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Re: Last Book Read...

Digital Fortress-I'm embarassed to say that I wasted the course of a day off on this book.  I'll be very blunt; I think Dan Brown is a hack writer.  He relies on every cheap trick to hold on to the reader's attention.  He's extremely formulaic for one thing-you've got the opening murder, attractive, intelligent do-good-at-all-costs protagonist, the assassin with a physical defect, the wonders of technology, double-dealing "allies" and some (European) globe-trotting, although not as much as in Angels and Demons and the Da Vinci Code.  His characterizations are fairly one-dimensional; the deceptive characters' betrayals all don't quite make sense.  There are lots of minor ones running around, too, making things a little confusing.  I sort of saw the big twist coming, but generally I was fairly entertained.  If you're an ACLU member, you'll probably be horrified by the characters' defense of the NSA Crypto unit.  Brown's thrillers are a little like popcorn; they're not intellectually substantial, but they're good for a day's entertainment and keep some of your brain occupied in unravelling the multiple plotlines.  And don't pay any attention to the style because there isn't one.

The fact that I can't put the book down once I've started says something in Brown's favor.

Flattery will get you nowhere, but don't stop trying.

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Re: Last Book Read...

Anthony Horowitz's Stormbreaker which is the first novel in the Alex Rider series.
It's pretty much Young Bond in the modern era, and although it a Young Adult novel, I still found that I couldn't put it down.
I'm now looking forward to reading Point Blanc, and the following novels!

Last edited by asio (7th Dec 2005 06:26)

Drawn Out Dad.
Independent, one-shot comic books from the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia.
twitter.com/DrawnOutDad

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Re: Last Book Read...

Prey by Michael Crichton

Crichton's books tend to be hit or miss, and I classify this one as a 'miss.'  After the first third of the book reading about a 'desperate house-hsuband' the story proceeds into ambiguous science and technology theories, until it finally de-evolves into a cheesy sci-fi action plot. I think sometimes MC tries a bit too hard.

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Re: Last Book Read...

Here's an interesting read for fans of Sherlockiana...

Against the Brotherhood by Quinn Fawcett

This book chronicles the exploits of Sherlock Holmes' (smarter) brother, Mycroft and his loyal attache, Guthrie. I suppose the story is exactly what it should be (more international intrigue, then thrilling mystery) and stylistically Quinn Fawcett is a talented writer. Plot-wise the story is a bit lackluster, but still a passable romp.

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Finished Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith last week. Another case for Renko and another cracking read.

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

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Currently re-reading John Gardner's "Boysie Oakes" series. Have finished "The Liquidator" and am now on "Understrike". I'd semi-forgotten how much fun this series was!

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i just finished bloodfever - a fantasic book ajb007/smile

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The Chinatown Deathcloud Peril

Fantastically fun read for fans of pulp novels. Corny title, but completely accurate and appropos. The plot regales a fictional account between Walter Gibson (creator of The Shadow) and Lester Dent (creator of Doc Savage) who become entangled in uncovering a dangerous plot that threatens the population of New York's Chinatown. Doc Savage and Shadow fans will enjoy the small details author Paul Malmont incorporates into Gibson and Dent that are reminescent of their pulp alter-egos. Fun fun fun!

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Re: Last Book Read...

I've been reading the author I always find myself returning to, Robert E. Howard.

He sold his first yarn to the pulp Weird Tales at the tender age of 18 in 1924, and from then until his sad and premature death at 30, put out some of the most prolific and verbal excellence of the ages. Volume one in the series is titled Shadow Kingdoms.

HP. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Two Gun Bob were the triumvirate supreme. My favorite authors besides Ian Fleming and JRR. Tolkien.

Quite a weird mix, I know. ajb007/smile

Last edited by Alex (26th Oct 2006 19:35)

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Alex wrote:

I've been reading the author I always find myself returning to, Robert E. Howard.

He sold his first yarn to the pulp Weird Tales at the tender age of 18 in 1924, and from then until his sad and premature death at 30, put out some of the most prolific and verbal excellence of the ages. Volume one in the series is titled Shadow Kingdoms.

HP. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Two Gun Bob were the triumvirate supreme. My favorite authors besides Ian Fleming and JRR. Tolkien.

Quite a weird mix, I know. ajb007/smile

If you are a fan of Lovecraft, then I suggest you peruse a copy of the book I mentioned above. HP makes a rather interesting (and fitting) appearance in the novel!

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Thanks, Daren. The novel sounds like a blast!

A Cthulu mythos fan I may be, but also a Doc Savage one. Definitely look next time at B&B or Borders.

ajb007/bond

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Re: Last Book Read...

Just read Casino Royale again before the movie comes out. I wanted to refresh myself so I could really know how close the film is to the book when I see it.

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Recently read Fleming's The Spy Who Loved Me in a single sitting---obviously the 'novelty' volume in his Bond canon, it's nevertheless quite entertaining, particularly when Bond finally shows up, about halfway through  ajb007/bond  Fleming's cheeky Americanisms are at their most amusing here:  "This shamus is a Limey dick!"  ajb007/insane  ajb007/lol 

I'm now a third of the way through On Her Majesty's Secret Service.  I started reading Casino Royale in the spring, and have been re-reading them all, in order (for the ???th time!) to help gear myself up for the more literary film incarnation...

