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2 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

I thought LA Confidential was pretty good.

Me too but always thought it was a shame they didn’t do more with the Dudley Smith character. He’s almost supernaturally evil and powerful in the books but was a bit of a nasty wee nyaff in the film. Still one of the very best film noirs though.

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Just finished reading Brookmyre's latest, Fallen Angel.  Not one of his longer reads but good nonetheless with a nice twist near the end.

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Having not watched one episode of Game of Thrones, I decided to start the books. Holy shit, just finished the first one and it is incredible - got the next two lined up for my summer reading. 

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At some point Ellroy turned from acerbic and witty to mean and bitter. It probably happened at the same point his books went from hard boiled thrillers to page after page of racial epithets.

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7 minutes ago, Savage Henry said:

 


At some point Ellroy turned from acerbic and witty to mean and bitter. It probably happened at the same point his books went from hard boiled thrillers to page after page of racial epithets.

 

It would be a bit fake to portray the LAPD without using them in dialogue.

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A decent Ride - I found certain scenes hilarious and Juice Terry a fun character but it would suit being a much shorter novel. The Penicuik character and scenes were brutally boring.

Zorba the Greek - Grabbed the book with no real expectations. Zorba is an very likeable falstaffian figure. One of the best characters I've ever read.

True Grit - I don't think either movies could live up to this novel. Absolutely superb and one of the strongest female leads I've read.

 

 

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Don't Blink by James Patterson & Howard Roughan, perfect for reading by the pool on holiday

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JPod by Douglas Coupland - basically a sequel to Microserfs and pretty similar. His usual cast of ennui-suffering GenXers in an enervating office environment. Very postmodern with lots of pop culture references etc and an appearance by the author himself, although it's hard to shake the feeling that you get diminishing returns from Coupland the later into his career you go. Still enjoyable enough.

The New Machiavelli by Jonathan Powell - an account of the authors time as Chief of Staff to Tony Blair seen through the lens of Niccolo Machiavelli's mantras for the exercising of power. Not awful but most of the 'lessons' are pretty common sense and you get the distinct impression that the anecdotes have been carefully chosen to make the Blairites look good and Gordon Brown in particular look bad. It's very hard to believe that it was as black and white as he makes it out to be. Of course if anything it just makes it funny to look back at how much the two factions hated each other when they would so soon both be eclipsed by the Corbynites.

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If Not Now, When? by Primo Levi.

 

Novel about Jewish partisans in WW2 in Russia trying to make their way west to get to Palestine. The writing made me think of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and a little bit of Hermann Hesse in that it convincingly captures the feeling of desperation and the way only the most tenacious survive such an ordeal, much like those authors did. There is a great scene where a Polish partisan explains how his group has suffered compared to the Jewish group. The leader of the Jews replies simply "you have been at war for 3 years, we for 3 thousand" which opens a window into Jewish psyche in face of hostility I hadn't appreciated before.

 

 

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Weep Not, Child by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

 

Story about the development of the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya in the 50s. Another story told in a style that borrows from biblical parables, and again reminds me of Hermann Hesse. Very short, similar themes to the above: despondency, injustice and faith.

 

 

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Only about half way through but really enjoying "A History of Seven Killings". 

Pretty spectacular. So epic in scale. Bob Marley is a huge star and around him is killers, gangsters, CIA operatives, ghetto girls.. The narration hops from character to character. Some alive, some dead and looking on from the spirit world. 

Can't really begin to describe it. It won the Booker prize in 2015. 

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Only about half way through but really enjoying "A History of Seven Killings". 
Pretty spectacular. So epic in scale. Bob Marley is a huge star and around him is killers, gangsters, CIA operatives, ghetto girls.. The narration hops from character to character. Some alive, some dead and looking on from the spirit world. 
Can't really begin to describe it. It won the Booker prize in 2015. 
Is that the one by Marlon James?

