Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 58810 times)

icehaven

  • I will be in the bar, with my head on the bar
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #720 on: August 09, 2019, 11:11:36 AM »
A few pages in to Robert Webb's book and I've just remembered reading a review ages ago that said it was extremely sad and difficult read, but I think I got mixed up and thought that was something else and that this was a jaunt, but it's quickly becoming apparent it's not. Being unable to stop reading it in Jeremy's voice when he's pretending everything's fine when it isn't doesn't help much either.

New page weep show.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #721 on: August 11, 2019, 02:25:46 PM »
I bought the Gormenghast trilogy a while back, and finally finished reading the first one, "Titus Groan". There's a lot to really enjoy in it, but it really feels like a book that was serialised, and every month he came up 500 words short, so made the characters (mostly Prunesquallor and the twins) talk way too much. I don't know if it's me or the book, but there were sections that I really struggled to get through.

I had a quick glance at the plot of the second one, and that might be better, but I'm going to read something non-fiction for a bit and cleanse the palate.

Panbaams

  • Your name here
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #722 on: August 15, 2019, 12:49:32 AM »
I’m about a quarter of the way through The Kenneth Williams Diaries. Just 25 years’ worth of bitching and self-pity to go and I’ll be done.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #723 on: August 23, 2019, 08:45:37 PM »
Although I didn't particularly enjoy "Hawksmoor", I thought I'd give Peter Ackroyd's history of England a go. This is much better, even if I don't entirely buy all his conclusions. There's one bit where he talks about old mud huts, and how they were built from thousands of years ago up to the childhood of Thomas Hardy, who talks about it in one of his books. "Look at the continuation" goes Ackroyd, and I thought "my old house was built not too long after that (1900), and it's brick with indoor plumbing and everything".


Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #724 on: August 24, 2019, 07:37:34 PM »
Re-read Grant Morrison's run of Doom Patrol recently, and I always loved it when he'd bombard us with reading material in the letters pages/editorials.  Picked up When Rabbit Howls as he cited it as the source material for Crazy Jane.  Only just started reading it, but yeah, that book clearly hacked into his system.  It's written by all the various multiple personalities of a woman who was repeatedly raped by her step-dad between two and sixteen.  I think 72 of her selves have been recorded, while there are a further twenty or so in the deeper waters whose sole job is to deal with her pain; these ones never talk. They collectively refer to themselves as The Troops.  The original two-year-old victim of the rape, Trudy, immediately went to sleep, never to wake up, though one of the Troops talks about the one time he tapped into her sleeping mind and immediately became flooded with the embryonic, alien perspective of a toddler.  Looking forward to reading further, though it's already inspiring me as to what uncharted depths the mind is capable of reaching under pressure.  I know far too many people without even a single personality.  I have also found myself just staring into oblivion trying to fathom the sheer horror of what she, and apparently almost a quarter of us, have gone through at some point.

Not watched the TV series of Doom Patrol yet.  They have kept Crazy Jane's back-story, right?  Would be pretty miserable if the Tee Vee was still lagging behind where the comics industry was in 1989.

Twit 2

  • Penske material
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #725 on: August 25, 2019, 03:09:22 PM »
James O’Brien’s How to be Right. Like a centrist Littlejohn, full of hypocrisy and padded out with arse-achingly dull transcripts of him pwning people on his talk show.

Thomas Bernhard - Old Masters. Insubstantial but fun.

