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Last Book You Read....

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6 hours ago, GordonD said:

I seem to be going through a phase of reading novels by comedians in which somebody tries to erase a World War from history. This time it was Making History by Stephen Fry, in which somebody uses a time machine to dump sterilisation tablets in the well of an Austrian village, so that Hitler was never born. As with the Ben Elton book, the world that results is far from Utopia...

Enjoyed it, though large chunks of it are written in screenplay format for no apparent reason, which was intensely irritating.

I've read them both too. The Stephen Fry one was my favorite. Time and Time Again was okay but Ben Elton just tries so hard to prove to the reader that he's done his research and his scenes of "love-making" were just cringe.

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Just battered through several books in last 3 weeks or so.

Just finished The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead. Brilliant follow up to The Underground Railroad. Not as good though.

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinham Braithwaite.
Brilliant and darkly funny read.

Rosewater by Tade Thompson.
Start of a trilogy. Set in 2066, Nigeria. It goes back and forth between 2066 and 2050. Sci fi at its best. Well worth the read.

The Pearl by John Steinbeck. A shirt story by one of my favourite authors. He did no wrong in my eyes.

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Just finished ‘Ghost Rider’ by Neil Peart. As a long time Rush fan, I was obviously well aware of the double tragedy that hit Neil, and had always wanted to read this. I put it off for years, but bought the book two weeks ago and it was a difficult, but ultimately rewarding read. The guy is a wonderful writer, and it certainly isn’t bleak all the way through, far from it. If you aren’t a Rush fan, and don’t know the kind of quiet publicity-shunning character that Neil Peart is, and have no attachment to the guy through years of his music, then probably not for you. It definitely helps to be invested in the man behind the book and you go into it knowing what he went through.

Edited by pozbaird

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Recently read:

The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Trial by Franz Kafka

The Plague by Albert Camus 

Portnoys Complaint by Philip Roth

Amerika by Franz Kafka

 

I am currently reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. Unexpectedly found some of the dialogue rather amusing:

Spoiler

The part when one of the inmates from the insane asylum mistakes Mr Norton for Thomas Jefferson. 

 

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I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

900 pages of repetitive rubbish, I was willing it to end. Seems a movie is being made, it should maybe work ok on screen.

Just starting - The Cyclist Who Went Out In The Cold - Adventures Along The Iron Curtain Trail by Tim Moore.

The author attempts to cycle the length of the old 'Iron Curtain' from Northern Finland/Russia, all the way to Bulgaria on an old, slightly modified East German shopping bicycle.

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"Enver Hoxha- The Iron Fist of Albania" by Blendi Fevziu. 

A rather interesting read. Hoxha was a bit of a tinpot Stalin, even his death seemed to mirror Stalin's demise in that he lapsed into a coma similar to Stalin at the end. 

I suppose one thing I got out of it was a feeling that the Yugoslavs were perhaps lucky to have Tito. He made mistakes but compared to Hoxha they got off lightly.  

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Managed to binge through a few novels over the last couple of months: I picked up Murakami's Hard Boiled Wonderland & The End Of The World and enjoyed it, although it was a bit challenging at times. I've got The Elephant Vanishes sitting on my shelf, so will delve into that at some point soon.

Followed that up with another Japanese translation: Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata. Very short, finished it in a couple of days, and bought it on a recommendation from one of the Waterstone's staff.

The last two books I've read are the first two in Raymond Chandler's Marlowe series - The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely. Great fun, aged terribly in some respects (although not nearly as much as the Ian Fleming stuff I read last year), but I've really enjoyed them. Bought the third and fourth novels yesterday.

 

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The Mission Song, by John Le Carre. 

Illegitimate son of an Irish missionary in Africa and a local girl is packed off to England and becomes a multilingual interpreter. Recruited by British Secret Service to help interpret at a hush-hush conference between various shady forces and local warlords to thrash out the future of a small African nation. Hears more than he wants to and things all go a bits tits-up.

Amazing writing. There are twists and turns but like Tinker Tailor.. he makes men in bad suits sitting about in stuffy rooms totally gripping. 

Also, Dr Sleep will be out in cinemas soon. It's the sequel to The Shining. Looks like it will stick much closer to the book than Kubrick did with The Shining. Would definitely recommend reading it. One of the sexiest baddies ever. Would quite happily let her eat my brains.  

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I've just started reading 'Shantaram'. I'll report back in about 4 months when I finish it. 

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Been on an Alistair MacLean binge from when he was at his peak (late 50s/early 60s). The last one was a bit iffy though and I suspect it's on the downhill from here. Apparently his drinking caught up with him in the 70s and 80s and his writing became dross.

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Been listening to some audio books while out running. Stephen Fry reading Sherlock Holmes is excellent - just finished A Study In Scarlett, have never read any of them but was really well written and Fry is good.

Also listening to Calypso by David Sedaris. I heard him on Adam Buxton's podcast and thought he was hilarious, his writing is also very entertaining.

 

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On 28/08/2019 at 09:58, yoda said:

Great fun, aged terribly in some respects (although not nearly as much as the Ian Fleming stuff I read last year), 

What Ian Fleming did you read? I worked my way through most of the Bond series when I was younger and recently decided to do them all again, in order. Made it as far as "Goldfinger" before deciding I had better things to do with my time.

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On 04/09/2019 at 04:26, Shotgun said:

What Ian Fleming did you read? I worked my way through most of the Bond series when I was younger and recently decided to do them all again, in order. Made it as far as "Goldfinger" before deciding I had better things to do with my time.

I read "Casino Royale" first, which I really enjoyed. I'd happily go back and read it again. Then I followed that up with "Live And Let Die" and "Moonraker" - I couldn't get into either of them, and the racism in the former is excruciatingly painful to read.

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1 minute ago, yoda said:

I read "Casino Royale" first, which I really enjoyed. I'd happily go back and read it again. Then I followed that up with "Live And Let Die" and "Moonraker" - I couldn't get into either of them, and the racism in the former is excruciatingly painful to read.

Then you should definitely stay away from Goldfinger. 😉

 

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5 hours ago, Melanius Mullarkey said:

The Railway Man - Eric Lomax

Remarkable story from double ewe double ewe two.

There's also a movie with Colin Firth as Eric. Pretty decent.

The Forgotten Highlander by Alistair Urquhart is a good book too.

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Salvation by Peter F Hamilton. Top notch Sci fi nonsense, with an actual proper plot for a change. 

However, one of the main characters (in about 150 years) remembers his Dad standing on the terraces at Pittodrie with a can in each hand. The lack of Kingsford makes me doubt some of his more alieny predictions about the near future. 

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