Books!

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Re: Books!

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:04 am

My recollection about Sinclair was it was just that one line that was being ascribed to him. Now that you mention the "she's done it" line that does sound familiar too, though the fact that the others considered the prologue to be intractable sorta implies that they had taken swings at it before handing it over to Boyens. But again, it's been a really long time.
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Re: Books!

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:20 am

Sabriel by Garth Nix contains really, really satisfying writing. I'm about halfway through now, and my reaction to it reminds me greatly of my reaction to several of my childhood favourites. The writing style seems to present new ideas constantly, but in a way that keeps the pace of new information from overwhelming the reader. 

After the relative heaviness and point-to-point-to-predictable-point style of the Way of Kings I am really enjoying being surprised by unexpected details in every new chapter.

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Re: Books!

Post by Eldorion on Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:41 am

I hear about Garth Nix a good deal but have never actually read any of his stuff. Your review is encouraging though. Smile

Did you read all of The Way of Kings? I gave up around 300-400 pages in.
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Re: Books!

Post by Forest Shepherd on Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:00 am

Well, to be honest, I'm only listening to the audiobook. I think I must be 2/3 of the way through, but I took a break as the lack of anything happening was driving me nuts.

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Re: Books!

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:51 pm

have any of you guys read the Bartimaeus Sequence/Amulet of Samarkand yet? its awesome. its the best thing I have read in probably 10 years as regards pure entertainment value. which is odd. but true. Very Happy
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Re: Books!

Post by Forest Shepherd on Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:39 am

I haven't yet. I don't frequent the library much these days or else I would try and find it there.

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Re: Books!

Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:43 pm

you could probably get it on Amazon for 5 pence. Very Happy
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Re: Books!

Post by halfwise on Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:24 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:And it's almost aerie how they continue the Python, Goon Show, British comedy tradition. I don't think he gets anywhere near enough credit for that, being a writer and not a comedian.- Blue

And very much in the tradition of Douglas Adams too and even Tom Stoppard and further back there are influences of Wodehouse too in the character humour and descriptions. Pratchett is very much in that long line of British satire and humour.

I always recommend reading them in order of publication.


Well, I finally happened upon a Terry Pratchett book, and it happened to be the Colour of Magic. Enjoyed it very much. To me Pratchett captures the visuals of the old Warner Brothers cartoons, in a way no other writer can. You can see characters shoot out over the edge of cliffs, legs windmilling, then suddenly with a look of resignation hurdle straight down. The words draw these things as clearly as animation; it's really a gift.

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Re: Books!

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:07 pm

{{{Colour of Magic, being the first one is a bit rough, but it has its own charm because of it- the world building isn't quite as solid as it becomes- Rincewind stars in a few of the Discworld novels and I am a big fan of the cowardly wizard, but I must admit to being a bigger fan of the Guards subset of Discworld books, and the the Witches ones. Of the individual ones Small Gods is a standout classic. If you enjoyed the first one Halfy I strongly recommend continuing on in the series.
There are also excellent BBC radio adaptations of Guards! Guards! (first of the guards set) Wyrd Sisters (first of the witches set though Granny Weahterwax does appear first in Equal Rights which is also excellent) Mort (one of the Death novels) Small Gods, Night Watch (a later Guards book) and Eric (which was a Rincewind novella). And Sky have adapted three of the books to the tv screen- Colour of Magic- where everyone except Cohen the Barbarian is miscast!) HogFather (a rather decent adaptation of a fun bit of Discworld xmas fare) and Going Postal (which is a decent adaptation too)
Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music have also been adapted as animations- not great but more passable, Soul Music I think is better than Wyrd sisters, neither a match for the original material however)

Colour of Magic Trailer


Cohen the Barbarian


Hogfather trailer





Going Postal



Wyrd Sisters (animated clip- Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Og and Magret Garlick summon up a demon for information)



Soul Music (animated- first ep as I couldn't find a trailer)




But like Wodehouse and Adams before him Pratchetts material is by far the best on the written page where you can revel in the word play, when its reduced to just the dialogue you are getting less than a third of the material that makes it good}}}



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Re: Books!

