Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Noname215

Books: A Literary Discussion

Recommended Posts

^

IIRC Good Omens was the first thing I read by Gaiman, after being a Pratchett fan since I started reading his kids books when I was in elementary school.

I sort of powered through American Gods, not the easiest read but worthwhile. I think Sandman is the place to start with Gaiman though, especially if you're willing to pay $300 for the two Ombibuses (which will last forever if you take care of them).

Started reading Dresden Files. I was told it was about a detective who is also a wizard, and that was all I needed to hear. What I didn't realize is that when people said "detective" they specifically meant "noir". All the way down to the distinctively noir cadence of narration in a lot of places. This is a very pleasing start.

Garret Files are quite good as well. Pretty funny, episodic, and very light. I really like everything I've read by Glen Cook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hesitate to read any book that people describe as "funny" since nine times out of ten, it isn't. Not to me anyway. The novel is not a good place for humor for me. It's not that the written word itself can't be funny. I f***ing love The Onion, and all sorts of humorous essays and blogs and so on. I just can't do humor in the NOVEL format. Almost every single time someone has given me a book, which contains a work of fiction, and that work of fiction is described as funny, I always end up reading it with this face:

SNF01TV1SC-5321_1416036a.jpg

It just doesn't work for me. Like Christopher Moore? More like Christopher SNORE. *practices his dad jokes*

Hitchhiker's is probably the ONE time I've managed to read a comedy novel that did not make me wish I was doing something else the whole time.

That does not include plays/scripts, since stuff like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is AMAZEBALLS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you like reading fantasy that doesn't fall into all the typical cliches I think it's at least worthwhile to read enough of something by Glen Cook to form your own opinion. A lot of people associate his humor with being a Vietnam vet, he sort of started the cynical dark-humored soldier archetype in fantasy that guys like Erikson and Mark Lawrence have made popular lately. Not sure you're doing yourself any favors by being turned off of something by a word that can be applied to so many things but I don't have very discerning taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you like reading fantasy that doesn't fall into all the typical cliches I think it's at least worthwhile to read enough of something by Glen Cook to form your own opinion. A lot of people associate his humor with being a Vietnam vet, he sort of started the cynical dark-humored soldier archetype in fantasy that guys like Erikson and Mark Lawrence have made popular lately. Not sure you're doing yourself any favors by being turned off of something by a word that can be applied to so many things but I don't have very discerning taste.

Not turned off by any word in particular, but it just stands to reason that some genres don't appeal to certain people, and the "comedy novel" is almost always a miss for me.

And for that matter, a lot of non-YA fantasy books are a huge turn off for me as well just because so much of it is masturbatory lore-fetishism and/or explaining how some fantasy government works or compiling a bunch of fantasy encyclopedia entries. Even well-renowned fantasy authors like Tolkien are incredibly self-indulgent in that way, and I just can't stand it. Not to mention that the sci-fi/fantasy genres are plagued by sexism and male power/sex fantasies. Even excellent works of fantasy like Pat Rothfuss's The Name of The Wind and The Old Man's Fear at certain points devolve into typical male power/sex fantasy trash. I mean, I guess that's fine because that's still a kinda fantasy and the genre is "fantasy" so to each his own, but it's super annoying to me that it seems so prevalent.

All of the above has also largely applied to video games (what do you know, another medium dominated by creators and audiences who are male nerds). But both have been getting incrementally better in recent years, so things are shaping up.

TLDR: I'm frankly just difficult to please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not turned off by any word in particular, but it just stands to reason that some genres don't appeal to certain people, and the "comedy novel" is almost always a miss for me.

And for that matter, a lot of non-YA fantasy books are a huge turn off for me as well just because so much of it is masturbatory lore-fetishism and/or explaining how some fantasy government works or compiling a bunch of fantasy encyclopedia entries. Even well-renowned fantasy authors like Tolkien are incredibly self-indulgent in that way, and I just can't stand it. Not to mention that the sci-fi/fantasy genres are plagued by sexism and male power/sex fantasies. Even excellent works of fantasy like Pat Rothfuss's The Name of The Wind and The Old Man's Fear at certain points devolve into typical male power/sex fantasy trash. I mean, I guess that's fine because that's still a kinda fantasy and the genre is "fantasy" so to each his own, but it's super annoying to me that it seems so prevalent.

All of the above has also largely applied to video games (what do you know, another medium dominated by creators and audiences who are male nerds). But both have been getting incrementally better in recent years, so things are shaping up.

TLDR: I'm frankly just difficult to please.

Sorry I read this

I was told it was about a detective who is also a wizard, and that was all I needed to hear.

