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The Big Read
Last Post 22 Jan 2004 12:54 PM by Dromed. 32 Replies.
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DromedUser is Offline
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Dromed

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22 Jan 2004 12:54 PM
    I've just finished reading the book 'Vernon God Little' by DBC Pierre. It's been one of the best books I've read in ages...took me through a range of emotions, was equally disturbing and hilarious, some great writing and a central character that you can't help but love, I couldn't put it down til I got to the end...so my question is do any of you have suggestions as to some other good books you have all been reading?? What's been keeping you up at night? If you'd to pick your top 3 books what would they be?
    KarlitoUser is Offline
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    22 Jan 2004 01:16 PM
    Don't know about my top three books, but I have been reading of late is the Robert Rainkin books, the best of which is probably "Waiting for Godalming", they are hilarious yet they have a twist which you don't expect adn they are set in the most unlikliest of places....get it and you'll not put it down until it's read.
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    22 Jan 2004 02:02 PM
    Ooooh, you're such a highbrow lot in here! books with big words and no pictures are usually a bit much for me, haha. I tend not to read novels much (what did people do before TV?), but the last novel I read and actually enjoyed was a lesser known Phillip K. Dick (of Blade Runner and Minority Report fame) novel called "The Man who japed". Its set many years after a nuclear war and in order to restore a sense of morality in society, moral concepts are promoted by agencies like advertising. Very funny. It was part of a book with 3 Phillip K. Dick Novels in one book, the other 2 novels aren't as good. Whats keeping me up at night? Drunk people who always seem to believe they live in my flat and ring my doorbell at 4am, I would drop the TV on them from the first floor window, but then I would have to take up reading. Top 3 books? I dunno, but "Wheres Spot" has to rank highly, hours of endless fun! http://images.amazon.com/images/P/0142501263.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg
    mickUser is Offline
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    22 Jan 2004 02:12 PM
    just finished fast food nation... scary stuff. defo worth a read.
    DromedUser is Offline
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    22 Jan 2004 03:02 PM
    My Top 3 I reckon would be... 1. London Fields - Martin Amis 2. Papillon - Henri Chariere 3. Naked Lunch - William Burroughs/ Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson Does anyone else think Jack Kerouac is totally over rated??..I thought 'On the Road' was the biggest load of shi te. Martin Amis is pretty overrated too - but London Fields is a classic, great characters. Iceberg Slim's book 'Pimp' is good as well, if you can get past the fact that the whole book is written in slang.
    space cheeksUser is Offline
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    22 Jan 2004 03:29 PM
    Im Readin Robert Rankin Too the one im reading is The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies Of The Apocalypse and it is fantastic the basic story is below!! ENJOY! This book commences with Jack making his way to the city. After escaping the clutches of a cannibalistic farmer, he takes a horse and ends up in a diner where the chef is a wooden man. The next encounter is with an alcohol-soaked teddy bear called Eddie and this is where I threw the book down for the first time. A serial killer is doing nasty deeds about the city. Humpty Dumpty, a rich egg from the copyright proceedings of his nursery rhyme, is hard-boiled in his own swimming pool while Little Boy Blue has a shepherd's crook reverse thrusted through his digestive system. Nasty stuff! Eddie and Jack investigate the killings and get into all sorts of trouble. Funny stuff? Some say he's a thinking man's Monty Python. I've been a Python fan for years but see very little similarity here. Incidentally, if you're looking for Mother Goose within the pages, she's a brothel keeper who gets her neck wrung. But who is this mystery killer? Agatha Christie, eat your heart out - which she'd probably do in one of Rankin's novels. You'll have to read the book to find out. Rankin is a well-known author with a big following and a large fan club. This far into the review you'll have guessed that I'm not included in his entourage. He has had well over twenty books published to date, including 'East of Ealing', 'Snuff Fiction' and 'The Brentford Chainstore Massacre'. They are all of a similar nature. It's the stuff he writes and he makes a living out of it so why change a formula that seems to work? There seems to be lots of originality about his writing but it's a pity he can't apply himself to doing workshop manuals! In a website interview, he states he hasn't read any other fiction for twenty years! This makes him untainted by other influences.
