9:57 am
6601 J. P. Donleavy - The Onion Eaters
A man with three testicles inherits a castle which is then subsequently invaded by a parade of fucking strange people with a variety of perversions. This doesn't seem to have any real plot to speak of but the prose is interesting if confusing at times. Gormenghast-lite with a cast of lewd Monty Python-esque characters.
>> No. 6602 Anonymous
20th June 2017
Tuesday 10:02 am
6602 Robert Shearman - Remember Why You Fear Me
Another of Shearman's short story collections. Really excellent writing, not the 'horror' genre-fiction it's touted as. These cover images are really inappropriate for the content, frankly.
For whatever reason, most of the stories in this collection are car crash, divorce/adultery and/or Christmas themed. Some really quite sinister stuff, even to read in this heat.
>> No. 6603 Anonymous
22nd June 2017
Thursday 9:00 pm
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Sounds interesting. If not horror, how would you describe the stories? Eerie or tense?
>> No. 6604 Anonymous
22nd June 2017
Thursday 9:19 pm
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Of the two, eerie. Sinister was my adjective of choice.
>> No. 6609 Anonymous
27th June 2017
Tuesday 11:07 am
6609 Saul Bellow - Seize the Day
Themes of drowning and eventual rebirth ... great characterisation especially when it comes to Dr. Tamkin, I suspect we've all met one or two people who behave very much like that.

I had a look briefly at some SparkNotes or whatever essays else Google served up on the book and found it curious that a lot of them make a thing about the references made in this book, both ones made explicitly (the writers Tamkin talks about and the listed contents of his bookshelf) and implicitly (connections made to most of the character's names). It's not that they talk about them which is strange, it's that all of them are mentioned only once in the narrative. Except Korzybski, who's referred to by name then later by reference to his book Science and Sanity. You'd think there might be something noteworthy in the man who wrote a book on non-Aristotelian logic being mentioned in passing conjunction with Aristotle himself, but no. The only Google result for 'Korzybski seize the day' simply notes that he's referenced in the book.
I know Korzybski and his Institute of General Semantics aren't terribly popular but I suspect there's more going on in this context at least.
>> No. 6610 Anonymous
9th July 2017
Sunday 3:04 pm
6610 Will Self - The Book of Dave
The Book of Dave is a good book haha
>> No. 6611 Anonymous
9th July 2017
Sunday 3:39 pm
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I kind of enjoyed it but I did find it pretty depressing, not sure why, like a lot of Self's work to be honest. Thought Umbrella was really good.
>> No. 6612 Anonymous
9th July 2017
Sunday 8:17 pm
6612 Anne Cumming - The Love Quest
Absurd title aside, this memoir strikes me as an English, heterosexual equivalent to the Wojnarowicz and Rechy books earlier in the thread. While AIDS did for all three of them in the end, her more matter-of-fact, uncluttered obvious enjoyment of sex and lack of guilt regarding it in a post-war, pre-free-love way is quite admirable.
Her attitude, coming from an obviously very privileged upper class English late colonial background yet still being entirely unconcerned with it also reminds me of Amanda Feilding, although just ... less mental.
>> No. 6704 Anonymous
22nd October 2017
Sunday 6:28 pm
6704 Anne Garreta - Sphinx
I haven't read any fewer books since the last post, but this is the only one I've felt worth recommending to others.
>> No. 6706 Anonymous
19th November 2017
Sunday 10:01 am
6706 Lee Child - Gone Tomorrow
I tried reading some stuff outside of my usual interests.
This was pretty funny, some silly gaffes about technology and phones especially in the first half.
The narrator eventually conceded that he doesn't understand technology and stuck to (describing) his guns. And the New York underground system. There are maybe three pages dedicated to trivia on the construction and use of one particular make of carriage.
Massive overuse of Chekhov's gun. It takes some thinking to get that to work fluidly but it happened so much it read like he was doing it by rote almost, nothing innovative about it.
Solid writing for a thriller although there was one plot point that tantalisingly never got tied up.
Strong but not outstanding use of description, elements of Gary Stu, good pacing, weak characterisation, strong underlying themes of misogyny.
>> No. 6707 Anonymous
19th November 2017
Sunday 10:06 am
6707 Michael Connelly - The Black Echo
This is an almost identical book to the Lee Child one except the self-righteous and grumpy middle aged American man vibes are turned up so high you can smell him. Not to imply the other one is a good book but this one is worse in every conceivable way. Except he doesn't make a tit of himself talking about computers or phones, mainly because it was written seven years earlier in 2002 and they weren't really relevant.
There's definitely a simple formula to these books.
>> No. 6708 Anonymous
19th November 2017
Sunday 10:17 am
6708 Justin Cronin - The Passage
the passage.png
I quite liked this, although it goes on for 800+ pages then you find out it's just the first in a trilogy which is a bit mental. That said, Cronin's research, empathic characterisation and ability to combine different styles makes it not a regrettable read. If someone told me it was originally I Am Legend fanfiction I'd believe it. The only real problem I found was that the sheer number of characters got a bit confusing sometimes, particularly about 2/3 of the way through.
An ambitious work, just a couple of decades too late to make an impact.
>> No. 6709 Anonymous
19th November 2017
Sunday 6:07 pm
6709 Ian Rankin - Tooth & Nail / Wolfman
This was brilliant compared to the other two. It's not exactly The Name of the Rose but nor is it trying to be. I thought detective fiction was traditionally an American speciality, trust a Scotsman to utterly outclass them at their own game.
All the same themes, minus the constant descriptions of the the minutae of guns, but in a far less smug and obnoxious manner. I'm tempted to read some more of his stuff at some point.
>> No. 6710 Anonymous
16th December 2017
Saturday 3:45 pm
6710 Ian Rankin - Knots & Crosses
This was interesting to read; the first of the "Inspector Rebus" novels. It doesn't really compare to the previous one which is what's so interesting about it, you can really see Rankin's progression from one to the other, all the elements of the other books are in there but not played quite as slickly.
>> No. 6726 Anonymous
13th January 2018
Saturday 1:24 pm
6726 The Miracle of Castel di Sangro
Scrittore americano, Joe McGinniss, spends the season with Castel di Sangro Calcio after they won promotion to Serie B in 1996, the second tier in Italian football despite hailing from an impoverished town in the middle of nowhere with a population of c. 5,000 at a time when the Italian league was the best in the world.

It's got pretty much what you'd expect from Italian football at the time, numerous scandals, right down to having a cigar chomping owner with connections to the criminal underworld. It's an entertaining read, even if you don't like football, as McGinniss' enthusiasm is infectious.
>> No. 6727 Anonymous
13th January 2018
Saturday 7:44 pm
6727 Ian Rankin - Rebus books 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
Hide and Seek (1991)
Strip Jack (1992)
The Black Book (1993)
Mortal Causes (1994)
Let It Bleed (1996)
Black and Blue (1997)
The Hanging Garden (1998)
Dead Souls (1999)
Set in Darkness (2000)
The Falls (2001)
Resurrection Men (2002)
A Question of Blood (2003)

There's a definite progression in his ability as a writer throughout these. It's not until about book 3 that he starts to really get the hang of the detective novel format. Around 5 or 6 he realises that most of the characters he began with (except Rebus) are pretty thin so he starts to kill them off, send them away or promote them to places where they can start to change at a distance, replacing them with others. I think it's book 5 where he gets an actual detective helping him with the details of how the police force works, which makes a lot of difference too, even if he does overdo it with the acronyms for a while. That's sort of played as a joke though, I think he might have been teasing the detective for dumping them all on him.
Around book 10 the characters start to really feel like real people. They get dimensions. He tried to do fancy things with flashbacks in book 1 but didn't do it great, started again in book 13 but it still just got on my nerves instead of seeming clever. Also in book 13 he's clearly recently picked up a textbook on body language/psychology for the first time; the text starts mentioning the way people move a lot then three quarters of the way through the characters explicitly mention having read books of that sort.
Have to say I'm getting a bit sick of the repeated themes of Edinburgh mythology; things like The Resurrection Men, John Knox, Sawney Bean and other snippets keep getting brought up in different contexts from one book to the next and while it's not done like he's trying to impress you with his breadth of knowledge of the stuff it does feel like the city's whole imaginative worlds revolve around them, surely other things happen in Scotland that are worthy of mentioning? You don't have to mention one of each of them every three books.
I liked how the nerdy characters and subjects were treated in book 12 even if I had a minor niggle with their technical knowledge it's not something totally unrealistic for them to not know in 2001.
The whole "connecting everything to a song by a band Rebus likes" was annoying and I'm glad he seems to be doing it less by book 14.
Most of the time the suspense over whodunnit or if the characters will survive is pretty decent; that sort of tedious feeling where you know who did it or who's going to survive whatever situation and are just waiting for the characters to figure it out and it to be over so the plot gets a move on is minimal.
I'm going to keep going but my interest is flagging.
>> No. 6729 Anonymous
19th January 2018
Friday 1:42 pm
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Your ability to read entire collected works is impressive, as usual. I don't know how you manage to remain so objective in your review of them after more than a handful, though; for instance, I know if I watch a few series of a TV show my capacity for objective review goes out the window, and I'm sure the same is true for books as I get used to the author and settle into their style. I inevitably get softer on my critique and more forgiving of sins that I'd find unforgivable if I was reading a new author/watching a new show/whatever the equivalent is for other forms of media.
>> No. 6730 Anonymous
19th January 2018
Friday 2:46 pm
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I'm not sure I can make any claim to objectivity, binge reading these things is just something to do those nights when my brain refuses to shut down but is useless for anything more taxing. I don't enjoy TV as much in that state. Thank you though.
>> No. 6731 Anonymous
19th January 2018
Friday 3:12 pm
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Some kind of strange anti-cunt-off going on here.
>> No. 6732 Anonymous
19th January 2018
Friday 8:46 pm
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A dick-off? No, that's not right, either.
>> No. 6733 Anonymous
19th January 2018
Friday 8:55 pm
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A fanny-off?
>> No. 6734 Anonymous
19th January 2018
Friday 10:25 pm
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That's only the opposite of a cunt-off if you're a lesbian, I guess.
>> No. 6735 Anonymous
20th January 2018
Saturday 12:46 am
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>> No. 6736 Anonymous
20th January 2018
Saturday 1:13 am
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A minge maul.
>> No. 6737 Anonymous
20th January 2018
Saturday 10:12 am
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I've been thinking about it some more, and it may actually be a new disguised form of cunt-off:

*That's a very interesting post*
> You're a cunt.

