What Are You Reading?

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Peven on Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:49 pm

an Ann Rice vampire alien novel? you have no business criticizing any movies not made by Uwe Boll. :-P
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Ribbons on Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:08 pm

Maui wrote:I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid.

Ribbons, check it out and don't read any spoilers on this book. Be curious your thoughts on this. Quick read, only 300+ pages, a real mind f**k.


I just finished reading this book. What'd you think, Maui?
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Maui on Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:22 pm

Ribbons wrote:
Maui wrote:I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid.

Ribbons, check it out and don't read any spoilers on this book. Be curious your thoughts on this. Quick read, only 300+ pages, a real mind f**k.


I just finished reading this book. What'd you think, Maui?


I thought it was a solid debut for Ian Reid. I liked the build up. You knew something was going to go terribly wrong but what. I liked how it all played out at the abandoned school. At the end of the novel, there was a slight WTF moment.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Maui on Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:28 pm

I picked up Harry Potter and the Cursed Child today. Anyone else read this and enjoy the script format?
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Wolfpack on Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:39 pm

Pharmacy Practice and the Law
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Al Shut on Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:10 am

Searching for loopholes, no doubt. :twisted:
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:16 am

Have my buddy a copy of The Bluest Eye for Christmas cuz I'm kind of an asshole that say and I've been trying to re-read it mzyself as of late. It has been a real slog. In fact I haven't been able to read worth shit lately with this fucking guy in the White House doing somethinf cuntish every day I gotta read about it on my phone/learn Spanish on my Duolingo app. It's a pretty good program, I recommend it of you want to reach out to your German neighbor and speak to him in his native tongue or you wanna get laid by an Italian.

Steve Bannon looks like an elderly lesbian.

The Bluest Eye is a depressing book
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Ribbons on Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:29 pm

Maui wrote:
Ribbons wrote:
Maui wrote:I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid.

Ribbons, check it out and don't read any spoilers on this book. Be curious your thoughts on this. Quick read, only 300+ pages, a real mind f**k.


I just finished reading this book. What'd you think, Maui?


I thought it was a solid debut for Ian Reid. I liked the build up. You knew something was going to go terribly wrong but what. I liked how it all played out at the abandoned school. At the end of the novel, there was a slight WTF moment.


I thought it was full of atmosphere and enjoyed the experience of reading it, but I didn't like the ending. It felt like some sort of supernatural/metaphysical twist was coming, but I think the book would have been better had nothing actually happened. I like the idea of everything feeling "off" but not in a way that you can articulate. The whole slasher, multiple personality thing has been done to death, and I'm not really sure what it added to the story or its themes. That said Reid is clearly very talented and I would probably Reid another book of his should he write one.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Wolfpack on Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:36 pm

Al Shut wrote:Searching for loopholes, no doubt. :twisted:


It's a real page turner.
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Re: NORMAL by Warren Ellis

Postby TheButcher on Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:49 am

[ORBITAL OPERATIONS] 25sep16:
Warren Ellis wrote:Good afternoon. My name’s Warren Ellis. I’m a writer.

So. A little while after I agreed to appear here today, one of the organisers got in touch to say, “well, probably nobody in the room will have a clue who you are, so maybe you could just read them something.” And then there was a suggestion about showing you a film or something, which was kind of weighted with the implication that maybe they didn’t mean to invite me after all. But, sadly for all of us, here I am.

So what I’m going to do is read you something from my next book, which is coming out at the end of November. It’s a mystery story, set in a hospital in the remote forests of Oregon, that caters for only one kind of patient. It’s a home for futurists who have been emotionally damaged by thinking about the future for too long. Because that’s a thing that happens. Here’s a bit from the opening chapter:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Foresight strategists on this side. Non-profits, charitable institutions, universities, design companies, the civil stuff. On the other side? Strategic forecasters. Global security groups, corporate think-tanks, spook stuff. You know the score.”

He did. He was a futurist. They were all futurists. Everyone here gazed into the abyss for a living. Do it long enough, and the abyss would gaze back into you. If the abyss did that for long enough, and the people who paid you for your eyes would send you to Normal Head. The place was paid for by foundations and multinationals alike, together. Most of their human probes needed it, one way or another, in the end.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------


You can’t start putting together ideas about the future until you take a good long look at the present – the systems and conditions that bind us. There’s a term I use in the book – Abyss Gaze – the thing that happens when you look into the abyss for too long and it starts looking into you.

The book’s called NORMAL.

