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What Is Everyone Reading?


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#1 Demigod

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 02:54 PM

Personally Iíve just finished the elenium again. Good books although I hate the ending of the second series it seems so rushed. I am currently reading Going Postal for what must be the fifth time now.

Next I may start on the Magician, now I have a copy that doesnít fall apart.

Iíve been thinking of picking up the Clive Cussler books since I saw the film. It was amusing and the books have the potential of being better than the film.

#2 Macsen

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 02:58 PM

Yesterday I read War of the Worlds, and the day before that I read the Da Vinci Code (which was quite hilariously dumb, but strangely amusing). Today I'm not reading anything because I'm writing an article about terrorism. Ka-blamo! :ph34r:

I've read Going Postal (much better than the awful Monstrous Regiment) and have read the first few hundred words of Magician, but gave up because I forgot my copy somewhere.

Edited by Macsen, 03 May 2005 - 03:00 PM.


#3 Demigod

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 03:07 PM

I must admit I havenít touched war of the worlds since school. I can barley remember it, thanks to the films :D I can remember I didnít like it, but that was probably because I had to read it.

That holds true for most of the books I was told to read at school. All of them, save Shakespeare, are actually ok. It was being forced to read them I didnít like, being dyslexic doesnít help either I suppose :roll: :rolleyes:

But Shakespeareís works ( the five or so plays I have endured) are the most boring contrived and plot holed drivel I have ever had the misfortune to read.

#4 sparhawk

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 03:18 PM

Currently I read a four volume series (I'm at volume 3 right now) about the speeches of Hitler. This was collected and commented by a historian Domarus (not to confuse with out Domarius :) ). Quite interesting, because when I was a kid and we learned about this stuff in scholl the general tendency was that our politicans before Hitler were the good guys and Hitler was the ultimate evil. Now this set this straight somewhat, because it seems that our own politicians (Austrian) that were in power at that time, also were not THAT much better than Hitler, only less successfull. So when I finish this book, I guess I have to see what others wrote about this.
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#5 Macsen

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 03:33 PM

But Shakespeareís works ( the five or so plays I have endured) are the most boring contrived and plot holed drivel I have ever had the misfortune to read.

You fool, Shakespeare kicks ass! I can't say otherwise or a hidden society of ideological octapusess would rip all my writen words to shreds and place them on a big bonfire. When you first become a published author they show you pictures of the grassy knoll. "I think you get the message, Shakespeare is god, while your work I shall wipe my crevasse with."

War of the Worlds is more interesting than a great read. It's the first alien invasion fiction ever, and you can see its effect on almost all sci-fi since then. It's bloody descriptive though.

Quite interesting, because when I was a kid and we learned about this stuff in scholl the general tendency was that our politicans before Hitler were the good guys and Hitler was the ultimate evil.


Controversial opinion this way! I don't actually consider most low level members of the Nazi party to be that evil, because for me the ultimate evil requires selfishness. If a member of the Nazi party genuinly believed he was improving the world, even if he was completely wrong, does that make him evil? I'm talking about the footsoldiers here, not the wholly evil Hitler & Co (pic of grassy knoll flashes up again). Much of the country was caught up by Nazi fever, and if we are to believe that any one that could support the Nazis is evil then we believe that humanity is pretty shit on the whole. Which I choose not to believe, for mental health reasons.

#6 oDDity

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 03:47 PM

' I was only following orders' is the excuse for many an atrocity.
I doubt a single member of the nazi party of the German military truly believed they were improvong the world. They wanted to dominate it pure and simple, and they all knew they'd get their own little share if they won.
I'm reading 'Alexander of Macedon' A biography of ..well guess who.
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#7 sparhawk

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 03:53 PM

Controversial opinion this way! I don't actually consider most low level members of the Nazi party to be that evil, because for me the ultimate evil requires selfishness.


Teh term "ultimate evil" is quite probablematic IMO anyway. Because I don't really believe that there are many people who would really qualify for that.

If a member of the Nazi party genuinly believed he was improving the world, even if he was completely wrong, does that make him evil? I'm talking about the footsoldiers here, not the wholly evil Hitler & Co (pic of grassy knoll flashes up again).


The problem is, by that definition, then also the upper hierarchy of the Nazi organisation was not really evil. Goebbels was a strong supporter of getting rid of the Jews and didn't mind killing them. From what I read he was much stronger in that than Hitler himself. But he seemed to believe doing a good thing, at least for Germany. From this book that I currently read, Hitler was not more against the Jews than many other people at this time. The major issue why he still decided to kill them was pure rational speculation based on wrong assumptions. IMO this makes it much more frightening. If somebody kills people because he is concived that he does something good, I can understand it, but if somebody kills people just because he sees some personal advantage to it, shows a great lack of emotions and disregard of live. One of the major reasons why Hitler decided to kill the Jews was not because he was an enmy of them, but rather because he was convinced that there was some super secret jewish world goverment behind the goverments of the various countries (mainly England and USA) who had the real power. And he thought that when he is suppressing the jews in his country, this secret goverment would influence the opposing forces to let him free reign against russia. Since there doesn't exist such a secret goverment, there was no effect and the only thing that he could still do was to kill them in order to force this non existing goverment to stop opposing him. So he thought he had some hostages and never believed that these hostages were worthless for what he hoped to use them for.

