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    • Michelle

      Important Announcement!   07/28/2018

      Dear BCF members,   This forum has been running now for many years, and over that time we have seen many changes. Generalised forums are nowhere near as popular as they once were, and they have been very much taken over by blogs, vlogs and social media discussions. Running a forum well takes money, and a lot of care and attention, as there is so much which goes on behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly.   With all of this in mind, and after discussion within the current moderator team, the decision has been made to close this forum in its current format. I know that this will disappoint a lot of our long term members, but I want to reassure you that it's not a decision which has been taken lightly.    The remaining moderator team have agreed that we do not want to lose everything which is special about our home, and so we are starting a brand new facebook group, so that people can stay in touch, and discussions can continue. We can use it for free and should be easier for us to run (it won't need to be updated or hosted). We know not everyone has FaceBook, but we hope that those of you who are interested will join the group. We will share the link, and send invites as soon as we are ready to go. Added: We may as well get this going, find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/195289821332924/   The forum will close to new registrations, but will remain open for some time, to allow people to collect up any information, reading lists etc they need to, and to ensure they have contact details for those they wish to stay in touch with.    The whole team feel sad to say goodbye, but we also feel that it's perhaps time and that it feels like the right choice. We hope we can stay in touch with all of you through our new FaceBook group.   I personally want to thank everyone who has helped me moderate the forum, both in the past and the present, and I also want to thank every single person who has visited, and shared their love of books.. I'm so proud of everything we've achieved, and the home we built.   Please visit the new section in the Lounge section to discuss this further, ask questions etc.
Raven

Raven's Reads

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Wot I've Read in 2018:

 

01. (02/01): Rivers of London: Detective Stories, by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel (GN)

02. (04/01): Rivers of London: Black Mould, by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel (GN)

03. (11/01): The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells

04. (11/02): The Massacre of Mankind, by Stephen Baxter

05. (15/03): Wyrd Sisters, by Terry Pratchett

06. (11/04): Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami

07. (16/04): Asterix & Cleopatra, by Goscinny & Uderzo (GN)

08. (17/04): Asterix the Legionary, by Goscinny & Uderzo (GN)

09. (19/04): The Mansions of the Gods, by Goscinny & Uderzo (GN)

10. (23/04): Asterix & the Great Crossing, by Goscinny & Uderzo (GN)

11. (12/05): A Spy in the House of Love, by Anaïs Nin

12. (04/06): Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor, by Steven Moffat

13. (13/06): The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham

14. (17/06): Rivers of London: Cry Fox, by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel (GN)

15. (24/06): Doctor Who: Rose, by Russell T Davies

16. (08/07): The Mermaid, by Christina Henry

17. (21/07): Record of a Night too Brief, by Hiromi Kawakami

18. (06/08): Men Without Women, by Haruki Murakami

19. (16/08): The Man I Think I Know, by Mike Gayle

20. (22/09): Redshirts, by John Scalzi

21. (30/09): The Three, by Sarah Lotz (K)

22. (18/10): The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler (K)

 

(GN) = Graphic Novel

(K) = Kindle

Edited by Raven

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Wot I Read in 2017:

 

01. (11/02): The Nakano Thrift Shop, by Hiromi Kawakami

02. (08/06): Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris

03. (02/07): Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett

04. (11/08): The Severed Streets, by Paul Cornell

05. (15/09): Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

06. (08/10): Star Trek: The Final Reflection, by John M. Ford

07. (14/10): The Furthest Station, by Ben Aaronovitch

08. (31/10): Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch

09. (14/11): Moon Over Soho, by Ben Aaronovitch

10. (19/11): Whispers Underground, by Ben Aaronovitch

11. (24/11): Broken Homes, by Ben Aaronovitch

12. (30/11): Foxglove Summer, by Ben Aaronovitch

13. (04/12): Rivers of London: Body Work, by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel (GN)

14. (05/12): Rivers of London: Night Witch, by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel (GN)

15. (15/12): The Hanging Tree, by Ben Aaronovitch

16. (24/12): The Furthest Station, by Ben Aaronovitch

 

(GN) = Graphic Novel

 

Wot I Read in 2016:

 

01. (06/01): Deadpool: Dead Presidents, by Gerry Duggan, Brian Posehn & Tony Moore (GN)

02. (25/01): A Natural History of Dragons, by Marie Brennan

03. (04/02): Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami

04. (16/02): After Dark, by Haruki Murakami

05. (25/02): Doctor Who: After Life, by Al Ewing & Rob Williams (GN)

06. (21/03): Doctor Who: Four Doctors, by Paul Cornell & Neil Edwards (GN)

07. (18/04): Rivers of London: Body Work, by Ben Aaronovitch & Andrew Cartmel (GN)

08. (25/04): Civil War, by Mark Millar & Steve McNiven (GN)

09. (26/04): Spider-Gwen: Most Wanted? by Jason Latour & Robbi Rodriguez (GN)

10. (27/04): Thor: The Goddess of Thunder, by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman & Jorge Molina (GN)

