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Old 11-02-2012, 10:11 PM   #5151
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Yeah, it isn't as light as I had anticipated. But nevertheless, it's a substantially lighter read than The Brothers K, which is a chore.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:45 PM   #5152
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YBut nevertheless, it's a substantially lighter read than The Brothers K, which is a chore.
I still have nightmares from reading The Brothers Karamazov. Not sure how far you made it to in the book, but the scene where the three brothers, the father, and that wiser old man have a sit-down is a complete and total bore, not to mention it goes on for about 50 pages and feels like a thousand. Crime & Punishment and The Idiot are the better ones to check out if you want to read Dostoyevsky.
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Old 11-02-2012, 10:50 PM   #5153
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Well I've read Crime & Punishment, loved it, same with The Idiot. The Brothers Karamazov is just....so overdone. I know the scene that you're talking about and yeah, it does go on and on. All of the name calling and arguing was pretty funny though. It was also far more melodramatic than the other two novels.

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Old 11-03-2012, 08:13 AM   #5154
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Crime & Punishment was more interesting than I thought it would be - that was a good one for me too.
Brothers - got no idea what that one's about and probably won't try it or the other one.
I have a feeling they'd be over my head
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:42 PM   #5155
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No, dude, you really should check out EVERYTHING by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, including "The Brothers K" and "The Idiot" -- ESPECIALLY "The Idiot." He's one of the greatest writers of all-time and, in my very humble opinion, he crushes that other big Russian writer (what was his name again? I believe it's Tolstoy, but I'm not sure...) any day of the week. Do it for the classic literature, Ram. I know you're a sucker for classic literature, just like myself.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:05 PM   #5156
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I tried Dickens once and hated it, but I should probably try some other authors some time.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:21 PM   #5157
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I tried Dickens once and hated it, but I should probably try some other authors some time.
Dickens is always hit-or-miss for me -- I read David Copperfield and I felt like gouging my own eyes out with a rusty spoon, but Bleak House is fantastic, and I actually really dug A Tale of Two Cities (my A.P./Honors English teacher in high schoolmade us read it, and I remember being the one kid in class who was pretty positive about it). Though, to be fair to the other kids in the class, I had already discovered/read both Ulysses and Gravity's Rainbow, so Dickens was a nice, calm, walk in the park for me.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:23 PM   #5158
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I hated Great Expectations - I didn't even read it in high school - I just played multiple guess with the test on it. I don't give a crap about Pip.

The next familiar titles I have on my wish list are Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, When Worlds Collide and After Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie, Edwin Balmer, Dracula by Bram Stoker - I listened to that one years ago but I'd like a copy of it.

The rest of my list currently has a lot of History and True Crime.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:43 PM   #5159
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The next familiar titles I have on my wish list are Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
Great, great book. Enjoy it. I read it when I was a sophomore in high school and I ended up reading it three times that semester. Powerful stuff and shaped my world-view pretty profoundly the first time I stormed through it.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:10 PM   #5160
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It's one I've always wanted to read since I heard of it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 04:36 PM   #5161
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Finished Perks, and now I'm gonna try and brave Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:25 AM   #5162
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I am starting the Morningstar Strain series by Z.A. Recht
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:01 AM   #5163
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Just finished The Stand by Stephen King. Some spoilers below. If you are interested in the book, don't continue.

Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:

I have to say, what an anti-climatic end to the book! The story completely went downhill after Harold died. The only saving grace is King's characterisation. They were near-perfect, each and every one of them. The antagonist (Randall Flagg) was probably a thousand times more interesting than the protagonist (Mother Abigail), who couldn't stop whining about how old she was. Worse, she never had a concrete plan to do much of anything. I don't regret reading this book, because I made it through all 1400 pages of it. But the unedited version feels like it was running on a creative surge that lasted for about 1000 pages before it crashed and burned. The added chapter by King at the end of the book also complete destroyed the POINT of certain characters' sacrifice. All and all, I was disappointed by the last 300-400 pages, but it was still, overall, an overwhelming experience. He really shouldn't have killed Harold.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:15 AM   #5164
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"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde

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Old 11-11-2012, 02:15 PM   #5165
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:16 PM   #5166
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"The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
Is this your first time reading the book? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. I tackled it for the first time recently as well.