Post by azriel on Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:29 pm

As much as I loved looking at live versions, ( like the stuff you posted above ) Its SO much better to READ Pratchett Smile I agree "Small Gods" is a great book, so funny Smile I liked "Going Postal" also Smile Getting into the world of it is so easy & I get so engrossed that Im sure I must live there ? I love the names, they are so evocative.....cut me own throat dibbler,..what a name ! The Clacks ! Let alone the slight mickey take Smile I always think of the "5th Elephant" as "the fifth Element" crazy film starring Bruce Willis. "Feet of Clay" is another fun book Smile I honestly think if you read one it becomes addictive & you have to read them all Smile Some are not as great as others but, is anything ? Mustrum Ridcully, Archchancellor of Unseen University, The Igors, The Golems ! Oh joy, Oh bliss ! Im hooked again !

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Re: Books!

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:39 pm

{{{Yeah they really have to be read first- then watch all the adaptations for fun, as most of them are- but you lose all the wonderful descriptive language if you don't read them, as you say Azriel is the strength of the world and its characters that sucks you right in and none of the adaptations ofr my money fully capture the world in all it multifaceted multi-raced glorious madness.

Halfy one of my favourite early Pratchett lines is in Colour of Magic- 'if lighting were chaos he'd be the sort to stand on top of a mountain during a thunder storm, wearing wet copper armour shouting "All Gods are Bastards!" Laughing }}}

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Re: Books!

Post by halfwise on Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:25 am

Most of those adaptations seemed ruddy horrible. Mad It takes a director with a keen ear and eye. I think Terry Gilliam would have gotten it about right.

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Re: Books!

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:40 pm

{{{Colour of Magic is the strangest one I think- it looks pretty good, and it adapts the first two books fairly well on paper (omitting stuff rather than inventing its own stuff) but its so weirdly cast and overacted in places it never quite works.

For some reason they decided they needed a big name in UK character acting with a comedy pedigree for Rincewind- and in termsof pedigree there is none better than the mult-talented David Jason, and he actually does fine with the characterisation more or less, but he is 40 years too old for the role. Sean Asten is also woefully miscast- its clear from the books that Twoflower is a parody of the traditional Japanese tourist, he also comes from the Counterweight continent which is a mysterious land no one knows much about ruled over by an Emperor- he is not an American tourist parody.
I like Cohen though- he is the best thing in it. And the wizards are all wrong, not so much miscast as badly overacted Mad Hogfather is more consistent, and its fairly straightforward tale and one you can watch at xmas with the young uns and they will learn something a bit more useful than the usual xmas smaltz. Going Postal is not bad either, hard to find a good trailer for it for some reason but its an entertaining enough watch and at least its properly cast and is the one I would recommend the most out of the tv and animated adaptations.
But the best adaptations are definitely the bbc radio plays.}}}

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Re: Books!

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:51 pm

I've been running through the Disworld series recently, and it is really wonderful. I think I would recommend the Wizard books at this point, they are a lot of fun. That part of The Lost Continent when they are stuck on an island with the God of evolution must be one of my favourite parts of the whole series. (Although, the Guards books are probably my general favourites. (But I've read all those too many times.)) Smile

This is the kind of thing Terry Pratchett does just wonderfully.

The cave mouth opened into a cavern, filled with misty blue fog. There was a suggestion of complex shadows. And there were sounds-whistles, little zipping noises, the occasional thud or clang that suggested work going on somewhere in the mist.

Ponder brushed aside a beetle that had landed on his cheek and stared at the shape right in front of him.

It was the front half of an elephant.

The other half of the elephant, balancing against all probability on the two legs at the rear end, stood a few yards away. In between was . . . the rest of the elephant.

Ponder Stibbons told himself that if you cut an elephant in half and scooped out the middle, what you would get would be . . . well, mess. There wasn't much mess here. Pink and purple tubes had uncoiled neatly on to a workbench. A small stepladder led up into another complexity of tubes and bulky organs. There was a general feel of methodical work in progress. This wasn't the horror of an elephant in an explosive death. This was an elephant under construction.

Little clouds of white light spiralled in from all corners of the cavern, spun for a moment, and became the god of evolution, who was standing on the stepladder.

He blinked at Ponder. 'Oh, it's you,' he said. 'One of the pointy creatures. Can you tell me what happens when I do this?'

He reached inside the echoing depths of the front half. The elephant's ears flapped.

