Author Topic: Reader's Nook  (Read 80101 times)

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Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #315 on: August 19, 2021, 10:37:01 AM »
I enjoyed Ivanhoe, and kept stopping every page or so to look something up.  I ended up writing a dictionary of the oddball terms I kept encountering.  Great for Scrabble words.

I'm posting here from the TV thread because it seemed more related to books than to tv.

I've never read anything by Len Deighton, so maybe I'll pick up SS-GB, but I get the impression that the book leaves you hanging as much as the tv series did.  I'm reading Get Shorty now as I've never read any Elmore Leonard books (or at least I think I haven't).  The movie follows the book much more closely than the tv series did, but both are very good.

Did you ever go to the bookstore and buy a book only to find you already own it?  I must admit this has happened to me more than once.  But I don't have any Deighton novels at home, for sure.  I'm also in the middle of Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy, but that's a topic for another day.  It's very good and very long.  I also have to keep looking stuff up.  But it's beautifully written.

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #316 on: August 19, 2021, 02:14:52 PM »
I enjoyed Ivanhoe, and kept stopping every page or so to look something up.  I ended up writing a dictionary of the oddball terms I kept encountering.  Great for Scrabble words.

Loved it
Try The White Company or Sir Nigel by Arthur Conan Doyle , I read then to death and had to buy another of each

I've never read anything by Len Deighton, so maybe I'll pick up SS-GB, but I get the impression that the book leaves you hanging as much as the tv series did.  I'm reading Get Shorty now as I've never read any Elmore Leonard books (or at least I think I haven't).  The movie follows the book much more closely than the tv series did, but both are very good.

Haven't watched the series but read the book a long time ago. Was OK but I was young and wasnt my style then.

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #317 on: August 19, 2021, 02:46:28 PM »
Scott's Kenilworth is also very good.

Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll look into the Conan Doyle titles.  I'd also be happy to read more by Scott.  He was certainly prolific.  Waverly was the first of the series of "Waverly Novels" that apparently include Ivanhoe.  He beats the pants off Elmore Leonard, but Get Shorty is pretty fun for what it is.

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #318 on: August 20, 2021, 04:58:27 AM »
https://www.goodreads.com/series/132815-chivalry
reading the first book ( didnt realise there were more ) Gritty and not a chivalric as Ivanhoe

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #319 on: November 02, 2021, 09:16:04 AM »
Leviathan Falls is slated to be released on 11/30.  That's something to look forward to.  I usually inhale those books in a day, though.  James SA Corey must have been busy.

They are talking with Ann Leckie at Powells Books about it -- admission is the price of a book, $30.  That's a decent marketing strategy, although I'm not so sure I'd want to hear them discuss it before I'd had a chance to read it.  What are they going to say about it that wouldn't be a potential spoiler?  https://www.powells.com/book/leviathan-falls-expanse-book-9-9780316332910

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #320 on: November 03, 2021, 01:07:44 AM »
son loves the series and probably the books as well.
Never been to a book "meet" and could be fun.


Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #321 on: September 16, 2022, 05:02:23 PM »
So I started watching House of the Dragon, which is not bad as a tv series, so far.  Thought I'd catch up on the background, so I picked up Fire & Blood, the book on which it is supposedly based.  This is the 2018 publication of Geo. RR Martin's back story to the House of Targaryen.  Great googly moogly.  Here is a book in desperate need of an editor.

Did he get paid by the word or what?  And after god only knows how many pages (I read it in epub format), the story just kind of peters out.  The long regency of one king ends and then, as an afterthought, he mentions that the king's reign didn't fare well, but then, THE END.  Like, "I'm done with that 2000 pages."  Ding!  Time's up! 