So here’s a piece of it. The person who’s talking is Lela Charron, and she’s an urbanist – a person involved in seeing and developing the future of the city. And now she’s in Normal Head Research Station, she’s talking to a new arrival called Adam Dearden, and this is how she thinks. I’ve edited out most but not all of the swearing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

"You spend all day thinking of cities as machines for living in. And as the data piles up, and you realize the scale of the problems that cities are intended to solve, you start thinking of the city as a suit of armour to survive in. I mean, in theory and practice, that’s exactly what it is. That’s why cities used to have earthworks and walls around them. A city’s supposed to have everything in it that its citizenry needs to live. If I’m sick, and I live in a city, it’s almost certain that the care I need is closer to me than if I lived in a house in the country, because all the hospitals are in big towns and cities. People in what we think of as a basic Western city simply live longer. Basic, not, you know, collapsing or feral. Basic. Which means they fill up with old people. Huddled up against the health services they need and can afford, and all the other civic machinery that keeps their spaces liveable.”

Adam put his hand on the table, where hers had been, open. “I’m sorry. You don’t need to go on.”

“I do, though. I do need to go on. Because you need to hear it. Everybody does. I have to track shit, to do my job. Literally. I literally had to track the passage of shit through pipes in five major cities for six months, at one point. The way we move shit around in cities is vital. It affects the condition of the urban environment, the volume of humans that can be supported therein, the quality of the water and the state of the ecology outside the city. At least. And then, yes, I had to hand over my data to the city authorities, because that’s what I was hired to do. I don’t get to make the decisions. All I can do is overwhelm them with data and reports until they have no choice but to do the right thing. But they don’t, because nobody can hold the right thing in their heads. It’s too big. It’s too big and it’s too deep.”

“You know what I’m talking about. I got sent to New York. They pump more than thirteen million gallons of water out of New York every day just to keep the subway running. So that people can perform ten thousand felonies a year on it. And that’s the small number. New York needs to pump another two hundred million gallons of water out of four thousand five hundred acres of city every single day to stop the city from drowning in its own piss and bathwater and the sea creeping up to grab at the ankles of the two million people south of 71st Street. That is one system. Only one. And just on Manhattan. The five boroughs have to process more than a billion gallons a day. Remember Hurricane Sandy? Sandy took out half the pumps and almost all the treatment plants in a second. And it was just barely a Category 1 hurricane when it hit. A thirteen-foot surge over the wall by Battery Park. That released ten billion gallons of raw sewage into the city and the surrounding waters. Shit. Big storm comes and we can’t protect ourselves from our own shit. That’s the future, Adam whateveryournameis. Citystates rammed with ageing people huddling up against hospitals and looking up in terror for the big storm that will come and go and leave them floating face down in thirteen feet of shit. And I can’t do anything about it.”

“None of us can. We just look at this stuff, we look wider and deeper, and then just deeper and deeper, and all we can see is everything getting smaller and darker until it’s this infinite black dot of compressed shit and horror. And we get paid for that. That’s the amazing thing. We get paid to stare down the black silo of the future and gaze at the pebble at the bottom that’s nothing but the crushed remains of the species. That’s where we all end up. That’s all we do. And there’s a dollar value on that. We get given money for it. It’s like we’re the sin-eaters for the entire culture, looking at the end of human civilization because it’s supposed that somebody should. I’m fine, by the way. Stop looking for a nurse. I’m going back to work. Society needs people to stare at a ball of shit at the end of the world all day. It’s a living.”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------


So. If you ever wondered why science fiction writers are a bit weird and sometimes kind of look like they’re surrounded by a murky cloud of restraining orders, this is part of the reason why. This is where we all start, when we begin to think about the future, and looking into that mess isn’t always good for you.

The subtitle of this session is “Who’s afraid of the future?” On some level, all of us who think about it are.

But we have to start extrapolating and speculating from somewhere, right?

I’m not a big fan of prediction in fiction – or, at least, treating fiction as an engine for prediction. Our job was never to predict the single true future.

Thinking about the future isn’t rocket science, and neither is it archery. Time’s Arrow is a seductive idea. The notion that time travels in a straight line, and that we rise into a single future. Or, if you’re feeling oppressed and cranky, that the future is a single cutting head diving down towards us. It simplifies things nicely, and makes passengers of us. It is convenient and sometimes comforting to believe we have no agency in the face of Time’s Arrow. The Future is coming and we’re trapped on the ride.