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    23 Jan 2004 05:56 AM
    I also like Roger Hargreaves series of books dealing with specific male and female stereotypes.
    Vent My SpleenUser is Offline
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    23 Jan 2004 06:43 AM
    Not being a fan of the goggle box (like taking black spray paint to your third eye), I read continuously. Funny that Papilion is mentioned as it is one of my favourites going back years. I particularly like American thrillers in the Marlowe genre. Some of the very best contemporary stuff is Michael Connelly, Robert Crais and particularly for music buffs, Geroge Pelecanos who litters his work with music references. I also enjoy stuff set in Scandanavia, such as Henning Mankell and Karen Fossum, something about the cold and barren landscape does it for me. Fast Food Nation is a cracking read, a book I have passed on to so many others - if you are a fan McDonalds, you won't be after that one. There are also tons of great music books around - Julian Cope's autobiography "Head On" is one of the finest. Strangely enough, I though the Big Read list was a load of old cack - I mean, Pride and Prejudice??? The Mills and Boon of it's time, surely? I did find On The Road hard going but according to my old man, it was ground breaking at the time, a way of life outside the school, work, marriage, death timeline expected in the fifties - a kind of trainspotting of it's era. I suppose any literature up to the sixties has to be taken in the context that TV hadn't taken the mystery out of places and lifestyles and people never travelled outside their own countries, hence the success of Fleming's Bond novels and their exotic locations....
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    23 Jan 2004 09:36 AM
    has anyone ever read the wasp factory (i forget who its by i read it years ago) its fantastic also anything by irvine welsh, i read his new book porno recently and its so funny a book i loved when i was younger was flowers in the attic by virginia andrews-has anyone read it?
    DromedUser is Offline
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    23 Jan 2004 10:27 AM
    I read Flowers in the Attic years ago...isn't that the one where the brother and sister fall in love? The only other Virginia Andrews book I can remember reading was 'My Sweet Audrina' which scared the sh ite out of me altogether. I'm not really into those kind of books though to be honest Pablo...they're a bit Stephan King in parts I think, and I'm not really a fan of his either. Iain Banks wrote the Wasp Factory - haven't read it though, the covers of his books always look very 'industrial' and have put me off ever buying his stuff, is he any good? William Burroughs is a great if you like that 'beat' kind of stuff...his books Junky and Naked Lunch are great, but he kind of loses the plot in Queer and Place of Dead Roads...The sentences don't make the slightest bit of sense and it reads like he was on gear while writing it...which he more then likely was..his son also became an author and wrote two books based on his own life, and how mental his life was being his father's son..(his father shot his mother in the face while trying to shoot an apple off her head as a party piece while they were drugged up to the eye balls, William Junior was only a child and in the room at the time). Burroughs Snr made a cameo appearance in the film Drugstore Cowboy as the OAP heroin addict you might recall. Patrick Suskind's 'Perfume' is another strange one about an orphaned child in Paris in the 19th century (I think) who has no smell of his own but has a perfect sense of smell, he becomes obsessed with attaining the ultimate scent which will make him human and sets about stealing people's scents with some grisly consequences. It's a very cleverly written story and well worth a read, even if my description there was rubbish! And I still think the Lord of The Rings is a classic.
    BinokularUser is Offline
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    23 Jan 2004 10:54 AM
    Lord of the Rings a classic? You have gotta be kidding me! I tried reading it because its one of those books that everybodys supposed to read, being a supposed classic or whatever. 200 pages in, nothing happens!, another 100 or so pages, still nothing more exciting than a couple of vertically challenged, hairy footed characters having picnics. I mean come on! William gibsons Neuromancer packs more plot narrative into a single page. Granted, its more Science fiction than fantasy like LOTR, but still, less verbage, more plot. Maybe the MTV/Playstation generation like myself just hasn't the patience for LOTR, but it strikes me as the kind of poorly written, self indulgent stuff you would expect from a 14 year old. The distinctly limited to two eyes Binokular sits quivering in fear awaiting the imminent backlash. Roger Hargreaves rules! (especially Mr. Bump)
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    23 Jan 2004 11:33 AM
    I recently finished reading George Orwell, the complete novels. It has some classic stories in it. The usual suspects are great, 1984 and Animal Farm, but then the other stories such as Burmese Days or Coming up for Air are equally interesting I find them interesting because its easy to relate his fears that come out of the books to current day life. His worry about war and the government maintaining a war as a means of controlling people. Coming up for Air is basically about getting away from the hussle and bussle of todays lifestyle and going back to what used to make you smile as a kid, the memories, the people you knew, the innocence is suppose. Definitely worth a read.
