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what are you reading?

Discussion in 'The Breakroom' started by Froley, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    I'm up to the last 20 or so pages of "Moby-Dick." Could have finished it early Wednesday morning. But chose not to bother. I'll finish it tonight. Honestly, the more classics I read, the more I find that at least half (if not more so) don't deserve that status.

    Yes, the novel portions of Moby-Dick are excellent. The problem is, you've got a textbook on whaling sprinkled in everywhere among the novel, along with chapters that are nothing but nonsense that even a halfway decent Editor who suffered some sort of brain trauma would have cut out. The whole thing reads like a very First Draft. (One in which the author himself didn't even scan or self-edit before publishing it.) The actual novel, along with a relevant couple of chapters to clear up some aspects of whaling, minus the rest of the textbook, minus the chapters on worthless nonsense.... "Moby-Dick" would be 1/4 the size that it actually is. I'm sorry, but the critics in his day were right to pan it. Somehow, in the 1920s, it was first seen as a masterpiece. Several years ago, maybe a full decade now, it was voted by some sort of large organization as "The most boring novel ever written."

    Well, it's neither. But clearly back in 1850 when it was first written, it needed the help of a semi-decent Editor before it was published. Clearly, whoever was given the novel to do so before publishing it; was a lazy, and utterly incompetent moron.
     
  2. chas353
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chas353 Loaded Pockets

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    The complete novels and stories of Sherlock Holmes in no hurry just reading during lunch at work.
     
  3. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    Among my absolute favorites. Long ago I had a 2 volume set of the complete Holmes collection. After having gone through #1, I had enjoyed the stories so much I was in no hurry to finish them all and then have no more new ones to read, so I decided to put the other volume away until age 40. This I actually did - well, with an occasional dip, but my self control doesn’t always function as it should.

    Somewhere I read that Sherlock Holmes is the best known fictional character in the world, even in places where the stories were unknown.
     
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  4. BFG
    • In Omnia Paratus

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    Got this new release this week

    [​IMG]
     
  5. chas353
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chas353 Loaded Pockets

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    Yes the stories are fun to read, I remember watching the old Sherlock Holmes movies when I was a kid so when I saw the books in a store I got them a couple of years ago. Figured I will finally finish them this winter.
     
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  6. gingerninja

    gingerninja Loaded Pockets

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    Reading Lee Childs Make Me. Gotta love the Jack Reacher books :)
     
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  7. artaxerxes

    artaxerxes Loaded Pockets

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    I have it in my library and tried to read it twice.Each time I couldn't read more than a page because it bored me.And from the content seems more like a children's novel ( I hate those).Same boredom factor goes for a few others-Nikos Kazantzakis-"Letter to El Greco", for example : got bored around page 37 (though I really enjoyed his other famous novel-"Christ crucified for the second time").
     
  8. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one.

    The Odyssey comes to mind too. It honestly reminds me of a gag in Family Guy about Harold & Kumar go to White Castle, something like "Don't do drugs. I went to White Castle last night...it took me five minutes."

    Troy was in what is now northwest Turkey. It's about 200 miles from Athens.

    Don't get me started on how much I hated Wuthering Heights.

    Lolita makes a lot of those lists, and I just plain can't stand it. There is not one single likable character anywhere in that book.
     
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  9. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    I try to keep an open mind about Lolita. My attitude was pretty much the same as yours until I came across somebody who really liked the book, and he explained to me why he found it to be a masterpiece. All of a sudden, a lot of what I didn't like about the book started to make sense, and I got to understand the author's intent and respect his ability. Of course, respect is not the same as like.
     
  10. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    My experience with Moby Dick is pretty much the exact opposite of yours.

    Even though I think the straight novel portions of the book are no more than OK, and the actual plot is rather thin for such a brick of a book, I really, really love it.

    I love it because I like the many asides, the long detours, and the erratic and subjective textbook on whaling and whatnot. And I absolutely love the utter nonsense!

    I guess this just goes to show that what is great to one person is complete and utter garbage to another. In my experience, when I find a book OK, almost everyone else who have read it, will have the same opinion on it. On the other hand, when I find a book truly great, about half my friends will love it, while the other half absolutely hate it.The same goes for music, movies, visual art etc.

    This is just my very subjective take on the issue, but it seems to me like most people have about the same opinion on mediocrity, while our views on genius and garbage differ wildly.
     
  11. chmsam

    chmsam Loaded Pockets

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    Re-read after many years, Homicide: a year on the killing streets. Reporter David Simon spent a year with the Baltimore homicide squad. The book was the basis for the TV series, Homicide. The first season or two were pretty much taken straight from the book.


    I went to the vet with some friends. They always say I'm a sick puppy.
     
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  12. shadowolf713

    shadowolf713 Loaded Pockets

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    Rereading Jim Butcher's the dresden Files. All 15 of them.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
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  13. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    What did he say? I really don't see it....

    ETA: I've probably read more about this novel than any other besides William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy. The interpretations I see as most....forgiving...are those that Nabokov said are wrong. It's a novel from the point of view of an evil solipsist, so it's hard to pin down. Taken at face value, there isn't a likable character or event anywhere in it. Taken as any one of several allegories...it's very depressing.

    I've got one of those going. They're good.

    Honestly, though, I got into them from the audio books read by James Masters....huge fan.
     
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  14. shadowolf713

    shadowolf713 Loaded Pockets

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    I actually just used a credit to download proven guilty (best bang for buck in the sense of time to money). I am always hesitant to do audio books if I've read a series more than a few years. I've developed bias in pronunciation, voices in my head, and character emotions if you will.
    Masterson is not bad. He's very subtle in his changes from voice to voice.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk
     
  15. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah...I heard James Marsters reading it first. Well, technically I saw the series first. But Marsters is better.

    Also, it's Marsters, not masters. Stupid autocorrect.
     
  16. shadowolf713

    shadowolf713 Loaded Pockets

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    I do remember that spurt of a series. Wasn't half bad. Didn't envision Bob that way. Anyway. I digress. I think they could do a fantastic job of making each book like the BBC version of sherlock. Maybe they could do it justice.

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  17. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    I'd watch that. Turn each book into a miniseries. Preferably a few more a year than Sherlock and without Moffat running it....he's such a :censored:.
     
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  18. shadowolf713

    shadowolf713 Loaded Pockets

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    Yes. I agree. Haha.

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  19. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    Here's the thing..... Even the author didn't like what he had written when he was done with it. He wanted to destroy it. It was his wife who convinced him not to. That's rather telling.
     
  20. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    Here's the biggest issue for me.... You don't present the reader with what you claim is a novel, and then pull the sort of thing Melville did. Had he called the book, "Whaling in Nantucket" and presented it as a textbook with a chapter dedicated to the Essex (an actual ship destroyed by a whale). Then his brick of a creation would have actually been successful when it came out. You don't hide a textbook among the pages of a novel. I've literally never encountered that type of nonsense before. Sorry, but that's what it is. Yes, sometimes an author needs to pause and explain things to his readers. Granted, that's sometimes necessary. But it is always done to drive the novel forward or give the reader a more enjoyable experience. You don't do it solely to present factual details on a given subject. Which is precisely what Melville does. If I wanted a factual textbook on Whaling, I'd go and buy one. As for the constant rambling on..... Yes, that can be fun or interesting at times. But not every time. Which is what we get. It gets tedious.

    Honestly, as a writer myself (and no, not directly comparing myself to Melville), I know what a completely unedited first draft looks like and reads like. "Moby-Dick" reads like one.
     
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