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What Is Everyone Reading?


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#26 pakmannen

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 04:13 AM

Currently re-reading A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. In my opinion one of the funniest/insane books ever. I think it actually won the Pulitzer when it was published, after the authors suicide.

#27 sparhawk

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 05:38 AM

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 started to read the Dark Tower stuff several times, but it was so boring that I never could finish even the first book. :) This was with that gunslinger, right?

I read a lot from Stepehen King and my favourite is IT. I already like dthe movie, which I saw before I started to read the book (usually it's the other way around) and I was really impressed with it. But after reading the book, I watched the movie again and it became really annoying because it misses a great deal and doesn't really explain much.

Also a very good one is "The Deathmarch". Don't know if this is really the original title because I read it in German and there it is called "Der Todesmarsch" or something like that. It's about this regime where they do a march regularly and you are not allowed to sleep or stop until only one is left, which is the winner and is supposed to live a live in luxury as a reward. He wrote this book under a pseudonym though.
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#28 sparhawk

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 05:39 AM

Not to forget the Discworld series. Which is my alltime favourite and one of the rare series where I collected each and every book of the series. :)
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#29 Macsen

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 06:19 AM

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

I don't do sequels, though all my books are set in roughly the same 'universe', a bit like Discworld (some old characters pop in and out). Maybe one day I'll get lazy and start churning identical books out like BigMacs.

I've read the whole Discworld series, it's great. Some of the plots are becoming a little predictable by now, but that's probably inevitable when you read 25+ books from the same author.

I don't like Stephen King much. IT was OK, but it was a bit repetitive (what they did in the past was repeated in the fututre). It's been a while since I read it so I don't remember much. I liked Pennywise the Clown though. Haven't seen the film.

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.


Don't worry, I don't just 'flick' through them. And I prefer having the book in my hand than listening to it on tape. It's the medium it was meant to be enjoyed in.

#30 gleeful

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 06:24 AM

i finished "The Doorkeepers" by Graham Masterton yesterday (pretty good, btw) and will start "The Ignored" by Bentley Little today. before that i read "The Association" also by Bentley Little (one of the stylistically best horror novelists working today imho).

kind regards
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#31 Demigod

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 06:39 AM

Well I surprised myself and picked up Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. A great and very warped book, I wish he would do a sequal.

I may have to find my copy of good omens after reading this.

#32 oDDity

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 06:39 AM

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

Nonsense, it's just the difference between listening to the words instead of looking at them. Verbal storytelling came long before the written word, and is superior. A book is a cold collection of abstract symbols on a page, whereas a good storyteller can enhance that enormously with all the subtle nuances of speech.
A book is just more practical, which is the only reason they have any popularity.
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#33 oDDity

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 06:44 AM

Not to forget the Discworld series. Which is my alltime favourite and one of the rare series where I collected each and every book of the series. :)

THey're a bit hit and miss though. I enjoyed Going Postal which is the first one I tired, but the next ones I tried -Wee Free Men and Witches Abroad -were both rather tedioius. They're also a bit lightweight and short, like he isn't putting much effort into them. They're more liike literary snackfood than novels really.
Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.
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#34 Macsen

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 06:45 AM

Nonsense, it's just the difference between listening to the words instead of looking at them. Verbal storytelling came long before the written word, and is superior. A book is a cold collection of abstract symbols on a page, whereas a good storyteller can enhance that enormously with all the subtle nuances of speech.
A book is just more practical, which is the only reason they have any popularity.

Good point, oDDity. But in this day and age the practicality of a book is a huge bonus. The problem is that when you listen to a book someone else is interpreting the book for you; it's an added barrier between yourself and the author. I don't read translations for the same reason, as it is someone's interpretation of what the author was tring to say rather than the author's own bare words on a page, to b interpreted as you see fit. If the author himself was reading, and changing and adding to it spontaneously as h went along, that would be fine.