11. (03/05): Thor: Who Holds the Hammer? by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman & Others (GN)

12. (11/05): Doctor Who: Terrorformer, by Robbie Morrison & Dave Taylor (GN)

13. (19/05): Suicide Squad: Kicked in the Teeth, by Adam Glass (GN)

14. (23/05): The Walking Dead: Volume 1: Days Gone Bye, by Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore (GN)

15. (30/05): xkcd: volume 0, by Randall Munroe (CS)

16. (05/06): The Mighty Thor: Thunder in Her Veins by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman (GN)

17. (07/06): Spider-Gwen: Greater Power by Jason Latour & Robbi Rodriguez (GN)

18. (23/06): Strange Weather in Tokyo, by Hiromi Kawakami

19. (15/08): Harry Potter & The Cursed Child, by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne (S)

20. (25/08): Consider Phlebas, by Iain M. Banks (part K)

21. (22/09): The Holy Machine, by Chris Beckett

22. (16/10): Enigma, by Robert Harris (K)

23. (29/10): The Ladybird Book of The Meeting, by Jason Hazeley& Joel Morris

24. (18/11): Stiletto, by Daniel O’Malley (K)

25. (23/11): The Hanging Tree, by Ben Aaronovitch

26. (26/12): Doctor Who: Dead of Winter, by James Goss

 

(GN) = Graphic Novel

(CS) = Comic Strip Collection

(S) = Script

(K) = Kindle

 

Edited by Raven

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Wot I Read in 2015:

 

01. (09/01): When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer (K)

02. (20/01): Foxglove Summer, by Ben Aaronovitch

03. (31/01): The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells (K)

04. (12/02): Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers, by Brian Michael Bendis (GN)

05. (17/02): A for Andromeda, by Fred Hoyle and John Elliot

06. (19/02): Sorrow's Isle, by Jen Williams (K) (S)

07. (05/03): Guardians of the Galaxy: Angela, by Brian Michael Bendis (GN)

08. (05/03): Guardians of the Galaxy/All New X-Men: The Trial of Jean Grey, by Brian Michael Bendis (GN)

09. (03/04): Mort, by Terry Pratchett

10. (27/04): Pulp, by Charles Bukowski

11. (27/05): The Secrets of Station X, by Michael Smith

12. (01/07): London Falling, by Paul Cornell (part K)

13. (23/07): Destination Lapland, by Mark Wallington

14. (30/07): Murder Most Unladylike, by Robin Stevens (K)

15. (10/08): Sad Cypress, by Agatha Christie

16. (24/08): Doctor Who: Engines of War, by George Mann

17. (24/09): Seeing Other People, by Mike Gayle

18. (26/10): Too Much Information, by Dave Gorman

19. (07/11): The Ladybird Book of Dating, by Jason Hazeley & Joel Morris

20. (16/11): The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne M. Harris

21. (30/12): The Iron Ghost, by Jen Williams

 

(K) = Kindle

(GN) = Graphic Novel

(S) = Short Story

 

Wot I Read in 2014:

 

01. (12/01): You're all Just Jealous of my Jetpack, by Tom Gauld (CS)

02. (14/01): The Rook, by Daniel O'Malley

03. (21/01): Adventures With the Wife in Space by Neil Perryman

04. (04/02): The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle

05. (07/02): Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

06. (13/02): The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

07. (20/02): Doctor Who and the Abominable Snowmen by Terrance Dicks

08. (10/03): A Day at the Office, by Matt Dunn

09. (22/03): Turning Thirty, by Mike Gayle

10. (25/03): Turning Forty, by Mike Gayle

11. (05/04): Post Office, by Charles Bukowski

12. (12/04): Factotum, by Charles Bukowski

13. (29/04): Doctor Who: Illegal Alien, by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry

14. (11/05): Wasp, by Eric Frank Russell

15. (19/05): 500 Mile Walkies, by Mark Wallington

16. (03/06): Broken Homes, by Ben Aaronovitch

17. (30/06): Hatchet Job, by Mark Kermode

18. (15/07): The Day Job, by Mark Wallington

19. (02/08): Skunk Works, by Ben R. Rich and Leo Janos

20. (06/10): The Copper Promise, by Jen Williams

21. (27/10): The Darwin Elevator, by Jason M. Hough

22. (19/11): Beyond Band of Brothers, by Major Dick Winters

23. (08/12): The Ice Dragon, by George R. R. Martin

24. (29/12): The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham (K)

 

Abandoned:

 

01. (08/14): Star Trek: Forgotten History (A Department of Temporal Investigations novel) by Christopher L. Bennett (after 146 pages).

