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Woody
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« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2009, 10:20:42 PM »

mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 07:10:49 PM by Woody » Logged

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« Reply #46 on: August 29, 2009, 04:52:40 AM »

Must admit to being a bit disappointed with Ghost Pirates, TBH. I wonder if the guy who wrote the list rated it so highly because he read it when he was very young? Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed it, but after the build-up by the author of the list, I was expecting it to blow my socks off, and it didn't.

Frankenstein and Dracula, IMO, deserved their top two positions, but I think Ghost Pirates falls a long way short of both those books on a lot of fronts.

Re the next book we choose - I don't have any precoinceived ideas about what I'd like to read. I had intended to work my way through the whole list, but I'm not stuck on doing it.

I've seen  José Saramago and Jorge Luis Borges named as two of the greatest horror writers of the past hundred years, and yet they don't seem to get much press compared to Koontz and King, so my interest is piqued. I'd like to read something by them.

The author of this article speaks passionately about Saramango's writing:

http://poetrydispatch.wordpress.com/2009/08/14/jose-saramago-death-without-interruptions/

And posts the opening of DEATH WITHOUT INTERRUPTIONS - quote:

THE FOLLOWING DAY, NO ONE DIED. THIS FACT, BEING absolutely contrary to life’s rules, provoked enormous and, in the circumstances, perfectly justifiable anxiety in people’s minds, for we have only to consider that in the entire forty volumes of universal history there is no mention, not even one exemplary case, of such a phenomenon ever having occurred, for a whole day to go by, with its generous allowance of twenty-four hours, diurnal and nocturnal, matutinal and vespertine, without one death from an illness, a fatal fall, or a successful suicide, not one, not a single one. Not even from a car accident, so frequent on festive occasions, when blithe irresponsibility and an excess of alcohol jockey for position on the roads to decide who will reach death first. New year’s eve had failed to leave behind it the usual calamitous trail of fatalities, as if old atropos with her great bared teeth had decided to put aside her shears for a day. There was, however, no shortage of blood. Bewildered, confused, distraught, struggling to control their feelings of nausea, the firemen extracted from the mangled remains wretched human bodies that, according to the mathematical logic of the collisions, should have been well and truly dead, but which, despite the seriousness of the injuries and lesions suffered, remained alive and were carried off to hospital, accompanied by the shrill sound of the ambulance sirens. None of these people would die along the way and all would disprove the most pessimistic of medical prognoses, There’s nothing to be done for the poor man, it’s not even worth operating, a complete waste of time, said the surgeon to the nurse as she was adjusting his mask. And the day before, there would probably have been no salvation for this particular patient, but one thing was clear, today, the victim refused to die. And what was happening here was happening throughout the country. Up until the very dot of midnight on the last day of the year there were people who died in full compliance with the rules, both those relating to the nub of the matter, i.e. the termination of life, and those relating to the many ways in which the aforementioned nub, with varying degrees of pomp and solemnity, chooses to mark the fatal moment…



So, there’s a little of the author in his own words– translated by Margaret Jull Costa. Here’s how the publisher describes the book:

ON THE FIRST DAY OF the new year, no one dies. This, of course, causes consternation among politicians, religious leaders, morticians, and doctors. Among the general public, on the other hand, there is celebration—flags are hung out on balconies, people dance in the streets. They have achieved the great goal of humanity: eternal life. Then reality hits home—families are left to care for the permanently dying, life-insurance policies become meaningless, and funeral parlors are reduced to arranging burials for pet dogs, cats, hamsters, and parrots. Death sits in her chilly apartment, where she lives alone with her scythe and filing cabinets, and contemplates her experiment: What if no one ever died again? What if she, death with a small ‘d’, became human and were to fall in love?

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« Reply #47 on: August 29, 2009, 07:25:50 AM »

I think it's the build up which makes 'The Ghost Pirates' so good.

Anyhow, I've been reading M.R. James' short stories since then. They're good, but all rather formulaic - a familiar object suddenly becomes rather sinister to a travelling don, either in the British countryside or on continental Europe.

So I took time out from them to read the short story 'The Monkey's Paw' by W.W. Jacobs - it's on the internet. That's a chiller.

DW Cheesy
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Woody
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« Reply #48 on: August 30, 2009, 02:10:54 PM »

mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 07:10:18 PM by Woody » Logged

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Writers Anonymous(http://www.writersanonymous.org.uk)-a source of sinister anthologies
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« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2009, 09:53:33 PM »

mustn't have my stuff here, ed keeps it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 07:10:30 PM by Woody » Logged

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Perception is nine tenths of the look. Brave Dave the Feather in Caribbean Conspiracy
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« Reply #50 on: September 18, 2009, 04:48:22 PM »

Finally got around to reading this on holiday last week and - once I'd got past the dialect and jargon - really enjoyed it. I did like the way that the ghosts were indeed just "shadders" until right at the end. I'm trying to think of a similar story set on board a spaceship (I'm sure there's one), but the only one that comes to mind is Solaris, and the phantoms there were a lot more benign. Definitely an influence on Pirates of the Caribbean, though.

BTW what happened to Svenson? Did I miss something?
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Ed
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« Reply #51 on: September 18, 2009, 05:09:48 PM »

Can't remember what happened to Svenson, although not all of the crew were accounted for in the final battle. I assumed they all died, apart from the MC of course.
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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 #52 on: October 05, 2009, 01:54:06 PM »

  I read 'The ghost Pirates.' It's okay but I expected something better considering it's in the HRA top twenty. The accents are well done even if they do take a while to get used to, not too long though, I remember a lot of those expressions from when I was a kid and living in Northern Ireland. I like the idea that the Pirates may not be ghost but could be from a different dimension, it must have been quite a ground breaking idea in its day.
  What I didn't like was all the references to the ship's rigging. I'm no sailor and couldn't be arsed to look up all the different terminology in the dictionary. I have seen enough old movies though -I think the guy who was in a lot of them was Errol Flynn- to be able to hazard a guess as to what was meant.
  All I all not a bad book but I reckon 'Sea Wolf' is a better bet for anyone who wants to read a sea going yarn.         
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Some may say slaughtered is too strong a word...but I like the sound of it.
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