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What are you currently reading? Scribe 08/01/2021 (Sun) 02:26:58 No. 276
Or what have you recently read? Talk about it ITT.
>>276 Im rereading "the descent of angels" and to keep from punching walls I'm breaking it up with "blind man's bluff"
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The entire Battletech novel collection. I'm starting on the Chaos Wars now. Never thought I'd say this, but they're not bad. Mostly. If anyone's interested, I could upload them to anonfiles. I got all of them zipped.
Currently reading the A Certain Magical Index LNs. At book 2 and enjoying it so far, but they're clearly LNs, not actual novels. >>309 That'd be neat, I've been meaning to get into them myself.
>>309 Oh God please do. I grabbed a set years ago but its in .lit format and that is fucking awful.
Hope your ok with Kindle files, I have them in .rft too, but it would be too big to upload directly.
>>316 The files are named azw3 but its a mobi as you said. And Mobi and Epub are the gold standard for me personally. Perfect ebook file formats.
>>317 I looked into it. Azw3 was a very similar format that's basically mobi plus drm. Amazon ditched it in 03 or 06 when they bought the company that invented mobi. So now all amazon ebooks are mobi. Which is what I'm used to and what I think of when someone says kindle format. So theres the confusion explained. But it is essentially mobi.
>>316 Yeah haven't read any yet but a preliminary check through shows no bad files. The books load and look great. I very much look forward to finally reading more of these. Very much enjoyed them the last time I tried. Thank you kindly anon.
>>276 I've been reading the entire Ender's Game series out of order. I've read Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Giant, and now I'm reading Shadow Puppets. It's neat to see the idiosyncrasies and changes in continuity over the decades of Card's creation of the series.
>>322 That's a better reading order then what was considered the series when I was younger. The Shadow series following bean and petra was a late addition, after he had written a number of books following Ender. But most people hated those books. The old reading order was Enders game Speaker for the dead Xenocide Children of the mind And I do not reccomend those. The bean series is far more enjoyable, plus we finally see a bit of empathy towards Peter. Hope you enjoy the series anon.
>>323 The bean stories are indeed great. Peter playing politics makes for some of the best story beats, though it does get unrealistic at times. Hey, what can you do? Gotta make the one world gov under Peter work out somehow, what better way than by using Bean to dab on people getting in Peter's way until he's powerful enough to not need Bean anymore?
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I just finished reading Dracula. Interesting bit is how nearly the whole story is a bunch of friendzoned chumps simping over the girl that friendzoned them. And the funny part is she specifically friendzoned them for their rich friend, so as nice as the book tries to make her seem, she still comes off as a gold digger. Anyway, the whole thing really drops off after the first act, since that's the part where Dracula is actually present and you actually get a creepy atmosphere. The second act basically plays out like an episode of Columbo, where the characters are trying to solve a mystery, but the audience already knows the answer. It's fine, but is easily the weakest part of the story. It picks up again once characters start to realize what's going on, but never again gets as interesting as the first act, where the most interesting character is actually present, and much more focus is spent on building an interesting atmosphere. Plus, that's the only part where we can at least pretend we don't already know the mystery the characters are trying to solve, so it's at least fun to see it be put together not just for the characters, but for the audience. All that said, I'd still be interested in seeing a single film version that actually tries to be somewhat accurate to the novel. I suppose it's hard, because people watching a Dracula film don't want Dracula to disappear early in the story and barely be present for the vast majority of it. But it is interesting how basically no film version is anywhere close to accurate. Coppola's version markets itself with the author's name but hinges on plots that were nowhere in the novel, and adds all sorts of weird shit to be cool. While it does contain most of the plot beats, the things that are added become so much of the focus that the plot of the novel ends up feeling like a background element. Because of course the plot of doctors trying to diagnose a disease is less interesting than Dracula doing Dracula stuff, which he barely does in the novel. But still, I'd be interested in seeing that movie or maybe miniseries play out.
tldr 0/10 wouldnt recommend to anyone; awful all around this book is about a guy that rewrites history for a totalitarian state but falls in love with a girl and they have sex in the slums. there's a reappearing symbol of clementines and bells tolling or something like that. anyway, the main guy gets in trouble for this because love is no allow, and so he gets tortured. at the end he dines at a cafe and realizes conformity was the best option all along. what a brave new world. terrible book, should have never been published.
>>378 And you didn't pick up any themes or anything?
