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Ninebelow
ninebelow
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February 2013
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Ninebelow [userpic]
5 By 5, Innit

So, the ten books I haven't read meme that I said I would do ages ago. Like most people doing this I have a lot more than ten but these are the standouts from my nearest bookshelf.

The Unusual Life Of Tristam Smith by Peter Carey - I have read and loved the rest of Carey's work but the shape of this book (small and fat) is offputting.
The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson - Apparently it is a important novel in the development of fantasy but I can't be bothered.
Baudolino by Umberto Eco - Apart from The Name Of The Rose I haven't actually liked any of his novels.
Porno by Irvine Welsh - Went off the idea almost as soon as I had bought it.
A Bright Shining Lie by Neil Sheehan - See here.
The Crimson Petal And White by Michael Faber - Just too bloody long.
Godel, Escher And Bach by Douglas Hofstadter - Bought after a conversation with gonecaving many years ago.
The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro - His "difficult" novel.
Viriconium by M John Harrison - Right at the front of the in pile.
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis - See Tristram Smith.

I am unlikely to read any of them soon. Instead I do productive things like play on my GameCube and watch season three of Buffy.


  • I have now seen Carlos Jacott in Buffy, Angel and Firefly. Bothered.

  • Still with the Xander/Cordelia music. *sigh*

  • The appearance of Mr Trick and The Mayor. Good.

  • Yay! Faith!

  • What is the deal with The Bronze? Is it like The Young Ones where they get extra cash for pretending to be Light Entertainment?

I am now off to run around eating bananas and shooting zombies in the face.

Comments

Doomsday Book made for one of the most disappointing reads of 2005. It takes the frothy premise of To Say Nothing of the Dog and tries to superimpose a tragic story over it, with the result that the book becomes a Frankenstein's monster - neither tragedy nor comedy. Bear in mind, though, that I'm not a big Willis fan.

Viriconium, though lovely and quite fine in its own way, is a bit of a retrograde move if you've already read Harrison's later novels. A lot of the ideas that appear in his contemporary writing are in their embryonic stages in these novels, which makes for a interesting read if you're studying Harrison's development as a writer, but is rather disappointing if you're looking for something of the same quality as Light or The Course of the Heart.

The Crimson Petal and the White is just a tremendous amount of fun. Yeah, it is long, but for all its length I turned the last page wishing for more time in its universe (which wish, apparently, is now going to be granted as Faber has published a volume of stories set there).

is a bit of a retrograde move if you've already read Harrison's later novels.

Yeah, I can see that. I am thankful that I read The Centauri Device before Light and not the other way round.

I'm not a big Willis fan either but I will have to make time for the Faber.

I devoured The Crimson Petal and the White (I was stuck in Chicago airport with nothing else to read, but I don't think that's the main reason).

Season three = the best season. Do not listen to the liars who tell you otherwise.

Good.

However, I see that Whedon and crew have already started the "Character X inexplicably keeps something a secret casuing all over characters to overreact when they inevitably find out allowing the bad guys to profit from this disharmony." Man, I got sick of that plot line.

(Anonymous)

"Godel, Escher, Bach An eternal golden braid", the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Doug Hofstadter, remains on my desert island books. It's combination of maths, music, and science captivated me as a high school student in the 80's. I've reread it several times since, and still it retains it's appeal.

His more recent study of poetry and translation "La Ton Beau de Marot" (The beautiful sound/tomb of Marot) is an incredibly enguaging study of the problems and complexity of translation, and in particular of poetry, that might appeal to the more literary student (I'm a science geek!) in it's study of language. It's also a deeply personal, almost painful, account of his last days with his wife.

And this is now, what, 27 years since the original publication? In 1979. Get up off yer arse! (Though my engineering fiance put it down, so what does my rec count for?)

BTW the use of "it's" is blaimed on really good whiskey (21yr old brora).

I thought it was more a collection of essays than a novel, so the reluctant reader can dip into it at more or less any point. Mind, it's about twenty years since I read it so I could be quite mistaken.