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Timstar

Tim's Horror, Fantasy and Sci-Fi Reads from 2012

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Hehe, the beginning of the end?

 

LOL, I hope not! They were the first books I'd bought in a long, long time. Since then I've become obsessive about books, so I'm still on that slope :lol:

 

There were two other books in that order, too: Raymond E. Feist's Magician and Tom Lloyd's The Stormcaller. The first one is decent, the second I didn't like much at all. Of the four, Gardens was the last one I read. I was scared to read it because of the comments about it on Amazon - a bit daft, in retrospect, seeing as it was the one I really wanted. It's just as well I didn't read it first, though, otherwise the others wouldn't have got a look in.

 

I agree about the title change for The Painted Man.

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I have Magician, I hadn't intended to buy it but I saw it for £1.99 and before I knew it it was on book shelf. I get the feeling it will keep getting pushed back for a while though.

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I'm not much of a Feist fan, but that one is a decent read. It's one of those that I bought when it originally came out, never read, got rid of, and then decided I wanted to give it another try :doh:

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the-stand+book.jpg The Stand - Stephen King (Audiobook - Read by Grover Gardner)

 

Synopsis

 

First came the days of the plague. Then came the dreams. Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of Evil. His time is at hand. His empire grows in the west and the Apocalypse looms.

 

 

Review

 

Wow, simply wow. I have never had a favourite book, there have always been a number of contenders for different reasons which meant I couldn't choose, until now. The word epic doesn't begin to cover the scope that this book does: Good and evil, life and death, plague, famine, society and war all this and much more is addressed. Countless characters, all vividly realised, both hated and loved. The geography of the book is described upon a grand scale - stretching from Maine, to Las Vegas and everywhere in between. However, it is the characters that keep your interest, my favourite was the deaf, mute and half blind Nick Andros. Also loved the mentally challenged Tom Cullen, who I really thought would annoy me with his inability to contribute in a helpful way but I found myself almost cheering upon his return.

 

Ultimately it is the titanic struggle between good and evil that shines through...the Devil's imp in the form of the dark, but subtly comical, Randall Flagg, against the survivors of the plague and the awe-encompassing Mother Abagail.

 

At over half-million words the only bad thing about this book is that it is not long enough!

 

I should believe that the narrator deserves a special mention. I haven't listened to many audiobooks in my life but I can safely say that Gardner was outstanding! Bringing each character to life in a unique style, a superbly poetic verbal prose that warms, frightens, makes gasp and laugh at all the right moments. A particular favourite moment was him reciting a beautiful version of The First Noel in two different characters voices.

 

A truly remarkable book that should be on every recommended reading list ever written. If you haven't read it yet. you should... and soon. I am already itching to start reading again!

 

M-O-O-N that spells EPIC!

 

Overall 10/10 (wish it could be more!)

Edited by Timstar

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Oooh, I'm so glad you loved The Stand. It's beyond epic, isn't it? I've probably read it 7 or 8 times, and I still love to think of my favorite parts every now and then.

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Oooh, I'm so glad you loved The Stand. It's beyond epic, isn't it? I've probably read it 7 or 8 times, and I still love to think of my favorite parts every now and then.

 

It really is! 7 or 8 times is pretty impressive, but understandable. I also want to read the graphic novel, but there are 6 books which run about £16 ea or this.

 

Me want!

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I think I may need to push The Stand way up my TBR pile after that review!

Edited by Devi

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Was it the original version, Tim, or the longer version that was published more recently?

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It was the new 'uncut' version. (It was 48 hours). Although I wouldn't have cut a single word from it.

 

I think I may need to push The Stand way up my TBR pile after that review!

 

Do it!

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It was the new 'uncut' version. (It was 48 hours). Although I wouldn't have cut a single word from it.

 

Tbh, it when I read the extended version it was so long since I read the original I couldn't tell you what he'd added to it anyway. I don't remember thinking there was anything wrong with the original, though.

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There are quite a few titles mentioned here that I've heard of, I'll have to go through your entire thread and see what gems I can find :D!

 

Added The Stand to my wishlist, since several of you say it's a good book. I've read a few Stephen King books and liked them, so I might like this one too. I love The Painted Man and The Desert Spear was good too. I'm looking forward to read The Daylight War when it's out. I hope you enjoy The Desert Spear when you read it.

Edited by Athena

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There are quite a few titles mentioned here that I've heard of, I'll have to go through your entire thread and see what gems I can find :D!

 

Added The Stand to my wishlist, since several of you say it's a good book. I've read a few Stephen King books and liked them, so I might like this one too. I love The Painted Man and The Desert Spear was good too. I'm looking forward to read The Daylight War when it's out. I hope you enjoy The Desert Spear when you read it.

 

Thanks I hope I do too! I am aiming to keep it quite near the top of my list but it has already being bumped down by library books etc.

 

Watch this space for more gems. :D

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starshiptroopers.jpgStarship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein

 

Synopsis

 

His destiny is a galactic war of unlimited violence and destruction, in which he and his fellow troopers scour the metal-strewn emptiness of space to hunt down a terrifying enemy - an insect life form which threatens the very future of mankind.

 

Review

 

I know it is never a good or fair idea to compare books with films but in this case it was inevitable, I grew up watching Starship Troopers and must have seen it 15 times at least. I love it. It is, to me anyway, the perfect Sci-Fi film, so I was very much looking forward to reading it and couldn't believe I hadn't already.