My admiration for the author (warts and all) continues to grow.

Last edited by Loeffelholz (30th Oct 2006 05:10)

"Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
"I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
"Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM

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Re: Last Book Read...

Don Quixote.  Yep--the Cervantes classic, this one rendered into English by Edith Grossman.  Every now and then I get the urge to tackle one of the Great World Classics that weighs in at 1,000 pages or so--in the past I've handled War and Peace and Les Miserables--and I found the Don to be downright wonderful.  Really, it's two separate novels--they were written ten years apart--and they're best read separately.  Part One shows that violent, grossout humor is hardly an invention of the modern age; and Part Two is all about the pains of, well, being a famous literary character.  Don't let the "classic" tag fool you--it's great stuff!

Vox clamantis in deserto

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YoungBond 3. Charlie Higson continues to defy logic as he turns in another great novel. This is possibly his best yet, dark in places -  but not as dark as BloodFever. He certainly keeps you turning the page - not a bad trick when I'm nearly 30 yrs over the demographic that tis book is aimed at.
If you haven't read any of the YoungBond books, you really should give them a try.

YNWA: Justice For The 96

The Joy Of 6

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Re: Last Book Read...

Andy A 007 wrote:

Just read Casino Royale again before the movie comes out. I wanted to refresh myself so I could really know how close the film is to the book when I see it.

I did precisely the same thing, and I was quite impressed by how closely the script did stick to the book, taking into account to change of setting (1953 France to 2006 Montenegro). Quite a few little details remained relatively intact which was part of the excitement of watching casino royale in my opinion.

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The Lost World by Michael Crichton The sequel to Jurassic Park which is an awesome book. Anyways the book was great.

Last edited by Pierce Brosnan335 (13th Dec 2006 00:53)

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David Thomson's 'Nicole Kidman.'  It's a bit bizarre.  Thomson's completely in lust with her.  You could invent a drinking game based around how many times he mentions her pert bottom.

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I've decided to start reading the Bond series in order.  I just finished Live and Let Die. Both CR and LALD are amazing.

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I've been in whodunnit mode recently- Colin Dexter, Ian Rankin, Agatha Christie. Am currently taking a break from that by reading "Dead Halt" by Alastair MacNeill, which is pretty poor; in fact, only my inbuilt loathing of stopping a book halfway through prevents me from throwing it aside.

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Just Finished Congo. Despite it being a little short it was good. Great plot. Also when Amy swore at Peter that was funny. Going to read all his books hopefully when summer b8-)egins. ajb007/rolleyes

Last edited by Pierce Brosnan335 (13th Dec 2006 00:55)

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The City And The Stars by Arthur C. Clarke

I've read this book at least 10 times; it's probably my favorite sci-fi novel and a great read. The story takes place one billion years in the future; mankind has achieved both immortality and stagnation and most of humanity now lives in the fantastic city of Diaspar, totally isolated and cut off from the rest of the universe. Into this seeming utopia comes Alvin, the first child born in millions of years and the only person in the city with any spark of curiosity about what lies outside its walls.

The novel was written in 1956 and is a reworking of his earlier novella Against The Fall of Night, which was in turn inspired by a classic short story by John W. Campbell called Twilight.

Clarke is in top form with really fascinating characters, engaging prose and fantastic (but always easily understandable) scientific concepts. Even though it was written over 50 years ago the story is not dated at all and the writing feels very fresh and contemporary.

I'd strongly recommend it to anyone even moderately interested in reading a good science fiction or adventure book.

Last edited by TonyDP (13th Dec 2006 01:04)

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Double Indemnity by James M Cain. This is my favorite movie at the moment and now I've read the book as well. Man meets woman, they commit a crime, and distrust, double-dealing and paranoia ensue. The book is a quick read at only around 100 pages. The dialogue isn't as clever as that in the movie, but the characters are even more ruthless and the storyline is even more bleak. ajb007/martini

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Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

Have to admit I haven't finished it yet, and I'm starting to wonder if I ever will. Read this way back in school (ah, those were the days: everything was in black & white back then, men wore hats...). We must have read an abridged version which just contained the main story.

Can't believe this is such a long book - I'm certainly learning a lot about whales, but after 112 chapters I can't help wishing Melville would get to the point, and start his story.

Oh, and HB; I was in 'Hardy Country' (Somerset/Dorset/Wessex) recently. Care to expand on the delights of, or your particular fascination for Hardy? Do you use any of the novels as set texts?

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Bill Tanner wrote:

Oh, and HB; I was in 'Hardy Country' (Somerset/Dorset/Wessex) recently. Care to expand on the delights of, or your particular fascination for Hardy? Do you use any of the novels as set texts?

Lucky you!  All you need to do is read my profile.  Enjoy! ajb007/biggrin

Vox clamantis in deserto