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The Cartel by Don Winslow 

2nd part of a trilogy. The first book (The power of the dog) was excellent and the Cartel has been good but not as good. The border is the final part and next on the list. 
 

Anyone who liked the Narcos tv series would enjoy them and note a lot of similarities. 

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Been managing to read a lot over the past few months:

Underland by Robert Macfarlane - had no idea what to expect form this but it was brilliant. Each chapter is him investigating a different aspect of below ground - for example, how tree roots in a forest can almost communicate and divert nutrients to trees that need it or the below ground seed depository in Norway/Finland that holds millions of seeds in case of an apocalypse. It is extremely interesting - loved it 5/5

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson - I am a huge fan of Larsen and some of his books (Devil in the White City, Dead Calm) are excellent. I didn't get into this one quite as much - tells the story of the US ambassador to Germany during the rise of Hitler. 3/5

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts - don't know how much of this "true story" is actually true but I found it a real page turner. Aussie guy escapes from prison and ends up living in the slums of Mumbai. It's massive (around 900 pages) but I read it next to the pool on holiday and tore through it. Seems to really divide opinion online. 5/5

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer - I read this due to loving Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close but it was nowhere near as good. Based around a Jewish author's trip to Ukraine to try to find a lost relative - the book jumps between different times and places. Couldn't really get into it. 3/5

#1 & #2 of the Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden - Charting the rise of Genghis Khan. I am enjoying these, very interesting insight into life on the plains and how the Chin Dynasty was. Didn't think I would like these as much as I do. 4/5

A Little Hatred and The Trouble With Peace - Joe Abercrombie - can't remember who it was but somebody on here first put me onto Abercrombie and I reckon he is now my favourite author. The Age of Madness trilogy is, somehow, even better than The First Law books and I didn't think that was possible. He is such a good writer, the dialogue is sharp and witty and the battle scenes incredible - characters are well rounded (Orso is a favourite) and it is just a fantastic reading experience. 5/5

 

 

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2 hours ago, Saigon Raider said:

 

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson - I am a huge fan of Larsen and some of his books (Devil in the White City, Dead Calm) are excellent. I didn't get into this one quite as much - tells the story of the US ambassador to Germany during the rise of Hitler. 3/5

See, I thought that one was fascinating.

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On 13/09/2021 at 18:27, Clough85 said:

The Cartel by Don Winslow 

2nd part of a trilogy. The first book (The power of the dog) was excellent and the Cartel has been good but not as good. The border is the final part and next on the list. 
 

Anyone who liked the Narcos tv series would enjoy them and note a lot of similarities. 

Once you finish The Border try some of his San Diego books - Gentleman’s Hour and The Winter of Frankie Machine are a good start

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3 hours ago, Saigon Raider said:

#1 & #2 of the Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden - Charting the rise of Genghis Khan. I am enjoying these, very interesting insight into life on the plains and how the Chin Dynasty was. Didn't think I would like these as much as I do. 4/5

My favourite series of his, and the first that I read. 

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5 hours ago, HK Hibee said:

Once you finish The Border try some of his San Diego books - Gentleman’s Hour and The Winter of Frankie Machine are a good start

I had read The Force of his before I started the trilogy, I enjoyed it as well.  Planning to look out for his other ones. 
I have Stuart macbrides new one and the rankin/mcilvaney one on the list next. 

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22 hours ago, Saigon Raider said:

 

#1 & #2 of the Conqueror series by Conn Iggulden - Charting the rise of Genghis Khan. I am enjoying these, very interesting insight into life on the plains and how the Chin Dynasty was. Didn't think I would like these as much as I do. 4/5

 

 

 

 

19 hours ago, scottsdad said:

My favourite series of his, and the first that I read. 

I've listened to the first 3 of these on audible this year and didn't think they were up there with the rest of his stuff tbh. Probably unpopular opinion but I think his war of the roses series is his best. 

Also I thought Everything is Illuminated was sensational, one of my favourite novels actually 

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I've listened to the first 3 of these on audible this year and didn't think they were up there with the rest of his stuff tbh. Probably unpopular opinion but I think his war of the roses series is his best. 
Also I thought Everything is Illuminated was sensational, one of my favourite novels actually 

My friend recommended Everything…but it just didn’t grab me. His next one though is absolutely sensational - bawling at the end of it.
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On 16/09/2021 at 11:38, Richey Edwards said:

Finished Anti-Social and I Am The Messenger this week.

