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rllmuk's recommended reading


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Oh, The Count.  Oh, it's perfect.  The world.  His revenge, the tempered nature of it, the total consumption of it.  It's magnificent.  Brilliant.  Weighty.  It's brilliant. 

 

Recommended +1.

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Re Dumas- I've read 1/2 of The count of Monte Cristo twice now and  while it has fantastic moments I felt the  supposedly  satirical observations on French society at the time quite longwinded and tough to plough through. I imagine that's the point.

 

The Three Muskateers on the other hand is short in comparison, punchy , brilliant and  surprisingly bittersweet if you've seen the various movies and sequels.

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10 hours ago, lolly said:

Re Dumas- I've read 1/2 of The count of Monte Cristo twice now and  while it has fantastic moments I felt the  supposedly  satirical observations on French society at the time quite longwinded and tough to plough through. I imagine that's the point.

 

I felt it was a book of three thirds, each roughly 300 pages long. I found the middle third a bit of a slog at times, but the opening and closing sections are just the best things ever. It's almost like the final third is the reward for getting there: after some 600 pages you think there's absolutely no way he can possibly pull off an ending that tops everything that went before - and then he goes and does it. I'd recommend giving it another go!

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Cheers MW, I've got it on my "next ro read/reread"" list, and your comment re 3 thirds makes a fair bit of sense, as you mentioned the 1st 3rd is outstanding and it slows right down thereafter. 

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On ‎25‎/‎05‎/‎2018 at 20:39, Miner Willy said:

 

I felt it was a book of three thirds, each roughly 300 pages long. I found the middle third a bit of a slog at times, but the opening and closing sections are just the best things ever. It's almost like the final third is the reward for getting there: after some 600 pages you think there's absolutely no way he can possibly pull off an ending that tops everything that went before - and then he goes and does it. I'd recommend giving it another go!

I agree - one of the quibbles I mentioned was that it did drag a little in the middle. But on the other hand by the time it ended I didn't want it to stop...

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On 25/05/2018 at 20:39, Miner Willy said:

 

I felt it was a book of three thirds, each roughly 300 pages long. I found the middle third a bit of a slog at times, but the opening and closing sections are just the best things ever. It's almost like the final third is the reward for getting there: after some 600 pages you think there's absolutely no way he can possibly pull off an ending that tops everything that went before - and then he goes and does it. I'd recommend giving it another go!

 

For some reason I thought The Count of Monte Cristo was a short book - a 250 page rip-roaring adventure, kind of thing, so I downloaded it from project gutenberg and put it on my kindle as a nice short, quick read after I'd read the massive War and Peace.

 

Being an ebook I had no idea it was so long until I was about 50 pages in (and loving it), and noticed that the little percentage bar at the bottom was going up suspiciously slowly.  It did drag a bit in the middle, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I enjoyed it enormously.

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I'm going to add The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to this thread.  It won the Pulitzer prize for literature in 2008 so it's probably not an unknown book but I'd never heard of it before I picked it up on the back of a recommendation.  What to say about it? Well, it's definitely a book for people who prefer character development and world building over plot and exposition but those things appeal to me massively so this is right up my street.  Tentatively the book is about Oscar, son of Dominican immigrants to the USA, and his high school and early adult years but I think the author is keen to highlight the impact other people, history and external forces have upon us so we get extended sections from the points of view of his sister, his mother, his room mate and his grandfather all of which seem to exist to provide context to Oscar's plight and become neat little stories in themselves.  It's witty, it's clever, it goes to some very dark places and touches upon things like mental health, faith, mysticism and predetermination too.  I absolutely adored it. 

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I'm reading this at the moment.

 

fine-balance-b-original-imaee94hyeggsd6n

 

It's completely not my usual genre nor is it a subject matter I'd normally choose to read but it was a recommendation from a friend who tends to recommend books that I have enjoyed so I just bought it. I'm not reading that much at the minute as I've got too much on at work and I'm playing Red Dead Redemption 2 when I'm at home so I am slowly reading it. It actually suits that kind of reading - stop/start - as it is essentially a collection of short stories that are all linked together. It's a beautiful read and it is teaching me a lot about Indian history and culture. 

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On 23/04/2018 at 08:42, neverendingcircles said:

If no one has read it, then I'd recommended reading Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. The story is so rich and detailed, the characters are all super interesting, and it has one of the baddest villains I think I can remember in a book. Truly awful.

 

I believe there was a sequel, but heard it could never reach the heights of the original. also a TV series too, but meh to that. 

 

4/5

 

 

I read about three of these books after this recommendation, i think he’s an awful writer but a decent historian with a good grasp of how to breeze through interesting periods in history 

 

except when you get him on cathedrals. Christ all fucking mighty he loves talking about cathedrals

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On 03/03/2019 at 16:58, linkster said:

I read about three of these books after this recommendation, i think he’s an awful writer but a decent historian with a good grasp of how to breeze through interesting periods in history 

 

except when you get him on cathedrals. Christ all fucking mighty he loves talking about cathedrals

I'm 900 pages through this 1000 page epic (Pillars of the Earth) and have largely really enjoyed it. He certainly knows how to weave a tale and the historical aspects seem on point. I actually really enjoyed the building/architectural details the most but some of the more domestic stuff felt a little pot-boiler. It's great to read a book where the writer doesn't hold back on some of the more grisly aspects of the middle ages. The political intrigue is really well done too and the main characters go on proper old-fashioned journeys of discovery.