Much of the country was caught up by Nazi fever, and if we are to believe that any one that could support the Nazis is evil then we believe that humanity is pretty shit on the whole. Which I choose not to believe, for mental health reasons.


Contrary to that, the Nazi fever was not so widespread as it is made to be. Of course the poeple believed in Hitler before because he managed to free Germany from the Versaille contract and other restriction as well as increasing the econmy, but at the time the war was beaking out he lost many sympathies in the general population. Even though this sounds ridicicouls, because this was such a large scale mass killing, but the general population didn't know much about this. Many normal people didn't even know about the reprisal that the jews had to endure.
Gerhard

#8 sparhawk

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 03:59 PM

' I was only following orders' is the excuse for many an atrocity.
I doubt a single member of the nazi party of the German military truly believed they were improvong the world. They wanted to dominate it pure and simple, and they all knew they'd get their own little share if they won.
I'm reading 'Alexander of Macedon' A biography of ..well guess who.

Following orders is just a cheap excuse. But it's not really that simple. Many in the part of the SS, which was the main executor, were acquired when they were rather young and they were given a strong propaganda training so that they believed in the things they did.

A good movie how this works is Napola. IMO it is still a bit soft, but at least it shows how they were trained. Another good movie is "Die Welle". I don't know if this movie exists in other languages, but this was IMO really one of the best movies to show how such a system can be put in place. And if you watch this and think inside the movie (without knowing what it ultimately will lead to) then it is just one logical step after the other, and it is very hard to escape this mechanism.
Gerhard

#9 Macsen

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 04:07 PM

The problem with this is that it's impossible to know what people were thinking 60 years ago, and as you said there's no real definition for evil. And to be honest I haven't really studied this chapter of history very closely, to my shame. :(

I'd be interested in knowing how much discussion of World War II there is in Germany. According to a female student from Germany at the college I went to it simply wasn't discusses at all. Her granfather didn't have a left arm and she had never asked him why.

Over here people love talking about the war because 'we' won. Such is the power of nostalgia that people look back on it as some kind of golden age, when the whole country pulled together as one patriotic unit, which is rubbish of course.

#10 sparhawk

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 04:14 PM

Personally I was always interested in this aera. As I'm an Austrian living Germany I have two different views on this. :)

In Austria my grandmother was never shy telling me something. It was not as if she talked about it all the time, but when I asked she never evaded me either.

On the other hand here in Germany I had the impression that this actually IS something that is not talked about much. It's not as if I run around and ask everybody, but in the cases where I happened to mention it, the general answer is on the line of "I'm not really interested in this topic and I'm to young anyway."
In a few days it is the 60 year aniversary when the war has ended and this IS a topic right now, but this is more the offical celebration.
Gerhard

#11 oDDity

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 05:21 PM

Yesterday I read War of the Worlds, and the day before that I read the Da Vinci Code (which was quite hilariously dumb, but strangely amusing).

Are they very short books, are you a fucking speed reader, or do you just have a lot of time on your hands?
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#12 oDDity

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 05:32 PM

I thnk it's probably embarrasing for Germans, I'm sure they'd like to brush it unfer the carpet and forget it ever happened.
On the other hand, if they'd won, we'd all be speaking vulgar Deutsch and eating a diet consisting entirely of huge suspicious sausages and sauerkraut)

Actually, what would have happened if Germany had sucessfully captured and occupied every country in Eurpoe, is that it would have been unsustainable for any length of time. The resulting guerrilla and terrorist warfare of resistance groups would have been unbreabale on such a large sacle for the German occupiers, and the newly captured German empire would justb as quickly been lost again.
Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.
- Emil Zola

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#13 Napalm

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 05:56 PM

How did this get from a discussion of german empire building from what bokos we've read.... anyways....

#14 Macsen

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 06:05 PM

Are they very short books, are you a fucking speed reader, or do you just have a lot of time on your hands?

I'm a speed reader, War of the Worlds is a very short book, you don't have to engage your brain while reading the Da Vinci Code, and I read on getting up, the evening, and going to bed, and during my lunch time. The rest of the time I hassle people over the phone and invent moral panics. And sometimes I log onto this forum.