*Thanks lad*
> You too.
>> No. 6739 Anonymous
20th January 2018
Saturday 12:06 pm
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Damning with faint praise, I think it's called.
>> No. 6740 Anonymous
31st January 2018
Wednesday 9:42 pm
6740 Ian Rankin - Rebus books 15, 16, 17, 17.1, 17.2, 18, 19, 21, 22
Fleshmarket Close 2004)
The Naming of the Dead (2006)
Exit Music (2007)
Standing in Another Man's Grave (2012)
Saints of the Shadow Bible (2013)
The Complaints (2009) - Malcolm Fox
The Impossible Dead (2011) - Malcolm Fox
Even Dogs in the Wild (2015)
Rather Be the Devil (2016)

I finished the remaining Rebus novels, as well as the two Fox ones which took place in the chronicity. Malcolm Fox seems like a pointless character, Siobhan is more interesting but rarely develops in any particular fashion. Fox is particularly annoying as he supposedly sticks to the rules and does things by the book as all the other characters are keen to remind him in conversation except he really doesn't, every now and then he'll go against his orders in the most pointless way and achieve nothing at all by it.
The Naming of the Dead stuck out in particular as of all the books it had the most life to it, Rankin seemed energised by the G8 protests and how much he hates Bono. Exit Music and Even Dogs in the Wild had some particularly melancholy moments which I enjoyed.
As the stories progress into the later books (16+) it seems like someone was teaching Rankin about actual organised crime, so they begin to be a bit convoluted in a dull way all to do with buying property and banking investments. Once or twice this is done well but the rest of the time I wasn't terribly impressed. One case in particular was a retrospective thing about how all the gangsters invested in the land around the Scottish Parliament in the pre-2000 referendum and the fallout from that, then later there's a book where they're investing again in the land for the more recent referendum, but when that fails the next book ignores it.
Some odd things in the chronology; Rebus seems to forget his father was dead in one book, and the biography of Big Ger written at the end of one book has been totally forgotten by everyone involved a few books later when someone else proposes writing one.
I'm amused that the early cases sometimes take weeks and months with years in between, then the more recent ones all seem to happen in a matter of days, something that Rankin started doing presumably when he realised Rebus was about to reach the age of retirement and is now getting very old, but wanting to keep writing more books.
The annoying music reference gimmick have almost entirely stopped, and Rebus in his old age seems to listen almost exclusively to the Solid Air album by John Martyn. Not a bad album at all.

I skipped The Beat Goes On: The Complete Short Stories because I'm sick of it. This is enough Rebus to last a lifetime.

I wonder if Rankin is aware of how often he writes that a character's "mouth twitched" as a reaction to almost anything.
>> No. 6774 Anonymous
21st May 2018
Monday 10:31 pm
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While I am usually a fan of the memoirs and autobiographies of the users, the junkies, the alcoholics, life's general riff-raff that end up laid up at the lower stratas of society, this one left me not just unfulfilled but also fairly sad that I'd bothered to read it all.

If we can all agree that there is no point in reading (or writing, for that matter) something that you, or at least someone else, can’t learn anything from then we have no choice but to conclude that this is a useless book written by a useless person.

For there is nothing to learn here at all. No musings on the causes, mechanisms, whys, or wherefores of addiction or the visceral drive towards self destruction; about the deepest this book gets (and I paraphrase) is "and then I spent a few years letting gross men I didn't know bundle me into nightclub toilets and give me cocaine before later pulling me onto their laps in taxis while unzipping their fly, but you know how it is, right girls?!?!?".

Even Sarah Hepola's snooze-fest Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget or Burroughs Junior's ungainly, lurching memoir Speed have a comparative ocean of insight and a lot less "My dad was distant and my mother hated me and Kurt Cobain died, and here's a vague description of how I did a lot of dumb shit despite being born with a silver spoon in my mouth without even an attempt at self-contemplation about why I might have done so" when compared to this.

tl;dr - A pointless book by a pointless person, even her beauty columns had more to say about life than this and I'm a heterosexual male whose idea of looking after myself is trying to remember to get my hair cut more than once a year.
>> No. 6795 Anonymous
12th September 2018
Wednesday 12:19 pm
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I've just killed an hour reading a short story from Frederick Forsyth about some poor sod who got blackmailed by a prozzie. Money with Menaces it's called, I think.

I smelt something was up when the protagonist of the story talked back to his blackmailers, even more so when he mounted a shopping run for some components too ordinary to be left without attention.

The moment with the photo he'd removed from his flat before he got visited by a copper is still kind of brilliant.
>> No. 6861 Anonymous
21st December 2018
Friday 9:08 pm
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I'd forgotten how much I enjoy the works of Sir Terry. You can tell that Pratchett and Gaiman were challenging themselves to make the other laugh when they were writing it; it's the most fun I've had reading a book in quite some time.
>> No. 6981 Anonymous
3rd May 2019
Friday 10:51 am
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Bar the typical American fashion self-help giddy bollocks it's been an interesting story so far (I'm 6-7 chapters in).
There about half a chapter where he muses about the reasons he'd got into this shit (namely BUD/S training). I still have a hard time fully grasping all the self-imposed suffering. Not that I don't understand it; three Hell Weeks and the rest of that spec ops training plus the 100 mile marathon in 24 hours without any bloody preparation - it's just so much for one human being that I cannot fully comprehend it as a grand scheme.
Stone tough and fucking mad.
>> No. 6982 Anonymous
4th May 2019
Saturday 1:08 pm
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>> No. 6983 Anonymous
4th May 2019
Saturday 3:56 pm
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It's annoying that it's not going to be on the BBC for another six or seven months.
>> No. 6984 Anonymous
5th May 2019
Sunday 4:41 pm
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Yeah I liked his interview on Impact theory. As far as yanks go, he's a pretty interesting one.

>> No. 6987 Anonymous
25th May 2019
Saturday 4:08 pm
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I haven't had any time to continue reading it properly besides advancing just one or two chapters further. There's another titbit in there that recites something similar I've read from some SAS veteran. A reporter once asked the said vet how he'd managed to make it through the gruelling training. He replied that on many days he'd thought about quitting, he would say to himself that he'd try and toil just until 'lunch' and then quit. Each time he did, he'd postpone the decision to quit.
Goggins mentions the same strategy he'd used during that fucking Oahu ultramarathon.
>> No. 7028 Anonymous
12th August 2019
Monday 12:49 pm
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I expected this to be yet another variant of How to Kiss Arse and Perform Backstabs. It wasn't, instead focussing more on 'pay attention to what's going on around you', 'take care of yourself', a few bits about corporations being corporations. Nothing particularly groundbreaking of any sorts. Not too bad, just moderately generic.
>> No. 7033 Anonymous
21st August 2019
Wednesday 8:30 pm
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When I read things like this I constantly worry that I'm not knowledgeable enough to identify most of the references being made and that points will go over my head because I'm not clever enough to pick up subtlety.

Anyway, I liked it.
>> No. 7034 Anonymous
21st August 2019
Wednesday 9:06 pm
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1that's what the footnotes are for.
>> No. 7035 Anonymous
22nd August 2019
Thursday 7:16 am
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What if there isn't any footnotes?
>> No. 7036 Anonymous
22nd August 2019
Thursday 4:43 pm
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Does it really matter though? The only way you really get better at these things is reading them, missing the references then learning where they were missed out later.

It's just like watching a film, watch it, then after you've had a think about it (if it's that kind of film), have a google and see what others have said and see where you missed it out.
>> No. 7037 Anonymous
24th August 2019
Saturday 10:27 pm
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I might be taking a dim view on this because I've recently re-read Bad Science and this has suffered in comparison, but I found it rather poorly written and not very engaging.
>> No. 7038 Anonymous
25th August 2019
Sunday 10:03 am
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I'm about halfway through it. I liked the history of law, trial by ordeal etc. Quite shocking that magistrates are volunteers with no formal legal training. I got to the bit about legal aide I think and haven't picked it up in a year. But I'll start again soon.
>> No. 7039 Anonymous
25th August 2019
Sunday 10:26 am
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Don't get me wrong, there's a few eye openers in there. I just found too much of it clumsy and laboured; a chore to get through.
>> No. 7040 Anonymous
25th August 2019
Sunday 11:06 am
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You have to be pretty fucking ignorant of the legal system to not know that tbh.
>> No. 7041 Anonymous
25th August 2019
Sunday 11:11 am
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Stop swearing, prick.
>> No. 7042 Anonymous
25th August 2019
Sunday 11:12 am
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>> No. 7043 Anonymous
25th August 2019
Sunday 11:14 am
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>> No. 7044 Anonymous
3rd September 2019
Tuesday 1:09 pm
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These aren't books though. Doesn't make it worse, it's well written.
I'm sort of guilty rooting for the DPR. Less so with PLR; still, mildly fascinated.
>> No. 7054 Anonymous
11th October 2019
Friday 5:40 pm
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Geoff Thompson's Watch My Back. Quite brutal stuff in there.
>> No. 7055 Anonymous
13th October 2019
Sunday 3:25 pm
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If we were the other place I would have posted the usual 'What I have / What I expected / What I got' strip.
I had thought it would be another 'tales from the operating suite' kind of book. It wasn't; turned out to be a memoir of some fellow on his path to becoming a neurosurgeon, interwoven with a guide on meditation.
Its official site calls it 'part memoir, part inspiration, part practical instruction'. I find this description fitting.
>> No. 7056 Anonymous
14th October 2019
Monday 8:51 pm
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Started reading Old Wizard Moore's Jerusalem. Really enjoying it. Best thing I've read in a while but only 10% into it according to my kindle so will see how it progresses.
>> No. 7074 Anonymous
4th January 2020
Saturday 12:23 am
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It's standard Jon Ronson fare, but it's making me re-evaluate how much time I spend on the internet. In particular, whether I need to have my phone almost always with me when I'm at home which I'll be checking constantly. It's a bit of a waste, 4eally.
>> No. 7162 Anonymous
2nd August 2020
Sunday 6:23 pm
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Antkind by Charlie Kaufman is really funny.

Shadow State by Luke Harding is a good way to get more familiar with the background of the recent Russia report.