Started reading The Green Mile. I have had this book for years but had never read it. I have seen the film though.

If I remember rightly, the books goes into detail about what the death row inmates were facing execution for. Delacroix’s (the guy played by Michael Jeter in the movie) crime was particularly disgusting, which makes you less sad when his execution is bungled. The book therefore more effectively makes you question how bloodthirsty we (as readers/people demanding vengeance) are when it comes to capital punishment.

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Survive The Night by Riley Sager.

I have loved all four of Sager's previous books but this was a big miss. Had figured out the big twist about 15% of the way through and then the epilogue spoiled what had been at least a decent read and put it firmly into two star territory.

Edited by Craig the Hunter
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The River of Diamonds by Geoffrey Jenkins.

Recommended to me by the old boy across the road, how have I never come across his books before? Fabulous adventure. Shades of Wilbur Smith except shorter and without the extended graphic sex scenes. 

Couldn't get one in the library or as an ebook, so went to abebooks to get this. Will be ordering more.

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On a re read of trainspotting. I really liked Glue, Skagboys and slightly less so Porno.

But trainspotting is peak Welsh for me. In the likes of Porno I think even despite the vile antics they get up to, he loses the down to earth, relatable scumminess of the characters. In trainspotting you can really imagine the state they are in, the hovels they frequent etc. There isnt really any silliness in it. Its all raw as f**k.

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On 27/09/2021 at 12:51, Bairnardo said:

On a re read of trainspotting. I really liked Glue, Skagboys and slightly less so Porno.

But trainspotting is peak Welsh for me. In the likes of Porno I think even despite the vile antics they get up to, he loses the down to earth, relatable scumminess of the characters. In trainspotting you can really imagine the state they are in, the hovels they frequent etc. There isnt really any silliness in it. Its all raw as f**k.

It's the difference between Welsh writing as someone who witnessed those kind of characters in real life up close every day and later when he was viewing it all from a position of great wealth. The latter is far less real feeling than the former. 

Most writers write what they see/know. That's why Porno has Spud researching a book and a film festival in the South of France. 

Edited by Detournement
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On 22/09/2021 at 14:19, scottsdad said:

The River of Diamonds by Geoffrey Jenkins.

Recommended to me by the old boy across the road, how have I never come across his books before? Fabulous adventure. Shades of Wilbur Smith except shorter and without the extended graphic sex scenes. 

Couldn't get one in the library or as an ebook, so went to abebooks to get this. Will be ordering more.

I loved Jenkins' books when I was younger, and have always preferred his depiction of Africa to Smith's overtly colonial view. Particular favourites included the above River of Diamonds, A Ravel of Waters and A Grue of Ice. Cracking adventures which fair rattle along.

If you like his work, I can also recommend Duncan Kyle for quality thrillers written around the same time. (I obviously don't live across the road from you, but am verging on "old boy")

 

ETA: From a quick swatch at Amazon, Jenkins' books will cost you a fair bit, but there are a few Kyle books available on Kindle for 99p.

Edited by WhiteRoseKillie
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I've recently re-read Nation by Terry Pratchett, as it was going on Kindle for less than a quid.

A Stand-alone set in an alternative Victorian era, it shows the true genius of the man, being a love story, an adventure, a political treatise, and more - all without a whiff of the Disc. It's a beautiful piece of work which, while uplifting, actually brought a tear to my eye during the final pages. How much of that was due to the fortunes of Mau and Ermintrude Daphne, and how much due to the underlying reminder that we will never experience more of Sir Terry's work is arguable, but I could not recommend this more.

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1 minute ago, WhiteRoseKillie said:

I've recently re-read Nation by Terry Pratchett, as it was going on Kindle for less than a quid.

A Stand-alone set in an alternative Victorian era, it shows the true genius of the man, being a love story, an adventure, a political treatise, and more - all without a whiff of the Disc. It's a beautiful piece of work which, while uplifting, actually brought a tear to my eye during the final pages. How much of that was due to the fortunes of Mau and Ermintrude Daphne, and how much due to the underlying reminder that we will never experience more of Sir Terry's work is arguable, but I could not recommend this more.

Thanks for that. I'm a huge fan of the Discworld and have been temped by this a few times but never given it a go. Will definitely put it on my list of must reads now. The man was a literal genius, we're lucky to have lived to experience it.

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