Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 96154 times)

buttgammon

  • You can't trust a man what's made of gas
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #780 on: November 19, 2019, 10:07:39 AM »
I remember it being extremely bleak for a long time, then a child kinda tortures a cat, then some more bleakness, then it finishes. I'm being facetious, a little.

That sounds about right based on the book. There's probably lots of rain and mud too.

Although I've never seen it, I have heard about the cat scene, which caused some problems with the BBFC who seemed to think it was real.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #781 on: November 19, 2019, 02:11:14 PM »
I have heard about the cat scene, which caused some problems with the BBFC who seemed to think it was real.
It's one of those scenes where I hope they faked it, but I genuinely can't see how. To say I have no desire to revisit it would be an understatement (no disrespect to Bela Tarr, but I doubt there's anyone who wants to watch Satantango more than once).

To drag this back on topic, I'm giving "The Dark Tower" a go finally. Not bad so far!

dr beat

  • You're dealing with loved ones, I won't have it
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #782 on: November 26, 2019, 10:30:56 AM »


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'm definitely going to give this a go.  I found an extract online and it brought to mind the rather excellent Another Nickel in the Machine blog about scandalous 20th century London: http://www.nickelinthemachine.com/

dr beat

  • You're dealing with loved ones, I won't have it
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #783 on: November 29, 2019, 08:58:01 AM »
Started reading DFG last night.  Absolute corker. Cheers for the recommendation!

I noticed Paul Willets' Fear and Loathing in Fitzrovia is cited in it, which is what I might turn to next.

buttgammon

  • You can't trust a man what's made of gas
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #784 on: November 30, 2019, 12:54:57 PM »
Just started Patience by Toby Litt and bloody loving it so far. It's about a disabled boy in a Catholic care home in the late 1970s who has very little movement, so he's basically forced to look at whatever surroundings his wheelchair is put in, and he conjures up extremely rich images from seemingly mundane things like the gradient of the paint on a white wall, the detail in a biro drawing of a man getting a blowjob, or a gherkin being thrown against the window of a coach. I feel like this post isn't doing justice to it, but it's great anyway.

Kryton

  • (Not) An actual threat to humanity.
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #785 on: December 02, 2019, 05:02:54 PM »
Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell.
Only a couple of chapters into it, but it's absolutely gripping.
The execution of the Lollards was a chilling scene, the author is unflinching in his depiction of the clergy back in the day. Foul-mouthed hypocrisy.
Beautifully written too.

Famous Mortimer

  • War - it's fantastic!
    • International Syndicate of Cult Film Critics
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #786 on: December 03, 2019, 02:35:29 PM »
Bloody hell, it took me a long time to read part 1 of the Dark Tower. Old me would have knocked it off in an afternoon. I hear it gets a bit odder as it goes on, so I look forward to whatever happens to be wandering through Stephen King's mind at the time being put on the page. I've just looked at the back cover of part 2 and Roland goes to the then-present day USA in the 1980s. Hmmm.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 04:41:45 PM by Famous Mortimer »

Artie Fufkin

  • Let Me In, Sparks
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #787 on: December 03, 2019, 03:20:50 PM »
I'm about a quarter way through Doctor Sleep. He don't 'alf waffle on, don't 'e? It's bloody good waffle, mind.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #788 on: December 03, 2019, 06:05:30 PM »
Big Town- Doug J Swanson
Pretty much always the non-fiction for me. On this occasion however, I found myself ill with nothing to read, and chanced on this down the cats protection charity shop. I remembered enjoying it around fifteen years ago. Hard-boiled, smart dialogue and one liners, and enough twists to legitimately be referred to as a “caper.” Always like these down-at-heel detective stories. Probably ought to see if he's got anything else on a***zon[1]

Apathy For the Devil- Nick Kent
Enjoyed this. Much what you'd expect from Kent. Malcolm McClaren comes across much more of a c*nt than I'd hitherto suspected. Should have been obvious really.

Supercrash – Darryl Cunningham
A graphic novel about the 2008 financial crash, linking it to Randian philosophy (with a potted life-history), and neo-liberalism. Very interesting, though obviously bleak.

________________________________
[1] Just checked and there's a few in the same series, which pleases me. I remember now I read 96 Tears by him as well.

Captain Crunch

  • Twister, Dustbuster, Hospital Bed
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #789 on: December 04, 2019, 01:22:32 PM »
I just got back from a holiday, which is where I have the sufficient mental space to do most of my reading nowadays. This time I chose to re-read something that I had loved on first encounter. It was between The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead, and The Sound and the Fury. In the end I settled for the Faulkner, and largely binged it on a night train from Bucharest to Istanbul. It's hardly a novel that needs another reader singing its praises, but it is staggering. A dreamlike, horrible tale of obsession, failure, childhood and adulthood, sex, race, God and time.

