Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 701912 times)

dave from knoxville

  • Space Champion!
  • ******
  • Posts: 5107
    • gaughin.edublogs.edu
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1590 on: April 13, 2011, 09:02:01 PM »
No, I don't have a problem with the number of pages. I'm just wondering if reading it in small chunks is a good way to read the book. That method worked quite well when I read "Gravity's Rainbow", not so much when I read "Finnegans Wake"...

I honestly think that would be an extremely rewarding way to read it, sincerely. While there are some longish sections, for large parts of the book there are natural breaks every 4 or 5 pages, and you could roll those pages around in your brain and more deeply understand how the pieces interconnect. Like watching one episode of Twin Peaks a week, instead of burning through it all at once.

Patience is a virtue.....

wood and iron

  • Achilles Tendon Bursitis
  • *****
  • Posts: 770
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1591 on: April 13, 2011, 09:26:40 PM »
I'm in the middle of The Turnaround by George Pelecanos. He writes some straight forward crime novels that are so heavily character centric and deal with such an atmosphere of being in DC. I really love what I've read of his so far.

masterofsparks

  • Space Champion!
  • ******
  • Posts: 3323
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1592 on: April 13, 2011, 09:41:56 PM »
I'm in the middle of The Turnaround by George Pelecanos. He writes some straight forward crime novels that are so heavily character centric and deal with such an atmosphere of being in DC. I really love what I've read of his so far.

I'm a big fan of his. I don't know what you've read, but I highly recommend The Big Blowdown, The Sweet Forever, and Hard Revolution.
I'll probably go into the wee hours.

wood and iron

  • Achilles Tendon Bursitis
  • *****
  • Posts: 770
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1593 on: April 13, 2011, 09:46:16 PM »
I'm in the middle of The Turnaround by George Pelecanos. He writes some straight forward crime novels that are so heavily character centric and deal with such an atmosphere of being in DC. I really love what I've read of his so far.

I'm a big fan of his. I don't know what you've read, but I highly recommend The Big Blowdown, The Sweet Forever, and Hard Revolution.

Thanks for the recommendations. I've read The Night Gardener and like I said, in the middle of The Turnaround.

B_Buster

  • Tattoo Addict!
  • Space Champion!
  • *****
  • Posts: 1160
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1594 on: April 13, 2011, 10:14:17 PM »

Ohmyfuckingod, isn't Reginald about the funniest character ever?

You're probably right. I would venture to guess FoTs would love this as well. And in the event you read Saki and don't find Reginald awesome don't worry. The storry will be over shortly. Munro took the phrase "short story" very litterally...

Reginald is great, but I'm more of a Clovis guy. Clovis is the King of the Smartasses.
See God, Kai

cavorting with nudists

  • Space Champion!
  • ******
  • Posts: 1883
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1595 on: April 13, 2011, 11:49:28 PM »
DFK, have you read the piece that Jonathan Franzen did on Wallace this week.


Speaking of Franzen (I've never read a word of his fiction, by the way):

He wrote a forward to this Swedish police procedural I just finished: The Laughing Policeman, by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, one of the books in the esteemed Martin Beck series. Now, reading this was a bit of a hardship case; I'd bought it, sometime in the last 1 1/2-2 years while looking for good wintertime travel reading, along with 2 of the VERY esteemed Henning Mankell books.

The first of the Mankell books, which I'd chosen basically at random, was probably the worst, least plausible mystery I've ever read: The Man Who Smiled. The second, which I read only because I'd already spent the money on it, was better (The Dogs of Riga), but it didn't overcome the memory of life-hours wasted reading The Man Who Smiled.

Well, The Laughing Policeman may not have been by the same author, but still, it was a Swedish police procedural, and I was already convinced that the genre is just not for me.  Halfway through the slog, I told my gf: "I'm not sure I can do this...everybody is miserable, everybody has a cold, Stockholm in 1967 sounds like the second-most horrible city ever, after New York 1n 2011, so why do I wanna subject myself to this?  Oh well, I'm kinda curious how the mystery turns out..."

And then, in the latter third, I suddenly became totally invested in the solution to the mystery.  It turned out to be a great crime novel!  And then I read Franzen's foreword and found out that in fact, all that misery and griping about every aspect of Stockholm society in the late 60's was not only the whole point of the Martin Beck mysteries, but also freakin' hilarious!  And then I realized he was right!  (There are passages in there about the Christmas season that are so unrelentingly acidulous that I'm already planning to post them somewehre duting next year's War On Xmas.)

Now I need to read the other nine Martin Beck novels.
"Another thing that interests me about The Eagles is that I hate them." -- Robert Christgau

masterofsparks

  • Space Champion!
  • ******
  • Posts: 3323
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1596 on: April 14, 2011, 05:05:50 AM »
The Laughing Policeman, by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo, one of the books in the esteemed Martin Beck series.