'The ears flapped,' squeaked Ponder.

The god emerged, beaming. 'It's amazing how difficult that is to achieve,' he said.

'Anyway . . . what do you think of it?'

Ponder swallowed. 'It's . . . very good,' he managed. He took a step back, bumped into something, and turned and looked into the gaping maw of a very large shark.

It was in the middle of another . . . well, he had to think of it as a sort of biological scaffolding. It rolled an eye at him. Behind it, a much bigger whale was being assembled.

'It is, isn't it?' said the god.

Ponder tried to concentrate on the elephant. 'Although—' he said.

'Yes?'

'Are you sure about the wheels?'

The god looked concerned. 'You think they're too small? Not quite suitable for the veldt?'

'Er, probably not . . .'

'It's very hard to design an organic wheel, you know,' said the god reproachfully. 'They're little masterpieces.'

'You don't think just, you know, moving the legs about would be simpler?'

'Oh, we'd never get anywhere if I just copied earlier ideas,' said the god. 'Diversify and fill all niches, that's the ticket.'

'But is lying on your side in a mud hole with your wheels spinning a very important niche?' said Ponder.

The god looked at him, and then stared glumly at the half-completed elephant.

'Perhaps if I made the tyres bigger?' he said, hopefully yet in a hopeless voice.

'I don't think so,' said Ponder.

'Oh, you're probably right.' The little god's hands twitched. 'I don't know, I do try to diversify, but sometimes it's so difficult . . .'

Suddenly he ran across the crowded cave towards a huge pair of doors at the far end, and flung them open.

'I'm sorry, but I just have to do one,' said the god. 'They calm me down, you know.'

Ponder caught up. The cave beyond the doors was bigger than this one, and brilliantly lit. The air was full of small, bright things, hovering in their millions like beads on invisible strings.

'Beetles?' said Ponder.

There's nothing like a beetle when you're feeling depressed!' said the god. He'd stopped by a large metal desk and was feverishly opening drawers and pulling out boxes. 'Can you pass me that box of antennae? It's just on the shelf there. Oh yes, you can't beat a beetle when you're feeling down. Sometimes I think it's what it's all about, you know.'

'What all?' said Ponder.

The god swept an arm in an expansive gesture. 'Everything,' he said cheerfully. 'The whole thing. Trees, grass, flowers . . . What did you think it was all for?'

'Well, I didn't think it was for beetles,' said Ponder. 'What about, well, what about the elephant, for a start?'

The god already had a half-finished beetle in one hand. It was green.

'Dung,' he said triumphantly. No head, when screwed on to a body, ought to make a sound like a cork being pushed into a bottle, but the beetle's did in the hands of the god.

'What?' said Ponder. That's rather a lot of trouble to go to just for dung, isn't it?'

'That's ecology for you, I'm afraid,' said the god.

'No, no, that can't be right, surely?' said Ponder.

'What about the higher lifeforms?'

'Higher?' said the god. 'You mean like . . . birds?'

'No, I mean like—' Ponder hesitated. The god had seemed remarkably incurious about the wizards, possibly because of their lack of resemblance to beetles, but he could see a certain amount of theological unpleasantness ahead.

'Like . . . apes,' he said.

'Apes? Oh, very amusing, certainly, and obviously the beetles have to have something to entertain them, but . . .' The god looked at him, and a celestial penny seemed to drop. 'Oh dear, you don't think they're the purpose of the whole business, do you?'

'I'd rather assumed—'

'Dear me, the purpose of the whole business, you see, is in fact to be the whole business. Although,' he sniffed, 'if we can do it all with beetles I shan't complain.'

'But surely the purpose of— I mean, wouldn't it be nice if you ended up with some creature that started to think about the universe—?'

'Good gravy, I don't want anything poking around!' said the god testily. 'There's enough patches and stitches in it as it is without some dever devil trying to find more, I can assure you. No, the gods on the mainland have got that right at least.

Intelligence is like legs – too many and you trip yourself up. Six is about the right number, in my view.'

'But surely, ultimately, one creature might—'

The god let go of his latest creation. It whirred up and along the rows and rows of beetles and slotted itself in between two that were almost, but not exactly, quite like it.

'Worked that one out, have you?' he said. 'Well, of course you're right. I can see you have quite an efficient brain— Damn.'