Science fiction isn’t prediction. It’s imagining storms from the prevailing conditions. We’re not a mirror to the future. We’re just your first, best weather station.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Al Shut on Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:47 am

Maui wrote:I picked up Harry Potter and the Cursed Child today. Anyone else read this and enjoy the script format?


I'd say I enjoyed the read despite the script format. A lot of what I loved about the novels is lost.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Maui on Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:00 pm

Al Shut wrote:
Maui wrote:I picked up Harry Potter and the Cursed Child today. Anyone else read this and enjoy the script format?


I'd say I enjoyed the read despite the script format. A lot of what I loved about the novels is lost.


Yeah, I imagine it will take reading a few pages to get used to the script format.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Maui on Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:01 pm

Ribbons wrote: but I didn't like the ending. It felt like some sort of supernatural/metaphysical twist was coming


Yes, I felt the same way. The ending took a very strange turn.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Fievel on Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:55 pm

Noah Hawley (Fargo TV show, Legion) has a book - Before the Fall.
I really enjoyed it. It came off like an novelization of a film at times, but not enough to detract. But if you like his work on TV, you'll probably enjoy this. I'm assuming it will be polished and put onscreen at some point.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Wolfpack on Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:34 pm

"Placebo-Controlled Clomipramine Trial for the Treatment of Feather Picking Disorder in Cockatoos"

I hear for the film version they're getting Michael Cera to play a cockatoo.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Al Shut on Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:09 pm

Rereading IT to refresh my memories
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Ribbons on Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:17 pm

In English or German?
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Al Shut on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:05 am

German.

Oddly enough, the translation seems to be a bit wonky at times, which I never noticed before. Like calling fortune cookies fortune cakes.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Fievel on Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:02 pm

Shouldn't really matter.
Regardless of the language, we all float down here.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby TheBaxter on Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:50 pm

Fievel wrote:Vee all flöt down hier.


FTFY
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Ribbons on Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:08 pm

That's Swedish, not German! I learned that from watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Wolfpack on Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:35 pm

But...he used an umlaut.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Ribbons on Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:21 pm

Your mom's an umlaut
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Fievel on Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:41 pm

...and your demonic alien clown smells of elderberries.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:06 am

TheBaxter wrote:
Fievel wrote:Vee all flöt down hier.


FTFY


*herr
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Al Shut on Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:26 am

Wolfpack wrote:But...he used an umlaut.


chüd
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Maui on Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:17 pm

This is more like 'What are You Listening to'...

Downloaded from Audible the new novel by Paula Hawkins, Into the Water. Will be listening to this during my commute.

Anyone read/listened to this yet?
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Fievel on Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:11 am

No, but right now I'm totally into audiobooks via my local library and an app called OverDrive.
Free.

I'm listening to the book about the musical Hamilton and have the autobiography of Jonathan Goldsmith (aka The Most Interesting Man in the World) waiting next.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Al Shut on Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:47 am

The Armmaggeddon Rag by George R R Martin

As usual when reading something concerning music I have no idea how it's supposed to sound :?
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby TheBaxter on Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:00 pm

i recently read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King. this book was a good reminder of exactly why King should never write books with children or teenagers as the main characters. i'm not sure exactly how 9 year old girls talk , but i'm pretty sure they sound nothing like this.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby SilentBobX on Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:00 pm

Re-reading Alistair MacLean's Where Eagles Dare. Need to get some others, and get Taibbi's new book "I can't breathe'


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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Wolfpack on Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:32 pm

Ringworld by Larry Niven. It inevitably makes me think of Halo.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby justcheckin on Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:28 pm

TheBaxter wrote:i recently read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King. this book was a good reminder of exactly why King should never write books with children or teenagers as the main characters. i'm not sure exactly how 9 year old girls talk , but i'm pretty sure they sound nothing like this.



I read this years ago... it was meh, 9 year old girls sound nothing like that. :lol:
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby justcheckin on Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:35 pm

I just finished reading two books by China Mieville. Perdido Street Station which is part of a series and Embassytown. I liked them both but Embassytown was my favorite of the two.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Fievel on Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:48 pm

I'm on Book 4 of The Expanse series. I'm loving this series (haven't watched the TV show).
Enough turns in each book to keep me guessing, and the dialogue is extremely good at times - almost an Elmore Leonard-esque humor to it. Almost.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:08 pm

TheBaxter wrote:i recently read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King. this book was a good reminder of exactly why King should never write books with children or teenagers as the main characters. i'm not sure exactly how 9 year old girls talk , but i'm pretty sure they sound nothing like this.