I’m reading The Man Who Loved Children now and it’s one of those books where five pages in you think “this is great” then 100 pages later you hate it because they’ve only just finished breakfast.   

Recently read the Teachings of Don Juan which I found very entertaining.  Especailly if you read all of Don Juan’s lines in the voice of Ren Höek. 

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #790 on: December 05, 2019, 09:06:38 PM »
The Axeman's Jazz by Ray Celestin - Really well written crime thriller set in New Orleans in 1919 and based on a true story where a series of murders took place supposedly committed by a jazz playing serial killer who was never caught. It even manages to include a young Louis Armstrong as a major character, and though this sort of thing isn't normally my cup of tea (I'm not sure why but thrillers are something I rarely read, though I should probably rectify that) I enjoyed it a lot, and the ending satisfied as well.

Artie Fufkin

  • Let Me In, Sparks
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #791 on: December 06, 2019, 08:03:54 AM »
The Axeman's Jazz by Ray Celestin
Yeah, I have this in my 'to read' pile. My brother has read the trilogy and loved it.

Artie Fufkin

  • Let Me In, Sparks
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #792 on: December 06, 2019, 08:04:57 AM »
And looking at my 'to read' pile, I wonder if I'll have the time to read them all, and yet I still keep grabbing them.....

buttgammon

  • You can't trust a man what's made of gas
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #793 on: December 06, 2019, 09:41:24 AM »
And looking at my 'to read' pile, I wonder if I'll have the time to read them all, and yet I still keep grabbing them.....

Always the way, isn'it it? (I've had a bit more time on my hands since tutorial teaching stopped a few weeks ago, so I'm actually down to the last book of the pile).

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #794 on: December 06, 2019, 03:51:25 PM »
Yeah, I have this in my 'to read' pile. My brother has read the trilogy and loved it.

I'm forcing a "One in, one out" process on myself right now, as I have 27 books in my "To read" pile, though I break the rule if I spot something in a charity shop I've wanted to read for ages (which keeps on happening, annoyingly, hence the ridiculous amount to catch up on!).

And I definitely plan to get the other two books in the trilogy at some point as I did like this a lot, I just hope they're as strong and don't diminish the effect it had on me. I'm a little dubious about the fact that Louis Armstrong appears in them too, he pulled it off once but doing it a second and a third time might be a bit much.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2019, 04:01:35 PM by Small Man Big Horse »

Artie Fufkin

  • Let Me In, Sparks
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #795 on: December 06, 2019, 04:42:28 PM »
I'm surprised Louis Armstrong pops up in those books.
I said pops up.
Pops up.
Pops.

Oh, never mind.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #796 on: December 12, 2019, 02:46:46 AM »
Stop Fannying About You Cunt And Sort Your Life Out- Jonas Hans

One of the newer self-help titles, like F*ck It and The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck, whose title exults in its profanity. Hans takes no prisoners as he exhorts the reader to "defeat the dragon of inaction" and join the select tribe of life's winners. Full of vim but ultimately disposable. His advice on quitting smoking- "bin the fags and stop fannying about" is particularly unhelpful.

Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #797 on: December 12, 2019, 02:49:04 AM »
Paying For It- Chester Brown (graphic novel)

Recommended by Gout_pony a while back. I thought it was good. Not quite what I was expecting. The author takes us through various encounters he had as a john, a punter paying for sex. In the intro he explains that some of the conversations he'd had with the prostitutes were edited to avoid giving away personal details that would make them recognisable. This is laudable, but I think the book suffered a little due to this- the women's characters were flattened somewhat. Still I found it interesting, and I've ordered another of his off the back of it. The ending was not what I expected, and rather touching I thought. The afterword contains a lengthy diatribe in favour of the legalisation of prostitution, which made a lot of sense.

buttgammon

  • You can't trust a man what's made of gas
Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #798 on: December 12, 2019, 09:14:49 AM »
Currently reading Last Witnesses, Svetlana Alexievich's harrowing account of the lives of children in the Soviet Union during World War II. It's composed of lots of small sections taken from interviews with people who survived the war. What is striking is that the majority of the people interviewed were orphaned; I'm not sure if this was a conscious decision she took or if that's just a reflection on the scale of destruction. It's an exceptionally grim book, but is well worth a read, especially if you've read Chernobyl Prayer.