Anyway, I am moving on to Contact by Carl Sagan.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:19 PM   #5167
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Yes, it's my first time. I haven't gotten too far into it though, so I'll let you know.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:31 AM   #5168
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That's one I've thought about adding to my want list (DG)
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Old 11-18-2012, 08:08 PM   #5169
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You should. It's great so far.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:37 PM   #5170
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You should. It's great so far.
I actually stopped reading A Picture of Dorian Grey halfway through. Oscar Wilde is a great writer, yes, but the story was going nowhere. It felt like Wilde was using the book as a platform to tell the world of his views on love, lust, nature, art and everything else. That's fine if the story is moving forward but, by the halfway point, I couldn't take it any longer. Maybe I was expecting the actual plot (the picture of himself growing older) to be more pronounced. I hated the female character as well. Sounded like an airhead.

I've recently finished Contact by Carl Sagan. What an amazing book! It really set my mind thinking about... life and the universe, as broad as that may sound. Definitely a step up from the movie.

I've gone on to read American Gods by Neil Gaiman. This is the last time I am giving Gaiman a chance, because I've never liked anything that he's written. It does seem like this book is displaying his usual lack of characterization, though.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:53 PM   #5171
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I see what you mean about Wilde. He's not really a great storyteller.

Enjoy Gaiman, I love him. And yeah, Contact is a superb book.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:06 AM   #5172
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I still have to read Contact.

American Gods was interesting, but I wouldn't say Gaiman is one of my favorites, either.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:02 AM   #5173
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Would you say that Gaiman is over-rated? I certainly feel that he is. Everybody loves him.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:24 AM   #5174
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I wouldn't say that. I'm sure the people who love him have their reasons. Who are we to say he's overrated?
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:38 PM   #5175
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I suppose you are right. I stopped reading American Gods last night because I got tired with Gaiman’s Oh-look-what-I-can-do writing style, with one-dimensional characters and zero development. For one, as a reader, the book never interested me in a way that other books do. I felt like a spectator watching a story unfold, rather than being an active participant as a reader. Some authors write distant, laconic characters very well –*but not Gaiman. Shadow, the main protagonist, is so free of personality, charisma and character, and I found it hard to relate or sympathize with him in any way. That is not to say that the other characters, the Gods, were particularly interesting either. Gaiman would tell you that a character is actually Odin, then leave the description as that. He cannot write character descriptions beyond the colours of their eyes, skin and hair. When he does go to clothes, he oftentimes rely on colours like “black”, “blue” or “white”. In terms of vocabulary, he’s lacking in skills severely. This is probably due to the fact that, as a comic book writer, he never had to worry about the colour of characters’ hair. The colourist probably did the job for him.

Gaiman also tends to be too clever for his own good. He pats himself on the back whenever he changes a character’s name to something clever, like Low Key Lyesmith “Oh, I am so clever! People are going to love this”. I disliked how he would gloss of many characters and never delve too deep into anything. He’s lazy, almost egoistical and banks too much on the premise for anything else to flourish.

I’ve read many of his other books before. The Sandman series, Marvel 1602, some other Sandman spin-off book, Neverwhere, Good Omens and, now, American Gods. I’ve never liked any of them, and I’ve sworn off Gaiman books. He has some truly great ideas in his head, but he is probably better suited for episodic stories, or stories that do not require him to write anything more than 100 pages. Also, he’s probably better at screenplays, because he cannot describe anything for nuts. Characters and places were all blank slates to me, and it was difficult for me to relate to his imaginary world.
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