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 Post subject: Books
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 11:21 
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Someone once gave me a copy of The Lovely Bones, by Alice Seabold. I disliked it to the point that instead of passing it on or giving it to charity I tore it up and put the pages in the recycling bin :o

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The Lovely Bones is a 2002 novel by Alice Sebold. It is the story of a teenage girl who, after being raped and murdered, watches from Heaven as her family and friends struggle to move on with their lives while she comes to terms with her own death. The novel received much critical praise and became an instant bestseller


It wasn't just cynically written to prompt emotional guilt, but the writing was pretty shoddy, too.

Also, the Stieg Larsson 'Girl with the too many novels written about her' series, which is just a middle aged man's fantasy of being some kind of sex magnet writ large and read by too many people. Goodness me it is awful, turgid stuff. He merely walks into a room before every woman appears naked in the doorway, demanding sex.

I try to avoid anything that remains in a bookshop window for more than two weeks for this reason, now.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 11:28 
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Appleseed by John Clute. It's like he swallowed a thesaurus and shat it out all over the page. There are perilous few books in my life I've ever started and not finished, but that's one of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 11:28 
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Atomised.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 11:58 
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Dan Brown. Cannot stand the stuff. Makes Larsson look erudite.


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 11:59 
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I didn't even bother trying with Dan Brown.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 12:39 
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Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Dan Brown. Cannot stand the stuff. Makes Larsson look erudite.

Oh, so many times :this:


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 14:20 
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Heart of Darkness. There are approximately seventy words in the entire book that are not some permuation of "heart" or "dark". Also, almost nothing happens, very slowly. Every time I turned a page, I heard Bernard Black's line, louder and louder of "enjoy! It's dreadful, but it's quite short."

A Portrait of the Artist as a Boring Twat. Quite the most tedious pile of nob I've ever read. I spent almost a month trying to find something interesting enough about it to get more than 100 pages in and failed miserably. Even the punctuation was bad.

Any of of those "misery memoirs", which are mostly complete fabrications and all entirely geared towards sadistic voyeurism masquerading as shock and sympathy. I wouldn't mind so much if the people who read them just admitted that they're fascinated by the sadism (which is a pretty normal human thing), but no, they have to pretend it's about how 'inspirational' they are. The pansy arse fucking nonces.

Any one of those books about a woman moans about her idiot husband (and not in a fun, normal way that people who genuinely love each other do, but with genuine contempt, as though her marrying him wasn't entirely her own stupid fucking fault), who along with every other character in the book (teenagers score double points here, because market research indicates that the target demographic probably has one) is nothing more than a paper-thin stereotype, and then chucks him in a manner designed to get the witless to shout "you go girl", and goes on to have some excruciatingly middle-class adventure like starting an 'interior design' (never decorating, oh no) business, or doling out bland and obvious articles/relationship advice to other people whose first nugget of advice should really have been "never pass on your genes or idiot opinions to some poor defenceless infant". She'll usually be called Jridget Bones, and these books prove further that you really can judge a book by its cover, because every single one looks exactly the same.

The equivalent books targeted at men, which are all called things like HONOR OF THE DEATH KILL PRESIDENT (the capitals are important, also the font must be either metallic or near-futuristic computer HUD-like). I have less contempt for these because while they're just as insulting and crap as the above ones, they tend to at least tend to be somewhat researched (anything to do with the military, basically), and something actually happens in them.

Dan Brown. The very first page conjured an unshakable image of a man sat at a computer hollering "HEY MAW! I PRESSED THE BUTTON AND THE WORD DONE CAME ON THE SCREEN!", then spending an hour trying to decide which of his young children's homework he should plagiarise before copping off for a wank (which he'd later pass off to a journalist as research).

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 17:43 
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I hated the Necronomicon when it fell on my face.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 18:15 
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Mr Dave wrote:
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Dan Brown. Cannot stand the stuff. Makes Larsson look erudite.

Oh, so many times :this:


And a big :this: from me as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 8:39 
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I may well be derided for this, but I hated Catch 22.