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    23 Jan 2004 11:56 AM
    I'm reading a thriller by a little known Marcel Montecino called "The Crosskiller", his first book. I don't think he's made it big though. It's about a cop who doesn't have a lot of will to live but he's on the trail of a hate-killer, someone who continously targets blacks, jews and the like. Most cop-thrillers are s**te I find, but the thing I like about this one is that it deals with a despicable but very real subject, racism and often exposes it for what it really is, detestable. One other thing I like about it is its attention to everything, even simple thoughts, everyday activites while it all somehow gells in with the story at hand. You can really relate to the characters with that. The last book I read was Allen Carr's "Easyway to Stop Smoking" which was surprisingly effective. For a while. Alas, I must go read it again......... Q2
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    23 Jan 2004 12:51 PM
    If anyone decides to turn the t.v off for a while then i suggest reading Phillip Pullmans trilogy "His Dark materials". Its supposed to be a childrens story but its much more for the adult reader. The three books are called "The Northern Lights" or(The Golden Compass in the USA), "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass". I defy anyone to tell me they didn't enjoy reading them
    DromedUser is Offline
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    23 Jan 2004 12:55 PM
    Ha ha ha Q2...I'm reading the Allen Carr book for the 2nd time now! I did manage to get off them for a little while last year having read it the first time but couldn't leave the herbal stuff alone so it didn't work...now my second attempt is failing miserably as I'm only allowing myself to read a page a day to put off the inevitable... *sigh* will I ever learn! Binokular...I knew at least one of ye's would hate LOTR! :)so fair enuf!! Very true it's far too wordy...ten pages to describe a mountain view-type of stuff, but I just got really really into the various characters - I wanted to them to succeed, I wanted to find out if they'd make it or not in the end and raced through the three books - sad I know but i genuinely found it captivating. Ok the plot is pedantic in places but what a plot! I thought the story was incredible, but I reckon it's the kind of book you either hate straight away or adore.
    DromedUser is Offline
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    23 Jan 2004 01:00 PM
    Tommy....I've been hearing/reading Pullman's name all over the place and how those books are meant to be amazin...will have to go check them out. Oh and 'Little Miss Naughty' has to be my favourite Binokular!
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    23 Jan 2004 01:56 PM
    Yeah, LOTRs one of those love it or hate it books. Obviously the overall plots not bad because the movies were enjoyable enough, if a little tedious at times for an ADHD freak like me and...ooh look a tree!
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    23 Jan 2004 02:05 PM
    Had to join this forum after seeing you guys were discussing books. I would seriously recommend you check out anything by Chuck Palahnuik of Fight Club fame-this guy is amazing!If you're starting off I'd go with Survivor;it's about the last remaining member of a death cult. Excellent writing, really gets you involved and his topics are great. We're talking sex addiction, disfigured models and culling spells; what more could you ask for?! Easily my favourite author right now. Top three books (apart from Palahnuik): John Steinbeck-The Grapes of Wrath John Mc Gahern-The Dark Flann O Brien-The Best Of Myles As for Kerouac, Dromed totally agree with you. Read some of his stuff a couple of years ago and was left feeling pretty unimpressed.
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    24 Jan 2004 03:38 AM
    iain banks got a mention a while back and no followup - i'd highly recommend him. iain m banks for science fiction, iain banks for straight ahead fiction. he has lots of ideas, unlike william gibson, who has one idea and lots of posing.
    DromedUser is Offline
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    26 Jan 2004 07:18 AM
    Caps Lock...I read 'Choke' by Chuck Palahnuik over the Summer, and had read Fight Club before that - he's really really good, brilliant style of writing, great characters and very funny too, would highly recommend his books.
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