Do you know if this was the basis for the Walter Matthau movie? It seem likely, considering the odd title, but the movie is based in California (SF, maybe?), so it seems quite a change. I'm not familiar with the book, but I liked the movie. Of course, I like just about anything with Matthau, especially that weird phase during the 70s when they were trying to make him into a leading man.
I'll probably go into the wee hours.

cavorting with nudists

  • Space Champion!
  • ******
  • Posts: 1883
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1597 on: April 14, 2011, 06:40:23 AM »
Hmm, I wasn't familiar with this movie, but from the IMDB entry it does appear to have been based on this novel, yes.
"Another thing that interests me about The Eagles is that I hate them." -- Robert Christgau

wood and iron

  • Achilles Tendon Bursitis
  • *****
  • Posts: 770
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1598 on: April 14, 2011, 08:04:26 AM »
Sarah Vowell described Swedish detective novels on WTF Podcast as: "whenever there is a murder, the police sit around, drink coffee and discuss what this murder means for the society of Sweden."

cavorting with nudists

  • Space Champion!
  • ******
  • Posts: 1883
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1599 on: April 14, 2011, 08:44:02 AM »
I think Sjowall and Wahloo may have been kind of the originators of that. Actually, in this one, they don't really discuss the murder overtly in terms of its meaning; it just seems to exude from a society that's portrayed as irredeemably dank and dreary. Sort of like the murders in Chandler, Cain, MacDonald, and Ellroy just seem the natural expressions of southern California culture.
"Another thing that interests me about The Eagles is that I hate them." -- Robert Christgau

Ike

  • Achilles bursitis
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • I'm from North Dakota. You're not.
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1600 on: April 14, 2011, 09:21:42 AM »
150 pages (and about 15 pages of footnotes) into Infinite Jest. Heavens, it's good. It's nearly indescribably complex, but I will take a shot at it in the next few days. I recall fighting through the filmography of James Incandenza as an excruciating chore, but it hits me as much funnier this time.

Dave, the 2nd time read it things just jumped off the page to me--hit me in the breadbox.  There's a small section, well into the book, where Hal is protecting Mario--there are these traveling 'veil' salesmen that go around and try to sell veil to ugly people.  The way in which DFW writes this particular section, and the anger Hal feels (gets near-violent) breaks me. 

I won't/can't defend it properly, but Infinite Jest is my favorite book of all time.  Thinking of reading it again before starting Pale King--it's been about a decade now. 

Just finished 'listening' (no reading, but mp3 book, whatever that is) the War for Late Night, the O'Brien/Leno debacle.  Pretty good! 

I got a list a mile long for the summer (I'm off for 2 months).  Thinking of tackling The Instructions, too.  I can't remember, has anyone read that?  Christina, right? 
Well it's been a long time since I've had my favorite drink

Steve of Bloomington

  • Space Champion!
  • ******
  • Posts: 2261
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1601 on: April 14, 2011, 12:04:12 PM »
I have a copy of The Pale King, but I don't feel like I'm ready to take it on yet. The discussion of Infinite Jest is making me strongly ponder re-visiting it. I might just jump in midway or read bits like the aforementioned filmography.

dave from knoxville

  • Space Champion!
  • ******
  • Posts: 5107
    • gaughin.edublogs.edu
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1602 on: April 14, 2011, 03:45:45 PM »
I have a copy of The Pale King, but I don't feel like I'm ready to take it on yet. The discussion of Infinite Jest is making me strongly ponder re-visiting it. I might just jump in midway or read bits like the aforementioned filmography.

Just as an aside; there's a great segment, just over a page long that introduces a yogi who seems to live in the weight room of the tennis academy, balances on surfaces that should be too small to accomodate him, like the top of towel dispensers, and appears to survive by consuming the sweat of the exercising students. It's not a "gay thing", because his tongue is fast and small and rough; it's described as like being licked by a kitten. I read in there a suggestion that the yogi actually floats; ie levitates occasionally.

This little segment is one of dozens; it may come up later in the book, as many of the loose ends eventually tie at least loosely together, but even if it doesn't, it's so fun to read that it hardly even matters.

And wait until you start to learn of the short film "Infinite Jest 5"...

amiright??

  • Tarsel tunnel syndrome
  • ****
  • Posts: 464
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1603 on: April 15, 2011, 02:46:45 PM »

Ohmyfuckingod, isn't Reginald about the funniest character ever?

You're probably right. I would venture to guess FoTs would love this as well. And in the event you read Saki and don't find Reginald awesome don't worry. The storry will be over shortly. Munro took the phrase "short story" very litterally...

Reginald is great, but I'm more of a Clovis guy. Clovis is the King of the Smartasses.

Okay, I've been sold on Saki now, and I picked up a collection at the library.

Where do I start??

adamfromohio

  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • *
  • Posts: 25
  • Hulk Hogan's Mustache
    • Twitter
Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1604 on: April 15, 2011, 03:07:13 PM »
I have a copy of The Pale King, but I don't feel like I'm ready to take it on yet. The discussion of Infinite Jest is making me strongly ponder re-visiting it. I might just jump in midway or read bits like the aforementioned filmography.

Have you cracked it all? I'm dying to read it, but I'm apprehensive about "unfinished" works published posthumously.

I started All The King's Men yesterday, and I was eyeing The Pale King for my next one, but I don't want to pay for a hardback if I haven't heard anything about it.

 

anything