And interpreted it as implying that you might like another recommendation that has those qualifications. I won't do it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uh... sorry? I wasn't like.. YELLING at you. I was just saying that I'm skeptical (I didn't expect to like Dresden Files either, and still might change my mind depending on how it goes). But I do appreciate the recommendation. Sorry if I was being all aspie about it or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hesitate to read any book that people describe as "funny" since nine times out of ten, it isn't. Not to me anyway. The novel is not a good place for humor for me. It's not that the written word itself can't be funny. I f***ing love The Onion, and all sorts of humorous essays and blogs and so on. I just can't do humor in the NOVEL format. Almost every single time someone has given me a book, which contains a work of fiction, and that work of fiction is described as funny, I always end up reading it with this face:

SNF01TV1SC-5321_1416036a.jpg

It just doesn't work for me. Like Christopher Moore? More like Christopher SNORE. *practices his dad jokes*

Hitchhiker's is probably the ONE time I've managed to read a comedy novel that did not make me wish I was doing something else the whole time.

That does not include plays/scripts, since stuff like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is AMAZEBALLS.

Terry Pratchett's humor is like nothing else I've ever read, though if I had to explain it, it's like Douglas Adams mixed with PG Wodehouse. And that isn't my description either, that's the description I stole from a critical review somewhere. There's nearly always a satire element to it. I can't guarantee you'd find it funny, all I can say is that I never laughed out loud while reading a book until I picked up a Pratchett novel. And, yes, I'd read both Hitchhiker's Guide and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by that point. I enjoyed them both immensely, but I wasn't cackling myself into coughing fits like I was with Pratchett.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry Pratchett's humor is like nothing else I've ever read, though if I had to explain it, it's like Douglas Adams mixed with PG Wodehouse. And that isn't my description either, that's the description I stole from a critical review somewhere. There's nearly always a satire element to it. I can't guarantee you'd find it funny, all I can say is that I never laughed out loud while reading a book until I picked up a Pratchett novel. And, yes, I'd read both Hitchhiker's Guide and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead by that point. I enjoyed them both immensely, but I wasn't cackling myself into coughing fits like I was with Pratchett.

You have gained my cautious intrigue. I will now regard your words with a sidelong gaze while stroking my chin and saying "Hmmm..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The dead body of Adrian Fletcher was found at the bottom of a cliff. He was clothed in heavy hiking boots, mitts, several light jackets and thick woolen pants. Several feet away from the cliff side, just near the hunting campsite, the body of his girlfriend Layla was found with her head caved in.

The police arrived several hours after the murder had taken place. Upon interviewing a member of the hunting party Adrian was part of, a man named James Greeley, said man recounted for them:

"I returned to camp early to make dinner for the hunting party when I saw Adrian and Layla arguing. They had been dating for several years, but frequently held heated discussions, and since I didn't want to intrude I decided to hide behind a tree. The argument got worse and worse until Adrian finally picked up a rock and hit Layla as hard as he could with it. Just then he turned and saw me hiding behind the tree. He was so startled that he turned and ran. He must have not noticed the cliff, and he fell over the side."

When the forensics lab checked the rock that supposedly killed Layla, aside from heavy amounts of Layla's blood they also found what they believed to be Adrian's fingerprints on it.

The investigating officers then immediately arrested James Greeley.

Why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if you guys have seen the reviews of Norm Macdonald's newly released book, but they are glowing, and they are not wrong. The book is called "Based On A True Story".

Norm1.png

It presents itself as the "celebrity memoir" of Norm Macdonald, but it is actually a faux-memoir that is mostly fiction but also not entirely untrue. It's more like a tall tale--an extreme exaggeration and embroidering of pieces of things that are true. It's a sarcastic memoir that hates that it is a memoir, so it bullshits you to keep things interesting. But the heart between the lines is true, and relatable, and adorable. In addition to being hilarious, it is genuinely thoughtful, and Norm's honest ability to turn an artful phrase makes it feel literary in a Twain-ian way you might not expect. The reviews are not wrong. This man should write more books. Screenshotted a few not-too-spoilery pages to pimp this lit.

norm 1_2.png

Norm 1_5.png

Norm2.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crow have you read Stormlight Archive? How much of Mistborn/what other Sanderson have you read?

The first Sanderson I read was WoT but liked him enough that I'd like to read more at some point. I read the first Mistborn because it was the only fantasy I hadn't read available at an airport but was told Stormlight was a good place to start. I have the first one on my shelf but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just bought a box full of paperbacks from my neighbor. Here's what was inside

Gerald's Game by Stephen King

A Drink Before The War by Dennis Lehane

Prayers For Rain by Dennis Lehane

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Ghost Story by Peter Straub

The Sunset Riders by Louis L'Amour

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore

Prey by Michael Crichton

The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard

Red Rabbit by Tom Clancy

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

The Night of the Ripper by Robert Bloch

Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

Post Mortem by Patricia Cornwell

Sharp Objects By Gillian Flynn

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The very first Crichton novel I ever read was Pirate Latitudes. I followed that up with Timeline, Rising Sun and The Andromeda Strain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've also read Congo, Eaters of the Dead, and a bunch of his John Lang paperbacks after they were reprinted by Hard Case Crime. I have a copy of Jurassic Park sitting around in my bookshelf but I've yet to get around to it. Doesn't help that I'm not really much of a science fiction reader with the exception of Bradbury and a few Philip K. Dick novels.

