Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 35702 times)

Artie Fufkin

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #510 on: November 07, 2018, 10:02:50 AM »
Another vote for Dune being really good here. For some reason didn't read it until a couple of years ago because of a vague feeling that it wasn't my sort of thing. Really loved it. I gather the sequels have a "mixed" reputation though. The opinion I've seen seems to be split between people who think the first two sequels are worthwhile but don't bother after that and people who think you shouldn't bother with any of them.

Loved the first book. Hated the second . I keep meaning to try them again.

MoonDust

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #511 on: November 08, 2018, 12:08:22 PM »
Currently reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. Like a lot of people he has become one of my favourite writers. His prose is just beautiful. I also bought 1Q84 and will tackle that after Norwegian Wood.

I'm also trying to read more contemporary fiction so have ordered Milkman by Anna Burns. And also with new books, I want to read Murakami's latest. But so far the only editions of it are a massive hardback, which I can't be arsed lugging round on the tram on my commutes. Will wait for the paperback.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #512 on: November 08, 2018, 03:59:42 PM »
Currently reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. Like a lot of people he has become one of my favourite writers. His prose is just beautiful. I also bought 1Q84 and will tackle that after Norwegian Wood.

1Q84 suffers from the Rowling effect, where the fame of the author causes the editor to give up. It is simply too long. Technically it’s Jay Rubin’s prose that you find beautiful, and that might be another problem with 1Q84: it’s half translated by Rubin and half by someone else.

MoonDust

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #513 on: November 08, 2018, 04:14:11 PM »
Technically it’s Jay Rubin’s prose that you find beautiful, and that might be another problem with 1Q84: it’s half translated by Rubin and half by someone else.

Look at you, assuming that I'm not reading it in the original Japanese! (I'm not)

Yeah I guess. But I would also guess that part of being a literary translator is also being able to capture the style/mood/nuance of writing of the original language of the author, at least as much as the translated language would allow. So some of it must be down to Murakami's style as well, even if one isn't reading it in Japanese.

Like Kafka in English. The way it's translated you can still tell it's a different way of writing and style than other English texts, which I'm guessing is down to the translators trying to capture Kafka's unique style, rather than it being the style of the translators themselves.

gilbertharding

  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #514 on: November 08, 2018, 04:24:45 PM »
Now I'm halfway through Sense and Sensibility.

I'm enjoying it - but I'll have to read it again, to get all the stuff at the beginning about who's died and left what to whom... and I'm confused (although I don't think it matters) about which of the sisters is 'sense' and which 'sensibility'. I presume the buttoned up one is the former, and the moody one is the latter...

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #515 on: November 08, 2018, 04:49:04 PM »
Yeah I guess. But I would also guess that part of being a literary translator is also being able to capture the style/mood/nuance of writing of the original language of the author, at least as much as the translated language would allow. So some of it must be down to Murakami's style as well, even if one isn't reading it in Japanese.

Like Kafka in English. The way it's translated you can still tell it's a different way of writing and style than other English texts, which I'm guessing is down to the translators trying to capture Kafka's unique style, rather than it being the style of the translators themselves.

I know what you're saying, but as Rubin himself put it,

Quote
When you read Haruki Murakami, you’re reading me, at least ninety-five per cent of the time

MoonDust

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #516 on: November 08, 2018, 06:36:56 PM »
I know what you're saying, but as Rubin himself put it,

Sounds like he's well jealous, pal.

FerriswheelBueller

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #517 on: November 09, 2018, 01:37:07 AM »
Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore.

Artie Fufkin

  • Let Me In, Sparks
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #518 on: November 09, 2018, 12:39:51 PM »
Voice of the Fire by Alan Moore.

Ooh! Ooh! What's it like?

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #519 on: November 10, 2018, 02:00:17 PM »
Another vote for Dune being really good here. For some reason didn't read it until a couple of years ago because of a vague feeling that it wasn't my sort of thing. Really loved it. I gather the sequels have a "mixed" reputation though. The opinion I've seen seems to be split between people who think the first two sequels are worthwhile but don't bother after that and people who think you shouldn't bother with any of them.
I occasionally think "wasn't Frank Herbert a bit of a rum 'un, politically speaking?" then read up on him and it turns out that I'm basing that on him being related to Joseph McCarthy, while disagreeing with him on some things. I'll no doubt forget this again soon. Plus, his son carried on the Dune books, along with Kevin J Anderson, who I (perhaps unkindly) always think of as a hack for hire.