And, tacked on, "by the way, if they'd have let me write a longer book, here's the rest of the history of the House of Targaryen summarized in a list of Kings."  The list is also kind of goofy, in that it ignores a major theme of the book he'd just finished, the usurpation of the crown by Aegon II, a reign that he treats as normal and regular, despite the naming of Viserys's daughter as the rightful heir.  He mentions her parenthetically, as if he hadn't just spent hundreds of pages discussing the war that resulted from the illegal occupation of the throne by her half brother.  Nor does the book complete the cycle.  Why does he quit where he does?  Who can say?

As ChrisT once said, Martin simply doesn't know how to end a book.  We are still waiting for the end of the A Tale of Ice and Fire series, and, I find it telling that, instead of completing that cycle, we get this prequel that also has an unsatisfactory "ending."  Has anyone else read this?

Offline 8ullfrog

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #322 on: September 16, 2022, 10:06:34 PM »
hah, you got baited.

I watched some dvd feature where they got Nickojai coster waldo or whatever, Jaime Lannister narrated a kind of storybook animation.

He did two stories, the rains of Castamere, and The Dance of Dragons. Both shorts were better than that last season of thrones.

They may have been the clif notes version, but I really liked them. It also told me that I would not enjoy house of the dragon. (stupid autocorrect, I meant clif!)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2022, 10:17:44 PM by 8ullfrog »

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #323 on: September 17, 2022, 12:00:25 AM »
Baited?  I don't think so.  I was just trying to see if it was worth following the show.  The odd thing is that there are illustrations of Targaryen princes in F&B that look like Matt Smith with a dye job, so that casting decision actually begins to make some sense.  Here, however, I think it would be just ducky if the screenwriters for the show chose to take the trajectory of this downer of a book in another direction.  Please, save us from this frustrated writer.  How sad must one's life be to crank out this drivel?  Did the success of A Tale of Ice and Fire take away all the joy for him?

Gimme Sir Walter Scott any day of the week over this guy.

Offline 8ullfrog

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #324 on: September 17, 2022, 01:48:31 AM »
One of the reasons I never picked up thrones despite having read fantasy since I was a small child is that I choose as an adult not to pick up unfinished series.

However, I was warned that George wrote extensively about Daenarys having diarrhea in the Dothraki sea. Like her entire last chapter is devoted to it.

People have speculated that she has the equivalent of Westeros Ebola (The pale mare) and will die.

That would certainly subvert expectations.

By baited I mean the TV show got you curious enough to pick up the book. All good books start with a hook, I learned that from Steve King.

Offline 8ullfrog

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #325 on: September 17, 2022, 03:29:55 AM »
George (Lucas) is notorious for lying about what his original intentions were.
It's kind of funny, he gets totally shitty when directly confronted about it.

SPOILER ALERT BELOW

One of my most loved science fiction series ever suffered from exactly this. nBSG. They said there was a plan, they said there was a cycle, and then god did it. They lied. It was all seat of pants.

Seriously. They pulled that in the last 20 minutes.

Aside from the planetfall and all that stupidity, I liked how BSG wrapped up. Cavill doesn't get what he wants and goes out a coward. The fleet is crippled, they're not able to go any further. Thankfully, the planet they're by is inhabitable, if not perfect.

And then they golly it all up. They fly all the ships into the sun.

Making a whole hidden false history would be amazing. One family holding onto and hiding colonial tech in defiance of the ASININE decision to fly everything into the sun would have been AMAZING.

Instead, Hera is mitochondrial eve. The rest of the colonials die out canonically. Helo dies horribly despite UNIVERSAL telling RDM "No kil Helo" as far back as the pilot.

Honestly, I think the writer's strike ruined BSG. Before, it was a well-oiled, amazingly handled machine. Afterwards, it started having "riffs"

That's what I think of House of the dragon. It's a bless'ed riff because GRRM got stuck on thrones.

You see that a lot in fanfic. A writer gets stuck and starts writing HORRIBLE interludes.

The idea of a creative escrow is neat, but it would never get past the Disney committee.

Ironically, RDM stormed off of Star Trek Voyager because they demanded a narrative reset. The networks had tired of the serial nature of DS9, which was essentially his baby.