There was a little sparkle in the air and a bird appeared alongside the god. It was clearly alive but entirely stationary, hanging in frozen flight. A flickering blue glow hovered around it.

The god sighed, reached into a pocket and pulled out the most complex-looking tool Ponder had ever seen. The bits that you could see suggested that there were other, even stranger bits that you couldn't and that this was probably just as well.

'However,' he said, slicing the bird's beak off, the blue glow simply closing over the hole, 'if I'm going to get any serious work done I'm really going to have to find some way of organizing the whole business. All I'm faced with these days is bills.'

'Yes, it must be quite expens—'

'Big bills, short bills, bills for winkling insects out of bark, bills for cracking nuts, bills for eating fruit,' the god went on. 'They're supposed to do their own evolving. I mean, that's the whole point. I shouldn't have to be running around all the time.'

The god waved his hand in the air and a sort of display stand of beaks appeared beside him. He selected one that, to Ponder, hardly looked any different from the one he'd removed, and used the tool to attach it to the hanging bird. The blue glow covered it for a moment, and then the bird vanished. In the moment that it disappeared, Ponder thought he saw its wings begin to move.

And in that moment he knew that, despite the apparent beetle fixation, here was where he'd always wanted to be, at the cutting edge of the envelope in the fast lane of the state of the art.
- The Last Continent, Terry Pratchett

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Re: Books!

Post by halfwise on Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:03 pm

Good lord, Blue - do you copy all that out or do you have it in an ebook?

Yes, that's the kind of stuff Pratchett does well. Very cartoonish, really, in an intellectually playful way. The elephant wheels are top-notch. Razz

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Re: Books!

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:20 pm

Nah, it's from a pdf. Razz

I really like the "It's all for the beetles!" part. Very Happy

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Re: Books!

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:03 am

BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD

“On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people.”

“Odd,” said Arthur, “I thought you said it was a democracy.”

“I did,” said Ford. “It is.”

“So,” said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, “why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?”

“It honestly doesn’t occur to them,” said Ford. “They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.”

“You mean they actually vote for the lizards?”

“Oh yes,” said Ford with a shrug, “of course.”

“But,” said Arthur, going for the big one again, “why?”

“Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard,” said Ford, “the wrong lizard might get in.”

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Re: Books!

Post by halfwise on Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:21 pm

That sounds, uncomfortably, disconcertingly real right now. Neutral

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Re: Books!

Post by malickfan on Sat May 28, 2016 8:54 pm

I've just started a re-read of a little book called 'The Lord Of The Rings' I believe some of you may be familiar with it Razz Wink

Joking aside, I haven't read LOTR the entire way through in at least five years (I've tried but I always get distracted by other things) and I'm already picking up on things I hadn't noticed before...

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I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Re: Books!

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 28, 2016 9:20 pm

My last attempt at reading LOTR all the way through the thing that jumped out at me most (in FOTR) was that I found I only dimly remembered most of the journey from Weathertop to Rivendell. Definitely something to be said for reading everything in context. Enjoy, Malick! Smile
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Re: Books!

Post by malickfan on Sat May 28, 2016 9:24 pm

Eldorion wrote:My last attempt at reading LOTR all the way through the thing that jumped out at me most (in FOTR) was that I found I only dimly remembered most of the journey from Weathertop to Rivendell. Definitely something to be said for reading everything in context. Enjoy, Malick! Smile

I think I've only read the whole book twice, in 2007, and 2011(?) I can barely remember any of the Frodo/Sam in Mordor chapters (personally I found them a bit of a slog as a teenager)...

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Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Re: Books!

Post by Eldorion on Sat May 28, 2016 9:26 pm

I only read the whole thing cover-to-cover once, in 2004. Razz But I've read most of the six books in their entirety multiple times.

I love the Mordor chapters. Starting with the stuff in the Pass of Cirith Ungol at the end of Book IV, really. The glimpse into Mordor society is just as fascinating to me as the worldbuilding of Rohan and Gondor.
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Re: Books!

Post by Bluebottle on Sat May 28, 2016 10:46 pm

Started reading LoTRs last year, but have to admit I zoned out about the time they reached Lothlorien. (And am still to get back to it.) I really loved the first part of Fellowship though, to be honest that's the part of the story every fantasy story has been trying to replicate since. Still not seen anyone come close.

