Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 51272 times)

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #690 on: July 08, 2019, 03:04:52 PM »
The Vorrh Trilogy. That is to say, I have just completed The Cloven, the third book in The Vorrh Trilogy. I find it very hard to say The Vorrh Trilogy in anything other than a generic gravelly American V/O artiste voice. Which is, sadly, the only enjoyment I garnered from this massive, sprawling waste of fucking time. That’s not strictly true – I quite liked the first part. Fantasy isn’t really my thing, which is a bit of an understatement, really, but I’d been assured that The Vorrh Trilogy wasn’t Fantasy per fucking se. It was in fact a genre straddling colossus of imagination, myth and magic, a realm beyond Fantasy, if you will, a realm like and unlike anything I’d ever experienced before or would ever since. Which sounds very much like the typical type of shite Fantasy people come gibbering out with in order to lure in the naïve and trusting among us. The Vorrh Trilogy is fantasy down to it’s fucking cloven socks. And it is absolute shit.

In a genre where literally anything can happen it’s amazing how boring it is when literally anything can happen happens extremely frequently. It’s like being back at primary school playing war and you’d pretend to shoot a kid and he’d say ahhh, but I’ve got a bullet proof vest and you’d say ahhh, but I shot you in the head, and he’d say ahhh, but I’m intangible, bullets pass through me and I pass through objects like a wraith or phantom and you’d say ahhh, but these bullets are hi-tech magic bullets that make the intangible flesh and rend it accordingly with poison spikes and claws and then he’d say ahhh but I’m a shapeshifting vampire from beyond time, immune to earth’s puny dimensionality and able to control all past present and future events, and you’d just go bollocks then and fuck off home, which is what I should have done, but I didn’t because the first part was intriguing and although the second part sagged massively I was certain that the third would rise up Lazarlike and redeem what had gone before, but it didn’t, it got worse by the page and now I’m thirty fucking bar down on the deal, have wasted hours that will never ever return and can’t help but feel as though I’ve betrayed something fundamental and irreplaceable within myself. If you see a bookshop selling these books, burn it down. 

On a more positive note, I am currently reading The Posthuman Dada Guide by Andrei Codrescu which is about, among other things, an imaginary chess game which didn't take place between Tristan Tzara and V.I Lenin in Zurich in 1916.

Ah. I've only read the first installment of The Vorrh books and found myself thinking about it a lot afterwards, so I was going to get stuck into the others at some point. Maybe I'll reconsider. I can see how the style could become plodding after a while so... Hmm. Plenty of other stuff to turn to.

That Codrescu book looks excellent - I will check it out. Thanks for mentioning it, I doubt I'd have stumbled across it otherwise.

Doomy Dwyer

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #691 on: July 08, 2019, 06:01:33 PM »
It's just such a shame because The Vorrh was great, I thought, totally won me over. But it just dissipates so sharply. There's fuck all in the way of characterisation and far, far too many instances of something awesome and magical happening without any explanation or foreshadowing just to get the author out of the corner he's painted himself into. And it goes on and on, which would be fine if we were made to care about the characters and their motivations, but they're barely one dimensional. Even on the last pages I was checking which character was which and, bearing in mind that this book features a cyclops, William Blake and an angel who believes himself to be Nicholas Parsons, it should be fairly easy to pick out who is who. But, nooooo. There's some really creepy, cringy sexy stuff, too, real sixth form shite. It either needs to be a much shorter book or much longer so Catling can flesh out all his ideas. As is stands it's a betrayal of his vision. There, I've said it.

It may be just me, because I don't much care for Fantasy. But I went about this with a pure heart and an open mind and look where that got me. They're laughing at me.   

Inspector Norse

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #692 on: July 08, 2019, 08:48:24 PM »
I liked the first Vorrh book, I recall. But that was about four, five years ago and I’ve never been tempted to read the others. I think that the conceit and style were already tiring by the end of the first.


