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  1. Official Mixed Martial Arts Thread

    I would laugh like a madman if Tony did an Imanari role into a heelhook for the win, 10th planet style. That would be the most insulting way to beat Khabib. Failed against Barboza mind you:
  2. What are you reading at the moment?

    @Cosmic_Guru Yeah, that was a big hint but it was closer to the end I think. I thought the twist was going to be:
  3. What are you reading at the moment?

    Skipped it to the top of my pile of shame and read Conclave by Robert Harris. I find the upper eschelons of the Catholic Church to be really weird and fascinating, and the nature of the papal election makes for a good closed-room thriller. It wasn’t that thrilling to be honest - the nature of the uncovered scandals of some of the candidates were very tame compared to real-life examples but still, Harris is the king of research and I was satisfied by the voting process and all the background detail. It gets really interesting towards the end, and at the very end, absolutely ridiculous. I literally laughed at the ending and people will either love the absurdity of it, or hate how stupid it is. Extreme spoilers - don’t click if you have any intention to read this.
  4. What are you reading at the moment?

    Finished Pompeii - all the researched Roman detail stuff is excellent, the inevitable eruption scenes are awesome. Unfortunately, the characters and plot are really bog standard and don't do justice to the setting. Not bad though, but my least favourite of his so far. I would read his Roman trilogy though, and one of of recent books Conclave, is a thriller set in the Vatican around the election of a new pope so that's also on the reading list based on the synopsis alone. I just polished off Annihilation which is book one of the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer. Had to read it as I want to watch the Alex Garland film. It was really good - I didn't know anything about it and from the opening, I was expecting something like Rendezvous with Rama but ultimately, it was a really intense, tripped-out first person journey. Hard to explain (and better to go in blind) but I really got into it. I think it's one of those mysteries where it's more about the ride, rather than having everything neatly explained. Works well as a standalone novel too, though I will read the sequels.
  5. What are you reading at the moment?

    Have you read his earlier book “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs”? If so, how does it compare? I liked that one but I read it not long after it came out so it must have been in the 90’s.
  6. The stand up comedy thread

    Got my tickets for Bill Burr in Dublin in June. Saw him last time in a sweltering tent at the Dublin comedy festival in 2016 and he was brilliant. He is the best US comedian right now imo. The only shame is that this show is in the 3arena but I got some good seats near the front so hopefully that makes a difference. In recent years, I've seen Louis CK (okay, not brilliant), and Joe Rogan in Vegas - love the podcasts, but he's not a great comedian, I thought Tom Segura who supported was funnier. Closer to home, I'll go to see Dylan Moran at every chance I can. I used to go to a lot more shows back around the late 90s/early 2000s - saw a load of people like Jack Dee, Rich Hall (as himself, but also as Otis Lee Crenshaw), Bill Bailey, Ed Byrne, Jason Byrne, David McSavage, Mighty Boosh live, Bottom live etc. In general though, I've found it tends to be as much fun going to comedy clubs/comedy nights and seeing random comedians - you get a lot more spontaneous interactions with the crowd and unique experiences that way. The best night I ever had was going to a random basement show in New York with a really small crowd and although I'd never heard of any of the comedians, they all had some serious backgrounds ("you may have seen this guy on the late show with Letterman") and destroyed practically everyone in the audience (e.g. I was bullied into mock proposing to my girlfriend and booed by the crowd when I wouldn't) . That said I'd love to see Seinfeld and Chappelle at some point. This one would be a bit controversial but I'd also go to see Denis Leary if he ever played Ireland again - he's one of the few Irish Americans who gets a pass when it comes to playing up his Irishness.
  7. This is really good. When I first heard it was about Versace, I was a bit disappointed for some reason. Now I realise I had no clue what happened, it's really gripping and seems like a genius choice - a famous murder that everyone has heard about, but very few of the details are known. I'm avoiding reading wikipedia and old news articles as I have no idea where this is going.
  8. What are you reading at the moment?

    I read Never Let Me Go last year. It made an impression as I continued thinking about it for a few weeks afterwards. Knew nothing about it before reading so went in cold. Interested to hear your thoughts on that one. I’m currently reading Pompeii by Robert Harris. I’ve read Fatherland and The Ghost by him previously and loved them. This one is Roman historical fiction about the engineer responsible for the aquaduct before the volcano blows. Only about 20% in now but I’m loving the setting and the build up.
  9. What are you reading at the moment?

