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Old 08-21-2014, 05:30 PM   #601
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Ooh, I haven't ranked the Cloud Atlas stories yet.

Frobisher - Sonmi - Cavendish - Sloosha - Luisa Rey - Ewing
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:36 AM   #602
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I'm giving James Joyce another chance. Dubliners is way, way more enjoyable than Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Yes it is.


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Old 08-22-2014, 05:41 AM   #603
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I've read the first four stories and then I just had to jump to The Dead, because I was starting to get impatient and I wanted to read it in St. Stephen's Green right next to Joyce's bust in Dublin, since I was just passing through at the time. Which I did.
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:44 AM   #604
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I'm on the 9th story now. Finding it difficult to binge read this; there has been a great deal written about each story and I'm having fun digesting each story before moving on to the next one.

I really appreciate that I can pick up any one of these stories and casually enjoy it, yet the individual stories have enough in common to make them an engaging continuous read.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:07 PM   #605
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I'll combine these two authors by mentioning that I'm currently reading David Mitchell's second novel, number9dream, which is so much in the style of Murakami that I keep forgetting it's not one of the Japanese master's works.
It's an uncanny impression.

More importantly, Mitchell has a new book coming out in the fall that seems to share some similarities with Cloud Atlas but with a different twist.

I may be more excited about this novel's release than any music or movie due before the end of the year:

David Mitchell: a storyteller of infinite richness | Observer profile | From the Observer | The Observer
I just managed to read a summary of what the new book is about. It almost sounds like a horror novel... Has he done that before?
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:29 PM   #606
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I haven't done this in a while, so here are a few recent notable reads:

The Executioner’s Song (Norman Mailer, 1979): this door-stopper of a book is everything I expected it to be and more. Mailer’s journalistic and observational approach to one of the most famous executions in America is a profoundly touching exploration of some of life’s key questions – life and death, spirituality, crime and punishment and human decay. And although this may sound very philosophical, the book is really a page-turner, and possibly the quickest 1000-page tome I’ve ever read. I believe part of my admiration for the book also comes from the fact that I knew very little about Gary Gilmore’s story, so did not have any pre-formed views about his trajectory (and how much popular interest it generated back in the day).

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz, 2007): Junot Diaz has perhaps the funniest, most vibrant voice of any young writers I’ve come across recently. The book is full of dominicanismos, and I think it gets all the little nuances of what it means to be a second generation immigrant in America. The story is sad, and often tragic, but Diaz has a way of making it light and fun without removing any of its significance. Great companion piece to Vargas Llosa’s The Feast of the Goat.

Fever Pitch (Nick Hornby, 1992): I’m an unabashed Hornby fan, and generally like everything he puts out. That said, this is probably my least favorite of his books (but I still give it 3/5 stars). The good: this is a great case study of obsession that most of us will relate to in one way or another (be it music, sports, what have you). You know when you feel you need to attend consecutive nights of a concert by the same band, because you would feel devastated if they played an obscure song in the concert you chose not to attend? Hornby gets that, like, perfectly. The bad: although I follow football, it’s hard to understand many of the references if you don’t know much about the English championship in the 1970s and 1980s.

American Pastoral and I Married a Communist (Philip Roth, 1997 and 1998): These are the first two volumes of Roth’s so-called American trilogy (even though the books are independent from each other), which are narrated by his alter-ego Nathan Zuckerman. The three novels are supposed to look at turbulent eras of American history, and how different main characters were basically led to a downfall due to society around them. American Pastoral looks at themes like race riots in Newark and the anti-war movement in the 1960s, whereas I Married a Communist looks – obviously – at McCarthyism and post Second World War America. Roth’s style is quite slow at times, but his character studies are precise, and the themes have enough emotional resonance to carry the books.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:43 AM   #607
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Isn't that whole obsession with sports/music/etc pretty much a common theme with Hornby? It's there in High Fidelity and Juliet, Naked at least. I think I liked A Long Way Down least, or perhaps never finished it since I barely remember anything about that book.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:28 AM   #608
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I guess there's some level of that in most of his books, and definitely in the two you mention. Perhaps a bit less in How To Be Good and About a Boy. I guess it's a bit more notable in Fever Pitch because it's his football memoir and he's talking about himself.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:47 AM   #609
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You know what pretty much ruined the movie version if About a Boy for me? Changing the cd from Nirvana to the shake that ass song. It went from surprisingly tolerable despite starring Hugh Grant, to nope fail with that one seemingly minor change.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:57 AM   #610
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I remember being positively surprised when Zoo Station suddenly started playing in that movie.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:27 AM   #611
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Jesus, I didn't realize he wrote all of those. His ratio of movies to books has got to be up there.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:27 PM   #612
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North Side Story had some funny tales of early U2, like Paul McG talking about how they had to stop the bus four times an hour before the band synchronized their bladders and how Edge and Bono fought over a chocolate bar on the bus, followed by Edge buying "a large amount of chocolate" at the next gas station. It also has Adam's full tour diary, in which almost every entry ends with, "and then we went out and got drunk," or "I don't remember what happened the rest of the night." The best part was his account of Edge staying up all night to catch the fleas in their hotel room and naming one of them Douglas.
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:48 PM   #613
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Am now reading Carrion Comfort.
Finished Book 1, so, roughly 1/4 of the way through. Really enjoying this book, but I think it kinda disappeared up its own ass for a little while there. Those talking/planning scenes from It for chapters at a time really killed the pace, but hopefully it moves back into something. Not that I mind conversation, mind you, but the book started soooo very creepy, I was looking forward to the atmosphere returning, and it's been quite a while.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:18 PM   #614
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Fucking Aldous Huxley.

My God.
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:36 PM   #615
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Aside from literature as an excuse to do mescaline, what's wrong with Huxley?
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