Imagine if iPhones existed back then.

I recently read SLEEPING BEAUTIES, which King wrote with his son Owen. I thought it was pretty good.

I'm guessing Owen wrote the parts with 21st century technology in them.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby TheBaxter on Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:09 am

caruso_stalker217 wrote:
TheBaxter wrote:i recently read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King. this book was a good reminder of exactly why King should never write books with children or teenagers as the main characters. i'm not sure exactly how 9 year old girls talk , but i'm pretty sure they sound nothing like this.


Imagine if iPhones existed back then.


instead of a her walkman lasting over a week on battery power, her iphone would've died after the first night.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby TheBaxter on Tue May 29, 2018 5:31 pm

i'm about 100 pages in to King's latest, The Outsider. so far, it holds promise.

i also recently finished Chuck Palahniuk's latest, Adjustment Day. it's over-the-top silly political satire, and by the end, i wasn't sure what the point was.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Tue May 29, 2018 6:33 pm

I am also about 100 pages into The Outsider and I'm finding it interesting so far. Unfortunately, King's habit of having his characters overshare takes a bit of the reality out of the police interview segments. The worst of these being the section with the Native American woman who can't give a simple eyewitness account without reminding the interviewer that she is, indeed, Native American. With references to "my wide Indian ass!" and apologizing for use of the F-word as "lapsing into my Native American tongue" and "putting on my buckskins and feathers" and dancing to celebrate the perpetrator's being brought to justice.

This is, in a word, embarrassing. Bordering on parody. Someone needed to step in and stop this.

One of the things I liked about last year's Sleeping Beauties was the depiction of "minority" characters. Often, the race of the characters was left ambiguous or at least uncommented on until put into a certain context. In fact, the book was almost over before I realized one of the major supporting characters was black. Contrast that with the character of Jerome in Mr. Mercedes and one can safely conclude that Owen King was likely responsible for all that subtlety stuff in Sleeping Beauties. And this is the guy who wrote a book (partly) about a dude with a big dick dressed like a satyr jerking off in the woods.

At this point in King's career it comes off as out of touch old guy stuff. Like when he has his characters talk about iPhones and Kindles.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Ribbons on Tue May 29, 2018 6:34 pm

TheBaxter wrote:i also recently finished Chuck Palahniuk's latest, Adjustment Day. it's over-the-top silly political satire, and by the end, i wasn't sure what the point was.


That's how I feel about most Palahniuk books, to be honest.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Fievel on Tue May 29, 2018 6:36 pm

TheBaxter wrote:i'm about 100 pages in to King's latest, The Outsider. so far, it holds promise


I'm currently listening to The Outsider! And yeah, so far so good.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby TheBaxter on Wed May 30, 2018 10:08 am

yeah, King's dialogue is typically clunky and unrealistic. like another part where the detective is talking to his wife about the case and he's telling her things that either a) she would already know, or b) if she doesn't know yet, he probably shouldn't be telling to anyone outside the investigation. it's purely for the purpose of exposition, but it's like breaking screenwriting rule #1 by putting exposition into the mouth of a character instead of finding a more effective way of conveying the information... which is especially unforgivable in a novel, where you don't need to depend on characters actually saying things to get that information across to the reader.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Fievel on Wed May 30, 2018 2:57 pm

Yup. Very King-ish in that vein.
So far (I'm at The Arraignment) it really feels like King is pretending to be John Grisham, which is amusing in itself. But still, it's entertaining.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby TheBaxter on Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:45 pm

caruso_stalker217 wrote:I am also about 100 pages into The Outsider and I'm finding it interesting so far. Unfortunately, King's habit of having his characters overshare takes a bit of the reality out of the police interview segments. The worst of these being the section with the Native American woman who can't give a simple eyewitness account without reminding the interviewer that she is, indeed, Native American. With references to "my wide Indian ass!" and apologizing for use of the F-word as "lapsing into my Native American tongue" and "putting on my buckskins and feathers" and dancing to celebrate the perpetrator's being brought to justice.