    High Rise by JG Ballard I am enjoying this one more in the dissection after the fact, rather than in the reading itself. I struggled about the halfway point until the final chapters when the three main characters start to move towards their conclusions. It's very interesting - lots of themes to explore, the writing is good, it's bizarrely funny and then really brutal at times.. To be honest, I couldn't help thinking of Grenfell Tower because in the book, bad services and maintenance just made the class divides much worse and it caused this tribal madness to occur. In High Rise, the threat comes from within, from the residents (though caused by bad planning). However, in the reality of Grenfell, the threat came from neglectful public services and austerity*, which ultimately lead to disaster. The idea of essential upgrades not being done amounted to human lives being a line on a spreadsheet and that's probably more dehumanising than most of what Ballard depicts, despite the violence and so on. *this is just my perception, I haven't followed the events as closely as I'm sure others have, and I'm definitely not trying to stir any political debates. It was all I could think about while I was reading it.
  10. What are you reading at the moment?

    Me too - I just think the coming of age story was the wrong thing for Laymon and his lurid descriptions of the teen female lead just weirded me out. It's funny though as this is his most popular book according to Goodreads. I would definitely read more stuff like Island though. As for Don, I went back through the thread and it seems like everyone here who read it had a similar opinion. It reviewed very well in the press though - most of the reviews seem to see it as a "post-Ferguson" novel and therefore innovative. Apparently, he had sold the rights to The Force before it even had a title, so maybe he was writing with a movie in mind? I would still give his pre-POTD novels a go though.
  11. What are you reading at the moment?

    I have had a good run so far this year (for me): The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe - incredible book following the Mercury space program and its astronauts. I read an interesting review which criticises how Wolfe depicts Gus Grissom, and having done some research, I do think he unfairly paints Grissom in a cowardly light during a particular incident. It's an unusual thing to do considering the entire rest of the book is about the "right stuff" - having the guts to strap yourself to a prototype supersonic aircraft and later to rockets pointed towards space. From the Chuck Yeager era onwards, this is gripping stuff all the way through and you can't help but have admiration for everyone involved. The Force by Don Winslow - very disappointing after the incredible "Power of the Dog" and "The Cartel". Everything about this one felt far smaller than those books. This is "The Shield", set in New York instead of LA. Some interesting things, like it's definitely written with the Black Lives Matter movement in mind, but otherwise, everything felt very cliched and unsurprising. His last few books had completely blown my mind, and then this one is so pedestrian in comparison. What Does This Button Do? by Bruce Dickinson - The lack of detail about Maiden (each album covered in a couple of paragraphs) and his personal relationships within the band are conspicuously absent for an autobiography from the lead singer of Iron Maiden. That said, I did enjoy the book and was surprisingly interested in his adventures as a pilot. The chapters about Sarajevo and his cancer battle were very interesting too. I would hope for a second volume once the band have called it a day, but I doubt it. This won't tick any of the boxes for fans of Bruce and Maiden and I assume he doesn't want to rock the boat with Steve Harris while they're still working together. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick - Been meaning to read this for years and thought it was great. I've seen Blade Runner but it was years ago and the details aren't burned into my mind, so I could enjoy this relatively fresh. I found the ending oddly uplifting and satisfying and I really got into the world building and Deckard's struggles as he went about his duty. It definitely diverges enough from what I can remember of the movie to warrant a read. The ridiculous title finally makes sense now too. The Travelling Vampire Show by Richard Laymon - This was a weird one. I have previously read "Island" and that was a lot of fun because it's a ridiculous slasher-style novel with intentionally OTT sex and violence. This one was like a sub par King coming of age story which was weirdly lecherous along the way. It's quite mundane up until the last 20% and it's like Laymon remembered that he should probably go mental at that point, which he did - but very little of it makes any sense. For instance, he introduces some threatening characters before the finale that really don't amount to anything, and he glosses over other characters fates with half a sentence. Other characters turn into killing machines without a second thought. The ending was so bizarre, it actually pushed this into "so bad it's good" territory, but on the main, I wish I hadn't bothered.
  12. Official Mixed Martial Arts Thread

    God help me, I agree with FRB on this. I think the fight itself could be great but there are many negatives. I like both fighters a lot, but DC winning would just make us all want to see JJ come back and dominate both divisions like he could have done if he wasn’t such a disaster. Stipe winning won’t add much to his legacy either though. On the positive side, I loved watching DC at heavyweight in Strikeforce but that’s a long time ago now. According to rumours, this event will be Stipe v DC, DJ v TJ and Cyborg v Nunes - holding up 6 divisions in one night
  13. Official Mixed Martial Arts Thread

    DC vs Stipe is happening after they coach on TUF. https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2018/1/26/16938868/stipe-miocic-daniel-cormier-heavyweight-title-ufc-226-coach-tuf-27-mma-news An admission that both divisions are practically dead imo.
  14. Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood predators

    Regarding the story of the teenager who was thrown off the bus in the middle of nowhere, you were there, did you not think to speak up or do anything? Sounds like you are complicit in that particular incident.
  15. The Rllmuk Metal Thread Part 2

    RIP Warrel Dane - unique set of pipes, was involved in some of my favourite 2000s-era output. http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/nevermore-and-sanctuary-singer-warrel-dane-dies-of-heart-attack-in-brazil/

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