>>378 What about like brave new world or farenheit 451. I mean maybe you just don't like Orwell
>>378 But what about animal farm tho
Can I ask for recommendations for any interesting books on any real life subjects? On a whim I've decided to read eclectically, I read a book called Ignition which documents some of the history behind rocket development(mostly rocket fuels), The History of the Peloponnesian War and a couple of books on industrial and organic food operations called Everything I Want To Do is Illegal and The Omnivore's dilemma and I found them really interesting topics even if I've never cared much about them before and I doubt I'll use that knowledge much after.
>>382 I'm a big fan of Heirs of the Founders, which covers American politics from 1830-1860, which is often skipped my other sources.
>>382 Lately I've been reading two accounts of disaster Daniel james Brown "the indifferent stars above" and Alfred Lansings "Endurance" the first is an account of the Donner Party and the second the account of the Shackleton expedition to the north pole. Which starts with the ship being destroyed in Ice, and gets worse from there. I like Fiva by gordon Stainforth, an account of him and his twin brother mountain climbing and getting fucked up. These are all of the niche genre of survival stories, from those who lived. For war I like douglas southall Freeman "R E Lee" which is four volumes and is a total account of the General and the progress of the war, from his days in US army detailing the mexican War, and moving on to the War of Northern Aggression with a strategic and tactical level unrivalled before or since. The definitive military account, and it along with the 3 volume "Lee's lieutenants" are the source books you will find in any book on the civil war. For WW1 there is a plethora but the guns of August by barbara tuchman is a good place to start. Or is there a different subject you'd prefer?
>Picked up an old used copy of Casino Royale for a couple bucks For those asking, it's one of the Signet paperback releases with yellowing pages, and some red coating applied to the edges. >Decide to read through just to get the "original" Bond experience >Finished it in about a week because it's so short <Bond is a plucky gambler who's still green and doesn't give two shits about the importance of his job and position <He fucks up, A LOT <The books ends with him getting kicked square in the balls with a dose of reality of just how stupid and ignorant he is <And, that the only reason he's still alive is because of his uncanny amount of luck Well, onto the next book.
>>390 Heh yeah original fleming Bond is a bit different. Personally I think he's more likeable. If you want serious spy stuff len deighton and jean le carre are very good, thought far less pulpy.
Any recommendations for more "modern" pulp series? How's the Jack Reacher series, I've been watching the recent show and I'm actually kind of interested in those now.
>>392 The Reacher series ain't bad, the first book is the slowest but it picks up from there. Other than that I'm trying to think of more modern pulps. Connelly does some detective stuff that ain't terrible. Short stories from w40k usually feature unknown writers. Give people a chance to get started writing it seems. Some are good. More scifi pulp though. Let me think on it.
>>393 Thank you.
>>393 Also, what about older pulps? I've been reading through Mack Bolan: The Executioner and so far every book's been better than the last in my opinion. As much as I love the punisher it's really good seeing more subtle subterfuge like the entirety of the third book and Bolan's unshakable idea of good and evil being mixed with him going "fuck it I'm going to die anyways might as well have fun along the way when I can"
>>395 Older pulps are good. Sorry for the delay. I immediately look up these Mack Bolan books. So fucking good. That's all I got. Great recommendation.
>Finally finished Lacey's Ford: The Men and the Machine >Gave me a general idea of the Ford story up to the mid-80's <However the actual book was a waste of time <Very unfocussed in the story it wanted to tell <Author was very opinionated in his portrayal of every person mentioned <Random details appear out of nowhere that do no relate to the subject at hand Well, there goes a month of my life that I'll never get back. Think I won't be reading anything that isn't far above 200 pages for a while.
>>421 Damn that's unfortunate. It sucks when an agenda derails a book.
Anyone got recommendations for any decent sword and sorcery? I quite liked Son of the Black Sword and its sequels, am considering Solomon Kane next.
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Currently reading Infinite Jest. Been chipping away at it for a few months. I still think that the reason anons (and women,..) enjoy it is because of the stockholm syndrome they get (or some form of sunken-cost fallacy) for how dense it is. Couple of neat bits, and the writing style has potential (even if DFW is a pseud when it comes to formal English). >>522 Gene Wolfe's Knight and Wizard. It's somewhat subtle in its sorcery, but makes up for it with interesting fae and gnarly political giants. Like most of Wolfe, the dialogue is sparse, yet dense. You feel like you age 2 years just reading it.
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Just finished off The Book of Three. It's essentially a children's book, but boy did it come off as refreshing just to read a simple light-hearted fantasy novel. Curious if the rest of the Prydain books ramp it up as they progress.
>>528 Interesting. I like the cover.