Kryton

  • Keep it neutral. Keep it safe. That's my motto.
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #726 on: August 25, 2019, 04:29:24 PM »
Currently reading Cari Mora by Thomas Harris. Feels like I'm reading something from a distance. The main villain is a bit menacing, but there's little investment in any of the other characters and I'm roughly half-way through. Not a patch on his earlier Hannibal Lecter stuff.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #727 on: August 26, 2019, 08:23:38 AM »
Just finished reading The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold by Tim Moore. He really is a very funny man.

buttgammon

  • You can't trust a man what's made of gas
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #728 on: August 26, 2019, 10:57:46 AM »
Reading Wuthering Heights for the first time in years. It's obviously brilliant but I'm getting an Emmerdale vibe that's spoiling it in places, as it's hard not to imagine some of the minor characters as Dingles.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #729 on: August 26, 2019, 10:52:34 PM »
Reading Capote's Answered Prayers, although I'm reading the stories in original publication order, so started with the omitted 'Mojave' then 'La Côte Basque' then the first two stories in the book. I'd have to agree with the general consensus on them which is that they're disappointingly frivolous but eminently readable

timebug

  • Serges Dad
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #730 on: September 07, 2019, 10:09:14 AM »
Just started a re-read of all 55 of Ed McBain's '87th Precinct' books. Read them over the years, (the first one came out when I was only six years old!) but not always in order,but just as I came across them. Such an influential series of books, that have been used as the basis for tv series and films; interesting that the few actual filmed adaptations of the books, were mostly crap.
Sometimes, the series worked (Hill Street Blues,anyone?) and sometimes they didn't (Ed McBain's 87th Precinct)
I just grew up with these, through to the final book in 2005 (I think) so a marathon achievement in longevity anyway.
Various friends have seen me reading them over time, and commented 'pulp trash'. Maybe. But I like them. So stuff the naysayers, I have the books ready to go and am already on the fourth, (having started about five days ago).

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #731 on: September 07, 2019, 09:59:47 PM »
How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup. Fun. Effortlessly odd.

buttgammon

  • You can't trust a man what's made of gas
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #732 on: September 08, 2019, 09:24:06 AM »
Re-reading DeLillo's Falling Man. It's way better than I remembered, up there with some of his best books in fact. There's the odd bit of cringeworthy sex, but the best bits are masterful. The scenes of the September 11th attacks are some of the best bits of prose he's ever written.

I'm also reading Crashed by Adam Tooze, an illuminating and troubling book about the 2008 financial crisis and the ten years of crisis that followed.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #733 on: September 10, 2019, 07:04:42 AM »
Read The Colossus by Sylvia Plath not so long ago. Needed a dictionary and felt a bit thick at times, but at least half the poems left me with a feeling of awe. Might even have thought out loud - How can you be this fucking good?! Since I've been writing poetry myself I also felt a little disheartened. It's not a good idea to write a poem in the morning and then read Plath in the afternoon because it will change how you feel about yours. So, overall, 0/10, bitch.

After that I needed something lighter so read Nomad by Alan Partridge. Brilliantly badly written and hilarious in parts. I like the fact that they even put some intentional errors in it.

Twit 2

  • Penske material
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #734 on: September 10, 2019, 11:38:05 PM »
If you write poetry and want to be awed/silenced then check out some of the stuff that Alice Oswald, Don Paterson, Denise Riley, Derek Mahon and Michael Longley write, to name a few of the best poets writing in the UK now. I haven’t read much Plath; Emily Dickinson’s more my cup of tea when it comes to US poets.

I found a cool little bookshop in Cromer and for a fiver picked up The Drowned and the Saved; Benvenuto Cellini’s autobiography; an anthology of Latin (as in classical, not South American) literature and a Norman MacCaig collection (I already have his complete poems, but this was 50p so why the fuck not).

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #735 on: September 11, 2019, 12:24:12 AM »
Twit, you got rid of your owl avatar! This is a bad thing!

Sin Agog

  • Dogs fucked the pope; no fault of mine
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #736 on: September 11, 2019, 10:02:37 AM »
If you write poetry and want to be awed/silenced then check out some of the stuff that Alice Oswald, Don Paterson, Denise Riley, Derek Mahon and Michael Longley write, to name a few of the best poets writing in the UK now. I haven’t read much Plath; Emily Dickinson’s more my cup of tea when it comes to US poets.

