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Author Topic: What are you reading? (apart from this)  (Read 83751 times)
Andrew D. Perez
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« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2007, 10:18:51 PM »

Nope no hooker.
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Ed
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« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2007, 03:20:12 AM »

Paul - somebody else told me that The Da Vinci Code was Dan Brown's third or fourth novel on the same subject and said much the same as you. I liked the subject matter of the story and the plot line made the book a compelling read - a page turner - but I thought the writing itself was dumbed down too much and, as Dan says earlier in the thread, the characters were too cliched for my liking.

BTW, earlier in the thread I mentioned The Secret of Crickley Hall, by James Herbert. I read it and thought it was awful. It annoyed me so much that I wrote a review of it and posted it on Amazon, where I found I was not alone in loathing it. grin
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2007, 03:59:30 AM »

Currently reading Pompeii by Robert Harris. I had high hopes for this, as I absolutely loved Enigma, but so far it hasn't captured my imagination. Maybe it's the subject matter rather than the writing. So far there's little sign of there being a good car chase in the book.

I gave up reading James Herbert about twenty years ago when I realised that his endings always disappointed. I read The Dark or Lair or whatever, thoroughly enjoyed the build up, and wondered how the hell he was going to bring it all to an appropriate conclusion and every time it seemed (to me) to be dealt with by some kind of silly afterthought (play a high pitched sound and lure all the rat sto their death; turn a light on to get rid of the dark, etc).

Dan Brown's book was, IMHO, awful. Just like many of James Patterson's. And Jeffrey Deaver's. And the thing with all of them is that you just can't put them down! There's a lesson there that I really wish I could learn. I read all these "awful" books in about a tenth of the time it takes me to read the good ones. Maybe it's time to recalibrate my judgement monitor.

Jealous DEl
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"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2007, 06:35:48 AM »

I too was a big James Herbert fan in my younger days. Hadn't read one of his for ages though, so I picked up Secret of Crickley Hall too. And I totally agree. It was cack. Felt very sad to discover that.
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« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2007, 06:38:37 AM »

I've just received the Best American Short Stories, edited by Stephen King. I haven't read any of them yet, but will get back to you. I'm hoping that with King at the helm, they're going to be cracking stories.
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« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2007, 11:04:58 AM »

I still recall reading King's Nightshift collection way back in the... must have been early eighties. It was the first thing of his I read and it had a massive impact and influence on me. In many ways I prefer his short stuff and non-fiction  to the novels (especially the later novels). I'd include the Novellas in the good stuff, too. I think The Mist and The Body are right up there.

Been interesting to see what type of story he's picked for the collection.

Del
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"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2007, 12:46:30 PM »

I only really discovered King a couple of years ago, after reading On Writing. Since then I've been an avid fun. Funnily enough I do like his later novels, whereas his earlier novels, whilst good ideas, don't grab me as much. I've got Night Shift and have been working my way through it gradually. I've also got a couple of other of his short story collections. He tells a good tale!
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delph_ambi
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« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2007, 01:27:18 PM »

I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code. I hate to think what that says about me, but I thought it was great fun, and highly readable.
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Ed
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« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2007, 02:38:24 PM »

I gave up reading James Herbert about twenty years ago when I realised that his endings always disappointed. I read The Dark or Lair or whatever, thoroughly enjoyed the build up, and wondered how the hell he was going to bring it all to an appropriate conclusion and every time it seemed (to me) to be dealt with by some kind of silly afterthought (play a high pitched sound and lure all the rat sto their death; turn a light on to get rid of the dark, etc).

The big problem with Crickley Hall was he took way too long on the build up and the events unfolded predictably at every step. It's a weighty tome, as well - five or six hundred pages. Come the end, when things should be hotting up and reaching a conclusion, he plants the mother of all back story info dumps bang smack in the middle of what should be an exciting climax. This kills the pace completely, and it's done in such an awkward way that the fictive bubble bursts and you become very author aware. At least I did, anyway. *SPOILER COMING UP* There's a big revelation that this friendly ghost hunter/expert in the paranormal that turns up is actually a baddie and is one of the early characters who has grown up and come back, when everybody thought he was dead. Thing is, it was so damn obvious that when it was finally comes out you just feel like saying, "Well, duh!" If old Herb had been sat next to me at the time, I think I would have slapped him upside the head with that stupid book of his bangh

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Dan Brown's book was, IMHO, awful. Just like many of James Patterson's. And Jeffrey Deaver's. And the thing with all of them is that you just can't put them down! There's a lesson there that I really wish I could learn. I read all these "awful" books in about a tenth of the time it takes me to read the good ones. Maybe it's time to recalibrate my judgement monitor.

Jealous DEl

Yep - you've got to hand it to him - he knows how to set a hook and keep it set afro


I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code. I hate to think what that says about me, but I thought it was great fun, and highly readable.

You and umpteen million other people, Delph. I certainly wouldn't worry smiley
I've just received the Best American Short Stories, edited by Stephen King. I haven't read any of them yet, but will get back to you. I'm hoping that with King at the helm, they're going to be cracking stories.

I've heard mixed reviews, but a poor reception is to be expected from the lit snobs, isn't it? I get the feeling the stories he chooses will be ones I will like, and probably the type of story I aspire to write. I'm going to order a copy for myself. afro
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2007, 03:51:39 PM »

I just started reading the first story and got stuck on a 70 word sentence! It does get better after that, but hubby wants to chat (men, huh?  rolleyes) so I'll have to wait till I'm tucked up in bed with my horlicks before finishing it.
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Ed
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« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2007, 04:28:26 PM »

That doesn't sound right at all grin I don't get a second's peace until everybody's asleep. Seems like I'm the only person in this house with nothing much to say for themself scratch Even the dog talks back and manages to get the last word when I tell him to shaddup rolleyes
« Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 04:29:40 PM by Ed » Logged

Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
Andrew D. Perez
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« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2007, 12:38:44 AM »

Anyone here read any of Kurt Vonnegut's books? Any pointers on which are best?
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SamLeeFreak
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« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2007, 01:53:43 AM »

Lately I've been reading my own short stories. Over and over over until I want to curl up behind the couch and never come out.  hiding

On the plus side, I am almost done editing them all and by Saturday (ideally) they will have all been sent out. Then I can start collecting rejection slips.  cheers
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Ed
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« Reply #43 on: October 19, 2007, 03:45:51 AM »


On the plus side, I am almost done editing them all and by Saturday (ideally) they will have all been sent out. Then I can start collecting rejection slips.  cheers

 grin That's a good attitude to take. Can't remember who it was, but I remember somebody saying they wallpapered their writing room with rejection slips. Thinking about it, that would be enough to make one of those motivational gurus top himself, wouldn't it? The exact opposite of 'surrounding yourself with success' grin
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Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]
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« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2007, 04:07:11 AM »

I liked Da Vinci Code, too, Cath. In fact, I was intrigued as to how he put the novel together, so I read all the earlier Dan Brown books back to back. There's a definite formula to his structure and, I think, it works well (though the formula is so obvious, he's going to have to make a change soon or bore readers to death). His writing style is laboured at times, but he can certainly spin a yarn. Neil
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