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The Widow's Son. It's this alternate universe wild west where there's tech on the level of batons powered by backpack carried hand cranked faraday cages, mecha and there are supernatural elements like monsters. The main character, Two Crows, is a federal marshal in the occult research division which is a fancy way of saying Abe Lincoln made his own monster hunter division. It's neat but there are a few eyebrow raising aspects about it. Mostly the "representation" aspect. The female lead, the titular Widow, starts off somewhat tomboyish and driven because her son was kidnapped by an occult witch. She slightly devolves into a marvel quipster with shit like "See, this me fretting!" and more or less slutting it up because she was unhappy in her marriage(it also turned out her kidnapped son was a result of an affair with a literal indian/native god of fertility, but he may or may not have put a spell on her for that) with the main character. There's also a 'reasonable' all-negro mechanized infantry that go on with "woe is we, we fight for the country but piypo are rayciss against us" Besides that I suppose it's minor enough that it's not much of an issue. It's so far a fun read.
>>533 Sounds fascinating. Some pozz which sucks but sounds mostly ignorable. Will grab. Thanks anon.
I recently read the Hannibal Lecter novels. Each is worse than the last, and that goes for Silence of the Lambs, which gets much more praise than it deserves. Don't get me wrong, I like it a lot, and I even like Hannibal, but Red Dragon is much better than both of them. The interesting part of the whole series is getting into the minds of these characters, and none of the sequels do that as well as Red Dragon. Dolarhyde is by far the most interesting character in the series, including Lecter, and Graham is a far more interesting character than Starling. Graham's gimmick is that he has the mind of a serial killer but tries to use it for good, despite it being dangerous for him both physically and psychologically. Starling's gimmick is that she's a young girl, and the novel goes out of its way to reassure you that she is never in any danger anyway. Red Dragon has a cool thing where almost half the novel is from the killer's point of view, and his story is mirrored with Graham's. Silence of the Lambs, by contrast, feels like its killer is just a throwaway MacGuffin. Buffalo Bill is a very memorable character thanks to an excellent performance in the film adaptation, but there really isn't that much to him, especially compared to Dolarhyde. Lecter is a compelling character in all the novels, even without Hopkins' famous portrayal, but obviously making him so important in the third one was not the most artistic move. And I don't think Harris thought it was either. But they demanded a sequel from him, and they surely demanded more Lecter, so he did the best with what was demanded of him, and it still ends up being a good novel. It actually makes Starling a much more interesting character, as she now actually has some inner conflict, and her arc is more than just trying to prove herself against a society that is vaguely implied to be sexist despite her boss being super nice and doing everything he can to help her (especially compared to how he treated Graham. And yes, you can consider this to be character development for Crawford, but it still deals a blow to the idea that Starling is fighting sexism, which is basically the closest thing she has to a central conflict in the story). But in Hannibal, Starling is actually pulled in multiple directions and thus feels like an actual character with some depth and intrigue, instead of just a designated protagonist that is purely good and right. She still isn't as interesting as Graham, but it's something. And I'll give Harris credit for doing an ending that pissed off the retards that liked Silence of the Lambs for the wrong reasons (feminism), including Jodie Foster. He tried to add at least a bit of artistry to what was obviously a work for hire, even if the movie version that the novel was clearly written to support went and changed (ruined) it anyway. Without giving it away, I can't imagine how anyone could read the novel and then watch the movie and not see that the movie destroys all the themes and character arcs from the whole thing. And it's not like it wasn't already still feminist in the novel. But it's never enough for them, because it tried to be feminist while still actually making the female protagonist have some depth, and we can't have that, because depth implies she isn't perfect. Also, Mason Verger is a far more interesting character than Buffalo Bill. Neither of them are nuanced characters that are so compelling they almost feel like the protagonist, like Dolarhyde does, but if you're gonna have black and white villains, then fine, go with Mason Verger's cartoonish supervillainy. And yes, it was clearly only done so they could make Lecter seem like less of a villain by contrast, but I'll take it. This is also the novel where Hannibal basically starts becoming Wolverine, so whatever. The premise of seriousness is out the window, but it's an entertaining book. Previously Lecter was very smart and observant, and the closest he gets to a superpower is a very fine sense of smell (even though he insists he can't smell Starling's cunt, so evidently Multiple Miggs had a better version of that superpower), but even that feels like it's just a guy who is very bored and locked away for a long time finding it very easy to notice the few minute changes to his environment. Here we're suddenly told he