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...also, yesterday I read 'Happy Days' by Laurent Graff in english, since word on the spookystreet is that Johnny Depp is looking into having somebody make a screenplay out of it, so I figured I'd look...boy, can you tell it's written by a french person! There is just some quality to the existential view that comes through so consistently, in first person. It was interesting-enough, but to me and my (buddhist preference for enlightened insight) pickiness about 'view', it seemed that the protagonist was more passive and sullen in his gauloise-sucking way than simply being-here-now, although there were glimmers of that: the guy moves into a retirement home of the elderly at age 35, to avoid life, basically...read it yourself. It's very short, and then you'll know what you think...it does read like a screenplay, and would easily be a film, and I think our man Johnny Depp would be about the only person who might not bore me tremendously being in it...then again, if he brings personal charm to a character with less personal charm, is that the original story, or a merciful improvement...?
Current Mood:
awake
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...my confession is that I love the *idea* of the things Charles deLint writes about, but I often bog down in them; there is somequality that somehow misses what I want...anyhow, I am enjoying this novel, the cover of which says twice "Trader", so I am unsure if it indeed is called "Trader Trader".

It is about switching bodies, an actual exchange or theft of occupant and body, and I enjoy examining the ramifications of identity, 'self', all these notions that I also examine by being tibetan buddhist...

Current Mood:
awake
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I read this a few weeks ago after it was recommended in a previous thread, and having warmed myself up to Ketchum, so to speak, with the unexpurgated version of Off Season (published by the excellent Overlook Press), I set about devouring this.

I won't give anything away here, but this book drew me in almost from the first paragraph with Ketchum's masterful capturing of what it feels (and indeed felt) like to be a teenage boy just discovering that life is actually a big and scary place, but not without its' desires and temptations.

This is a book about peer pressure, about fitting in, and the lengths that one will go to in order to do so. It's about how far situations can rapidly get out of hand, especially when orchestrated by those supposedly in positions of authority and power, and it's ultimately about coming to terms with the darker deeds that forever live on in the soul.

I fininshed this in a couple of sittings, but the subject matter has remained with me. Ketchum is graphic and unflinching in his descriptions of what happens in the house next door, but in not allowing us to turn away from the terrible things that go on he cleverly puts us in the shoes of the narrator.

This is not a book for the faint-hearted among you, but if you're OK with graphic descriptions of violence and abuse, then this is in a bizarre kind of way a very rewarding book, and certainly unlike any I've read for a good while.
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I generally have a few books on the go at once for different moods, so this is the current selection:

  • The Probable Future, Alice Hoffman -- about matrilineal witches in modern-day Massachusetts. Beautifl writing, intriguing story so far, a bit of teen angst but nothing wrong with that...

  • Fly by Night, Frances Hardinge -- the author is a friend, so I have to say it's good. But it is, honest!

  • Solar Labyrinth, Robert Borski -- this is a sort of scholarly exegesis of Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun and is quite scarily obsessive. He's puzzled out heaps of things I would never have dreamed of. Small doses only, but fascinating.

  • Asta's Book, Barbara Vine -- lent to me by a friend, I don't know Barbara Vine's writing (or what makes it different from Ruth Rendell's) at all -- not much more than started this yet, it's a 'train' book.

  • The Reader, Bernhard Schlink -- just finished this one, it's about growing up as a post-war German and the difficulties of emotionally coming to terms with it, framed as a teenager's romance with an older woman who he discovers was an SS camp guard. More fun than that sounds! -- but it is basically a rather worthy and thoughtful read.

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If i could make a suggestion: at the moment, I'm reading "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger and it's such a pleasure to read...it's not mystery but in a way it's fictional, because the idea of time traveling is so weird but so logical explained in her book, that i would love to discuss it with you!
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Well, it's August, and we never really covered anything for July, did we? Should we open the floor to more discussion of Harry Potter & the HBP? I assume everyone's finished it by now, yes?

Have we given any thought to a book for August?

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Wow - it sure has been quiet around here lately. Well, I dug "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" out of one of my boxes of books and reread it. It's been years since I read it last, and I was still nonplussed when I got to the end. I never really understood some parts of that story. I absolutely love the movie, of course; IMHO it does a much better job of telling a coherent, emotionally-driven story. "Blade Runner" kept many of the elements of the original tale, but the main story is almost completely different! Anyway, that's my take - when Philip K. Dick was on, his stories were completely amazing (has anyone read his short story "Second Variety"? Now there's a great old-style SF yarn.) The rest of the time, though, his stories got a bit strange for my tastes.
I'm on to "Harry Potter" now, and I'm loving it. Of course, I don't want to say anything spoiler-ish, so I won't go into details, but it's about page 130 before they're even back at Hogwarts! I love those long books . . . I'll be back here when I've finished it. Happy reading to all!
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I finished Urban Shaman almost a week ago, but in the rush to read HBP (Half Blood Prince, if you're not into that whole brevity thing), I haven't had a mo to collect my thoughts or post them.

Overall, I liked this book.

Read more...Collapse )

Current Music:
Cast (Chicago) - Cell Block Tango
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I've read the first in Martin's series, and I loved it. I just haven't gotten around to the rest yet. As far as this month's pick, "Urban Shaman" would be fine with me; I've heard good things about it on McAnally's. Kelley Armstrong's "Haunted" is a standalone book, like all her others, but some characters do cross over from book to book, and you only get the full impact if you read them all in order.
I read Dick's "Electric Sheep" years ago; it's good (and of course "Blade Runner" is my all-time favourite movie!) I haven't read Kim Harrison, but I've been meaning to get around to her.
So I guess any of those books would be fine, but I'd lean towards "Urban Shaman." I always like to support new, less well-known authors.
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