  • Threadkiller, apparently
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #693 on: July 11, 2019, 11:34:51 AM »
Halfway to Hollywood, Michael Palin's second volume of diaries.

It's been a while since I read the first volume. I'd forgotten what a relentless complainer John Cleese is.

Twit 2

  • In the boneyard of dreams
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #694 on: July 14, 2019, 01:17:05 PM »
Out of Sheer Rage by Geoff Dyer. I generally dislike him and his book on Stalker, Zona, I think I actually hate. As a chronic procrastinator I thought I’d see what he had to say about it, but he ruins his mediation on it in the same way he ruined what’s special about Tarkovsky. It’s just repetitive, self-indulgent twaddle. Ahhh, but isn’t that the point, isn’t it all so terribly clever and witty? No.

It comes, of course, with plaudits saying how ‘howlingly, screamingly funny’ it is. In publishing lingo this apparently means ‘you may emit a wry chuckle every 50 pages or so’.

Has anyone met him? I bet/hope he’s a prick.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #695 on: July 14, 2019, 03:25:03 PM »
I saw a stack of Chuck Klosterman books in a charity shop the other day, so I thought I'd give em a go. I was moderately entertained by a few of his recent articles, and they were cheap. Fargo Rock City was tolerable, and then Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs was just a straight up collection of essays.

Americans love an essayist, for some reason, and he's no better or worse than any other I've tried to read (virtually every book by a comedian, for one). He relies on you agreeing with everything he says, because his writing isn't quite good enough to convince you otherwise. The thing about how football was shit could have been replaced by that "old man yells at cloud" picture, and I've decided life is too short to force myself through any more of his writing.

I know this may be heresy, but I'm feeling the same way about "Bone". I've had the complete collection on a shelf for years, and started on it a few days ago. Given how adored it is, I can only assume I'm reading it too quickly, and need to give one chapter a go then put it down for a few days. It's not bad, as such, but I don't love it as much as I was expecting. So, I'm going to pop it back on the shelf, leave the bookmark in it and come back in a week or so.

Next up, the Gormenghast trilogy, another one I've been meaning to read for years.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #696 on: July 16, 2019, 12:31:17 AM »
Got a few on the go.

Moby- Then It Fell Apart. This is great, really enjoying it. I've ordered his previous one from the library. Moby intersplices scenes from his fucked up dad-less childhood, with scenes from his fucked-up stripper-shagging highlife. Hard not to like him in his relentless scathing honesty about his various failings as a human being.

Oliver Bullough- Moneyland: Why Thieves And Crooks Now Rule The World And How To Take It Back- slowly grinding through this. There's a sense of "Oh of course. That's why everything's all fucked up". Thoroughly depressing.

Simon Goddard- The Smiths- Songs That Saved Your Life Bit of light reading.


  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #697 on: July 16, 2019, 04:54:14 PM »
Vanity Fair (the novel, not the magazine).

Could easily be another addition to the list of books I've started to read thinking they'll be really good before putting them down about 1/3rd of the way through having realised that literally none of it is 'going in' (see also Catch 22, Tristram Shandy, Ulysses, Don Quixote etc).

Thank goodness for the recent ITV adaptation, without which I'd be completely lost.


  • I will be in the bar, with my head on the bar
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #698 on: July 17, 2019, 09:37:52 AM »
I almost had reading well and truly ruined for me by running a reading group for 4 years, however having taken a break from the group for a bit I'm slowly getting back into it, and am just finishing This is A Book About Kids In The Hall by John Semley. It's a bit breathless fanboy but it's an interesting insight in places too, although it does leave you wishing one or all of them had written it instead. Turns out Bruce McCullough has written a few books too so they're probably next.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 09:50:12 AM by icehaven »


Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #699 on: July 18, 2019, 07:44:16 AM »
edit bug, I think.

Twit 2

  • In the boneyard of dreams
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #700 on: Yesterday at 08:13:27 PM »
Borges’s The Book of Imaginary Beings. Fun stuff.