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4 minutes ago, MixuFixit said:
10 minutes ago, Shandon Par said:
Only about half way through but really enjoying "A History of Seven Killings". 
Pretty spectacular. So epic in scale. Bob Marley is a huge star and around him is killers, gangsters, CIA operatives, ghetto girls.. The narration hops from character to character. Some alive, some dead and looking on from the spirit world. 
Can't really begin to describe it. It won the Booker prize in 2015. 

Is that the one by Marlon James?

Yes. Heard him on Adam Buxton recently. 

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Yes. Heard him on Adam Buxton recently. 

That's where the name rang a bell. Might pick it up as well but it's a big read is it not?

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4 minutes ago, MixuFixit said:


That's where the name rang a bell. Might pick it up as well but it's a big read is it not?

Colossal! I've started hearing/thinking in a Jamaican accent. They touched on it in the Adam Buxton interview IIRC but the violence really is brutal and senseless. You can feel a real anger from him growing up gay in a culture that was so hostile towards it too.  

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3 hours ago, Shandon Par said:

Only about half way through but really enjoying "A History of Seven Killings". 

Pretty spectacular. So epic in scale. Bob Marley is a huge star and around him is killers, gangsters, CIA operatives, ghetto girls.. The narration hops from character to character. Some alive, some dead and looking on from the spirit world. 

Can't really begin to describe it. It won the Booker prize in 2015. 

I started that a few years ago but I only got about halfway through. I was enjoying it and I really need to get back into it.

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On 19/06/2019 at 12:09, MixuFixit said:

If Not Now, When? by Primo Levi.

 

Novel about Jewish partisans in WW2 in Russia trying to make their way west to get to Palestine. The writing made me think of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and a little bit of Hermann Hesse in that it convincingly captures the feeling of desperation and the way only the most tenacious survive such an ordeal, much like those authors did. There is a great scene where a Polish partisan explains how his group has suffered compared to the Jewish group. The leader of the Jews replies simply "you have been at war for 3 years, we for 3 thousand" which opens a window into Jewish psyche in face of hostility I hadn't appreciated before.

 

 

Read this a long time ago, 15, maybe 20 years ago.   Enjoyed it then.

Knocked off another three books since my last visit.

'The Kites' by Gary Romain.  A French boy with a gift for memorising falls in love with a Polish girl and is then separated from her over the course of the Second World War.  I actually really loved this book.  It's beautifully written, it zips along and has a life affirming ending.  5/5

'The Mountains of my Life' by Walter Bonatti.  The great maverick and outsider writes about his mountaineering conquests and his own philosophies on climbing and life in general.  The force of Bonatti's personality really comes through in his writing and by the end you really have an appreciation of what a great, and misunderstood, figure he was.  The 'K2 Controversy' was very interesting and it was great to see him fully  vindicated even if only after several decades.  His love and descriptions of nature are vivid and feel genuine and there is a beautiful scene as he philosophises on life as the sun goes down on Mont Blanc.  There is perhaps one or two too many alpine climbs - they are, it has to be said, quite similar - crevasses, rock falls, storms - but Bonatti is plainly a great man, a fantastic mountaineer and a surprisingly good writer..  4/5

'The Plague' by Albert Camus.  This isn't a bad book but it is a bit of a slog.  It's basically existentialist philosophy as a novel but personally I prefer Camus when he's writing his philosophy straight rather than cramming it into a narrative.  3/5 

Next up - 'An American Dream' by Norman Mailer

Edited by Ya Bezzer!

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I've just finished The First World War by AJP Taylor.

It's a pretty decent, albeit brief, overview of WW1. He doesn't really go into the human suffering or weapon development but does give plenty of attention to other theatres away from the western front.

A decent read for a history buff.

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Just finished Greeks bearing gifts - part of Phillip Kerr's excellent Bernie Gunther series. As he died just as it was published I thought it was a safe bet it would be the last in the series, and a worthy addition at that but on last trip to Waterstones I saw there's a final one, Metropolis, so that's on the to read list.

Also been working my way through Mick Herron spy novels. Cynical, funny and very smart

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