I'm also reading Ronan Farrow's book about the Weinstein stuff
>> No. 7163 Anonymous
2nd August 2020
Sunday 9:44 pm
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'He said […] if I wanted to know more about his work I should google him. I did and immediately saw many close-ups of his anus.'
>> No. 7164 Anonymous
2nd August 2020
Sunday 11:06 pm
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If having an anus counts as work I'm owed quite a windfall in back payments, so to speak.
>> No. 7165 Anonymous
7th August 2020
Friday 7:58 am
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I found it lacking something, as if it only scratched the surface of what it could be.
>> No. 7167 Anonymous
26th October 2020
Monday 9:04 pm
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Never Trust a Rabbit is a collection of short stories, often morality tales, by Jeremy Dyson, the lesser known member of The League of Gentlemen. The first couple of stories were quite the chore to get through but after that it picks up markedly, although none of them were truly outstanding.
>> No. 7168 Anonymous
29th October 2020
Thursday 8:17 pm
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This was a fine little adventure story.
>> No. 7169 Anonymous
4th November 2020
Wednesday 8:05 pm
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The play on words and absurdism didn't always land for me, but if you strip all of that away it's still an entertaining whodunnit.
>> No. 7170 Anonymous
9th November 2020
Monday 11:01 pm
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This resonated with me more than I'd like to admit.
>> No. 7171 Anonymous
10th November 2020
Tuesday 4:21 am
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there's just something about that book that draws you in like nothing else, it's stunning. i can't even recall what the plot was about, just the feeling it left me with.

i did have to give up on his other books though.
>> No. 7172 Anonymous
10th November 2020
Tuesday 7:53 am
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A lot of the book is to do with Stoner's inhibition and feelings of alienation, particularly within his destructive marriage, plus the small victories on the way.
>> No. 7173 Anonymous
10th November 2020
Tuesday 8:27 am
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Hard Rain Falling - 3/5
In Pharoah's Army - 4/5
>> No. 7174 Anonymous
10th November 2020
Tuesday 9:15 pm
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'Of Human Bondage' by W. Somerset Maugham. is pretty thematically similar to Stoner.
>> No. 7175 Anonymous
14th November 2020
Saturday 7:12 am
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I imagine this is what slightly more highbrow fanfiction is like. Although I believe it was deliberate, to show Patroclus' simplicity, I found the first few chapters too infantilised; it picks up markedly beyond them it still felt like I was reading YA fiction, albeit at the more mature end of this. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it.

A book set in Greek mythology and one of the things I learned from the book is that maidenhead is an old word for hymen.
>> No. 7176 Anonymous
17th November 2020
Tuesday 4:34 pm
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I'm about halfway through 'the Anarchy' by William Dalrymple and it is an excellent history book on EEIC.

I'm particularly fascinated with the parallels between the current state of the world. Private Corporations looting value from Nation States and squirreling their cash away in other countries etc etc.

Plus there's Pirates in it.
>> No. 7177 Anonymous
17th November 2020
Tuesday 6:19 pm
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It's hard to find, but are there any novellas (or novels) on a suicidal person finally killing themselves/dying by other means?
>> No. 7178 Anonymous
17th November 2020
Tuesday 6:27 pm
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Osamu Dazai's No Longer Human is popular for depressed types but I'm not convinced it aged or translates well.
>> No. 7179 Anonymous
17th November 2020
Tuesday 8:25 pm
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Not to be flippant, but many (most?) of Kafka's stories.

Steppenwolf by Hesse deals with a suicidal protagonist with a different, somewhat more abstract resolution.

Pulpy and satirical, not to everyone's taste, but Palahniuk's Survivor is about the last surviving member of a death cult dealing explicitly with the question of when and how to kill himself.
>> No. 7180 Anonymous
18th November 2020
Wednesday 9:05 am
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This was a vast improvement on The Song of Achilles. Circe was an actual rounded and fully fleshed out character, which I think is in part Miller's improvement as a writer although I did find her use of words like 'trash' a little jarring and also her motivations when writing each novel; this was focused upon showing the protagonist as a strong female character in contrast to how Greek poets diminished the roles of women in their tales or simply used them as a plot device with no agency.
>> No. 7181 Anonymous
18th November 2020
Wednesday 9:09 am
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Does anyone really have agency in classical Greek stories? They always seemed to me to just do what they were fated to do, even if they actively don't want to. I'd say Euripides' Medea has more agency than Homer's Odysseus.
>> No. 7182 Anonymous
18th November 2020
Wednesday 9:20 am
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Not especially, but in general women even less so. I suppose motivation might have been a better word to use rather than agency.
>> No. 7194 Anonymous
20th January 2021
Wednesday 11:16 pm
7194 Breakfast of Champions
I'm not sure what I made of this. It wasn't unpleasant to read, although Vonnegut's faux-naïf writing style wore thin at times. It's largely a meandering stream of consciousness, but most of the commentary within it is rather tame by today's standards.
>> No. 7195 Anonymous
21st January 2021
Thursday 12:37 am
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I enjoyed Vonnegut a lot more when I was a sullen teenlad who thought being reductionist was insightful. His books are quirky and he's eminently a very good writer with a powerful imagination since I've always found myself becoming trapped within a few pages. But under it all, there isn't a whole lot and his style can grate in excess.
>> No. 7196 Anonymous
21st January 2021
Thursday 12:56 am
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This is quite good.
>> No. 7200 Anonymous
4th February 2021
Thursday 9:00 pm
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It never really went anywhere. It was an interesting premise but it just sort of petered out.
>> No. 7201 Anonymous
5th February 2021
Friday 9:15 am
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Very much enjoyed this. British appeasement and German rearmament. Reccomends.
>> No. 7202 Anonymous
13th March 2021
Saturday 11:16 pm
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This was an enjoyable read, although the mystery and intrigue over the scheming was far more interesting than what actually ended up happening and there wasn't much of a pay-off at the end.
>> No. 7203 Anonymous
2nd April 2021
Friday 3:57 pm
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I enjoyed it, but I feel that PKD is much better as a short story writer than a novelist.
>> No. 7204 Anonymous
13th April 2021
Tuesday 9:38 pm
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Yeah, I think I'll stick with his short stories from now on.
>> No. 7205 Anonymous
13th April 2021
Tuesday 11:35 pm
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I think the VALIS stuff from later on is his finest work. I recommend flicking through the Exegesis personal writings that were released some years ago. He was a bit of a mental.
>> No. 7206 Anonymous
17th April 2021
Saturday 11:28 am
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71D viHub0L.jpg
The first ~30 pages were a little awkward and clunky but after that it picked up and left me with the same feelings of peacefulness and contentment that I get from watching one of my favourite films.
>> No. 7207 Anonymous
23rd May 2021
Sunday 3:24 pm
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I read Jordan Peterson's new book, it's more or less the same as previous but he seems to have learnt to stop himself going too deep into politics. I'm not sure I'd recommend it and especially how obviously poor his taste in media is but it does seem more constructive.

That said, it did give me a lot of anxiety over not having a family in my 30s and how dating is completely fucked at my age and only going to get worse.
>> No. 7208 Anonymous
23rd May 2021
Sunday 7:50 pm
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How old are you now?

I just turned 30 and I'm panicking.
>> No. 7209 Anonymous
23rd May 2021
Sunday 8:13 pm
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It's not worth loosing your shit over it entirely just yet but yeah, tick-tock, it's time to settle. I dated a doctor a few years back who was the age I'm at now and before we got anywhere she sat me down with the conversation that she couldn't afford to fuck around anymore. If you're a lad then you still have 3-4 years before it's time to panic but we both know you're going to want to date a woman for a few years before you throw your life away and unless you're bowling quite below your own age (which has its own problems) she's going to be pushing for it.

Now look around and notice that most of the good people are already taken and that pool is getting smaller and smaller every year. I'm not doing this to scare you but be conscious that you need to find someone to make you happy but that must be balanced against the fact that we're both in the end-game now.
>> No. 7210 Anonymous
23rd May 2021
Sunday 10:24 pm
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Lol. I'm going to fucking end myself.
>> No. 7211 Anonymous
23rd May 2021
Sunday 10:53 pm
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Why can't you date people in their late 20s? 26 year olds are very nice.
>> No. 7213 Anonymous
23rd May 2021
Sunday 11:07 pm
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When you're 30 or over that's a lot harder.
>> No. 7214 Anonymous
23rd May 2021
Sunday 11:13 pm
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When you're a failure and a retard that's a lot harder.
>> No. 7215 Anonymous
23rd May 2021
Sunday 11:18 pm
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I'll grant >>7214 but the people within 5 years of your age don't suddenly get younger just because you turned thirty.
>> No. 7216 Anonymous
23rd May 2021
Sunday 11:25 pm
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We typically utterly reject this idea on /emo/ whenever people's relationship woes come up, time and time again I've seen people say nonsense, you're only young yet, plenty more fish etc etc. But I can only assume it was the folly of younger lads without enough foresight whenever I saw that advice.

I've never bought it myself, it's plain to see honestly. Women get increasingly desperate and skittish as they approach thirty and trying to "date" in the same way you did in your late teens and early 20s, when the shoe was firmly on the other foot, almost makes you feel sorry for them. If you're a decent looking lad with your shit together it's easier to find interest than it was in your younger years, when it was all about looks and excitement and adventure. But the flipside of the coin is that women of that age really are much more mercenary in what they're looking for in a man. A provider, someone they can rely on. They want you for the functional role you will play.

Beyond a certain age, you really have missed the boat. It's never hopeless, but you'll struggle to find the same kind of romantic spark and excitement, you're both too jaded and you're getting less interested in shagging all night and more interested in watching police procedurals together.

Like me and my girlfriend, we're both around 30, but we've already settled into a platonic old couple dynamic. We have lots of common interests and we're really a very good couple, but she's shit in bed. I can hardly be arsed even trying to initiate sex any more. It's definitely not me, it's her, she just stopped putting the effort in at some point and no matter what I try she just lies there like a ragdoll. I'd rather just have a wank. The thing is, though, five or six years ago, if I was in this relationship, I would have broken it off without a second thought. Nowadays, I'm more concerned about how much longer it'd set me back from buying a house.
>> No. 7217 Anonymous
23rd May 2021
Sunday 11:41 pm
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I'm in this position, apart from the fact that she is pretty much shit at most things. You get comfortable though. Plus I'm a bald and bellied 30 year old which is not a good look.

I dont know what to do. I dont want to start again, but, is thois it?

