Jump to content
rllmuk
ChrisN

What are you reading at the moment?

Recommended Posts

20 hours ago, Festoon said:

Big Neal Stephenson fan but I'm afraid Fall or Dodge in Hell just fails to cohere in the end. The last 100 pages just feels like he was tired of the idea and it hasn't the wonderful structure of a novel like Anathem. Some big ideas but ultimately it's forgettable like Reamde, rather than rereadable like Seveneves, The Baroque Cycle or Anathem.

 

I like Stephenson a lot but imo he generally has no idea how to finish almost any of his books and they just...end. Not even a good abrupt ending that leaves you thinking. He just blue balls you.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Flub said:

 

I like Stephenson a lot but imo he generally has no idea how to finish almost any of his books and they just...end. Not even a good abrupt ending that leaves you thinking. He just blue balls you.

 

I used think that but Anathem, Cryptonomoicon, and The Baroque Cycle have great ends.

 

Fall definitely falls into this category however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Festoon said:

 

I used think that but Anathem, Cryptonomoicon, and The Baroque Cycle have great ends.

 

Fall definitely falls into this category however.

 

I remember being really disapointed in the Anathem and Cryptonomicon ends. I never made it through the baroque cycle.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Flub said:

 

I remember being really disapointed in the Anathem and Cryptonomicon ends. I never made it through the baroque cycle.

 

Anathem, in particular, is actually quite clever and really is set up quite well, even though it's a little hard to understand at first.

The ending of Seveneves isn't great either - I don't mean the last section, but the actual conclusion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Festoon said:

 

Anathem, in particular, is actually quite clever and really is set up quite well, even though it's a little hard to understand at first.

The ending of Seveneves isn't great either - I don't mean the last section, but the actual conclusion.

 

Maybe I was just exhausted after reading the entire 8 million pages of Anathem :) I'll give it another go at some point since I did enjoy the book overall. I've got the new one on my Kindle app in my pile of shame to read at some point.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure why I haven't posted in here for ages.   Seem to have drifted into reading very long books quite slowly, with the odd short thriller thrown in for travel purposes.  Non-fiction wise I've read both volumes of Schama on the history of the Jews, and am midway through the Secret World (very interesting indeed), with bios of De Gaulle and Churchill lined up for the rest of the year.

 

Fiction wise I've re-read Charles Palliser's Quincunx which is currently plastered with post-it stickies since it's a brilliantly constructed if very lengthy mystery in the vein of Wilkie Collins etc (which largely eluded me first time out it appears, don't recall any sense of solving it (you aren't presented with the answer).  It's also charming to see how vocabulary changes over the years - gammon must in Regency times have been a mild insult since its used here in the construct - what a load of gammon!  Also the Artful Dodger must have been a kid skilled at following "coves" for nefarious purposes (rather than a slippery or hard to get a hold of child).  Fascinating stuff.  I'm now reading the LA Quartet which has its own lingo entirely (see Ellroy thread), some of which is quite difficult to parse, (quite apart from racial / sexual labels).

Edited by Cosmic_Guru

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really need to re-read some Stephenson. The thing is I had all that on paperback and now I don't really read anything except on Kindle. 

 

Just read Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood. It's basically The Tempest, but about The Tempest, but with some more Tempesting in there. I don't really know Shakespeare intimately enough for half of it to hit the mark, I'm sure. Some of the modernising (prison convicts called 8Chainz or something making up raps for their characters) is really cringey, but maybe that's meaningful and an in-joke or something. I don't regret it for the 99p I'm sure, though I'll now not rush straight into her The Penelopiad next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 31/07/2019 at 08:23, Flub said:

 

Maybe I was just exhausted after reading the entire 8 million pages of Anathem :) I'll give it another go at some point since I did enjoy the book overall. I've got the new one on my Kindle app in my pile of shame to read at some point.

 

Indeed. The new one is a bit half baked, unfortunately.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished Children of Ruin. Not as good as Children of Time and the ending felt super rushed. I'd have prefered more chance to get to know the fourth race and how things progressed after the truce. The epilogue was tantalising and either sets up a sequel or closes the door on this universe. The latter would make me sad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've started reading Early Riser by Jasper Fforde. Fforde is one of my fave writers (Especially his Thursday Next series) but for some reason I'd passed over this one. The premise didn't interest me. I decided to buy it yesterday on a whim and I'm glad I did. It reads like one of the top tier Pratchett books and has me hooked very quickly

 

Every Winter, the human population hibernates.

During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness and devoid of human activity.

Well, not quite.

Your name is Charlie Worthing and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind.

When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it's weird.

When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

But teasing truth from Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting, ensure you aren't eaten by Nightwalkers whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you'll be fine.

 

I think it was because it sounded like a fantasy novel but it's not. It's an alternative modern day earth.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just finished The Collector by John Fowles. The second half was tiring to read - very up its own arse. The ending was good though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 07/08/2019 at 08:44, Flub said:

I've started reading Early Riser by Jasper Fforde. Fforde is one of my fave writers (Especially his Thursday Next series) but for some reason I'd passed over this one. The premise didn't interest me. I decided to buy it yesterday on a whim and I'm glad I did. It reads like one of the top tier Pratchett books and has me hooked very quickly

 

Every Winter, the human population hibernates.

During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness and devoid of human activity.

Well, not quite.

Your name is Charlie Worthing and it's your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind.

When the dreams start to kill people, it's unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it's weird.

When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

But teasing truth from Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting, ensure you aren't eaten by Nightwalkers whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you'll be fine.