gmoney

  • Hug a jug of wine
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #520 on: November 10, 2018, 03:48:25 PM »
The Contortionist's Handbook by Craig Clevenger. I read this years ago and really enjoyed it, but didn't like the ending. I can't remember what it was about it annoyed me, and I found it for 50p in a charity shop so I've decided to find out. It's about a forger who suffers from debilitating headaches that can cause him to overdose, and his terror at being institutionalised means he has to keep reinventing himself so he's not sectioned. A few chapters in, it still holds up. The main character's a sort of antihero dick, but it's not annoying, and his paranoid analysis of his life is really compelling. I can't wait to get to the shit ending again!

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #521 on: November 12, 2018, 02:20:48 PM »
The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem.  Had no idea that the guy who gave us Solaris could also be so incredibly funny.  Props to the translator, too, as most of these stories about machines which can create anything in the world beginning with n, or write poems on command*, must have had very Polish-specific wordplay, but the translator did his job so well that you hardly would have noticed,

*when asked to come up with a poem about, "love, treachery, indomitable courage, on the subject of a haircut, and every word to start with the letter S," the machine produced:

Seduced, shaggy Samson snored.
She scissored short. Sorely shorn,
Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed,
Silently scheming,
Sightlessly seeking
Some savage, spectacular suicide.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #522 on: November 12, 2018, 10:04:58 PM »
Seduced, shaggy Samson snored.
She scissored short. Sorely shorn,
Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed,
Silently scheming,
Sightlessly seeking
Some savage, spectacular suicide.

That's brilliant.

Pingers

  • With the ill behaviour
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #523 on: November 13, 2018, 07:40:28 PM »
Loved the first book. Hated the second . I keep meaning to try them again.

Just finished Dune. It's not going to win any awards for prose, let's be right, but it's a feat of storytelling. He conveys the magnitude of events very well. Feel like I need to read the second one at least, too much unfinished business, but it's Stasiland next for me

Pingers

  • With the ill behaviour
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #524 on: December 07, 2018, 06:11:04 PM »
I'm halfway through A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin (the title, by the way, means a manual for women who clean, not for getting women clean). Not sure what I think about it so far. It is essentially many, many quite short chapters detailing episodes from (largely or entirely) the author's own and quite varied life. She describes the everyday in a lot of detail and it is well-written, but what is unusual about it is that each chapter seems largely unconnected to the others. There doesn't seem to be any kind of structure that is slowly pulling these together to any end, other than to present them all to the reader. It appears to simply be a gradual accretion of events from someone's life which will eventually... well, I'm not sure what eventually it will bring me to.

So now I'm finding the idea that billions of people throughout history could, potentially, have written something as interesting and well-observed about their own lives somewhat overwhelming, and finding myself wondering 'why only this life?'. Why just read this one account of someone's life, why stop there and not read everyone else's too? If everyone did this, when and on what basis would we say 'that's enough now, I have no need to read any more of these'?

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #525 on: December 14, 2018, 12:42:30 AM »
Recently reread Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Discovered this year that most of McCarthy's books appeal more to me the second time around, with this one been no exception. The character of The Judge is one of the most fascinating antagonists in literature, and the ambiguous ending with The Kid is one of those scenes that truly lingers.

Since read Ronald Sukenick's The Endless Short Story, which didn't leave much of an impression on me. Now rereading Kobo Abe's The Face of Another, a fascinating Japanese writer with hints of Kafka and Ballard. Enjoying so far.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #526 on: December 16, 2018, 12:15:52 AM »
John Masefield's The Box of Delights. The man wasn't poet laureate from '37-'60 for nothing!

Large Noise

  • class at fighting
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #527 on: December 16, 2018, 02:34:27 AM »
Bought a copy of Infinite Jest the other day when it caught my eye in Waterstones. Thought fuck it, why not spend like 20 hours on this pointless task.

Got a distinct "fuck off mate" vibe from the woman at the till, which confused me a little bit until I remembered all that stuff recently about DFW being a right piece of work off the field.

Not far into it. My first thoughts are: 1) the Williams sisters have been around for ages haven't they. And 2) Aye alright mate you're overplaying how fucked up this guy gets when he smokes marijuana.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #528 on: December 16, 2018, 11:20:03 PM »
Ah, I'm about to start Infinite Jest. I'm taking a three-month sabbatical and it's been on my list forever so it feels like now or never. I've never read anything else by him, but enjoyed that film The End of the Tour and have listened to a few of his essays and shorts on audio book.