has an extra finger, just to make him different, but also his senses now seemingly work well enough that he can identify people by smell from the other side of a large outdoor crowd. Whatever. Fuck it. It's not the same appeal the first two novels had, but it's still fun. Obviously Hannibal Rising is shit. Thomas Harris was forced to write it because the movie studio said they'd do it with or without him. Again, he did his best to salvage a bad idea. The series was already cartoony by this point, so now Hannibal is basically a ninja, and the tragic backstory alluded to in the previous one is fleshed out to the degree that it now comes across as cliche and ridiculous, but if you're gonna do a prequel about his childhood, this is what the previous novel set up. Well, not the ninja part, but whatever. I've read worse novels. This isn't painful to read or anything. It's just really dumb. But if you've read the other three and you don't mind an incredibly mindless revenge story, then here you go. While I'm here being autistic, I'll go on a little more about the movies. Manhunter is the first adaptation of Red Dragon, and I've heard people say it's unfairly overlooked because of its lack of Anthony Hopkins as Lecter. And to be clear, it is a good movie, and Brian Cox's portrayal of Lector (for some reason with an alternate spelling) is perhaps more faithful to the novel. Part of being more faithful is that it's more minor, but Cox does a good job, as does everyone else in the movie. It's directed by Michael Mann, of Miami Vice, and his visual style is very interesting in anything. It works well here as well. Where I feel the movie suffers is that in trying to condense things, most of Dolarhyde's material is cut or rushed through, and he never really gets the chance to be as compelling as he is in the novel or the later adaptation. The 2002 version of Red Dragon is by Brett Ratner, and he isn't exactly known for psychological thrillers, but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that Ratner actually did it better than Michael Mann here. But a large part of that is just because he managed to keep more of Dolarhyde's story. Visually he doesn't hold a candle to Mann, but I never needed Red Dragon to look like Miami Vice, even if I do like how Manhunter looks. Of course Ratner's Red Dragon has a bunch of additional Lecter stuff, with Anthony Hopkins, to capitalize on Silence of the Lambs, but that isn't why I like this version better. I do like Hopkins' scenes, even the ones that are original to the movie. It is a great performance. But the story doesn't need them, and Cox does just fine. It's Ralph Fiennes' Dolarhyde that makes the film better. He has more to work with, since he has more screentime, but also the character is both written and portrayed with much more humanity, much more accurately to the novel. William Petersen and Ed Norton both do a good job as Graham, but Petersen might do a better job at showing that Graham is actually psychologically suffering as he tries to put himself in the mind of a killer, while Norton just sort of portrays it as a superpower that an otherwise plain protagonist has. So I guess Petersen does a better job portraying the protagonist, and Mann has a better director's eye, but these things aren't enough to tip the scales in Manhunter's favor for me.
>>536 The film of Silence of the Lambs is fine. Overrated as hell, but fine. Hopkins is excellent, as is Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill. Jodie Foster as Clarice is nothing special, but I don't know if I can even blame her since the character is nothing terribly special in this. She does a good job with what she's given, which isn't much. But then she quit the sequel apparently because she didn't like how it actually made her character interesting. So I guess I can blame Foster after all. The film of Hannibal has a ruined ending but Hopkins continues to give a compelling performance, and Gary Oldman does an excellent job as Mason Verger. Ray Liotta is also very memorable in his role, though part of that is due to one particular scene, and almost anyone would have been memorable in it. You know the one. Julianne Moore is fine as Starling. The ending being changed means she has a lot less to work with than she could have had, so she ends up being boring and forgettable, but that's the character in the script. It's fine. Like the novel, it's a dumb sequel that didn't need to happen, and ruining the ending doesn't help at all, but it's carried by some great performances, not unlike the film of The Silence of the Lambs. So if you like one you might as well like the other. The film of Hannibal Rising is as shit as you would expect of a film based on that novel. Watchable, sure, but it doesn't exactly give you any reason to watch. I also watched the TV show of Hannibal, and it's goddamn ridiculous. It also switches premises several times, but for some reason I kept watching. Mads Mikkelsen does a good job as Lecter, enough that you forget about Hopkins, and that's saying something. I like that the series focuses on Graham, who is the only interesting protagonist in the series. The first season is crime of the week where Graham looks to Hannibal for advice on different murders, while there is one serial killer on the loose who they can't catch, and we know he's Hannibal but nobody else does. Fine. This is a perfectly reasonable premise for a tv series, and aside from some minor tweaks (like the numbers of murders Graham actually solved in his backstory), this is pretty much the backstory of Red Dragon. There are some clever episodes, or maybe they're dumb depending