 

I think it was because it sounded like a fantasy novel but it's not. It's an alternative modern day earth.

 

This is 99p at the moment. I don't know how long for

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Early-Riser-standalone-Number-bestselling-ebook/dp/B00X61N16K/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=jasper+fforde&qid=1565467582&s=gateway&sr=8-1

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Flub said:

 

@Flub, thanks for this. I bought the paperback of that yesterday for holiday and so purchased the Kindle version, took it back today and got Rosewater instead. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m not really sure what you’re looking for here as I’ve only read The Wasp Factory, but I always think Martin Amis’ Dead Babies has a similar sort of creeping weirdness, maybe give that a read?

 

It’s a great book regardless.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ZOK The Collector is of a similar vibe to The Wasp Factory - basically someone carrying out psychotic acts as if they were nothing. I don't fancy anything scary though, both those books have a feeling of innocence that prevents them being creepy :)

 

Thanks for the recommendations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Thwomp said:

@ZOK The Collector is of a similar vibe to The Wasp Factory - basically someone carrying out psychotic acts as if they were nothing. I don't fancy anything scary though, both those books have a feeling of innocence that prevents them being creepy :)

 

Thanks for the recommendations.

 

Yeah, I’d definitely give Dead Babies a look then. It’s a very odd book...certainly no innocence about it though!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Thwomp said:

@ZOK The Collector is of a similar vibe to The Wasp Factory - basically someone carrying out psychotic acts as if they were nothing. I don't fancy anything scary though, both those books have a feeling of innocence that prevents them being creepy :)

 

Thanks for the recommendations.

 

Perfume by Patrick Suskind might be up your street. 

 

Would definitely recommend The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. True story about a man conducting psychotic acts in Chicago whilst the World Fair is being organised. It’s majestic. The innocence comes from the naivety and honesty of some of the supporting characters. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Star wars :Bloodline - Claudia  Gray . I'm a SW fan, was playing SWGOH on mobile for about a year and currently neck deep into Battlefront 2 online  with my KDR going in the right direction  for a change. Picked this up because of all the positive feedback in the dedicated thread for the new canon and was initially a bit disappointed. It's written for a YA or younger audience and initially seemed  a bit too simplistic. Kept at it though and the quality of the story and the characters is shining through, it fairly whips along and although it's obvious where it's going the journey is very enjoyable.

 

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently reading “a mercy” by Toni Morrison. Have read several of her books several times even, but somehow hadn’t read this one before so it was about time. We lost a tremendous writer when she passed away. Such an inspiration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm reading Revenger by Alaistair Reynolds. It's not like his usual stuff. If it wasn't for the random extreme violence it would make a very good YA novel. I'm certainly enjoying it enough to read the sequel when I'm done and it's gotten me hyped to read the few other books of his I've never gotten to (Like the sequel to the Prefect)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Revenger is a weird one all right , it's supposed to be YA as you mentioned but pretty gruesome on occasion at the same time. Some nice ideas in it too, kinda borrows from Pohls Gateway.

 

Myself I'm on the Last of the Mohicans, only ever saw the Michael Mann movie which is very different and bares little resemblance to the plot(still a great movie) but enjoying it so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just finished The Colour of Bee Larkham's Murder by Sara J Harris and I really enjoyed it.  It follows the life of Jasper, a 13 year boy with autism. he's got synaesthesia and face blindness and is struggling to cope in mainstream education but he makes friends with a new neighbour who moves in directly opposite him.  Essentially it's a murder mystery and he's the ultimate unreliable narrator but it doesn't really feel cheap at any time as his struggles with autism are really interesting to experience. There are two or three entertaining sub plots and a couple of passages where I was genuinely excited. I get the impression that the author or the publisher wasn't completely happy with the ending so there is a fairly clumsy epilogue where all the clues spread throughout the book are explained for anyone who didn't get it but that's a minor quibble if I'm being honest. I'd totally recommend it to anybody who wants something a little bit different. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Retribution falls, 1st in the Ketty Jay Series.Steampunk /fantasy version of Firefly/A Team with the crew framed for a crime they did not commit. For some reason I thought I was done with any sort of fantasy stuff as Perdido Street station just didn't click with me at all. It's much less intrusive so far in RF and it's all the better for it, really enjoying it so far.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, lolly said:

Retribution falls, 1st in the Ketty Jay Series.Steampunk /fantasy version of Firefly/A Team with the crew framed for a crime they did not commit. For some reason I thought I was done with any sort of fantasy stuff as Perdido Street station just didn't click with me at all. It's much less intrusive so far in RF and it's all the better for it, really enjoying it so far.

 

 

That series was my contribution to the ‘rllmuk Recommended Reading’ thread, not because they’re necessarily classics, but because they seem so little known on here, and I just thoroughly enjoyed them, without any kind of caveat; they’re funny, well plotted, and populated by characters I cared about, with satisfying arcs over a series that had time to breathe without outstaying it’s welcome.

 

I really need to reread them.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wrapped up Don Winslow’s latest (and final) cartel epic The Border. This trilogy is up there with James Ellroy for me - perhaps not in the sense of having a particularly interesting writing style but certainly in terms of having actual physical reactions to events that happen to the characters (punching the air, nearly dropping the book in shock). 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quarry's Cut, which isn't as good as the previous three Quarry books. Apparently, it's just a blip and they get good again. Anyhoo, I've just bought a book by Donald E. Westlake called "Forever and a Death". It was originally going to be a Bond movie, but the producers passed on it, so he reworked it and released it as a novel but with a different lead character.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.