This is, in a word, embarrassing. Bordering on parody. Someone needed to step in and stop this.


it gets worse. the jewish lawyer isn't too bad, except for the chapter with his wife, or the occasional Hebrew word getting dropped. but the latino cop who keeps referring to himself as the "son of a poor Mexican family" and calling people ese is pretty bad. if it keeps going like this, Stephen King might have to quit his day job and start writing tweets for Roseanne Barr.

caruso_stalker217 wrote:One of the things I liked about last year's Sleeping Beauties was the depiction of "minority" characters. Often, the race of the characters was left ambiguous or at least uncommented on until put into a certain context. In fact, the book was almost over before I realized one of the major supporting characters was black. Contrast that with the character of Jerome in Mr. Mercedes


speak of the devil....
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:39 pm

TheBaxter wrote:
caruso_stalker217 wrote:I am also about 100 pages into The Outsider and I'm finding it interesting so far. Unfortunately, King's habit of having his characters overshare takes a bit of the reality out of the police interview segments. The worst of these being the section with the Native American woman who can't give a simple eyewitness account without reminding the interviewer that she is, indeed, Native American. With references to "my wide Indian ass!" and apologizing for use of the F-word as "lapsing into my Native American tongue" and "putting on my buckskins and feathers" and dancing to celebrate the perpetrator's being brought to justice.

This is, in a word, embarrassing. Bordering on parody. Someone needed to step in and stop this.


it gets worse. the jewish lawyer isn't too bad, except for the chapter with his wife, or the occasional Hebrew word getting dropped. but the latino cop who keeps referring to himself as the "son of a poor Mexican family" and calling people ese is pretty bad. if it keeps going like this, Stephen King might have to quit his day job and start writing tweets for Roseanne Barr.

caruso_stalker217 wrote:One of the things I liked about last year's Sleeping Beauties was the depiction of "minority" characters. Often, the race of the characters was left ambiguous or at least uncommented on until put into a certain context. In fact, the book was almost over before I realized one of the major supporting characters was black. Contrast that with the character of Jerome in Mr. Mercedes


speak of the devil....


Just getting there. Was treated to some spoilers for End of Watch which I haven't finished, but nothing surprising there.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby TheBaxter on Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:37 pm

WTF is wrong with King? he seriously needs an intervention with all this tech crap he keeps shoving into his writing. he obviously has no idea how fucking distracting and annoying it is. especially now that i've gotten to the 2nd half where it's become the 4th Mr. Mercedes book the app name-dropping is just seriously out of hand. maybe if he had editors who were more than just yes-men, someone would have told him to cut this shit out by now.

i mean, how many times do i need to be told that such-and-such a character used MapQuest (MapQuest? seriously, does anyone use that anymore?) or Waze or their iPad to get from point A to point B? as someone who regularly uses Google Maps on my iPhone for navigation, a line like "With the help of her navigation app, REDACTED made a quick and easy drive to the Flint City Walmart" is the functional equivalent of writing "With the help of her steering wheel and gas pedal, REDACTED made a quick and easy drive to the Flint City Walmart, where she then stopped by using her brake pedal, and exited the car with the helpful assistance of her conveniently placed door handle." King needs to realize that calling special attention to how much people use tech doesn't make him look more tech-savvy or in-the-know, it actually makes him look more out of touch by thinking those things are even noteworthy. and speaking of editors, any good one would be able to shave a good 50 pages off this book just by deleting the tech references alone. lorde knows this book needs it.... at nearly 600 pages, it could easily have told the same story in half that length. that line i quoted above, an actual line from this book, could have been shortened to just "REDACTED made a quick drive to the Flint City Walmart" and would have lost nothing in meaning, while gaining a whole lot in brevity and non-annoyingness.

so much for promise. the further i get into this thing, the more this is feeling like the bloated carcass of a lazy hack writer who's lost his touch. we'll see how this ends, but considering endings were never King's strong suit even in his good days, i'm not getting my hopes up.

caruso_stalker217 wrote:Just getting there. Was treated to some spoilers for End of Watch which I haven't finished, but nothing surprising there.


the title of End of Watch is already kind of a spoiler.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby caruso_stalker217 on Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:37 pm

To be fair....I am having the exact same issues. I'm around the page 400 mark and while King's knack for telling a compelling story is still there, the constant references to how Who got Where using What is getting kind of ridiculous. As you said, do we need to know how Yohll is getting to these places? To be fair, that character is written as OCDish and so those passages are more auto manual-ish than the rest of the book, but it doesn't make for great reading.

Although you could probably make a good drinking game around the many instances of characters "booting" or "firing up" their various electronic devices.