The characters were just so annoying, and the whole thing seemed so pointless (possibly part of the point, futility of war or something), and it pissed me off. It wasn't badly written or anything, but the way it seemed to jump around didn't appeal.

I wish I could write something long, detailed and well-reasoned that tore it to pieces but I can't. It just irritated the piss out of me and took ages to read. I actually put it down for quite a long time, even reading A Brief History of Time for some light relief.


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 10:13 
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Sir Taxalot wrote:
I may well be derided for this, but I hated Catch 22.

The characters were just so annoying, and the whole thing seemed so pointless (possibly part of the point, futility of war or something), and it pissed me off. It wasn't badly written or anything, but the way it seemed to jump around didn't appeal.

I wish I could write something long, detailed and well-reasoned that tore it to pieces but I can't. It just irritated the piss out of me and took ages to read. I actually put it down for quite a long time, even reading A Brief History of Time for some light relief.

:this:

If anyone has made it past the first five chapters of Catch 22, they're a more patient person than I am. That book is impossible to read.


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:21 
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Malcolm Gladwell's 'Blink': because frankly I could have taken a few anecdotes, quoted the first few papers that appeared on 'Google Scholar' for 'quick decision-making' and become a billionarie intellectual.

Richard Dawkins' 'The God Delusion': a smug, patronising work read by those who want to feel smug and enjoy patronising others. Almost made me renounce my lack of faith and become a monk.

Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged': just say 'no' kids. Orwell's 'Animal Farm' works as a political allegory because he didn't stop the action every so often so Benjamin the cynical donkey could tell us what to think, and he didn't have horrifically disgusting yet somehow stilted sex scenes either. Man, that's a month's reading I'm never going to get back.


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 Post subject: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:10 
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Kern wrote:
Richard Dawkins' 'The God Delusion': a smug, patronising work read by those who want to feel smug and enjoy patronising others. Almost made me renounce my lack of faith and become a monk.


I do wish he'd stick to writing books on Biology rather than sticking his nose in some sort of atheist movement, where he does more harm than good. I've really enjoyed his non-religious books.


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:14 
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Kvnt

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Yeah, Atlas fucking Shrugged. The Fountainhead is minging, too. It's one long, boring meditation on the virtues of selfishness, the acquisition of wealth, and projectile vomiting at the thought of sharing that wealth. She writes in a shrill, haughty and didactic voice, and presents a morally black-and-white world full of characters with weird and unbelievable motivations. What's not to love?

I hate the fact that I have American friends who think Rand was right about everything, too. She was of some value as a proponent of freethinking, but otherwise, bleeergh.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:22 
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There is a very very good audio book of Catch 22, my dad used to have it on in the car every day and loved it. The one you want is read by Peter Whitman and seem to only be available on cassette.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 12:26 
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sinister agent wrote:
A Portrait of the Artist as a Boring Twat. Even the punctuation was bad.


Is this sarcasm?


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 16:39 
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Sir Taxalot wrote:
I may well be derided for this, but I hated Catch 22.

The characters were just so annoying, and the whole thing seemed so pointless (possibly part of the point, futility of war or something), and it pissed me off. It wasn't badly written or anything, but the way it seemed to jump around didn't appeal.

I wish I could write something long, detailed and well-reasoned that tore it to pieces but I can't. It just irritated the piss out of me and took ages to read. I actually put it down for quite a long time, even reading A Brief History of Time for some light relief.


Ooh, I knew there was one I'd forgotten. Catch 22 got on my tits as well. It was annoying, repetitive, and unbearably smug. The central line about what Catch 22 actually comes from was very clever, and when I forced myself to give it another chance and read the whole thing rather than just half, I found that the bit where Yossarian was walking around the Italian city showed a hint of actual character development and had some quite poignant lines, those two aspects made up about 2 pages. That's not enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 16:41 
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WTB wrote:
sinister agent wrote:
A Portrait of the Artist as a Boring Twat. Even the punctuation was bad.


Is this sarcasm?