Ha, and Large Noise, as a former long term employee of Waterstones, I can confirm that's just how we look at everyone...

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #529 on: December 17, 2018, 01:52:44 AM »
Ah, I'm about to start Infinite Jest. I'm taking a three-month sabbatical and it's been on my list forever so it feels like now or never. I've never read anything else by him, but enjoyed that film The End of the Tour and have listened to a few of his essays and shorts on audio book.

Ha, and Large Noise, as a former long term employee of Waterstones, I can confirm that's just how we look at everyone...

The last time I was in Waterstones, I was served by a young woman who could very well be the politest, most cheerful shop assistant I've ever encountered. Like, she was so overwhelmingly cheerful that I felt guilty just responding with an 'er, thanks' to her overly effusive patter. Then again, I was buying Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside of Me, so perhaps I was giving off certain vibes.

Regarding Infinite Jest, it just so happens to be one of my novels. Damn I love that book, but then I also understand why other people hate it. DFW's fiction is just so damn exhausting to read, but I happen to have a soft spot for these kind of bloated, pretentious, self-indulgently maximalist tomes.

tookish

  • Fool of a Took
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #530 on: December 17, 2018, 06:37:35 AM »
I just finished The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell. One of the better horrors I've read this year. Something deliciously du Maurieresque about the style.
In terms of plot it was far from ground-breaking but the writing was utterly delightful.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #531 on: December 17, 2018, 07:41:49 PM »
In my continuing efforts to read sci-fi classics I should have read years ago, I've just completed 'Slaughterhouse 5' by Vonnegut.
Excellent read, with some highly amusing stuff. I recommend.

Next up 'High Rise' by Ballard.

Large Noise

  • class at fighting
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #532 on: December 17, 2018, 10:32:41 PM »
In my continuing efforts to read sci-fi classics I should have read years ago, I've just completed 'Slaughterhouse 5' by Vonnegut.
Excellent read, with some highly amusing stuff. I recommend.

Next up 'High Rise' by Ballard.
Aye it's dynamite.

Need to read more Vonnegut. Was thinking of Breakfast of Champions, anyone got any recommendation?

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #533 on: December 17, 2018, 11:32:49 PM »
Aye it's dynamite.

Need to read more Vonnegut. Was thinking of Breakfast of Champions, anyone got any recommendation?

I'm really fond of Breakfast of Champions, though the man himself didn't read it. My personal favourite is Deadeye Dick, as I found it the most relatable and perceptive about society. He phoned in some of his short stories as a young writer, but really all his novels are interesting and entertaining at the very least, even the messy ones like Slapstick have some of his most beautiful sentences and observations.

chveik

  • eyeballs to entrails, my sweet
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #534 on: December 17, 2018, 11:35:43 PM »
Need to read more Vonnegut. Was thinking of Breakfast of Champions, anyone got any recommendation?

Cat's Cradle is very good

Large Noise

  • class at fighting
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #535 on: December 18, 2018, 01:22:03 AM »
Cheers, Cat’s Cradle was another I’ve heard good thing about so might go for that.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #536 on: December 18, 2018, 06:45:09 PM »
Sirens of Titan.

People always say Mother Night is one of his best- it is good but different to his later books.

I am fond of his retirement from writing fiction book, Timequake.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #537 on: December 18, 2018, 07:53:51 PM »
Why don't you start a Kurt Vonnegut thread?

buttgammon

  • You can't trust a man what's made of gas
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #538 on: December 18, 2018, 07:57:49 PM »
Reading Beckett's Watt at the moment, and really enjoying it. It's very much the start of the repetitive prose that marked the slightly later Trilogy, but keeping some of the Joycean tinge of Murphy. It also happens to be very, very funny.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #539 on: December 19, 2018, 03:08:42 AM »
Regarding Infinite Jest, it just so happens to be one of my novels. Damn I love that book, but then I also understand why other people hate it. DFW's fiction is just so damn exhausting to read, but I happen to have a soft spot for these kind of bloated, pretentious, self-indulgently maximalist tomes.

Ah, that's grand. Due to my own writing project, I haven't been able to read any more than 2 or 3 books in the last four months, probably the least I've read in ten years or more, and my brain is STARVING. I'm so down for an enormous, overwhelming, over-shooting tome. Also, with no work for three months I can hopefully dedicate the time and head space it requires.