#35 sparhawk

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 06:51 AM

That's why I always prefered to read the Discworld (and most other books) in the original language. And there is a big difference for sure at least in the Discworld series.
Gerhard

#36 Macsen

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 06:59 AM

Out of interest, what languages do you speak? German, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian? I can speak, read and write Welsh, read and write English, and read enough French to get the gist of what is going on. I also did some Japanese for a while.

#37 sparhawk

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 07:41 AM

German and english. I can understand a few words of hungerian but not enough to read a book. :)
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#38 gleeful

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 07:59 AM

Well I surprised myself and picked up Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. A great and very warped book, I wish he would do a sequal.

I may have to find my copy of good omens after reading this.

Neverwhere is an excellent book.

have you read American Gods? if not you really should.

kind regards
gleeful

ps: i speak, read and write both german and english - i prefer to read all english books in the original language though. german is a rather unwieldy language by comparison. ;)

#39 Demigod

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 08:25 AM

Iíve only just started on gemain to be honest. Iíve just put the order in for American gods, thanks for mentioning it.

I can read and write English (sort of). I have a passing familiarity with French as their archaeological coverage is excellent. I can read German very slowly and Japanese (kanji) with the help of a dictionary.

I tried to pick up some gallic but I had to give up when my brain started to dribble through my ears.

#40 oDDity

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 09:25 AM

Good point, oDDity. But in this day and age the practicality of a book is a huge bonus. The problem is that when you listen to a book someone else is interpreting the book for you; it's an added barrier between yourself and the author. I don't read translations for the same reason, as it is someone's interpretation of what the author was tring to say rather than the author's own bare words on a page, to b interpreted as you see fit. If the author himself was reading, and changing and adding to it spontaneously as h went along, that would be fine.

THat's a big leap from talking about the audio versions of books to translated versions though.
Narrators in unabridged versions read the text word for word, they do not improvise. THey imbue the characters with extra life, and while the particular voices, accents and emotional timbre etc they use are choosen by them, I don't think that makes a significant difference to the authors intent as opposed to reading it yourself. After all, you have no way of knowing while you're reading a book exactly how the author wanted a character to sound, unless its specifically stated in the text (in which case the narrator will do it that way anyway) and if you're anything like me, you just read every charcater using your own voice.
It would be nice to hear books being read by the auhtor, but writers do not ofetn make good narrators.
If we transpose this analogy to music, then the ideal would be to hear Bach playing his own music, but since that's impossible, I prefer to listen to talented pianists interpret it for me, since I do not have sufficent skill to do so myself.
I consider most actors to have greater skill then me in interpeting literature also.
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#41 Macsen

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 09:49 AM

I consider most actors to have greater skill then me in interpeting literature also.

Whata wha-?! Surely you jest!


You don't seem to be arguing against what I said here, just saying that it doesn't matter. The simple fact is that the narrator interprets some things for you. As for just reading every character in your own voice; personally I like to be a bit more inventive. Basically, when reading what an author has written much of the readers interpretation has no relation to anything the author has actually said. The reader fills in the blanks between the words and imagines the world himself, which is part of the fun of reading. Allowing someon else to force their own interpretation of the characters on you is less fun. Simple. If I didn't want to creatively interpret the text, then I wouldn't see much point in reading fiction at all, especially in fantasy/sci-fi/horror books.

Music is a completely different medium so there's no point discussing it in relation to literature.

#42 oDDity

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 10:41 AM

Whata wha-?! Surely you jest!


You don't seem to be arguing against what I said here, just saying that it doesn't matter. The simple fact is that the narrator interprets some things for you. As for just reading every character in your own voice; personally I like to be a bit more inventive. Basically, when reading what an author has written much of the readers interpretation has no relation to anything the author has actually said. The reader fills in the blanks between the words and imagines the world himself, which is part of the fun of reading. Allowing someon else to force their own interpretation of the characters on you is less fun. Simple. If I didn't want to creatively interpret the text, then I wouldn't see much point in reading fiction at all, especially in fantasy/sci-fi/horror books.