No. I don't care if it was experimental and revolutionary and omg wow so unconventional; it was still fucking irritating. Oooh, check me out, I'm using dashes instead of quotation marks. That makes reading my work not a fucking chore with no payoff! Right, reader?

Hello?

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 17:49 

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The Sword of Shannara.

I liked all the prequel stuff set now and near future, two trilogies' worth I think it was... so I went for the one that started it all off. Lord of the bloody Clones.

Ah yes, but if you give it more time and keep reading and..... NO.


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 18:59 
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I'm just reading 'Children Who Kill' and quite frankly it is very badly written. I certainly wont be buying anything else by her. I don't like supposedly factual books that dramatise an already dramatic/awful story any further and it's a shame, because the case studies in it are rather interesting.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 20:32 
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Some big thick sci fi book I was given as a birthday present about 10 years or more ago. Far too trendy 60s. I can't remember who it's by or what it's called now, sadly.

The Unconsoled by the bloke who did Never Let Me Go and Remains of the Day. Bizarre goings off which are interesting at first but ultimately amount to nothing as far as I could tell and it just left me wondering why I'd bothered getting through it. I kept waiting for something to happen and it just didn't seem to.

Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett. About 50 pages in and it was still all over the place seemingly offering no coherent plot at all, I gave up. Small Gods, The Truth, Going Postal and Making Money remain excellent though.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 21:28 
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There are only two Pratchetts I've disliked, "Monstrous Regiment" and the one about football, which remains the only one I never finished because I was bored of it. Still, decent hit rate.

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. It just never fucking started.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 21:31 
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I tried his first one (The Colour of Magic?) it bored me so I never got too far into it.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 22:08 
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Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson. I love Snow Crash and Zodiac.

This blows more goats than Zardoz trapped on a goat farm for a week and a half. It doesn't get going. At all.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 23:51 
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Four_Candles wrote:
Mr Dave wrote:
Doctor Glyndwr wrote:
Dan Brown. Cannot stand the stuff. Makes Larsson look erudite.

Oh, so many times :this:


And a big :this: from me as well.
My introduction to Dan Brown was the audio-book of Deception Point. I really quite enjoyed it -- whatever else the man may or may not be, he's a consummate tease.

Sir Taxalot wrote:
A Brief History of Time
Didn't get too far into this one as the accessibility of Dawkins, which I'd just read a wodge of, simply wasn't there. Might give it another look if I can dig it out.

While I wouldn't say I hated Tom Holt's Valhalla I did hate the fact that it lacked any sort of clever pay-off, to the extent that it was the first book that popped into my head when I read the thread title. Actually got Catch 22 sitting waiting to be read -- dunno if I'll bother now :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 0:58 
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sinister agent wrote:
Any one of those books about a woman moans about her idiot husband (and not in a fun, normal way that people who genuinely love each other do, but with genuine contempt, as though her marrying him wasn't entirely her own stupid fucking fault), who along with every other character in the book (teenagers score double points here, because market research indicates that the target demographic probably has one) is nothing more than a paper-thin stereotype, and then chucks him in a manner designed to get the witless to shout "you go girl", and goes on to have some excruciatingly middle-class adventure like starting an 'interior design' (never decorating, oh no) business, or doling out bland and obvious articles/relationship advice to other people whose first nugget of advice should really have been "never pass on your genes or idiot opinions to some poor defenceless infant". She'll usually be called Jridget Bones, and these books prove further that you really can judge a book by its cover, because every single one looks exactly the same.

The equivalent books targeted at men, which are all called things like HONOR OF THE DEATH KILL PRESIDENT (the capitals are important, also the font must be either metallic or near-futuristic computer HUD-like). I have less contempt for these because while they're just as insulting and crap as the above ones, they tend to at least tend to be somewhat researched (anything to do with the military, basically), and something actually happens in them.