 

I don't know if modern writers like Follet really exist anymore, or his style is out of fashion (although I believe he's still going strong).

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If reading one book in a series is enough to  add my recommendation to the Ketty Jay series then please stick my name against it too please , the others all review well on Goodreads as well  and I'm fully intending to work my way through them.

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I'm pretty mindful not to recommend every book I've read and enjoyed even if I really enjoyed it, but I have just finished All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque and good lord, it's something else.   I know the phrase all quiet on the Western Front has kinda entered the cultural lexicon, and they have made two movies of the book (1930s and 1970s) of which I've seen neither but this is a tale of life in the trenches which I did not expect to be quite so powerful or so relatable. 

 

AllQuietOnTheWesternFront.jpg

 

It's set behind German lines in Belgium in the second half of the first World War, and was published about a decade after the war ended when Remarque was still only thirty and is a semi autobiographical tale of life on the front line.    I was blown away by how relatable it all is, the events all happened a hundred years ago but it seems that humans then are subject to the same emotions and desires as I think we'd have today.  The war is the war but he never really talks about the French or the British as being the enemy, it's more about getting through the day, dodging shells (WW1 trench warfare seemed particularly awful) and an incandescent rage at the people in power who caused the war to happen.  He was persecuted by the Nazi party when they came to power not long after the book was published and had to flee the country after being branded a traitor by Goebbels, his sister who stayed in Germany was executed seemingly as a way to punish him.   It's an astonishingly good book and I think it deserves a spot on this list.  

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My mum wants me to get my dad a new Kindle and “load it up with crime fiction books.” I’m definitely not going to go overboard but if anyone can recommend some perhaps lesser known (or brand brand new so mightn’t have read them yet) story books about crime (that are available as an ebook) then I’d appreciate some pointers.

 

sorry for not having more to work with, my mums useless.

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On 24/04/2022 at 21:51, disperse and recoagulate said:

My mum wants me to get my dad a new Kindle and “load it up with crime fiction books.” I’m definitely not going to go overboard but if anyone can recommend some perhaps lesser known (or brand brand new so mightn’t have read them yet) story books about crime (that are available as an ebook) then I’d appreciate some pointers.

 

sorry for not having more to work with, my mums useless.

Try this link - loads of crime books on offer. Avoid Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh, it's a dreadful book and he's an awful writer. 

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On 24/04/2022 at 21:51, disperse and recoagulate said:

My mum wants me to get my dad a new Kindle and “load it up with crime fiction books.” I’m definitely not going to go overboard but if anyone can recommend some perhaps lesser known (or brand brand new so mightn’t have read them yet) story books about crime (that are available as an ebook) then I’d appreciate some pointers.

 

sorry for not having more to work with, my mums useless.

I mean if he hasn't read him then Ian Rankin's Rebus novels are great.

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On 24/04/2022 at 21:51, disperse and recoagulate said:

My mum wants me to get my dad a new Kindle and “load it up with crime fiction books.” I’m definitely not going to go overboard but if anyone can recommend some perhaps lesser known (or brand brand new so mightn’t have read them yet) story books about crime (that are available as an ebook) then I’d appreciate some pointers.

 

sorry for not having more to work with, my mums useless.


Make sure to stick some Jim Thompson on there - Pop.1280, The Getaway and The Grifters are a great place to start.

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On 29/02/2016 at 14:52, ZOK said:

Yes, The Crow Road is easily Banks' best non-SF novel. He wasn't very consistent when not writing SF, unfortunately.

I'd hate to read his worst then, as The Crow Road is possibly the dullest book I've ever read. I trusted this thread to guide my reading toward new, wondrous places and tales of intrigue but based on this, my first pick from the recommendations, well, I'm a little more wary. 

The Crow Road is several hundred pages of character exposition of distinctly unremarkable characters who are involved in no story of interest whatsoever. Good lord it was dull, its only message being the frankly excruciating revelation that there is no god. 

Dreadful. 

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5 hours ago, Blue said:

I'd hate to read his worst then, as The Crow Road is possibly the dullest book I've ever read. I trusted this thread to guide my reading toward new, wondrous places and tales of intrigue but based on this, my first pick from the recommendations, well, I'm a little more wary. 

The Crow Road is several hundred pages of character exposition of distinctly unremarkable characters who are involved in no story of interest whatsoever. Good lord it was dull, its only message being the frankly excruciating revelation that there is no god. 

Dreadful. 


Well you’d best tread carefully with Iain Banks then, as he can get much, much worse! ^_^

 

Props to @lolly for recommending Blood Meridian in this list, I don’t think I’d read any Cormack McCarthy until that one - now I think I’ve read most, if not all of his stuff.

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3 hours ago, Fitzcarraldo said:

Can anyone recommend some books written outside of Britain or the US? None of the obvious canon stuff if possible. I've realised that most of my reading this year has been from white, native English speakers. Should probably diversify. 

 

The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco

Alone in Berlin - Hans Fallada

Connivence Store Woman - Sayaka Murata

Breast and Eggs - Mieko Kawakami

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1 hour ago, Fitzcarraldo said:

 

Um, pretty open to anything, really. I do enjoy generational tales, like One Hundred Years of Solitude.

 

Then you want Pachinko. Breaks your written in America rule, but by 1st generation Korean-American woman so doesn’t break it too much.

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