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Re: Books!

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun May 29, 2016 12:06 am

I have a few favourite sections my most favourite being from Crickhollow to saying goodbye to Tom on the road and the next favourite is in Ithilien meeting Faramir. I love Lothlorien too.
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Re: Books!

Post by Bluebottle on Tue May 31, 2016 9:07 pm

Since Shakespeare is so in the wind on here, here's some Ibsen. Very Happy

   (Whitsun Eve.-In the depths of the forest. To the back, in a clearing, is a hut with a pair of reindeer horns over the porch-gable.) (PEER GYNT is creeping among the undergrowth, gathering wild onions.)

PEER

Well, this is one standpoint. Where is the next?
One should try all things and choose the best.
Well, I have done so,-beginning from Caesar,
and downwards as far as to Nebuchadnezzar.
So I had, after all, to go through Bible history;-
the old boy's had to take to his mother again.
After all it is written: Of the earth art thou come.-
The main thing in life is to fill one's belly.
Fill it with onions? That's not much good;-
I must take to cunning, and set out snares.
There's water in the beck here; I shan't suffer thirst;
and I count as the first 'mong the beasts after all.
When my time comes to die-as most likely it will,-
I shall crawl in under a wind-fallen tree;
like the bear, I will heap up a leaf-mound above me,
and I'll scratch in big print on the bark of the tree:
Here rests Peer Gynt, that decent soul,
Kaiser o'er all of the other beasts.-
Kaiser?

(Laughs inwardly.)

Why, you old soothsayer-humbug!
no Kaiser are you; you are nought but an onion.
I'm going to peel you now, my good Peer!
You won't escape either by begging or howling.

(Takes an onion and pulls off layer after layer.)

There lies the outermost layer, all torn;
that's the shipwrecked man on the jolly-boat's keel.
Here's the passenger layer, scanty and thin;-
and yet in its taste there's a tang of Peer Gynt.
Next underneath is the gold-digger ego;
the juice is all gone-if it ever had any.
This coarse-grained layer with the hardened skin
is the peltry-hunter by Hudson's Bay.
The next one looks like a crown;-oh, thanks!
we'll throw it away without more ado.
Here's the archaeologist, short but sturdy;
and here is the Prophet, juicy and fresh.
He stinks, as the Scripture has it, of lies,
enough to bring the water to an honest man's eyes.
This layer that rolls itself softly together
is the gentleman, living in ease and good cheer.
The next one seems sick. There are black streaks upon it;-
black symbolises both parsons and niggers.

(Pulls off several layers at once.)

What an enormous number of swathings!
Isn't the kernel soon coming to light?

(Pulls the whole onion to pieces.)

I'm blest if it is! To the innermost centre,
it's nothing but swathings-each smaller and smaller.-
Nature is witty!

(Throws the fragments away.)

The devil take brooding!
If one goes about thinking, one's apt to stumble.
Well, I can at any rate laugh at that danger;
for here on all fours I am firmly planted.

(Scratches his head.)

A queer enough business, the whole concern!
Life, as they say, plays with cards up its sleeve;
but when one snatches at them, they've disappeared,
and one grips something else,-or else nothing at all.

(He has come near to the hut; he catches sight of it and starts.)

This hut? On the heath-! Ha!

(Rubs his eyes.)

It seems exactly
as though I had known this same building before.-
The reindeer-horns jutting above the gable!-
A mermaid, shaped like a fish from the navel!-
Lies! there's no mermaid! But nails-and planks,-
bars too, to shut out hobgoblin thoughts!-

SOLVEIG

(singing in the hut).

Now all is ready for Whitsun Eve.
Dearest boy of mine, far away,
comest thou soon?
Is thy burden heavy,
take time, take time;-
I will await thee;
I promised of old.

PEER

(rises, quiet and deadly pale).

One that's remembered,-and one that's forgot.
One that has squandered,-and one that has saved.-
Oh, earnest!-and never can the game be played o'er!
Oh, dread!-here was my Kaiserdom!

(Hurries off along the wood path.)

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“We're doomed,” he says, casually. “There's no question about that. But it's OK to be doomed because then you can just enjoy your life."
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