Another thing in fanfic that annoys the golly out of me is dice rolls. Authors trying to deflect audience anger by saying "hey, I rolled a dice on how that would work out. Sorry"

Maybe DON'T do that.

When I was in High school, our typing class essentially played that "game" weekly, to try and drill WPM. So many people poo up so many stories thinking they were an edgy edgelord. Rocks fall, everyone dies.

I liked trying to re-rail stories like that, and I never stooped to the low of "God reset it!"

I CAN'T GET NO, SATISFACTION!

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #326 on: September 17, 2022, 09:33:13 AM »
I basically agree with all that has been said here.  But for the love of narrative:  If you are going to write a prequel to an existing series, one would assume that the prequel might end where the existing series begins, right?  How hard is that?  But not this guy.  That's why I think he was like the character in Little Britain, a popular novelist with writer's block, who is dictating her latest book to her assistant.  Out of ideas, she has her character inquire, "Have you read the Bible?"  "No?"  "Oh it's really very good.  Here..." and the character opens the Book of Genesis and begins reading it into what is presumably the longest quotation in the history of literature.  That's how this book reads.  It meanders and meanders for no apparent purpose except some weird effort to appear like a medieval chronicle with citations of invented contemporaneous sources.  E.g.  "nobody knows where Sir Medieval Knight ended up and it's beyond the scope of this account, but it's covered in the Chronicle of where Sir Medieval Knight ended up by some old scribe you never heard of."  The only explanation of this is he's getting paid by the word.  This was the case with 19th c. novelists like Dickens or Dumas, the latter of whom wrote with a team of subordinates.  Still, the Count of Monte Cristo is a brilliant yarn with a greatly satisfying ending.

I'm with ChrisT in suggesting that some basic narrative outline should be required by publishers as a prerequisite of contracts.  Martin's earlier installments of A Tale of Ice and Fire were well written and satisfying.  But then they stopped.  And I have no recollection of Danaerys having any kind of incontinence in the books.  My memory of them is kind of fuzzy, as I read them after viewing the first season of the television series (so yes, I did get "baited" in that regard).  The books were fine.  But this, Fire & Blood, is a pale ghost of those narratives.  It's incoherent and just goes nowhere.  It's got a high body count and has no ending to speak of; it just kind of stops, with no logical reason for the cutoff point. 

This kind of narrative recalls Jack Kerouac typing onto a scroll of butcher paper and cutting off the script when he was finished, although, despite his adherence to "spontaneous bop prosody," at least his stories, as rambling as they were, had an ending.  Martin has no such excuse. This long, drawn out yarn basically goes nowhere after meandering for quite a bit, and leaves us at a station well before our destination.  One wonders why the publisher didn't intervene.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2022, 09:41:20 AM by 6pairsofshoes »

Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #327 on: February 24, 2023, 12:23:05 AM »
I'm reading The Epic of Gilgamesh.  This was a king who lived around 2700 BCE or so.  He was kind of a jerk, abusing his subjects, so the gods made him a complement, a big wild man named Enkidu.  They get into a wrestling match because E steps in to prevent G from raping yet another bride on her wedding night.  They become fast friends and have big adventures.  He lived in Uruk in Sumeria.  The story was written down on cuneiform tablets that were found elsewhere by archaeologists digging in the late 19th-early XX cc.  It's clear that Homer and the Bible drew on several themes in this earlier epic.  It's not long but it's entertaining.

I think it's often assigned in college.  Somehow I made it through without being asked to read it for a class.  Did any of you read it?

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #328 on: February 24, 2023, 03:34:43 AM »
Nope  never heard of it, Period wise, the middle ages and prior for me.
An about to read The power of geography series. 

Offline Beatrix

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Re: Reader's Nook
« Reply #329 on: April 25, 2023, 06:22:34 PM »
Homeschooling my daughter, we are reading Alice in Wonderland, very interesting comparisons from the Disney in my head to the material in the book.