I have no objection to dumb books whatsoever, of either target gender. They're simply there for a bit of entertainment. Far better that than the amount of shit that's out there by authors who think they're far cleverer than they are.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 1:53 
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I have no problem with pulp - I like Matt Reilly, for a start, and his books are bloody ridiculous. But there's a brand of cynical, lazy, insultingly dull tat that gets put out and it's all so utterly generic it makes me want to puke.

Same way there's a difference between good pop and by the numbers pop, good silly action films and bad silly action films.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 6:58 
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I know a lot of people consider it to be an absolute classic, but I never got on with Gravity's Rainbow.


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:07 
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Plissken wrote:
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. It just never fucking started.


I just read that, it takes a while to get into the style but I found it well worth it in the end.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:12 
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I have a school friend with, I can never quite remember, 400 or 600+ Mills and Boon books. She has six delivered by mail every month, plus she regularly tops up her (I think we can call it) addiction with additional books, and they are always in offer, 4 for the price of 3, or whatever, so she'll never just buy one...

She likes particular series, such as the medical romances (?) and keeps them all pristinely organised into the biggest walk-in cupboard you ever saw. She studied English Literature at university, so I'm sure she's in tune with what makes a good literary work, she just loves them!

I only see her once every year or two, but it's always one of the first things I find myself asking her about :D


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 7:16 
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I'm fairly sure I just heard Sinister Agent exploding.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:29 
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Anything by David Eddings. I read The Belgariad series and although the plots were OK, it was his writing style that got on my tits, e.g. having one of the characters 'swing by' to visit someone. I think it's inappropriate for 'epic fantasy' to use contemporary expressions.

Anything by A E van Vogt. Similarly, I thought the basic plots were OK, but he'd introduce a random concept without explaining it sufficiently as a kind of 'get out of jail free' device.

A few Terry Pratchetts didn't do it for me, either e.g. Nation, Monstrous Regiment, Lords and Ladies and possibly a couple of others that I've forgotten.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:35 
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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:48 
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I second Steig Larsson. Genuinely the dullest book I've ever started to read. Gave up after 100 pages of tedious family history.

The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time. Most overrated book in the history of books. OOOOH, I'M AUTISTIC! OOOOH, I'M COPYING PUZZLES FROM OTHER PEOPLE! Dammit man, at least write the book yourself, you idiotic, plagiarising twat! Oh, and the least convincing police officer ever ("I'm here to ensure this boy never leaves my sight, on a train... ah, we're at a station... sure kid, you go to the toilet on your own... oh no, you ran off!").

"The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson. Loved his other books, but this just was a load of pretentious wankery.

Loved Catch-22 though. Made me laugh.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:49 
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Warhead wrote:
Anything by A E van Vogt. Similarly, I thought the basic plots were OK, but he'd introduce a random concept without explaining it sufficiently as a kind of 'get out of jail free' device.


I actually loved him for that very reason. Absolutely hilarious how he'll build up a big world or scenario full of interesting stuff, and then get to the end of the book and almost literally say, "Then the scientist fixed it all".

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:10 
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Warhead wrote:
Anything by David Eddings. I read The Belgariad series and although the plots were OK, it was his writing style that got on my tits, e.g. having one of the characters 'swing by' to visit someone. I think it's inappropriate for 'epic fantasy' to use contemporary expressions.


I loved these when I was 11-12. Re-read them recently, and they are the the most patronising and misogynistic books i've ever read. I even recall thinking at the time, when I was 11, that how come every single woman in the book is "the most beautiful".

You can't get more cliched fantasy than Eddings!


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:16 
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Malabelm wrote:
Kern wrote:
Richard Dawkins' 'The God Delusion': a smug, patronising work read by those who want to feel smug and enjoy patronising others. Almost made me renounce my lack of faith and become a monk.


I do wish he'd stick to writing books on Biology rather than sticking his nose in some sort of atheist movement, where he does more harm than good. I've really enjoyed his non-religious books.

I was lent it by a friend and I can't bring myself to read it.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:38 
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myoptikakaka wrote:
Malabelm wrote:
Kern wrote:
Richard Dawkins' 'The God Delusion': a smug, patronising work read by those who want to feel smug and enjoy patronising others. Almost made me renounce my lack of faith and become a monk.