 

Unfortunately this attitude left me a bit disappointed, I think I was expecting too much. Not that it's a bad book, it's just not as good as it could be. It is told through the eyes of Starship Trooper Johnny Rico, from his idealistic enlistment in the mobile infantry of the future, through his rigorous training to the command of his own platoon of infantrymen. It is told as if we were reading Johnny's memoirs of the time. This style I loved as it gave a great insight into his mind and through that we learn about the world, he does not need to explain the world and situations direct as the people he is writing to already know it... if that makes sense. (I.e. A WWII veteran wouldn't explain the 20th Century world in his memoirs about WWII)

 

The major aspect of the book that is completely left out of the film is the suits that they wear. They are summarised in one great paragraph:

 

"Our suits give us better eyes, better ears, stronger backs, better legs, more intelligence, more firepower, greater endurance, less vulnerability.

A suit isn't a space suit - although it can serve as one. it is not primarily armor - although the Knights of the Round Table were not armored as well as we are. It isn't a tank - but a single M.I. private could take on a squadron of those things and knock them off unassisted...

...Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla, armed with gorilla-sized weapons.

The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."

 

 

The book started off really well, discussing his life and motivations for joining the army. Following onto the boot camp where it unfortunately lags... a lot.

In the middle of the book Heinlein goes off on great tangents into the ethics of corporal and capital punishment, as well justification for the emancipation of those who serve in the military. It was irrelevant to the story and quite boring.

 

Another aspect the book lacked on was supporting characters, Johnny never shows any true emotion to or even remembers his friends. Carl and Carmen are both there in the beginning then completely forgotten about until the very end. This is where the film was superior as it follows all three of them throughout the course making them tangible and lovable characters. The only exception in the book was the drill instructor Zim who was utilised to his full extent and every aspect of him is translated to screen.

 

The battle scenes were quite good but definitely could have been better, he failed to show any real threat from the bugs. The suits made it too easy and the MI almost invulnerable. The film showed the opposite, the seemingly endless bugs that needed no weapons, vastly outnumbered the MI and cared not for their own safety, thus presenting real peril.

 

Overall I felt a little deflated afterwards, though this is likely due to my overly high expectations, but I hope I managed to justify why I felt let down. I after reading the book and seeing the film so many times I still cannot figure what it is on the front cover of the edition I had (above).

 

" C'mon you apes, you wan'ta live forever?"

 

Overall 7/10

Edited by Timstar

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^^ Thanks for the review, Tim. I love the movie, too, but have never had the inclination to read the book.

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A great review of The Stand, Timstar! :D I can't believe the cover art, though... pretty unfathomable! :giggle2: Tom Cullen is a real sweetheart, I laughed out loud when he was ringing the bell on his bicycle...

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A great review of The Stand, Timstar! :D I can't believe the cover art, though... pretty unfathomable! :giggle2: Tom Cullen is a real sweetheart, I laughed out loud when he was ringing the bell on his bicycle...

 

It is very random, but I have never seen a particularly good cover for it. Seems to be be a lone man walking or a lone crow. Which are more suitable but nothing special.

 

The Stand is wonderful isn't it? Tom Cullen was my favourite character.

 

It really is!

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Got one of my library reservations the other day. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss which I started last night. Being looking forward to this for a while :D

 

In other news my Wife has joined the forum. :flowers2: Now I need to be careful with what I say :doh: . Feel free to say hi to her here :P

Edited by Timstar

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Got one of my library reservations the other day. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss which I started last night. Being looking forward to this for a while :D

 

I've been hanging onto that one for ages, waiting for him to finish the last part. For some reason, if it's a trilogy, I like to have all three books before I start. I think it goes back to Night's Dawn, when I read them as they came out, and re-read the previous book(s) with each successive release, so I ended up reading The Reality Dysfunction three times, The Neutronium Alchemist twice and The Naked God just the once :rolleyes::lol:

 

 

In other news my Wife has joined the forum. :flowers2: Now I need to be careful with what I say :doh: . Feel free to say hi to her here :P

 

So the sensible half of the household has arrived :P:D

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I've been hanging onto that one for ages, waiting for him to finish the last part. For some reason, if it's a trilogy, I like to have all three books before I start. I think it goes back to Night's Dawn, when I read them as they came out, and re-read the previous book(s) with each successive release, so I ended up reading The Reality Dysfunction three times, The Neutronium Alchemist twice and The Naked God just the once :rolleyes::lol:

 

Yeah I understand that, luckily I have started two trilogies since the start of the year and both of them have the third book coming out in the next few months :P

 

So the sensible half of the household has arrived :P:D

 

:sign0142:

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Yeah I understand that, luckily I have started two trilogies since the start of the year and both of them have the third book coming out in the next few months :P

 

I'm looking forward to reading your review of The Name of the Wind, I've heard a lot of good things about it :smile:

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I hadn't heard of The Painted Man, but it sounds interesting so I've added it to my wishlist. I've also never read The Stand - I really have to be in the right mood for long books, but I did read and love Under The Dome so maybe I'm better cut out for The Stand than I realise?! :D

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I hadn't heard of The Painted Man, but it sounds interesting so I've added it to my wishlist. I've also never read The Stand - I really have to be in the right mood for long books, but I did read and love Under The Dome so maybe I'm better cut out for The Stand than I realise?! :D

 

I'm sure you are! I don't think you will be disappointed, once you get into it it just flies by. Under The Dome is the next Stephen King on my list.

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Under The Dome is brilliant! Absolutely fantastic. I know some people on here weren't impressed with it, or in particular, its ending, but I think it was brilliant. It had a similar base concept to one of my favouite ever kids books, Out Of Nowhere - the concept being people wake up one day and discover a huge invisible dome has appeared - and some people are trapped inside. I don't know why I love that concept, maybe I'm a little strange :lol: But that's what led to me reading and adoring Under The Dome.

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When I first saw that SK book, I actually thought it was a biography about himself, and the title meant it was about the goings on in his mind. :giggle2:

 

I feel rather embarrassed about it now :blush: The picture of an elderly gentleman on the cover fooled me.

Edited by Devi

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