I found a cool little bookshop in Cromer and for a fiver picked up The Drowned and the Saved; Benvenuto Cellini’s autobiography; an anthology of Latin (as in classical, not South American) literature and a Norman MacCaig collection (I already have his complete poems, but this was 50p so why the fuck not).

That Cellini autobiograhy is the best,  All them Renaissance cats were psychopaths, but Cellini was one of the most entertainig. In between tales of pissing off various dukes and popes by relentlessly haggling for more money, he got up to so many great shenanigans, including casually shivving several people and (like Casanova) making a mint* out of pretending to be a necromancer.

*come to think of it, he also made a mint by making a mint

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #737 on: September 11, 2019, 09:47:16 PM »
Currently struggling through Norman Mailer's 'Armies of the Night'. Near the end of a massive Mailer binge, having read through all of his sixties stuff starting with Advertisments for Myself (still the book of his that I enjoyed the most). Beginning to tire of him, but he'll occasionally throw up a brilliant passage that keeps me hooked. Next stops are 'Miami', the essays about his mayoral run, and a re-read of his Moon Landing book. Mainly reading to investigate the oeuvre of the 'top' writer of a certain period, I have to say that I can see the appeal, he's eccentric and infuriating for sure, with some rather bizarre preoccupations (more metaphysical ruminations on faeces than I would like) but it's good stuff by and large. Will have to read more from other authors in the era to gauge if he was really capturing the spirit of the times as he's often heralded as doing.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #738 on: September 12, 2019, 12:39:17 PM »
If you write poetry and want to be awed/silenced then check out some of the stuff that Alice Oswald, Don Paterson, Denise Riley, Derek Mahon and Michael Longley write, to name a few of the best poets writing in the UK now. I haven’t read much Plath; Emily Dickinson’s more my cup of tea when it comes to US poets.

Thanks, I'll look into these.

Doomy Dwyer

  • This demeans us all
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #739 on: September 12, 2019, 05:21:01 PM »
I have recently read ‘Dead Fashion Girl’ by Fred Vermorel and I think you should too. It’s subtitled ‘A Situationist Detective Story’ although situationism is only ever referred to obliquely and in passing. But that’s situationism for you. Oblique and elusive. It is a virus. It has infected Fred and I, personally, am riddled with it, all down the left side mainly. We are all of us trapped in the spectacle. Vermorel is a writer of anti-biography, a Pistols insider and a man who knows a thing or two about the dark underbelly, the refracted image, the distorted reflection that offers the truest likeness.

Dead Fashion Girl tells the story of the unsolved murder of Jean Mary Townsend in 1954 but it tells us much, much more than that. It’s set in London, the demi-monde; a world of petty criminals, aspirant gangsters, aristocrats, fashionista’s, light entertainers, an emergent ravenous youth crawling from the shadows of WWII hellbent on rejecting the shackles and restrictions of their elders, and absolutely shitloads of raving queens. Chelsea Art College balls, Bombsite gangs, showbiz orgies (featuring Bob Monkhouse), the Duke of Edinburgh, the Cunt of the Month club, the twitchy curtains of suburbia, vanishing American Airmen and an ambiguous and surprisingly sinister cameo form Lionel Blair – all circle in unlikely orbit around a corpse in Ruislip. The Krays are there, of course, mere lads at this point, gawd bless ‘em, but learning their trade and already fucking horrible. It’s lavishly illustrated and beautifully fragmented. Published by Strange Attractor who knock out some right nice stuff. It’s a whodunnit of sorts, but as with most of these things I couldn’t really give a monkey’s who dun. Who shot JFK? Who was Jack the Ripper? Who killed this poor girl? Too little, too late, mate. After all, it was you and me. Oh yes, we are all of us trapped in the spectacle.