I do wish he'd stick to writing books on Biology rather than sticking his nose in some sort of atheist movement, where he does more harm than good. I've really enjoyed his non-religious books.

I was lent it by a friend and I can't bring myself to read it.

Always have to bring religion into it, no wonder you can't read it.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 13:15 

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Curiosity wrote:
I second Steig Larsson. Genuinely the dullest book I've ever started to read. Gave up after 100 pages of tedious family history.



I rarely do much reading, but I must say I quite enjoyed Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It does start slowly though, and also ends rather slowly, so some definite pacing issues. I enjoyed it enough to start on the second, but then personal issues meant I couldn't really focus on it and I gave up.

Currently having another crack at Dune though.

I really didn't enjoy Eoin Colfer's 'And Another Thing...' - I appreciate he's not Douglas Adams, but I was expecting something that resembled a Hitchhikers novel in more than just the name of the characters. I too gave up on LOTR about a quarter of the way through Fellowship, just sooooo dull. That was years ago though and I was in my early teens, so maybe I'd need to try again with my adult head on.

I always really struggled to get through Lovecraft's short 'At The Mountains Of Madness' - not sure if that counts here, being as it's a short story. I really wanted to enjoy it, but it's so painfully slow moving.


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 14:46 
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Zardoz wrote:
myoptikakaka wrote:
I was lent it by a friend and I can't bring myself to read it.

Always have to bring religion into it, no wonder you can't read it.


Wow - tenuous ?:|

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 15:42 
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Not sure I have actually hated any books, but there are a number I have put down without any intention of picking back up:
Silmarillon, wtf?
Gormenghast - I can only take so many steps down a corridor of paintings before I give up.

Conversely, I liked Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver, it has a very subtle humour, that appeals to me. Plus, I like the period aspect of it (don't tell the wife!).
Also liked catch 22, loved Eddings as a kid.

In response to SA's tirade, Mrs Curiosity (used to) own a book called Unchained Melony. FFS.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 16:12 
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Sleepyhead

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"Unchained Melanie", but yes, :spew:

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 16:16 
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Bah. If you spell it Bobby's way, it sounds like it's all about lasses getting their knockers out.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 16:25 
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Bobbyaro wrote:
Conversely, I liked Neal Stephenson's Quicksilver, it has a very subtle humour, that appeals to me. Plus, I like the period aspect of it (don't tell the wife!).
I adored all three of the Baroque Cycle, although I know others who claimed Quicksilver was too slow. I suppose it is fairly slow, but it's pretty nuanced, and my God but there's some payoffs for your investment in the later books (the action scenes in the Egyptian market is one of my favourite chapters of anything ever).

I'd like to re-read them soon (which would be the third time now).


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 16:36 
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Lord Humongous

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Mimi wrote:
Zardoz wrote:
myoptikakaka wrote:
I was lent it by a friend and I can't bring myself to read it.

Always have to bring religion into it, no wonder you can't read it.


Wow - tenuous ?:|

You're just mad because I didn't like the cake you posted for my birthday.

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 16:45 
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It will take a while before a thaw of forgiveness starts to bring forth flowers, that's for sure :(


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 19:13 
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Peculiar, yet lovely

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MaliA wrote:
I'm fairly sure I just heard Sinister Agent exploding.


There was a lovely old blind lady who used to come into a library where I worked. She liked the mills and boon audio books, but couldn't read the covers. So she'd ask me to read them out for her.

It was brilliant fun. I did the DRAMATIC VOICE and everything.

Curiosity wrote:
"Unchained Melanie", but yes, :spew:


That reminds me of a girlfrie... well anyway, it sounds terrible :hug:

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 19:15 
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There's a recording that needs to be made!

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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 21:43 
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Gogmagog

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Mimi wrote:
There's a recording that needs to be made!


Aren't Craster and Gaywood busy with their food blog?


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 Post subject: Re: Books
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 22:22 
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Est. 1978

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Not that busy ;)

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