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Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


TommyGun85 posted:

Theres no ebook version?

This is the official omnibus edition, as far as I can tell:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B005ISOYLK

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Hyrax Attack!
Jan 13, 2009

We demand to be taken seriously


Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation by Dan Fagin. In depth look at industrial pollution dumping in New Jersey and the impact on a small town. Expertly researched and well presented. At times felt a bit academic and it was hard to keep track of all the chemical names and legal proceedings, but definitely a recommend if interested in subject matter.

Shatterday, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Paingod and Other Delusions by Harlan Ellison. I had heard a lot about Ellison for years and had high hopes that his short stories would be a goldmine. I was disappointed, the heavy hitters like Jeffty Is Five or Paingod were fine but not amazing, and many others felt like mid to low-tier sci-fi. From Ellison's reputation I had been expecting quality similar to early George RR Martin or Stephen King like Sandkings or the Jaunt, but Ellison's talent isn't close to that level. His characters felt too generic. The chapter introductions where he would brag about how many awards a story won or how fast it was written got old fast.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


Megazver posted:

This is the official omnibus edition, as far as I can tell:

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B005ISOYLK

Awesome, thanks.

LOL, the paperback is $300...

quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



The language of thieves : my family's obsession with a secret code the Nazis tried to eliminate by Martin Pulcher. This book is about Rotwelsch a germanic style language mostly used by underclasses and german criminal elements. The stuff about Rotwelsch and it's roots from various other languagers was good, the majority of the book however was taken up by the author coming to terms with his grandfathers glossed over Nazi roots. Which came as a complete surprise to the author... <sarcasm>because Nuremberg, Germany where his family has lived for generations has no Nazi affiliated history at all</sarcasm>.

Hyrax Attack!
Jan 13, 2009

We demand to be taken seriously


quantumfoam posted:

The language of thieves : my family's obsession with a secret code the Nazis tried to eliminate by Martin Pulcher. This book is about Rotwelsch a germanic style language mostly used by underclasses and german criminal elements. The stuff about Rotwelsch and it's roots from various other languagers was good, the majority of the book however was taken up by the author coming to terms with his grandfathers glossed over Nazi roots. Which came as a complete surprise to the author... <sarcasm>because Nuremberg, Germany where his family has lived for generations has no Nazi affiliated history at all</sarcasm>.

Dang, that's no good. An author discussing how a topic relates to their family can be hit or miss, but when it misses hoo boy. I read a book about the history of grocery stores and how items are sourced and layouts set up was fascinating. The parts about the author exhaustively describing how his recently deceased father would shop for groceries, and exactly what eulogy was delivered, felt like stuff the editor should have told him to cut.

Not the Messiah
Jan 7, 2018


Buglord

TommyGun85 posted:

Theres no ebook version?

It's available in ebook form on Kobo US - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-chronicles-of-master-li-and-number-ten-ox

Only on the US store - I had to go through some gift card region switching nonsense to get it. Discovered this after I'd read about a third from a version I downloaded because I couldn't find it legally here new, but I loved it so much I felt compelled to buy it by any means necessary.

nonathlon posted:

That whole series is awesome. Just a perfect little creation dropped into our hands. I assume that it didn't do well at the time of release, or we'd be seeing Volume 17 and spinoff series.

Yeah, reading about it is a bit sad - apparently the author initially planned to do seven books in the series but got so fed up of publisher incompetence that he gave up on it (although he did later say he'd pretty much written all he could of it and just had no other big ideas). Bridge of Birds won the world fantasy award, which is something I guess. Just a shame its remained a cult classic all this time and that the series are the only books Barry Hughart wrote - the prose and storytelling is just so utterly beautiful and effortlessly charming it really feels like it should be a total standout, and I would've loved to see what else he could do. As it is he only ever wrote the three books in the series and he died in 2019, so this is all we'll ever get

Not the Messiah fucked around with this message at 17:18 on Apr 26, 2021

Sisal Two-Step
May 29, 2006

mom without jaw
dad without wife


Hyrax Attack! posted:

Shatterday, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Paingod and Other Delusions by Harlan Ellison. I had heard a lot about Ellison for years and had high hopes that his short stories would be a goldmine. I was disappointed, the heavy hitters like Jeffty Is Five or Paingod were fine but not amazing, and many others felt like mid to low-tier sci-fi. From Ellison's reputation I had been expecting quality similar to early George RR Martin or Stephen King like Sandkings or the Jaunt, but Ellison's talent isn't close to that level. His characters felt too generic. The chapter introductions where he would brag about how many awards a story won or how fast it was written got old fast.

Man, I remember picking up an Ellison anthology out of curiosity because one of my favourite authors loved his stuff. Like you, I was disappointed. Most of the stories were on the same level as a middling episode of the Twilight Zone. Some were just outrageously bad. The worst was probably a 'story' about gargoyles coming to life and killing and maiming everyone. There was no character, no plot, just descriptions of people being brutally murdered in gory fashions. I suspect it was written as a middle finger towards someone, although I have no idea who.

I couldn't even finish Book of Lamps and Banners by Elizabeth Hand. I liked the first two books in this series, but the third was disappointing and this one was just dull. Prose was boring, dialogue was bad, story was meandering. I got about 140 pages into it, mostly by skimming, before giving up out of disinterest.

Also gave up on Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke. Maybe I'm just in a peculiar mood, I don't know. This book was fine but I just don't care about the detective character, or the mystery.

nonathlon
Jul 9, 2004
And yet, somehow, now it's my fault ...