Music is a completely different medium so there's no point discussing it in relation to literature.

You are still left to your imagination with narration. You still have to conjure the images evoked by the words yourself. Whether those words are written or spoken makes no difference to the authors intent.
Musical notation and written language are no different, they are both abstract symbols, meaningless to anyone who hasn't learned to understand them.
Most people are happy to rely on musicians to interpret for them, so why not actors?
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#43 pakmannen

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 12:00 PM

Neverwhere is an excellent book.

have you read American Gods? if not you really should.

American Gods is great great great. (Liked Neverwhere as well, not just as much)

#44 Macsen

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 12:14 PM

Musical notation and written language are no different, they are both abstract symbols, meaningless to anyone who hasn't learned to understand them.
Most people are happy to rely on musicians to interpret for them, so why not actors?

Only a few people have ever been able to read a piece of complex music off the page and imagine the music play perfectly in their minds. There is no real creative process in reading music; you either read it correctly, or you don't. Music is all about enjoying the fruits of someone elses creative process, unless you're the composer of course.

#45 toolman

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 12:49 PM

Haven't read a book in a while, but frequently listen to audiobooks, which are ideal for a multiasking badass like myself. Obviously enjoyment depends on whether or not it's being read by a god damned speak a tron 4000 robot voice, which half the ones I acquire seem to be.

Have recently got through Ender's Game, which was great. Basically a sci fi story about how the powers that be indoctrinate very young boys into becoming supreme military minds, setting them up to lead in Earth's ongoing fight against an enemy alien race (the "Buggers" :o). Ender being the boy that they put utmost focus on throughout the training. Story unfolds very well, and takes place from several character's viewpoints, each voiced by a different actor. It's just really well done and well worth a look. Or listen.. something.

Next on list is the Da Vinci Code!

It would be nice to hear books being read by the auhtor, but writers do not ofetn make good narrators.


Actually someone who instantly springs to mind at being very good at this is Douglas Adams. Have a look for Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Or any other of his books, I *think* he read them all.

#46 oDDity

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 12:52 PM

You underestimate the number of people who can sight read music and hear it play as they read. It's not an enormously difficult skill, and almost anyone can learn it.
Using an instrument to play the music off a page is no different to using your voice to play the words of a page, and of course, singing is the brigde between the two.
No creative skill to reading music?? Lol, that's outrageous, there's every bit as much of the performer in a piece of music as the composer. Subtle nuances in tempo and dynamics and even timbre on some instruments (fingernail's guitar for example) are what the performer brings, much like reading.
As I said, the two things are really very similar.
Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.
- Emil Zola

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#47 sparhawk

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 12:55 PM

Only a few people have ever been able to read a piece of complex music off the page and imagine the music play perfectly in their minds.

I do this all the time, because I don't have time to listen to it properly. Posted Image
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#48 Macsen

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 12:57 PM

When an author writes a book he means for it to be read, not performed. When a musician writes a piece of music he means for it to be performed, not read. It doesn't really get any simpler. ;)

#49 Demigod

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 01:39 PM

speaking of audiobooks. the next episode of the hitchhikers guide is now available for download/ streaming here
http://www.bbc.co.uk....shtml?rhppromo

#50 oDDity

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:14 PM

When an author writes a book he means for it to be read, not performed. When a musician writes a piece of music he means for it to be performed, not read. It doesn't really get any simpler. ;)

Music has to be read and interpreted to be performed, and my entire point here is that a performance of a book by a good actor is superior to a cold reading of text inside your own head.
The fact that authors don't write novels with verbal performance in mind doesn't mean that verbal performance of them isn't the superior medium.
Use some logic please.

It could be argued that reading a novel to yourself is a performace of it, just the same as reading it to someone else.
Civillisation will not attain perfection until the last stone, from the last church, falls on the last priest.
- Emil Zola

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