Really I think King could benefit from re-reading his own book on writing, or at least review Strunk and White. All he needs is a reminder of the most important (I'd argue ONLY) rule of good writing: omit needless words.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby TheBaxter on Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:06 pm

yeah, that's exactly what i was thinking with that example of a rewritten line above. pretty much every mention of apps or ipads are needless words. i got that Mistletoe's OCD is kind of reflected in how those passages are written (the waxing non-poetic over Walmart, for example) and that could have been kind of a clever device, but then, it extends past her to other characters, and of course we've seen it before in other recent books of his (like that Shining sequel) so it can't be blamed on just that. fortunately, having just finished the book, i can report that the tech references pretty much disappear over the last hundred or so pages as the book comes to a conclusion (i chalk that up to the fact the novel ends in a place with no cell reception, so nobody can use their iphones/ipads/blah-de-blahs anyway).

and there's no excuse in this day and age for having a Latino character who calls people ese. none.

maybe for that reason, the ending is slightly better than the middle part of the book, though still not as good as the first 1/3 or so. just slightly better, though, as i found the ending a bit anticlimactic. i'd spoiler-text this discussion, but frankly, if you've read any previous King novels, none of this will come as a surprise. it felt, frankly, like a 2nd-rate version of IT. you've got the gang of characters teamed up to end an ancient (or maybe not so ancient) evil, a subterranean monster being hunted down in the bowels of the earth, a secondary threat a la Henry Bowers under the monster's control that the characters must face before the ultimate villain is dealt with, and of course, some characters survive and some don't, blah blah. it all felt very familiar, very formulaic King, too formulaic for my tastes. and of course, the ultimate confrontation with the monster itself is a bit disappointing... i will spoiler-text this part... the monster is so weak by the time they confront it that it doesn't really feel like a threat to the surviving characters.... and then, when they kill it, we get more silly alien-like creature stuff, though at least not as silly as the space-spider at the end of IT.

overall, this book kind of felt like 3 wildly uneven acts. the first act, leading up to the arraignment (and ending with Terry's murder) was excellent. the contradictions between the evidence for Terry's guilt, and the evidence of his innocence, kind of reminded me of a book like Gone Girl where the you're being given a steady diet of info leading you to one conclusion, only to have the rug swept out from under you taking the story in an entirely different direction. if it hadn't been for the crappy marketing (much of the advertising i read for this book already revealed that there was a double who really committed the crime, and Terry was innocent then this part of the book would have been even more fun and interesting. instead, if you already know the answer to how Terry could seem to be in 2 places at once, it ruins the suspense, though that's not the book's fault. it's still a very good set-up.

the 2nd act, encompassing the middle part of the book, is just terrible, it's extremely frustrating because by this point, you've figured out or at least are starting to figure out what's up, but now you have to wait for the characters to catch up and figure it out for themselves. and because it's King, this process is drug out for a couple hundred pages, so it's just a slog as you watch the characters slowly piece together all these facts and conclusions you already know, and the story grinds to a halt. making it worse is that this is the section that has the most of King's obsession with technology and continued stereotyped dialogue (though thankfully, despite an occasional reference, Jerome never actually shows up).

and the 3rd act i already talked about above. by this point, the characters have finally figured shit out and stuff happens again, so it can't help but improve at this point. the ending is ok, nothing spectacularly good or bad, but like i said, pretty derivative of his previous work.

overall, it was a really good premise that just got derailed by the typical King failings that are increasingly defining his end-of-career works. this book is making me seriously rethink whether i will want to read whatever his next book is. if there's any indication that Holly or Ralph or other characters from this current series of his are involved, i'm pretty sure i'll skip it.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby Fievel on Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:29 pm

Just finished the audiobook. Actor Will Patton (Armageddon) narrates it and does a fantastic job. He does such a good job that he raises the quality of the story from a solid "ugh" to actually entertaining. I can't imagine having read this on page. Actually, I'm willing to bet I would have scrapped it somewhere in the middle. All of the above complaints I agree with.

The beginning of the book was my favorite part. I mentioned earlier that it reminded me of John Grisham (his Time to Kill/Ford County stuff in particular), and I was almost disappointed that it went supernatural instead of focusing on the legal story... even though it's Stephen King and that's the whole reason I listened to the damn thing! :lol:

I haven't read any of the Mr. Mercedes stories. I'm sure I'll continue to skip those stories now.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Postby TheBaxter on Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:42 pm

Fievel wrote:I haven't read any of the Mr. Mercedes stories. I'm sure I'll continue to skip those stories now.


good decision. there are far better uses of your time, like reading more Grisham, or re-reading older King novels, or banging your head on a table for an hour.
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