If I could afford a house alone it may be a different matter...
>> No. 7218 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 12:36 am
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I do, as in I don't limit my search, obviously, this isn't directed outside but a reflection from my reading that it feels like time to settle down for me. He does point out that dating is a huge pain in the arse and you're probably not nearly getting as much sex as tv would have you believe singletons get, he then went for my jugular by pointing out that sharing your life with someone is healthy for the both of you - it keeps you both sane and anchored. Assuming you're not married to a nutter. And that family isn't something you want to be doing at 40 - although the emphasis obviously being on women for fertility reasons without wanting to sound like an chronic masturbator.

I say it went for my jugular because I broke up with a lass right before the first lockdown and as a result I'm still playing out conversations in my head and having ideas with her in mind. Not because I want the relationship back of course but because that's how things work innit.

This persona is getting tedious.

I don't know, mate. You're a good man I'm sure but to a degree you owe it to your partner to satisfy them sexually, you probably do want to talk about this or at least see if you can't titillate her a little with candles and that even if it's a pain in the arse. I've grown to love a good procedural like any man (Murder She Wrote with a good breakfast) but it reads like one of those roads to an affair when you rightly see that monogamy is best.

I don't know about easier. The dynamic changes in your mid-20s but it's still a dance where she has all the power up until you screw. A good career feels more like a prerequisite to simply play the game at this stage and I say that as someone with an interesting job and a full head of hair.

>I dont know what to do. I dont want to start again, but, is thois it?

I think this all the time with women now so I can at least assure you it's not going to go away with more options. A horrible and immature thought of 'would I really be happy spending the rest of my life with this person' because that's what the end goal is now. It's a stupid thought though because, according to Peterson, I'm not perfect and no perfect woman would want anything to do with me so I'd better get real. Yet still, the idea that I'm going to spend my life wondering what could've been or wishing that I'd found a woman more my type is unsettling.
>> No. 7219 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 12:58 am
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Have you lot just tried being happy in yourself and being single? It's pretty fucking good. I suppose if I wanted kids it'd be a different story.

Undeniably there's a few 30ish year old women who are terrifying spinsters, but there's plenty others who just were focused on their career in their twenties and so on who are normal and actually interesting and not horrifically dependent like a lot of people end up when they've been in some sort of relationship almost perpetually since they were a teenager.

Also my dad is fucking terrible but he still managed to marry a 35 year old when he was 45 so there's hope for us all.
>> No. 7220 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 2:40 am
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>You're a good man I'm sure but to a degree you owe it to your partner to satisfy them sexually, you probably do want to talk about this or at least see if you can't titillate her a little with candles and that even if it's a pain in the arse.

I'm curious why you have interpreted it as my failed obligation to satisfy her, when she's the one who can't be arsed, and I'm the one who is unsatisfied with the situation.

I literally don't remember the last time she initiated sex instead of the other way around. I can spend hours on foreplay but I might as well be doing it to a rubber doll, there's nothing exciting or rewarding about it for me. I have had a very positive sex life with my previous partners, so I have a strong reference point for what it'sreasonable to expect; her game is just severely below par.

The conversation has already been had multiple times, and nothing has improved. She says I'm doing nothing wrong and won't give me any suggestions on what else I can do that might help, so it really can't be said that I don't try to communicate. I've done everything it's possible to do from my side, so the ball is squarely in her court.

If it starts to really cause an issue, I'll probably just make an ultimatum that she has to buck her ideas up or I'll start shagging other lasses. There's no way around it if she isn't willing to pull her weight.
>> No. 7221 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 3:03 am
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I don't think you really needed to justify yourself in response to a single lad who reads Jordan Peterson for relationship advice mate.

I hope it works out for you though. Could just be lockdown cabin fever and all that.
>> No. 7222 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 10:17 am
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Without sounding daft, what kind of career/place in your career do you think women expect someone to have at 30?
>> No. 7223 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 10:45 am
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Have a look at rudgewick's datingoverthirty, lads. It's mental.
>> No. 7224 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 10:55 am
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Seppos are just weird when it comes to dating, like it being fine to see other people at the same time until you become 'exclusive'. I'd also suggest checking out r/femaledatingstrategy.
>> No. 7225 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 10:58 am
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Perhaps I'm part of the problem but all the people at fds do seem a bit mad to be honest and none of them come across as particularly happy. All of the happy couples I know wouldn't fit their guidelines at all.
>> No. 7226 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 11:08 am
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One of the posts on there is talking about "low value men". That's just chronic masturbator talk from women. Pointless.
>> No. 7227 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 11:42 am
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There's someone out there for everyone.

Except you, obviously.
>> No. 7228 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 12:51 pm
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Conflict-Avoidant Picard.jpg
The stability and ambition would be the important part in my mind. It's not a good look for anyone to be working as a fry-cook at Burger King in their 30s - even if they're probably banging 18-21 year old co-workers on the regular. As a guy that's a pretty massive red flag for me as well.

I mean you probably can pull if you're pushing trolleys at Asda but modern dating is incredibly commodified so I don't expect to see them doing well.

It's a responsibility for you and your partner. Perhaps I should've been much more blunt: She's fucking up by not keeping you satisfied and I see it ending it in an affair if it keeps going down this road. You've tried addressing it and now I wonder why the hell you're putting up with it, there's a good few decades between now and the sweet release of death.

I liked the one about dumping a guy if he watches porn. There's some proper echo-chamber effects going on here, I wonder what would happen if a user told them that she watches porn all the time.
>> No. 7229 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 1:05 pm
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I'm ambitious and I've been doing a lot of AV stuff in the arts, salaried full time but I do a handful of freelance bits on the side. Problem is it really doesn't pay that well at the moment. I'm a step above a trolley pusher I guess.
>> No. 7230 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 1:31 pm
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FDS does seem like a bit of a cult, it's basically the inverse of redpill/MGTOW.

The thing that irritates me most is the underlying assumption that all men are 'low value' until proven otherwise, while all women are 'queens' until proven otherwise. It's basically a testament to reinforcing confirmation bias and inflating egos. Imagine wanting to be part of a group that approves every decision you make provided you're approaching from an angle of the superiority of your demographic. It's not like that would attract the most insecure and damaged people, or become an echo chamber.

Fortunately/unfortunately, the majority of women on there are quite damaged and have either suffered more than the average person, or are just bigger cunts than the average person. Some female friends (shit, I've used it as a noun, I'm a misogynist) find it worrying/funny if we get into a relevant conversation and I show them it. There are certain women (that's the word, I'm a fisherperson again) I wouldn't show it to because it would be like showing an chronic masturbator /r/MGTOW and would just further toxify their mindset by exposing them to the most negative worldviews on loop.

If you watch porn you are 'Pickmeisha', which is a clever and not-at-all forced pun on the common name 'Meisha' and the idea of displaying 'pick me' behaviour. Same if you have any sort of fetish (you are either a pickmeisha and therefore not 'one of them' or damaged and need to be fixed by FDS).

I was pretty happy when it got banned as a hate community by reddit, but then they backtracked. It is a hate community though, it's just centred around hatred of men and finding 'the good ones'. It's just enhancing bigtory against 'moids' as they call men.

It's a fun topic to get angered about, thankfully it's just internet people.
>> No. 7231 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 1:36 pm
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That's interesting, I thought that terminology was more a crystal cafe or lolcow.farm thing. I suppose it's not new for there to be chanspeak on rudgewick but the female aspect of it is novel.
>> No. 7232 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 1:38 pm
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I assume it's derived from 'femoid' as some sort of 'clap back'.
>> No. 7234 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 1:45 pm
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Normal people should never have been allowed on the internet.
>> No. 7235 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 1:47 pm
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It is.
>> No. 7236 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 2:14 pm
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Had a look at this FDS sub you guys are talking about, seems like dating advice for/from TERFs. Don't put out, ban porn, ban kinks, ban sex workers, women are inherently great and men are inherently evil - u wot m8? No thanks.

There's even a bit about 'wait for a man to demonstrate value', and I'm sure 'demonstrate value' is a pickup artist term...
>> No. 7237 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 2:20 pm
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How did you manage to read that we were talking about it without clocking that we were being critical of it for exactly the same reasons?
>> No. 7238 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 2:27 pm
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...is that really the takeaway from this? The trans aspect is negligible and not integral to what they're doing. Very odd that you've picked up on a whiff of antitrans rather than the prominent stink of misandry.
>> No. 7239 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 2:40 pm
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I didn't see anything notably anti-trans but he's right that those are usually the same groups, or heavily overlapping.
>> No. 7240 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 3:11 pm
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He's right about that, but it seems like an odd takeaway considering 99% of the material is just anti-male. So seeing that and thinking 'TERF' implies a bit of a bias.
>> No. 7241 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 3:17 pm
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TERF stands for "Trans-Exclusionary Radical fisherperson". The Trans-Exclusionary bit is only a small part of the ideology, but it's the only part that gets wider attention.
>> No. 7244 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 3:54 pm
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>I'm sure 'demonstrate value' is a pickup artist term

It's even better than that.
>> No. 7245 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 4:08 pm
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The women there seem borderline sociopathic, he'd probably be a perfect fit.
>> No. 7246 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 4:38 pm
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It does stand for that, and if you take it out you have 'radical fisherperson', with 'radical' being a relative modifier which isn't very useful without establishing exactly what a non-radical fisherperson is.

Is TERF ever used in a context where it's not meant to highlight the anti-trans rather than the 'radical' or 'fisherperson' parts? Because I've honestly never heard that. While it's only a small part of the ideology, it's the unifying aspect, otherwise 1/2 of the letters wouldn't be dedicated to it.
>> No. 7247 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 4:59 pm
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The term "radical fisherperson" has been around since the 60s and describes a distinct ideology. "TERF" is much more recent, partly because of a rift within radical fisherism and partly because of the increased visibility of trans people. Transphobia has become a weird rallying point for radical fisherpersons, because it's the only way they can get any sort of mainstream attention, much in the same way that PETA rely on outrageous headline-grabbing nonsense.
>> No. 7248 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 6:25 pm
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Dunno m7. TERF was coined as a pejorative relatively recently and seems to be just be applied to anyone who doesn't follow trans-thought no matter whether they're actually radfem. Of the small group it does apply to; the core foundation is that gendered brains are a myth (which is popular despite the evidence) and following on from that the idea that someone can be born a woman in a man's body becomes absurd - there's nothing inherently misandrist about that.

