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Old 09-07-2013, 04:15 PM   #301
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I'm reading Stephen King's 11/22/63. A little more than halfway through and I am just enjoying the hell out of it.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:27 AM   #302
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I'm rereading Duncan's The Brothers K. If you haven't read it ... well I don't even know what to say to that.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:28 AM   #303
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I read it based on your recommendation back in 2007 or 2008.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:29 AM   #304
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Yeah, I had a Yiddish dictionary tab open while reading it. I liked it a lot, but I prefer Kavalier & Clay and Telegraph Avenue to it. Probably rank it the same as Wonder Boys. Haven't read Mysteries of Pittsburgh yet.
You should read Mysteries after reading The Sun Also Rises. I've always felt that MoP was Chabon's stab at rewriting Hemingway.
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:30 AM   #305
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I read it based on your recommendation back in 2007 or 2008.
And?
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Old 09-10-2013, 12:39 AM   #306
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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon, 2003): this is a cute little book with a bittersweet story about an autistic boy who decides to investigate the death of his neighbour’s dog. Haddon writes it in the first person, and his greatest merit, in my view, is how he captures the voice/worldview of autism. There are a few gimmicks here and there that annoyed me a bit, but overall it was an interesting read. A short one, too.
We read and analysed this book in high school. Hated it.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:41 AM   #307
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You should read Mysteries after reading The Sun Also Rises. I've always felt that MoP was Chabon's stab at rewriting Hemingway.
Thanks, Dalton. Will try to do this.

The Brothers K is one of the next books on my list. I've heard nothing but great things. A good companion (from what I've read about it) is Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding, which I thought was fantastic (baseball also plays a prominent role there).
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:05 PM   #308
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I'm rereading Duncan's The Brothers K. If you haven't read it ... well I don't even know what to say to that.
Man, I just loved that book.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:12 PM   #309
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And?
Loved it.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:24 AM   #310
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Finished Dance... I see Martin us turning into J. K Rowling, but.. Whatcha gonna do, I guess.

Easily my least favorite, but still like a 7/10.

Hope shit gets together with the next one.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:19 PM   #311
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The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy in Ekaterinburg by Helen Rappaport.

Wow. That's what I thought many times while reading this. It follows the last two weeks of the lives of the last Tsar and his family, their imprisonment, their guards, with rare eyewitness accounts by those who saw the family during their last days. It also goes in depth on who their guards were, how their execution was hastily arranged and why the Tsar was never put on trial. And the book talks about how the Cheka, a sort of Bolshevik guard, terrorized the Ekaterinburg, the city where the family was held, and the state of Russia back then amidst a brutal civil war. Finally, it discusses whatever international effort there was to rescue the family and why some of the European royals didn't bother to help the Romanovs, whom they happened to be closely related to. This book doesn't try to portray the family as martyrs or romanticizes them (it is very matter-of-fact in its portrayal of the Tsar, the Tsarina and their children). It just shows them as a close family going through a frightening situation where hope of being rescued dwindled everyday.

If anyone decides to read this, brace yourself for the execution part. It is graphic and holds nothing back. I was shaken after I read that part.
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:06 PM   #312
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The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Chabon, 1988): this was the only major Chabon that I had yet to read (I haven’t read all of his “minor” stuff, but will get there eventually), and I was impressed at the quality of his debut. All the traits that make him such a great writer are there: the exuberant prose, the identity crisis (in this case, about sexuality), the father-son relationship. Some of the characters are perhaps not as well fleshed out as in his later novels, but it’s a beautiful coming-of-age story anyways. And it probably contains one of my favourite quote of his: “Every woman is a volume of stories, a catalog of movements, a spectacular array of images”.

The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway, 1924): I wish I had liked this a bit more than I did. Hemingway’s writing doesn’t do anything for me, even though I empathize with what he wants to achieve. By stripping things down to what he thinks is essential, I think he often veers too close to innocuous. I also don’t think he’s good at writing female characters; they are often more window dressing, or dummies designed to allow him to explore his male characters’ psyche (or their masculinity). All the booze also made me partly drunk just by reading it. The high point for me was the description of the bull fights. His writing style is particularly suited for that, and the raw text matched its object perfectly.

I read these two back-to-back at Dalton’s suggestion. While I see some of the similarities he was pointing to, I’m not sure if I agree that they are all that comparable. Chabon, to me, is much closer in style as well as in substance to Fitzgerald, particularly in terms of character development. I do think that Chabon, like Hemingway, is better at writing male characters, but almost everything else pointed to Fitzgerald instead. I specifically thought of at least a couple of stories from Flappers and Philosophers while reading Mysteries… (Heads and Shoulders and Bernice Bobs Her Hair), in particular Chabon's exploration of the characters’ reaction to class mannerisms, sophisticated banter, etc. The description of the party at Riri's also made me think of Gatsby a bit. Anyways, just my two cents on the comparison.
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:25 PM   #313
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I'm fairly bummed out about Tom Clancy passing away. I was a Clancy fanatic in my teens and early 20's.
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:45 PM   #314
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That is a bummer. I really loved a bunch of his early books.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:31 AM   #315
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66 is a little young.
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