Sisal Two-Step posted:

Man, I remember picking up an Ellison anthology out of curiosity because one of my favourite authors loved his stuff. Like you, I was disappointed. Most of the stories were on the same level as a middling episode of the Twilight Zone. Some were just outrageously bad. The worst was probably a 'story' about gargoyles coming to life and killing and maiming everyone. There was no character, no plot, just descriptions of people being brutally murdered in gory fashions. I suspect it was written as a middle finger towards someone, although I have no idea who.

A mild defence of Ellison - his work is very much of a period, maybe the 1970s and a certain angry young man attitude. A lot of it is middling and best enjoyed if you're an angry young man too. At a different time and age - perhaps not so good.

And Dangerous Visions? That's flat out awful

Meyers-Briggs Testicle
Aug 13, 2012



Temple of the Golden Pavilion by yukio mishima

all of his books are about psychopaths obsessed with ideals and they're great. some of his logic is difficult to follow just because of how esoteric it is but i think part of that is intentional on mishma's part.

you aren't supposed to be able to empathize with someone obsessed with a temple, or maybe you are?

Mister Kingdom
Dec 14, 2005

And the tears that fall
On the city wall
Will fade away
With the rays of morning light

Sisal Two-Step posted:

Man, I remember picking up an Ellison anthology out of curiosity because one of my favourite authors loved his stuff. Like you, I was disappointed. Most of the stories were on the same level as a middling episode of the Twilight Zone.

Shatterday was an episode of the 1985 Twilight Zone. Bruce Willis was the main character.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owr6FvvEeY0

Pocket Billiards
Aug 29, 2007
.

The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin.

This is my first time reading the series beyond the first book and I really am enjoying each book more than the last. The prose and worldbuilding is really outstanding.

artsy fartsy
May 9, 2014

You'll be ahead instead of behind. Hello!

On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Maybe its popularity would make more sense if I was a restless young man, or if I knew anything about the people the characters were based on. Whatever, I didn't enjoy it. At least it was short.

TommyGun85
Jun 5, 2013


Not the Messiah posted:

Just finished Bridge of Birds

I adored it completely.

Just finished this and it was one of the most fun and imaginative books Ive ever read. Fantastic.

an owls casket
Jun 4, 2001



Pillbug

Just finished The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa and liked it a lot, but hoo boy, despite that ending seeming inevitable, it was still crushing to read.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. I read it as a kid, and on rereading I didnít care for it. The most interesting part was the scholarís notes at the beginning describing the historical context and impact of the novel.

Reaverbot
Jun 13, 2010


Finished Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. I heard a lot of cautioning about this book going in and warnings that it was not up to snuff with his later works. I found it mostly pretty good outside of some weird meandering character moments and a little bit too much of the plot being based around people not being willing to tell each other things.

I really like Hrathen as a character, and his arc was great. Similarly, Sareneís sections were my favorite parts and seem almost like a prototype of the thief crew stuff in the first Mistborn book. Another high point is the whole final quarter of the book which is about a hundred times more insane than any other Sanderson books Iíve read and is basically a daisy chain of insane stuff being pulled out of everyoneís rear end all at once. It came off as a little contrived in sections but was exciting and occasionally amusing enough to keep me happy

I also finished Sherlock Holmes and the Shadwell Shadows by James Lovegrove. Like Elantris I was cautioned about this book but more people saying it was outright horrible. I didnít really think so but it definitely wasnít the most amazing thing in the world. As Lovecraft pastiche it is middling and doesnít really use the mythos very well, and as a Sherlock pastiche itís much the same because although it captures Watson and Holmes fairly well thereís not much of an overriding mystery to be solved that the reader canít instantly put together. It was ok but I got it for free, and it didnít grab me enough to seek out paying for any of the sequels.

Not the Messiah
Jan 7, 2018


Buglord

Finished The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. It was...okay? Enjoyable enough and I had a good chuckle in places, but didn't really do much for me really. Felt quite academic/overwrought in prose sometimes in a way I find hard to verbalise. Lil bit disappointed as I was hoping for great things, but hey ho!


TommyGun85 posted:

Just finished this and it was one of the most fun and imaginative books Ive ever read. Fantastic.

It's just so fun and lovely

Inspector Gesicht
Oct 26, 2012

500 Zeus a body.




The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo. Published in 1946, only translated in English recently.

Locked room mystery. 30's Japan. Newlywed couple found slashed to pieces in closed-off building. Introduces a large cast of characters at the start, but given the short page-time and the focus on mechanics over motive none of them are interesting. The detective feels very stock: a genius youngster who dresses like a hobo. Everyone praises his rear end before he does anything, and he doesnt even show up until the mid-point.

Okay book, but don't feel like like reading the 70 odd sequels.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


Inspector Gesicht posted:

The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo. Published in 1946, only translated in English recently.

Locked room mystery. 30's Japan. Newlywed couple found slashed to pieces in closed-off building. Introduces a large cast of characters at the start, but given the short page-time and the focus on mechanics over motive none of them are interesting. The detective feels very stock: a genius youngster who dresses like a hobo. Everyone praises his rear end before he does anything, and he doesnt even show up until the mid-point.

Okay book, but don't feel like like reading the 70 odd sequels.

I suspect this article about the genre this spawned is more interesting than the book itself:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/apr/27/honkaku-a-century-of-the-japanese-whodunnits-keeping-readers-guessing

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Inspector Gesicht
Oct 26, 2012

500 Zeus a body.




Megazver posted:

I suspect this article about the genre this spawned is more interesting than the book itself:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/apr/27/honkaku-a-century-of-the-japanese-whodunnits-keeping-readers-guessing

Yeah, thats where I heard it from. I prefer Poirot since it's less about rube goldberg machines and more about reading between the lines in testimonies.

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