From there on it just becomes a cultural cunt-off because trans-thought can stand no criticism given the sensitive subject matter and 'TERFs' are incensed by what they see as blokes invading their spaces, trying to silence them (including threats of violence) and transgender women that are stereotypes of women (bimbos and the like). The final point being particularly stinging as society doesn't tolerate transracial.

tl;dr you're being a bit of a twat and have now ruined a discussion.
>> No. 7249 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 6:27 pm
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The things mentioned by >>7236 are all core radfem positions.
>> No. 7250 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 7:48 pm
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Not far off, FDS is women deciding that their partners need to match what they can offer... (and in some cass vastly exceed). I.e. they see relationships as transactional where, unless you "win", you lose. Their language is an exact mirror of chronic masturbator language.
>> No. 7251 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 7:55 pm
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They've got their own website and everything. It seems to be a growing community premised on implicit mistrust and the transactional aspect you mentioned.
>> No. 7252 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 8:03 pm
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I hate to be a cunt, but you lads have very quickly bounced from "I don't really like my missus that much but she helps me pay for my nice house" to "these women are awful for looking for men who can offer them certain material benefits"

I'm not saying these FDS women aren't mental and terrible, but from my perspective it seems like post-twenties monogamy ultimately does boil down to weighing up your benefits rather than your actual desires. It seems a lot of people's default ideology is you must be with someone, be it for financially reasons or just because that's what everyone else does, but it sounds just as miserable as posting on reddit about the baseline salary a suitable man needs to have.
>> No. 7253 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 8:06 pm
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>you lads have very quickly bounced
Who says those are the same posters? I'm with >>7219
>> No. 7254 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 8:10 pm
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I have to assume only a select few of us are enthusiastic enough to have such a long debate about the nature of modern relationships in a thread about books.
>> No. 7255 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 8:26 pm
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That's a wordfilter but not one of ours.
>> No. 7256 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 10:11 pm
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>>7252 >but from my perspective it seems like post-twenties monogamy ultimately does boil down to weighing up your benefits rather than your actual desire
I agree with you there, a lot of people have worked out what they want by that age, and it's healthy to pursue that. My criticism is directed at the promotion of general hatred of men.


Is this kind of framing healthy? There seems to be a baseline of self loathing and anger. I know venting can be good, but is this good?

It'll burn out eventually and get back on topic.
>> No. 7257 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 10:16 pm
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>It's a responsibility for you and your partner. Perhaps I should've been much more blunt: She's fucking up by not keeping you satisfied and I see it ending it in an affair if it keeps going down this road. You've tried addressing it and now I wonder why the hell you're putting up with it, there's a good few decades between now and the sweet release of death.

>I wonder why the hell you're putting up with it

Well, there's plenty of reasons, lad. It's the fact that splitting the bills with her means I've got just shy of a grand to spunk on whatever I want every month. It's the combined fifteen grand we've got in savings, that I'd have to build back up by myself if I left. It's the fact she does the dishes and cleans out the bathroom. It's the fact she's always up for a pint whenever I ask, unlike any of my male mates, and usually provides better conversation to boot.

In a lot of ways, a steady relationship is just like having a best mate who you sometimes shag. While I'm unsatisfied with the frequency of our current shagging, it's still more than if I was single, desperately scrolling through the cesspit of over-30s Tinder and POF every night. If it comes to an "affair" so be it; as long as it's in the open nobody is harmed, and ultimately she doesn't really have a right to be upset about me shagging someone else if she doesn't care enough to do it herself.

Honestly mate you just sound a bit naive to me, if you had been in more relationships and experienced their ups and downs you'd have a bit more of a grounded perspective on all this. As I've grown older I have realised that the maxim of "you only live once" is a double edged sword, it is both a warning to carefully consider making rash decisions that will negatively affect your life, as well as a justification for throwing caution to the wind. There are no do-overs in life, your mistakes stay with you, and you start to appreciate that a lot more as you mature. As I mentioned in my initial post, I would have had a totally different outlook on this when I was 25 instead of 32, but the fact of the matter is you do have to re-assess your priorities as you get older.

Then again as otherlad said, you are the kind of person who thinks Jordan Peterson is worth listening to, so this will probably fall on deaf ears.

>the rest of this thread

That went in a bizarre direction. FDS types and chronic masturbators are two sides of the same coin, and both broadly symptomatic of the same weird moralising Jordan Peterson type ideological wank. People who don't realise you can improve your lot in life dramatically by just being a bit more pragmatic and accepting you're certainly not perfect, and nor are other people.
>> No. 7258 Anonymous
24th May 2021
Monday 10:25 pm
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>and both broadly symptomatic of the same weird moralising Jordan Peterson type ideological wank. People who don't realise you can improve your lot in life dramatically by just being a bit more pragmatic and accepting you're certainly not perfect, and nor are other people.

But that's exactly what Peterson has always talked about. If there's any fault to his ideology it's that his work is overly pessimistic and too rooted in creating the next generation of cogs in a machine waiting tables for pennies.
>> No. 7259 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 12:06 am
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>I agree with you there, a lot of people have worked out what they want by that age, and it's healthy to pursue that.

When I said it seems like it's all about weighting your potential benefits over your actual desires, I did not mean that I thought this was a good thing.

I've also noticed that people who are in relationships at my age, or people still in their twenties having quarter life crises, have a much, much dimmer view of the 30something dating scene than anyone who is actually participating in it. I just think the idea of being stuck in a relationship mostly due to practicality or finances is my idea of hell, but I suppose I'm lucky enough to not need a partner to split the bills with, so I'll just shut up and go and have a lonely wank.
>> No. 7260 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 1:18 am
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>I've also noticed that people who are in relationships at my age, or people still in their twenties having quarter life crises, have a much, much dimmer view of the 30something dating scene than anyone who is actually participating in it.

I mean, I'd expect anyone who has ever had doubts about their relationship has dipped their toes into the apps and whatnot, to "window shop" as they say, and presumably didn't like what they saw. And like it or not, the apps basically are dating now. Expecting to find anyone out there in real life, beyond workplace acquaintances, is a skill most people in their 30s today have already entirely forgotten. Besides that though there's no such thing as "the dating scene", there's just the women around you and your own subjective judgement if you can really be arsed going through all the hassle again for birds who have, quite frankly, already got a few more miles on the clock than you'd really like.

>I just think the idea of being stuck in a relationship mostly due to practicality or finances is my idea of hell, but I suppose I'm lucky enough to not need a partner to split the bills with

The trouble is it doesn't really matter how independently wealthy you are, you're always going to be better off cohabiting with a partner than in any other kind of living arrangement. If you've never had it, you obviously don't miss it, but once you [i]have[i/] had it, you'll really begrudge forking over that extra three to four hundred quid every month. Even if you're financially secure enough to take the hit without really feeling it, it's still money going down the drain.

That said I think this dynamic changes again by the time you're in your mid-40s to 50s. By that point you've really got little to gain from being in a relationship, you've likely already got assets like a house to rely on, the kids have already grown up and fucked off, and so on. A divorce might cost you dearly, but it's not a leap of faith like cutting the cords on a relationship in your early 30s.

I suppose it's just that like it or not, nature imposes a relatively strict timetable on our lives. If you want to start a family, 30-35 is the sort of age where you have to shit or get off the toilet.
>> No. 7261 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 2:48 am
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>Even if you're financially secure enough to take the hit without really feeling it, it's still money going down the drain.

A few hundred quid a month seems a reasonable price to pay to not sleep next to some one I'm growing to despise (or vice versa), honestly. I've lived with people, I've bought property with an ex, but I certainly am glad we didn't stay together just to split the council tax. Again though, it's very easy for me to say this when I already outright own a house and make good money. I do honestly think I'd feel the same no matter how my finances were. The only thing I think could drive me to feeling like I needed to 'lock in' to a less than ideal partnership is the drive for starting a family, as you say, but I also don't have that.

I'm quite sure that watching both sets of grandparents stay together until death in complete misery is influencing my viewpoints. I do get your points, they make perfect sense, I just can't understand them on a personal level.

Perhaps check back in 15 years and see if I'm desperately lonely, or if indeed I've shacked up with whoever comes along for the sake of it - I hope not, I don't think so, but who's really to say.
>> No. 7262 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 3:49 am
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I'd say that for most people, there's a big difference between been stuck in an actively negative relationship, and merely passively accepting a mediocre one. If it was the former I'd waste no time extricating myself, but the latter would make a much tougher decision.

In effect I don't see how a relationship that gradually turns platonic is any different to just having a housemate. In fact if I was in that situation I bet I could trick myself back into finding them sexy again by pretending we were housemates with a saucy secret fuck-buddy dynamic.
>> No. 7263 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 4:17 am
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Get some MDMA down her and she'll be all over you like a rash.

Also, stop panicking about the age thing. Your mid-thirties are weird because of the increasingly loud biological clocks of women your age, but once you hit your forties you get into the glorious era of horny perimenopausal divorcees. I've said it before, but it bears repeating - Guardian Soulmates is full of professional middle-aged women with busy lives who just want an intelligent conversation and a good hard shag. Also you get to stare down their teenage kids with a look that says "I'm shagging your ma and there's nothing you can do about it", which is great fun.
>> No. 7264 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 2:09 pm
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I'm sure most of this stuff is being written by 17 year-olds who're bitter about their one experience with men but it gets spread around by people who click like or share without thinking but it's just egregiously stupid and dangerous rhetoric.
>> No. 7265 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 2:18 pm
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I was sort of with her for the first few paragraphs. I would be interested to know what civil and social(?) rights she feels that women are comparatively lacking though.
>> No. 7266 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 2:25 pm
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>Men are training their soldiers. Are we training ours?

Weird how they want to frame things this way, when according to the teachings of their own ideology, men have successfully overpowered and subjugated women for the last 4000 years. I wouldn't fancy my chances in a war with that kind of track record honestly.

If they're not careful we might just vote to go full Handmaiden's Tale at the next Global Patriarchal Alliance Summit (No Girls Allowed).
>> No. 7267 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 2:29 pm
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>In fact if I was in that situation I bet I could trick myself back into finding them sexy again by pretending we were housemates with a saucy secret fuck-buddy dynamic.

Don't be ridiculous, that's... that's actually not a bad idea.
>> No. 7268 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 3:23 pm
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Thanks for the warning, pet.
>> No. 7269 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 4:07 pm
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I just read Infinite Jest.
>> No. 7270 Anonymous
25th May 2021
Tuesday 5:49 pm
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What did you think of it lad?