I have also read 'A Hero for High Times' by Ian Marchant which is a study of the counter culture from 1956 - 1994, with a focus purely on Britain, from the Beats to the Crusties and Battle of the Beanfield, which is when Marchant contends that any genuinely meaningful popular counter cultural movement ended and I tend to almost agree with him. It's a great book because it really hammers home just how much we’ve lost and just how deep the shit is that we currently find ourselves drowning in, although the drowning is gleefully consensual in many cases, the thick awful cunts. Thanks for that, Ian. He's a bit conversational and occasionally veers perilously close to being wacky, but never oversteps that dreadful mark, which is fortunate because that’s a fucking bad mark to cross.

non capisco

  • Don't wanna hear those vile trumpets anymore
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #740 on: September 12, 2019, 05:34:11 PM »
I have recently read ‘Dead Fashion Girl’ by Fred Vermorel and I think you should too.

Sounds ace, will buy. Who amongst us could possibly resist the prospect of 'an ambiguous and surprisingly sinister cameo from Lionel Blair'?

Doomy Dwyer

  • This demeans us all
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #741 on: September 12, 2019, 06:06:42 PM »
I can't recommend it enough, Mr Capisco. But I have. There's only a fleeting glimpse of Lionel, but it's enough to convey the chummy menace that has always lurked beneath the game hoofers bouffanted surface. It's never suggested that Blair is the murderer - and I'd be the last to accuse him, I can't stress that enough, if you're reading, Lionel. But he knows things, secrets that he'll take to his grave. There'd be no point in asking him, he's notoriously tight lipped. And a mimed confession would never stand up in a court of law anyway.

Funnily enough, Diane Dors features quite prominently in both books I've mentioned. She's quite a fascinating character.

Twit 2

  • Penske material
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #742 on: September 12, 2019, 07:52:18 PM »
Thanks, I'll look into these.

The complete poems of Mahon and Longley are indispensable. Paterson’s selected poems, plus 40 Sonnets. His aphorisms (The Fall at Home) are a joy, and if you’re feeling brave his 700 page tome on poetic theory. ‘Smith’, his guide to and selection of Michael Donaghy also great. All Oswald is good, Memorial and Dart are awesome. Riley’s selected poems. Also worth getting hold of MacCaig’s complete.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #743 on: September 14, 2019, 10:38:52 AM »
I'm liking Paterson so far. The Dead is excellent. Those last few words - part brute force, part mute kiss - really capture something of the power and fragility of flowers. Here's the full thing if anyone is interested: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poems/42216/the-dead-56d220ab577a8

Twit 2

  • Penske material
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #744 on: September 14, 2019, 11:06:02 AM »
His free translations (of Machado, Rilke, Desnos) are great:


Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #745 on: September 16, 2019, 03:06:00 PM »
"Future Days" by David Stubbs, about the history of krautrock. Pretty good so far.

The first volume of Peter Ackroyd's history of England took me ages to read, despite it being really good and well-written. I think my eyes started to glaze over with the endless kingly exploits (plus, the Gloucesters and Yorks towards the end of the book blurred together after a while) and I wish he'd dug a little bit more into the lives of ordinary people - although he did mention there was so little first-hand evidence of their lives, and it changed (relatively speaking) so little, that he decided not to bother. Still, it was excellent, and I'm glad I've got part 2 sat on my shelf waiting for me in the near future.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #746 on: Today at 02:14:55 AM »
The Book of the Die- Luke Rhinehart
reheated Zen. Read 2 thirds, done

Moby- Porcelain
Really liking this. Decided to read it after enjoying his second autobiography. Lovely descriptions of the early 90's New York techno scene. Surprisingly funny at times.

The Dice Man- Luke Rhinehart
Second reading of this, first was circa 1990. It surprises me how flimsy it feels now. I don't read a lot of fiction, and it's clearly just all made up, which to me makes it lose its previous luminescence. An interesting book all the same. Some kind of exploration of amorality and fate I suppose. The concept interests me a lot, more than the writing which is wry but also a bit laboured. Might start a thread at some point. *rolls dice* But not tonight