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View Diary: Contemporary Fiction Views: 'The round house will be my body' (36 comments)

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  •  "If you had the time, I'd read them in order . . " (14+ / 0-)

    Oh, for that ideal world. Then again, if my problem is that I have too many excellent books left to read, then I've no right to complain.

    In practice, it's a long time since I got so enthralled with one author that I chewed through half a dozen books of theirs in as many years (Mieville was the last). So I'll start with Love Medicine and, if it just sweeps me away, I'll end up with three more Erdrichs pushing into the upper reaches of my upside-down TBR funnel.

    I'll get to Love Medicine this year, and I'll let you know how I find it.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 08:21:07 PM PDT

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    •  Looking forward to your ideas! (4+ / 0-)
    •  Game of thrones did that for me most recently... (4+ / 0-)

      Barry unworthy
      John Irving
      Irvine welsh
      Stanislaw lem

      Are all authors I discovered relatively recently that I have made it a point to read large chunks of their biliographies.

      Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

      by No Exit on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 05:51:51 PM PDT

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      •  I do need to read some more Irvine Welsh - (5+ / 0-)

        especially Trainspotting, as the movie's such a favorite of mine.

        There are an awful lot of authors I particularly enjoy, but I most frequently get addicted to SF/Fantasy writers (Gibson, Stephenson and Gaiman have all hooked me in the last two decades).

        Irving's a reliable pleasure. I need more Lem as well. Haven't tried Unworthy yet. Where should I start?

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 06:50:13 PM PDT

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        •  I've read some of all three... (4+ / 0-)

          I like Barry unsworth a lot.

          If you like historical fiction, sacred hunger is very good.  Booker prize.  African slave trade with interesting plot twist in the last third to quarter of book.

          I found morality play to be mesmerizing.  A traveling acting troupe decides to put on a play based on a tragic death/murder of someone in the village.  In the course of the plays run, theories develop as to the real murderers.  Excellent.

          I'd start with those two.  Two early shorter works, not historical fiction, that I'd recommend is the hide and the partnership.

          Girl with the ruby in her navel is also very, very good.  Historical fiction set during one of the crusades.

          I could go on.  Too bad I've moved recently and all my books are still boxed up.  This would be the perfect time to catch up with each.

          Welsh's two best books IMHO are filth and train spotting.  Be warned that they are written in a thick Scottish dialect.  It reminded me of trying to read clockwork orange at first.

          The book is one hundred times better than the book.  I believe filth is even better, his magnum opus if you will though I suspect many would give the nod to train spotting which is equally brilliant.

          Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

          by No Exit on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 07:51:54 PM PDT

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          •  I did read 'Filth'. I found it wicked, hilarious, (4+ / 0-)

            bursting with life. I lived in Scotland for a few months, but Welsh goes pretty deep with the dialect. Like Burgess in Clockwork Orange, he revels in language-play and fresh voices.

            I wouldn't say I'm a fan of historical fiction, but I've been making a point of abandoning limitations in my reading - and I've always enjoyed any book, if the writing and story-telling shine. I'll definitely be checking out Mantel soon.

            I'll look for Sacred Hunger and Morality Play, which both sound appetizing. I really need to organize my TBR list, and at least get the first twenty or thirty titles in order. In February I got my first computer and home-internet since 2010, and it's been sucking up my free time. I can feel my attention-span getting shorter, after a couple of years of concentrated novel-reading.

            Thank you for the interesting suggestions.

            "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

            by Brecht on Wed Apr 17, 2013 at 08:17:09 PM PDT

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            •  If you liked the movie train spotting (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest, Brecht, oceanview

              Then you will positively love the book.  One of my all time favorites.  I've read it many times and all the books that follow that touch on the characters.

              I can't rec train spotting enough.  You should have started reading it yesterday at the latest lol.

              It is just as laugh out loud funny and full of life as filth and deals with subjects and characters just as disturbing.

              The blurb on my cover says it deserves to sell more copies than the bible... IMO it does!

              My dad is Scottish, born in Edinburgh, and I found myself hearing he voices of my grandparents as I untangled the dialects, but my grandparents never indulged in such vulgarity... It was an amusing contrast.

              I met welsh once in San Francisco where he lived (part time?) for several years.  I had a Sunday radio on a pirate station and my "mentor" there interviewed him as part of his book tour in support of his book bedroom secrets of a master chef.  Unfortunately, I get very tongue tied around people I admire and all I could o was mutter about how I would love to see Harvey Keitel as ds Bruce Robertson in the movie, and he graciously pretended he hadn't heard that a million times before.  Then he signed my copy of filth.  I regret I didn't meet him out boozing which according to local legend he did frequently.  We even frequented some of the same dives...

              Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. - Gandalf the Grey

              by No Exit on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 05:44:08 AM PDT

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              •  I'm glad to hear that; I'll read 'Trainspotting' (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RiveroftheWest, No Exit

                this year. I've been wanting to anyway.

                That combination of funny and disturbing is very hard to balance into one whole. I've noticed that the movie was very influential on other movies, and on British TV (for instance, Shameless, which is now imported to a US version). Zany cartoon energy is delightful in small doses, but can get tiresome; scary dark drama is powerful, but hard to bear - so if you can find a way to combine the two, you get the highs and the lows, but have a huge emotional palette between them to work with. You can make something consistently engaging, that doesn't wear out the audience.

                It is extremely hard to manage this mix and maintain any feeling of realism. It's a bit easier in a movie, because you can maintain an edge-of-the-seat plot for 90 mins, so the audience doesn't have time to catch their breath and start doubting your storyline. Certainly, Danny Boyle's Trainspotting does this as skillfully as I've yet seen. And what I've read of Welsh has the same dangerous/hilarious roller coaster to it.

                "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                by Brecht on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:32:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

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