I read it years ago and thought it was a decent book.
>> No. 7271 Anonymous
26th May 2021
Wednesday 1:17 am
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Yeah, I liked it. Really liked it in fact, the more I think about it the more I like it. There are some passages that are an absolite slog and I think it could have been trimmed down by about 100 pages but it's probably one of the best books I've ever read or will read.
>> No. 7272 Anonymous
26th May 2021
Wednesday 4:35 pm
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> Seppos are just weird when it comes to dating, like it being fine to see other people at the same time until you become 'exclusive'.

I've never gone out with a yank to compare, but I've found that concept to be fairly widespread everywhere I've been around western Europe and South America. I think it's also fairly common in the UK but we're either old or just a bit sad. Or both.
>> No. 7332 Anonymous
2nd September 2021
Thursday 10:33 pm
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I didn't dislike it, but I'm not quite sure that I liked it either.
>> No. 7333 Anonymous
9th September 2021
Thursday 10:37 pm
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It could have been about a hundred pages or so shorter but it was an enjoyable easy read. My main issue is that the next sequel was announced in 2006 and it doesn't look like it'll be out any time soon.
>> No. 7334 Anonymous
12th September 2021
Sunday 9:46 am
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I picked this up because I assumed the film of the same name with Willem Dafoe was adapted from it, which turned out to be completely incorrect.

It's a novella about Futh, an awkward and forgettable man who spends a week walking in Germany after his marriage breaks down, and the woman who runs the first hotel he stays at. Most of it is spent reflecting on the past, often revisiting the same memories and revealing more each time they're brought up.

There were quite a few occasions where I wasn't keen on the writing style; I felt it was rather poor at setting up some of the scenes but it was fine once it got there. You could tell that the wording was very carefully chosen, but the use of symbolism was overdone for me.

All in all, a middling book.
>> No. 7335 Anonymous
12th September 2021
Sunday 7:02 pm
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Does anyone have a recommendations for books that are just a fun read? Over the past few years, I've been trying to get stuck into all the books that are supposed to be so amazing, but I find they usually just bore the arse off me. I'm not really enjoying reading anymore because of it - I've basically been trying too hard, and found I'm not bright enough to get anything out of it.

Whats your best guilty pleasure/trash novel for lads who are just looking for a good time reading?
>> No. 7336 Anonymous
12th September 2021
Sunday 7:23 pm
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The problem I suspect you're hitting is one of length. Novels tend to have chapters that feel like a total waste of time because of length and the authors forcing in allegories about whatever deep idea they're on their soapbox about.

Short story collections might be more up your alley.
>> No. 7337 Anonymous
12th September 2021
Sunday 7:42 pm
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The Last Dog on Earth, by Adrian J Walker, is quite possibly the most fun I've ever had with a book. But then, I don't really read many books because I don't particularly enjoy them either, and that's fine.
>> No. 7338 Anonymous
12th September 2021
Sunday 8:04 pm
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Like books you might read on holiday? Bond novels, Tom Clancys books and Bill Brysons travel books maybe? Easy to read and fun if you like that sort of thing.
>> No. 7339 Anonymous
12th September 2021
Sunday 8:42 pm
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What kind of fun are you looking for? A humorous book or an enjoyable adventure?
>> No. 7340 Anonymous
12th September 2021
Sunday 9:41 pm
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For a very brief moment, someone had edited the Wikipedia page for Zowie Bowie's Moon to claim that it was based on a trashy sci-fi novel from the 50s called Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys. It's one of my favourite little novels, largely just for the aesthetics that it conjures or giant computers the size of factories, and cool cars driving along the California coast. The story is absolute sci-fi wackadoo mumbo-jumbo that tries too hard to invoke spirituality, sort of like a lesser Dick, but it's written perfectly for a casual read.
>> No. 7341 Anonymous
13th September 2021
Monday 6:59 am
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I really enjoy the books that Games Workshop puts out. Might be worth a look even if you aren't into the models/games.

It's the closest stuff to modern 'pulp' that I know - as much as I enjoy high brow wank, sometimes it's nice to read a straight forward fantasy/sci fi story with clear goodies and baddies, aliens getting blasted in the face with lasers, spaceships exploding etc.

That said, some of their books are genuinely really good. Let me know if you want a few recommendations to where to start.
>> No. 7342 Anonymous
18th September 2021
Saturday 7:04 am
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Machine of Death is a collection of 34 short stories based on the premise from an old Dinosaur Comics strip; there's a machine test which will tell you how you're going to die, but these have a habit of being ambiguous, e.g. the machine reading could say 'old age' and that could mean you get killed by an old person driving a car.

I came very close to giving up on this book because there is an awful lot of guff in the first 200 pages or so. I guess that is to be expected based on the demographics that will have been reading Dinosaur Comics ~15 years ago but, holy-freakin-eff, there is a lot of immature American brilliance to have to wade through. That said, I'm glad I persevered because the quality does pick up markedly before reading the halfway point.
>> No. 7343 Anonymous
18th September 2021
Saturday 10:07 pm
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Oh that's the one Yahtzee wrote a story for isn't it? Is it any good?
>> No. 7344 Anonymous
18th September 2021
Saturday 10:30 pm
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Yeah, that was one of the better ones. It reminded me of Charlie Brooker.

>> No. 7345 Anonymous
18th September 2021
Saturday 10:51 pm
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Just read it. Characteristically silly ending.
>> No. 7346 Anonymous
19th September 2021
Sunday 12:59 am
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Fuck Thomas Mann and fuck Germany. There's no humanity in this book, it's just a young insular man pattering about in a mountain health retreat getting browbeaten by an Giuseppe, a failed clergyman, some hoe and his doctor. Yes, you can certainly tell that the author stopped and came back to it at which point he shoved his mental diarrhea onto the pages and found a narcoleptic editor to approve it.

I make a point not to leave books unfinished so after 752 pages I assure you I will not be following Mann's advice to 'read it again' to get it.
>> No. 7347 Anonymous
19th September 2021
Sunday 8:07 pm
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I was struggling to read his Doctor Faustus and your post I feel has justified me in my decision to desist from continuing it.

I've started reading Ottessa Moshfegh's 'My Year of Rest and Relaxation' and I really like the voice, and would recommend that if you're looking for good fiction.

I am also reading the Francis Bacon Biog that came out this year and it is likewise really interesting.
>> No. 7348 Anonymous
26th September 2021
Sunday 11:43 am
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I should read Douglas Adams more.
>> No. 7351 Anonymous
11th December 2021
Saturday 12:42 pm
7351 The Great Railway Bazaar, Paul Theroux
The author is a misanthropic bastard, but this is really good travel writing.

It transports the reader to another place (a railway tour of Europe and Asia), but also another time (the 1970s). The 50 years that have passed since this book was written mean that you simply cannot visit these places any more. I found it fascinating.
>> No. 7352 Anonymous
11th December 2021
Saturday 1:26 pm
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I'm finding Brave New World difficult to finish. I don't care about the characters nor understand how the 'civilised world' works. Thank god it's short, else it'd join the long list of books I've only partially read.

I guess this is one of those books that must be viewed from the perspective of its own time? Apparently this was written in the 1930's.
>> No. 7353 Anonymous
11th December 2021
Saturday 1:58 pm
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It's best read from the perspective that Huxley initially thought he was writing a novel set in a utopian world until a friend upon reading a draft commented that it was an absolute nightmare. Drop it and if you must read 20th century dystopian literature then pick up Zamyatin's We and read it in the context of the early years of the USSR.

Ever notice how we don't get books like these anymore. Or revolutionary movements outside of Islamism.
>> No. 7354 Anonymous
11th December 2021
Saturday 2:57 pm
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"Books like these" in what sense?
>> No. 7355 Anonymous
11th December 2021
Saturday 5:48 pm
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Dystopian sci-fi novels where the 'sci' is merely a part of advancing the setting, a handwave to address how a civilization built a new reality for itself. For example you can scan any library and find books like The Algebraist or Last Contact but they're always quite hard on human's adapting to this or that but no grand social-engineering. We make a lot of fiction about a future humanity dealing with some concept on physics these days.

In another example you have the review Philip K. Dick made of 1984 as being not so much science fiction but a caricature of the Soviet Union at the time of writing. Which let's be honest it unmistakably was.
>> No. 7356 Anonymous
11th December 2021
Saturday 6:18 pm
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The most recent Hunger Games book was released last year. That sort of thing was immensely popular until quite recently. I'm sure there's still plenty being written hoping to catch the Zeitgeist again.
>> No. 7357 Anonymous
11th December 2021
Saturday 6:22 pm
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It's shit
>> No. 7358 Anonymous
11th December 2021
Saturday 6:26 pm
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Have a look at Manna by Marshall Brain. It was written in 2003 by a Silicon Valley insider and is extraordinarily prescient about the implications of automation-led inequality. Along similar lines, you should definitely take a look at The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster, which is hugely influential but broadly unknown.
>> No. 7359 Anonymous
15th December 2021
Wednesday 7:50 am
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This is the second Iain Banks novel I've read. I picked up The Wasp Factory about four years ago and it's one of my favourite books. I've found A Song of Stone, on the other hand, to be rather shite.

I get that the protagonist is a conceited twat and that's why the writing was very flowery, but I found the first half in particular a bit of a drudge to get through; you could have cut about 50 pages out between returning to the castle and the shell with no real detriment to the story. Banks' shtick of getting weird for the sake of getting weird also felt like too much of a gimmick for me.
>> No. 7360 Anonymous
15th December 2021
Wednesday 10:05 am
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I didn't really get The Wasp Factory. It was just grim from cover to cover. Almost like a nightmare.
>> No. 7361 Anonymous
15th December 2021
Wednesday 10:24 am
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That ghastliness of The Wasp Factory didn't bother me and I found it engrossing. I like stories with a sense of adventure where you're not entirely sure what's going to happen next.

A Song of Stone was largely a foregone conclusion about what would happen. It's essentially a long aristocrats joke meshed in with the horrors of an unspecified war, it'll have been written about the time Bosnia was being cleansed, with the odd juxtaposition on morality thrown in.
>> No. 7362 Anonymous
15th December 2021
Wednesday 9:02 pm
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Complicity is pretty good. Hard Boiled Scottish Detective Noire written in the second person with a soundtrack by the Pixies.

The Crow Road is arguably his best.

Not including the Iain M Banks Culture series which you should start working your way through immediately.
>> No. 7363 Anonymous
15th December 2021
Wednesday 10:44 pm
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This book is fucking dumb and I say that as a fan of Joe Pera. What we got for the long wait was a simple picture book that isn't particularly funny or insightful and whose artwork is just ugly.