#15 god_is_my_goldfish

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 07:55 PM

Haven't been reading recently, but over the summer i will be reading "Life of Pi" and "the neapoleon of notting hill" :)

(as well as neuromancer if i ever get around to it)
http://www.thirdfilms. com
A Thief's Path trailer is now on Youtube!
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=QpCej-ZIQeg

#16 Macsen

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 09:02 PM

I've always preferred writing to reading, really. I want to write a full novel in English at some point. If I'm going to continue writing novels in Welsh I'm going to have to make some extra money on the side to buy that kind of time. You can get grants to write novels in Welsh, but they're only enough to last you about three weeks, and you probably wouldn't have a job by the time you finished. :wacko:

I think I'll write a steampunk adventure set in a futuristic prohibition era city, where a teetotaler called Renzatic must bust up the smuggling ring run by the mysterious gangster known only as 'Fingernail', who is protected by his two vicious henchmen, the mysterious artist/assassin Springheel and the angry Irishman oDDity. He is helped in his quest by the chief of police Sparhawk, the technical expert Ishtvan, and the young photographer Dram, who dreams of getting his big break and moving to sunnier climes downunder (he leaves on a giant zeppalin at the end of the novel). Renz' partner in all of this is Goldfish, who sighs an apathetic 'meh' at the thought of tackling crime and instead enjoys life down in the local Speakeasy. During his quest Renzatic loses sight of his goals in life and sinks into an alcaholic depression, before the reformed New Horizon sobers him up and sets him back to work.

#17 Ishtvan

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Posted 03 May 2005 - 11:06 PM

I just got around to playing Silent Hunter III on the realistic difficulty settings, so I've been reading about naval charting and the various methods for programming the freaking Torpedo Data Computer with a firing solution. So far I have had more success "eyeballing" it than using the geometric solution where you approach at a 90 degree course.

Other than that and reading papers on integrated optics for work, haven't been reading much in novel-form lately. I found out there's a new L.E. Modesitte Recluce novel that I haven't read yet, so I might give that a try (even tho the protagonist will probably have an identical personality to the previous ones, and he will probably be apprenticed to a craftsman of some kind, and will probably talk in detail about eating mutton :) )

#18 Darkness_Falls

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 01:42 AM

I think I'll write a steampunk adventure set in a futuristic prohibition era city, where a teetotaler called Renzatic must bust up the smuggling ring run by the mysterious gangster known only as 'Fingernail', who is protected by his two vicious henchmen, the mysterious artist/assassin Springheel and the angry Irishman oDDity. He is helped in his quest by the chief of police Sparhawk, the technical expert Ishtvan, and the young photographer Dram, who dreams of getting his big break and moving to sunnier climes downunder (he leaves on a giant zeppalin at the end of the novel). Renz' partner in all of this is Goldfish, who sighs an apathetic 'meh' at the thought of tackling crime and instead enjoys life down in the local Speakeasy. During his quest Renzatic loses sight of his goals in life and sinks into an alcaholic depression, before the reformed New Horizon sobers him up and sets him back to work.

Cool! What about Darkness Falls? Maybe mention me in the Foreward as the creative genius who inspired you to write this book. Not true, of course, but all books need an inspiration. What do you think? :rolleyes:

#19 sparhawk

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 01:48 AM

I just got around to playing Silent Hunter III on the realistic difficulty settings, so I've been reading about naval charting and the various methods for programming the freaking Torpedo Data Computer with a firing solution. So far I have had more success "eyeballing" it than using the geometric solution where you approach at a 90 degree course.

Aha! This is the only option that I currently have turned off. I managed to identify a ship successfully, but I have no idea how to calculate all this stuff. I guess I have to read this up a bit. I also thought that eyballing is probably much better.
One thing that strikes me though is the identification of a ship. I mean, they are barely able to be seen in real weather from that distance, so I wonder how they ever could identify a ship without getting to close.

Apart from that I have to look and see if a new chapter of "Wheel of Time" is finally out. The first books of this series was really great, but by the time it reach volume 7 or eight it became dragging and boring. Seems that Jordan lost his ideas or interest in the series, or both. I hope this will get to an end before he dies (or me).

So Macsen, if you start to write books, don't drag them out to much or keep them interesting. :)
Gerhard

#20 Darkness_Falls

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 02:10 AM

Oh yeah, I'm reading a book called Ishmael. At the same time, I'm also sporadically reading through Visual Studio ASP.NET and Visual C++.NET books. I'll probably never get through these latter two ;) Or if I do, I probably won't understand or remember them.

#21 oDDity

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 02:49 AM

I thought the wheel of time was shit, and Jordan is a worse author. That's judging by the first book, which should be the best. Compare that with Goodkinds' first book in his similar series.
If anyone hasn't read the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, then you should, also, the Talisman by the dame author is great.
King makes Jordan look like a 5 year old scribbling nonsense with a crayon.
I'd recommend Dark Tower on audio books actually, it enhances the whole a book greatly to have it read by a good actor, rather than flicking through it at breakneck speed like Macsen.

Edited by oDDity, 04 May 2005 - 02:52 AM.

Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.
- Emil Zola

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#22 Renzatic

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 02:58 AM

I disagree, Odd. I think it'd be better to read The Dark Tower books first, then listen to them on audiotape.

#23 Domarius

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:19 AM

Recently I read and finished GiGi, because it was short...
I have no time for this stuff.

#24 oDDity

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:23 AM

I disagree, Odd. I think it'd be better to read The Dark Tower books first, then listen to them on audiotape.

Why.
Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.
- Emil Zola

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#25 Renzatic

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 04:00 AM

Cuz, at least to me, the books always offer a richer experience.




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