Pirate Latitudes was my first Crichton novel because up until then my only knowledge of Crichton had been as the director of Westworld and Coma as well as the basis for a bunch of science fiction films, one murder mystery (Rising Sun) and an okay flick about sexual harassment (Disclosure). But my interest peaked because I've always fascinated with the Golden Age of Piracy as well as swashbuckler films and novels which propelled me to write my own, something I've been working on for four years. So after that go through of Pirate Latitudes I was then gradually turned on to the rest of Crichton's bibliography. 

Aside from that and Micro, another posthumous novel called Dragon Teeth is set up to be published early next year.

Edited by Noname215

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When it comes to certain famous authors, I have a tendency to start with lesser works before moving on to the more widely known works. For example, the first actual Stephen King novel I read was 11/22/63 (the TV show, although by no means a bad show, did not do this vast beast the justice it deserved, and Franco was never who I pictured as Jake Epping) before I moved on to the more notable works.

Edited by Noname215

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first Bradbury novel I ever read was The Halloween Tree and then came Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes. The latter is my favorite Bradbury novel without a doubt.

One novel that I think is perfect to be made into a movie is Louis L'Amour's The Walking Drum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Scarecrow said:

Basically I just love monster families

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

Sorry, I couldn't resist

Edited by Noname215

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, I recently bought a couple books detailing the work of my favorite painter Frank Frazetta. I'm not an art nut by any means aside from the occasional visit to wax museums or the Palace of the Legion of Honor ( @Alcoremortis you might have been there before), but my interest in Frazetta comes from the pulp novel/cheap magazine cover art that he designed but managed to make them look like masterpieces, art too damn good to be connected to what they were originally done for.

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^

I seem to remember the writing in the Deathdealer comics being fairly bland (from what I read of it) but the illustrations made it enjoyable none-the-less.

On 10/30/2016 at 10:46 PM, Scarecrow said:

I haven't yet, the only two books I've read of his is the first Mistborn and most of his first big epic Elantris. I definitely need to check out Stormlight Archive, but my next visit with him is probably gonna be Warbreaker because 1. It's currently a standalone novel (which in the fantasy genre, appropriately enough, is like finding a unicorn, and 2. According to Sanderson himself, it has one of his better magic systems, and all the magic involves colors, which intrigues me.

 

FYI he also has a book of short stories coming out soon (I think this month?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I first became aware of Frank Frazetta when I started listening to Molly Hatchet. I went to Amoeba Music over on Haight Street in San Francisco and was drawn to them by the cover art.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While there are a couple of songs I like on those Molly Hatchet albums (moreso the first one) I think I would've been a bit disappointed if I saw the art before I listened to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not like I hadn't heard them before, I just hadn't seen the albums covers before. The first song I heard by them is the more obvious one, Flirting With Disaster.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to try to set myself a firm goal of reading a book a week this year. I find that I usually read at this pace but end up languishing with something I lose momentum on for a month or two out of the year. So far I read:

Dust of Dreams (Erikson)- At this point in a series I would've hoped that I was introduced to most of the characters, which wasn't the case and I found that frustrating. So I'm taking a little time off before I read the last one. This was probably the worst of the series IMO but not so bad that I'm not going to finish the whole thing.

Light Fantastic (Pratchett)- I had read a handfull of diskworld books out of order now I'm going to start slowly making my way though the series again in the recommended reading order. This one was pretty good.

A Slow Regard for Silent Things (Rothfuss)- It didn't have a conventional plot and only one "character" but I still kind of had to read it just because Auri was so curious in KKC. She continues to be an interesting character, I also like that it offers a different take on how magic works in the universe.

A Monster Calls- At first when I finished it I felt like it lacked subtlety. Then it occurred to me that when a kid denying the truth is central to the themes it would be sort of impossible to make it subtle and still get all of the points across. So I felt like there were things that were spelled out that could have been done so more eloquently but don't really have much of a criticism about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm about halfway through Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Heinlein. I'm hoping it will end well, but so far I'm finding it pretty bland. I was sort of interested in the beginning when Thorby was adopted by the old beggar who seemed to be a Shephard Book sort of character, but then the story completely jettisons that whole thing and goes in a different direction that so far feels like reading Tolkein-In-Space. It's just pages and pages of technobabble. I thirst for some humanity, and trying to get my fix from this book is like trying to quench my thirst by wringing water from a barely damp rag.

Edited by Anemone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd always cheat with the Encyclopedia Brown stories because I'd skip straight to the back without trying to figure it out for myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read Harriet The Spy. Only did it because as a kid I had a VHS copy of the movie so I went out and got the book, but I barely remember it.

Edited by Noname215

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...