Oh well at least I gave him some money for keeping me relaxed during the pandemic and I now have a bathroom book for guests.
>> No. 7364 Anonymous
23rd December 2021
Thursday 9:41 pm
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The Sleeper Awakes is a dystopian science fiction novel about a man who finds out he owns most of the world, thanks to a trust managing his money on his behalf whilst he slept for just over 200 years. The trust, of course, never expected him to wake up again. It's alright, quite campy, but it gets very racist when the 'negro police' are on the scene.
>> No. 7366 Anonymous
2nd January 2022
Sunday 7:19 pm
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Qualityland is hilarious, its a dystopian novel about what if Amazon was brought in as consultants to help fix Germany following a financial crisis. In one section in outlines how books have become personalised to the user so the Bible becomes a father-son story with a Star Wars twist and The Trial is an action story.
>> No. 7367 Anonymous
2nd January 2022
Sunday 7:48 pm
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The title is a little clickbait but its an assessment of what has gone wrong between Sino-American relations in recent years followed by a sober analysis of the difference between the two and some predictions for the future.

The main selling point is it's written by a former senior diplomat for Singapore so you get a different perspective acknowledging how the current rivalry has been caused by strategic miscalculations from both sides. It provides a good overview of how China alienated the American business community from a lack of central control and how it continually fails to provide proper spokesmen and voices to the wider world outside of party slogans - including a report of a British diplomat who found it painful to deal with the Chinese who continually treat Britain with disdain that highlights why China has no friends. Equally you get a look at how the US has pushed conflict with China by violating its own agreements and putting China into position where it can't save face but is now in a position where it faces a serious challenge in beating China in a cold war it started. Also contains such gems as Europe needing to work with China in Africa because the US cannot possibly afford to support African development and the existential problem that eleventy-billion African migrants crossing the Mediterranean over the next century will either erase Europe or send it into right-wing extremism.

You can tell it was written in late 2019 though. In one comparison the author talks about how being born in China may be a better bet than being born in the US as the poorest Chinese will fair better in life, which is probably still valid but obviously the book describes what is going on in Xinjiang as detention motivated by terrorist attacks akin to the US in Afghanistan because I guess the whole genocide angle hadn't become public knowledge by then. It also has a very Singaporean approach to Hong Kong where the issue isn't democracy and the rule of law but how the population wasn't pacified by provision of social housing, which is rather out of step with the Hong Kongers I've met who hate the mainland Chinese as a people and the CCP for deliberately ruining the city.
>> No. 7368 Anonymous
2nd January 2022
Sunday 11:11 pm
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Did you read this just to better chat up Hong Kong expats? Be honest.
>> No. 7369 Anonymous
3rd January 2022
Monday 12:22 am
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america and iran.jpg
>the book describes what is going on in Xinjiang as detention motivated by terrorist attacks akin to the US in Afghanistan because I guess the whole genocide angle hadn't become public knowledge by then
I am confident that the Uyghur stuff was already being described as a genocide in 2019. I can't prove it, but the Wikipedia page (which is actually titled "Uyghur genocide", in an astonishing statement of non-impartiality for the usually impartial Wikipedia) says it started in 2014, but most of the references are in fact from mid-2019 or later.
Anyway, your review of this book makes me suspect its author is more pro-China than I am.

I went into my local library to read a random book a few weeks ago, because I needed to waste a couple of hours. I only read about 30 pages of "America and Iran: A History", but those 30 pages were bloody fantastic so you might enjoy it if you like this sort of thing.
>> No. 7378 Anonymous
11th January 2022
Tuesday 6:50 pm
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I'm hoping the rest of the Culture series is a marked improvement because this was alright, but it certainly wasn't anything to write home about and it dragged in parts.
>> No. 7379 Anonymous
10th February 2022
Thursday 8:02 pm
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This was, indeed, a marked improvement.
>> No. 7380 Anonymous
10th February 2022
Thursday 8:08 pm
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I think Mieville is definitely writing for adults now. Not to everyone's tastes but this one just works as a little gem of a story; somewhere between The Road and... I want to say Kafka but can't really say why. Something Liggotiesque maybe. It has the feel of Urban Fantasy but is extremely bleak.
>> No. 7381 Anonymous
28th February 2022
Monday 11:36 pm
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I've not finished it yet but it, it's an odd book. I get many of the examples are cromulent solutions with real evidence behind them but as a 'maximiser' (you can find the quiz here: https://www.loganury.com/quiz) it feels like it falls into the same pitfall most dating stuff suffers which is that you can't really write a book on men and women at the same time. I'm also horrified at the thought of women freezing their eggs as they reach their 30s - it makes me feel old.

One thing I am now certain about is that I absolutely would not date this woman, she prattles on about Beyoncé and announces her 'dad jokes'. She works at Hinge after an illustrious career working on porn and sex-toy big data research. She seems a uniquely cosmopolitan American stereotype. But it does make sense, I know my mean of a 'good candidate' from boiling down the population I've dated so far - a 33% sample size.
>> No. 7382 Anonymous
1st March 2022
Tuesday 12:08 am
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I don't want to get a cunt off started but I really can't help the thought that the last people anyone should listen to about dating is women. At least, pre-menopause ones, anyway.

Trouble is they don't know what it is they want themselves. They make up all sorts of justifications but they are never quite honest with themselves. It's not their fault, and I don't hold it against them, but it is quite tragic, they have a real handicap, and the vast majority of them are totally blind to it.

I'm not saying men are any better, at least not inherently; but the thing is men have to learn to adapt and overcome. A man doesn't get anywhere unless he examines himself and puts in some effort, but the pressure isn't on women to do that. So they end up having lots of casual flings, but by the time they're hitting 35 and haven't been with anybody for longer than a year in their life, they his a level of bitterness that even the chronics will never surpass.

And yet those are always the kind of women writing the love life and sex tips columns, writing books about dating and self help, and running apps like Hinge. The least qualified people.

It baffles me.

Is she single by any chance?
>> No. 7383 Anonymous
1st March 2022
Tuesday 12:30 am
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I would happily ask a woman for advice, but I always reserve the right to utterly ignore that advice. Like if a woman asked me how to make men like her, I would tell her how to make me like her. And a woman would not give advice on how to make women in general like me; she would just tell me how to make her like me. And that advice could be completely and utterly wrong. But I am aware of this possibility when I offer such advice, and I can't see this woman having that self-awareness. So many women get outraged if I say no women like me, that I think I am just entitled to them personally, but if I ask them to set me up with another woman who isn't them and who might like me more, they refuse and then I post on britfa.gs about it.
>> No. 7384 Anonymous
1st March 2022
Tuesday 12:34 am
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And I've just done her quiz and I hate it. And it doesn't even tell you your results unless you hand over your email address. Nope. What a shit quiz.
>> No. 7385 Anonymous
1st March 2022
Tuesday 2:23 am
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The problem as I see it is that women don't have an equivalent concept to "thinking with your cock". Men are generally far more aware of and honest about the terrible decisions they make.

If your missus is fucking mental but she sucks like a Dyson, we don't blame her for being mental, we blame you for sticking with her. Very few women will ever admit that awful bastards are their type, they just seem to think that they have terrible luck with men. Maybe it's cultural repression of female sexuality, maybe it's an artefact of the traditional pursuer/pursued dynamic, but women are often completely oblivious to how they choose men. There's a mindset of passivity, as if they don't actually have any agency in the process.
>> No. 7386 Anonymous
1st March 2022
Tuesday 7:57 am
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>Very few women will ever admit that awful bastards are their type, they just seem to think that they have terrible luck with men

I realise this is a sweeping generation, but women tend to be more interested in adrenalised love than men are. They need the lows so they can get the rush from the highs, rather than a steady relationship. They're bombarded with the narrative that they'll meet the one and the romance will be so exciting that it'll blow their socks off. The reality is they'll only get that validation when they don't entirely know where they stand with someone, getting that high once they're fleetingly showered with positive attention.

Women have so much choice when it comes to potential partners that it's easier for them to move on to someone else if they're not getting that rush. If you regularly give them positive attention they'll take it for granted and see it as boring. Again, I'm aware this is a huge generalisation.
>> No. 7387 Anonymous
1st March 2022
Tuesday 2:45 pm
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Then again, once a lot of women have gotten all the bad boys out of their system, they often settle for somebody who gives them stability. Faced with shrinking choice of potential mates by their early 30s, women often realise they have only so many rounds of dick on demand left to play. Getting near the end of their reproductive window then also plays a part in that.

Which is no guarantee that it'll work out with stability lad. Because deep down, women never lose that yearning for the brash bad boy who gives them that rollercoaster.
>> No. 7388 Anonymous
1st March 2022
Tuesday 3:14 pm
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>The problem as I see it is that women don't have an equivalent concept to "thinking with your cock". Men are generally far more aware of and honest about the terrible decisions they make.

Yeah, this is what I meant by being honest with themselves. They have all the same agency as men do, both sexes are capable of being shallow and making poor decisions; the difference is they typically insist on going through the motions of pretending like it could be a real relationship, so that they don't feel like a slut, or that they're using somebody. The trouble with that is they'll often lose sight of their own self deception and end up a year and a half down the line with a lad they only really wanted to be with because he had a big cock and a flash car, wondering why he's such an arsehole.

Lads are, at least, generally capable of acknowledging to themselves that they only liked a bird because of her tits or whatever. It is probably a gender role/social conditioning thing, because the root of it seems to be attempting to avoid being a bad person, even if ultimately it's by lying to themselves, whereas men are more comfortable with just being a bastard and owning it. I think this is ultimately what those slay queen, "boss bitch" type fisherfolk are really trying to emulate, but they're always overcompensating and never quite pull it off.


There's probably some truth to this too, I realise you acknowledge it's a generalisation (as is all of this) but I think that applies more to a certain class of woman than to others. I hate to bring class into yet another discussion again, but I think the desire for "excitement" like that is a bit more of a chav lass thing. They generally don't expect a partner to be loaded, because nobody they'll ever be taken seriously by is. They might be fit enough to gold dig with some rich blokes, but those rich blokes will only ever treat them as a fling and they learn that pretty quickly. So for them the excitement fills in for it.