on how you look at it, but for example, there is one killer who is a doctor and acts very much like Hopkins' portrayal of Lector. So the show gets to have its cake and eat it too, as it does an episode that's a bit more like what people might expect, while also doing a bit of commentary on how that would be stupid, and simultaneously making this show's version of Lector look cooler. Also, I'll point out here that two characters from the novel are switched from male to female. One is so Graham's coworker can now be a love interest. Stupid, since they could have just used Graham's wife from the novel, but instead she just suddenly shows up after a timeskip much later on. The other is Freddy Lounds, the sleazy reporter. Honestly, being female kind of works for that character, so while I hated it at first, I got used to it. A modern sleazy reporter would make more sense being female. She would get away with more bullshit. Season 2, shit goes off the rails, and is the whole reason I am even bothering to talk about the show. Hannibal frames Graham for his crimes, after fucking with his head to the point that even Graham isn't sure if he really did it or not, and basically they switch their traditional roles, so now Graham is the smart serial killer they visit in jail for advice. But now the series is really about Lecter and Graham pulling mind games on each other, while also having an absurd amount of homoerotic chemistry. And while that's typical of modern tv, here it made me think that it wasn't just modern gay tv writers. Honestly, it ends up feeling like the writers ran out of ideas for a Red Dragon prequel, and just started doing a live action Death Note. Because that's what it ends up feeling like. It feels like it's gay because Death Note feels gay, and they're just ripping off Death Note hardcore. But it just gets more gay from there. Because see what happened IRL is these people had the rights to Red Dragon, Hannibal, and Hannibal Rising, but not Silence of the Lambs, so they tried to adapt Hannibal without adapting Silence of the Lambs or any elements from it. And that includes Starling. So they tried to do the plot of Hannibal (while also mashing in elements from Hannibal Rising into it), where Hannibal and the protagonist, Starling, have essentially a romance happening, only they didn't have the rights to Starling, so they swapped her out for Graham, so now they're quite explicit that Hannibal and Graham are gay. But it's not like they're full on fucking, it's more psychological than that, as it is in Hannibal. It's stupid, but it doesn't come across as gay for the sake of being SJW. It comes across as gay for the sake of liking Death Note and trying to do a story with a female protagonist but they had to swap her for a male protagonist. And also the show builds up to how these guys are psychologically messing with each other so much that by the time they just admit it's gay, it's like "yeah, that makes sense." What doesn't make sense is that after all of this, they do a pretty straightforward adaptation of Red Dragon. And it's fine. Not as good as either movie version, though. Meanwhile some other people had the rights to Silence of the Lambs, so they made a show called Clarice. But they don't have the rights to Red Dragon, Hannibal, or Hannibal Rising, so they can't even mention Hannibal Lector, Jack Crawford, or any other elements that originated with any of those novels. This is even dumber than trying to adapt Hannibal without being able to use Starling. Also the trailer made it clear the whole point of the show was just more feminism, how Clarice is so great because she is a woman. I don't have time for that. I'll sit through three seasons of Hannibal being super duper gay, but this is too much even for me. And I got pretty autistic for this franchise recently. tl;dr: Red Dragon is a very underrated novel and has two very underrated movies. Silence of the Lambs is overrated but fine. Hannibal is stupid but at least Harris tried a little. Hannibal Rising is fucking retarded but readable and watchable. The Hannibal TV series seems like it's generic at first but actually it's fucking pants-on-head retarded, but retarded enough to keep me watching through the whole thing. And there's a Clarice tv series from the last couple years, but fuck that. >>378 The tone of your description of the ending seems to imply that you missed the point entirely. Also, it's a must read purely because of how SJWs don't want you to read it and realize they've been using it and Brave New World as an instruction manual.
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Finished off The Hustler, and it was a great short novel to read. The short of it is that it's about a pool hustler that comes running into Chicago, thinking he's the greatest thing since sliced bread,, absolutely humiliates himself playing against the "best" player in the country, and spends the rest of the novel wrestling with his emotions over why he's in Chicago in the first place. With the overall theme of the novel boiling down to the statement that there's a stark difference between people who think they're the best and the people who actually win. It's an absolutely great read. As for the movie adaptions, and the sequel(s), I haven't read nor watched them, but I hear those are excellent as well.
>>537 I remembered liking red dragon and more or less forgetting all the other books. didnt see the movies past the first one and red dragon which while good was not as good as the novel. The tv series sounds batshit insane. Might have to watch a bit of that.


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