Middle and upper class women on the other hand are much more content to find a dull but reliable lad who has a good career and offers a lot of stability. The trouble is that falls into the same trap of self deceit, they eventually forget they were mainly attracted to his career prospects, and that they overlooked the fact he can't hold an extended conversation about anything but PC hardware or Warhammer. So they find themselves disillusioned when they've been with him for three years and realise they hate the cunt, but really it was their choice.
>> No. 7389 Anonymous
2nd March 2022
Wednesday 10:13 am
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I'm about 120 pages into this, roughly a quarter of the way through, and I'm toying with whether to give it up. This is the third Banks novel where it's very hard for me to care about any of the characters or be invested in what happens to them. I've noticed all three of them have a female character whose sole personality is "being a badass", but his female characters in general seem quite two-dimensional.

It's very rare for me to give up on a book, I think I've only done it twice in the past twenty years of regular reading, but I don't feel motivated when I see I have another ~370 pages of this to go. Does it get better?
>> No. 7390 Anonymous
2nd March 2022
Wednesday 12:57 pm
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It does get better, but it never gets properly good. It's one I rarely return to, despite being an appalling autist for re-reading stuff.
If you're not feeling it, why not spend your precious time elsewhere? There's plenty of choice. Just been round matter & algebraist again on audiobook at a few hours a day, and they're in a different league.
>> No. 7391 Anonymous
2nd March 2022
Wednesday 8:58 pm
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Thanks, lad. I'll give it another chapter or two and if I'm still not feeling it I'll sack it off. I was planning on reading Feersum Endjinn next, but I might have a bit of a break from Banks' work instead.
>> No. 7392 Anonymous
3rd March 2022
Thursday 4:38 pm
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>So they find themselves disillusioned when they've been with him for three years and realise they hate the cunt, but really it was their choice.

You kind of can't win with women in that respect. You ticked all the boxes when you met, but that is then held against you when she changes her mind and thinks you're a boring git.

I guess you're getting nowhere if you're not at least one or two percent arsehole underneath. It will make even the most tedious dinner party conversation about the finer points of your IT job forgivable.
>> No. 7393 Anonymous
21st March 2022
Monday 1:04 am
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Finished Against A Dark Background (and the unpublished epilogue online).

>It does get better, but it never gets properly good.

Summed it up pretty accurately.
>> No. 7394 Anonymous
23rd March 2022
Wednesday 5:59 pm
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I've been reading Ray Dalio's recent book Changing World Order. Basically a billionaire investor talking about his process to understand and predict economic trends on a global level and how we're at the end of a 75 year debt cycle and about to get utterly fucked in about 10-15 years as China becomes the dominant superpower.

Anyway, it's a throwaway line but I can't believe nobody has picked up on him talking about genetic differences between populations representing a 10% difference in capacity. This he regards as insignificant compared to other factors like a society actually investing in human capital but, fucking hell, if I said that at work I'd be out on my arse. Can billionaires just say whatever they want?
>> No. 7395 Anonymous
23rd March 2022
Wednesday 10:24 pm
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>> No. 7396 Anonymous
24th March 2022
Thursday 10:04 pm
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The other week I was chatting with a couple of sci-fi enthusiasts, aged in their eighties, and asked them to recommend a few books to try.

Their first suggestion was The Death of Grass. The Chung-Li virus originated in China, where it wiped out the rice crop and led to mass famine; as the Chinese downplayed the virus it rapidly spread around Asia, bringing about societal collapse. Efforts to create a counter-virus lead to it mutating and affecting all grasses, including crops such as wheat, and eventually it devastates Europe. America and the Antipodes stop sending aid supplies because they decide they need to isolate and look after themselves. Despite talking about the stiff upper lip and being more civilised than "the Asiatics" the shit hits the fan once the public realise the government have been lying to them about the continuation of aid and progress against treating the virus, as well as the secret plans to nuke most major cities to bring the population down to a more sustainable level.

That's the backdrop anyway. The story concerns one man, his family and the people they pick up along the way trying to flee from London to his brother's farm in Cumbria as the country descends into barbarism and the need to survive overrides everything else. It's a fairly light read and only took about three days for me to work my way through it.
>> No. 7397 Anonymous
31st March 2022
Thursday 9:04 pm
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This was the first thing I'd read by Harlan Ellison. It left me with the distinct feeling that his writing may have been seen as groundbreaking about 60 years, but to the modern reader it won't stick out as being remarkable. My favourite story in the collection was Pretty Maggie Moneyeyes.
>> No. 7398 Anonymous
31st March 2022
Thursday 11:48 pm
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He's one of those ideas guys I think. It's more about an exploration of the higher level concept than the storytelling itself.
>> No. 7399 Anonymous
22nd April 2022
Friday 10:48 pm
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It wasn't brilliant, but it was the first book in a while that I've actually felt myself enjoying whilst reading it.
>> No. 7400 Anonymous
23rd April 2022
Saturday 8:31 am
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If I'm anything like you, sometimes all it takes is something easily consumable and a bit fun to rekindle (pun intended) my reading habits.

I don't why I can't be arsed reading sometimes, but when it happens I''ll drop a book mid chapter and not return for 6 months, as I've decided that trying to learn how to soder properly is immensely important. Again. For the 20th time.
>> No. 7401 Anonymous
5th May 2022
Thursday 12:57 am
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Finally got around to reading Children of Time and yeah it was alright. The book is Avatar done right where the alien civilization is actually radically different and it's all accounted for which is pretty neat to explore for worldbuilding. Plus there's the whole dying embers of humanity subplot that take place over thousands of years due to the non-FTL universe.

Reading the sequel now but how was that the happy ending. Imagine letting a race of sentient spiders with virus symbionts mess around with your brain and permanently alter your genetic makeup to make you docile and useful to them. I knew it wasn't going to end well when humanity didn't push a dinosaur killer asteroid or two towards the planet either on the outgoing (out of spite) or trip back.
>> No. 7402 Anonymous
5th May 2022
Thursday 1:30 am
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Children of Time is one of the best episodes of DS9, never knew it was the title of a novel.
>> No. 7403 Anonymous
7th May 2022
Saturday 1:29 am
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This was entertaining enough, but it did leave the impression what could have been an impressive novella was stretched out by at least a hundred more pages than necessary.

I might try one of his other books down the line, see how he developed as a writer. I don't know if dated is the right term but there were a few things in the book, like the occasional use of 'retarded', which did make it feel like it was of its time and giving a snapshot of how gaming/internet culture was c. 10/15 years ago.
>> No. 7404 Anonymous
22nd June 2022
Wednesday 3:09 pm
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I had been reading If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino, but I made the mistake of putting it down for a week and I just could not get back into it.

Anyway, I had intended to read Lost Boy by Christina Henry as I'd heard good things about her dark fantasy re-tellings of fairy-tales but for some reason (probably because it was cheaper) I ended up getting The Mermaid instead. It's about a mermaid who leaves the ocean after falling in love, although she ages much slower than her human husband and after years alone she eventually agrees to become an exhibit at showman P. T. Barnum's museum so she can earn enough money to travel around the world. It wasn't bad but the writing felt rather simplistic at times and the points it makes through the eyes of a non-human about society, religion and how women are treated as inferior to men, particularly in them days, is done with all of the subtlety of a brick to the face.

In short, meh.
>> No. 7405 Anonymous
29th June 2022
Wednesday 1:11 pm
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I enjoyed this, although I imagine Sedaris would be rather insufferable in real life.
>> No. 7406 Anonymous
12th July 2022
Tuesday 6:02 am
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This didn't land for me. It felt like reading a shit version of Douglas Adams.
>> No. 7407 Anonymous
12th July 2022
Tuesday 8:55 am
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I always thought of him as a shit version of Terry Pratchett, but you're not wrong.
>> No. 7408 Anonymous
12th July 2022
Tuesday 9:15 am
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The personal highlight for me was "with a cry of something which sounded like number 32 on the menu of Chan's Chinese Chippy, Archroy leapt at the blazing giant."

It's just not funny. I can appreciate that there might be casual dolphin rape in a book published in 1981, but I'd expect that casual dolphin rape to be funny. I don't get what's humorous about a man who has learnt martial arts giving a shout that sounds like something on a Chinese takeaway menu.

The book that came to mind most whilst reading it was Under the Net, which I think is because Jake and Finn in that story are fleshed out characters whereas Rankin's Pooley and Omalley have no real personality beyond being opportunistic drunkards. It's as if he thought simply writing about a couple of men getting drunk and stumbling home was funny enough by itself.
>> No. 7409 Anonymous
12th July 2022
Tuesday 9:57 am
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I think I read his entire bibliography twenty years ago and never went near it again; I remember something about sprouts, a pint of large and the fact that 666 looks a bit like tadpoles or semen. Like you said, it has that feel of Adams (or Pratchett) with sex and '90s dolphin rape subbed in for the stuff that makes those two memorable or worth reading.
>> No. 7410 Anonymous
12th July 2022
Tuesday 10:15 am
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>> No. 7411 Anonymous
15th July 2022
Friday 11:42 pm
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Either of you two read any of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series? I'm thinking of starting it but reviews remain sharply divided between it either being poorly written rubbish or a work of genius. By all accounts it's not something fit for audiobook given you need to pay attention and infer events.

It feels like a massive commitment and I like to a finish series once I start you see.
>> No. 7412 Anonymous
23rd July 2022
Saturday 10:35 pm
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I'm not really sure what I made of this, but I didn't entirely know what to expect going into it. I felt quite detached reading it.
>> No. 7413 Anonymous
3rd August 2022
Wednesday 12:20 am
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I really liked this.
>> No. 7414 Anonymous
9th August 2022
Tuesday 9:46 pm
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Americans unleash a bioweapon in Afghanistan. The bioweapon spreads and within four years it has killed almost all of the world although it doesn't matter until it reaches American soil, fuck everyone else.

The first half of the book jumps in time between scientists a) frantically trying to halt the spread of the virus, developing an antidote and creating robotic 'mothers' to care for genetically modified children who aren't affected by the bioweapon in case humanity is wiped out and b) the future where the mothers are raising their children in the desert in Arizona. The latter is interesting but the former is rather dull, particularly as there's a very American and very ham-fisted obsession with the ethnicities of the characters and also because there's a fair bit of jargon as the author seems more interested in showing off her technical knowledge (she's a biochemist) rather than telling a good story. The children are also quite poorly written.

The second half is concerned with the mothers taking their children to a compound in California for safety while the surviving scientists try to make contact and ultimately release them to a tribe of Hopi who've been unaffected by the bioweapon which is still in the air. The mothers who were good and were thought to have turned bad turn out to be good all along. You soon realise in this half you've been railroaded from a story which could have gone anywhere into a rather unimaginative rescue mission where everything turns out just fine and dandy in the end.

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