 

(CS) = Comic Strip Collection

(K) = Kindle

 

Wot I Read in 2013:

 

01. (13/01): Whispers Underground, by Ben Aaronovitch

02. (14/01): Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind - Volume 1, by Hayao Miyazaki (GN)

03. (03/03): The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling

04. (19/03): The Stag and Hen Weekend, by Mike Gayle

05. (01/04): Doctor Who: The Silent Stars Go By, by Dan Abnett

06. (01/05): Doctor Who: Shada, by Gareth Roberts, from a story by Douglas Adams

07. (20/05): Delicacy, by David Foenkinos

08. (28/05): What Do You Care What Other People Think? by Richard P. Feynman

09. (02/06): Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness by Roberto Orci and Mike Johnson (GN)

10. (25/06): The Inside Track by Jake Humphrey

11. (27/06): Batgirl: Volume 1 The Darkest Reflection by Gail Simone (GN)

12. (14/08): A Feast for Crows, by George R. R. Martin

13. (06/10): A Dance With Dragons: Dreams and Dust, by George R. R. Martin

14. (17/11): A Dance With Dragons: After the Feast, by George R. R. Martin

15. (04/12): Charlotte Street, by Danny Wallace

 

(GN) = Graphic Novel

 

Wot I Read in 2012:

 

01. (03/01): The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells

02. (15/01): Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J. K. Rowling

03. (03/02): Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J. K. Rowling

04. (10/03): Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix, by J. K. Rowling

05. (27/03): Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, by J. K. Rowling

06. (26/04): Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling

07. (31/05): The Kraken Wakes, by John Wyndham

08. (21/06): The Uke of Wallington, by Mark Wallington

09. (09/07): The Good, The Bad and the Multiplex, by Mark Kermode

10. (24/08): A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin

11. (27/09): A Clash of Kings, by George R. R. Martin

12. (14/10): A Storm of Swords: Steel And Snow, by George R. R. Martin

13. (25/10): A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold, by George R. R. Martin

14. (31/10): Apocalypse Cow, by Michael Logan

15. (13/11): The Cleft, by Doris Lessing

16. (30/11): My Legendary Girlfriend, by Mike Gayle

17. (21/12): Rivers of London, by Ben Aaronovitch

18. (31/12): Moon Over Soho, by Ben Aaronovitch

Edited by Raven

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Wot I Read in 2011:

 

01. (11/01): Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (GN)

02. (20/01): A Murder of Quality, by John le Carré

03. (28/01): Flowers for Algernon,by Daniel Keyes

04. (10/02): Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

05. (25/02): Dance Dance Dance, by Haruki Murakami

06. (19/03): Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami

07. (21/03): Men at Work, by Mike Gayle

08. (22/04): Kraken, by China Miéville

09. (11/06): Making Money, by Terry Pratchett

10. (18/06): The Importance of Being a Bachelor, by Mike Gayle

11. (02/07): The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham

12. (23/07): Doctor Who: Legacy, by Gary Russell

13. (23/08): Moondust, by Andrew Smith

14. (03/09): The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, by John le Carré

15. (13/11): Use of Weapons, by Iain M. Banks

16. (04/12): Matter, by Iain M. Banks

17. (12/12): Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by J. K. Rowling

18. (24/12): Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J. K. Rowling

 

(GN) = Graphic Novel

 

Wot I Read in 2010:

01. (21/01): A Wild Sheep Chase, by Haruki Murakami
02. (01/02): Unseen Academicals, by Terry Pratchett
03. (25/02): Doctor Who: The Writers Tale: The Final Chapter, by Russell T. Davis and Benjamin Cook
04. (13/03): One Day, by David Nicholls
05. (14/05): Black Sun Rising, by Celia Friedman
06. (23/05): The Gum Thief, by Douglas Coupland
07. (12/06): Juliet, Naked, by Nick Hornby
08. (19/07): The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
09. (03/08): M*A*S*H, by Richard Hooker
10. (24/08): Chicks Dig Time Lords, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O'Shea
11. (04/09): The Death of Grass, by John Christopher
12. (11/10): The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick
13. (22/10): Call for the Dead, by John le Carré
14. (08/11): Pavane, by Keith Roberts
15. (25/11): The To-Do List, by Mike Gayle
16. (26/12): Generation X, by Douglas Coupland

Wot I Read in 2009:
 
01. (08/01): JPod, by Douglas Coupland
02. (12/01): PvP At Large, by Scott Kurtz (CS)
03. (29/01): What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami
04. (06/02): South of the Border, West of the Sun, by Haruki Murakami
05. (28/02): Doctor Who: The Suns of Caresh, by Paul Saint
06. (17/03): The Midwich Cuckoos, by John Wyndham
07. (03/04): The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells
08. (30/04): Future Perfect, by Jeff Greenwald
09. (06/05): Life & Soul of the Party, by Mike Gayle
10. (14/05): PvP Reloaded, by Scott Kurtz (CS)
11. (01/06): Star Trek: Countdown, by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman (GN)
12. (08/06): Mr Commitment, by Mike Gayle
13. (20/07): Doctor Who: Prisoner of the Daleks, by Trevor Baxendale
14. (03/08): 500 Mile Walkies, by Mark Wallington
15. (09/08): Band of Brothers, by Stephen E. Ambrose
16. (10/09): The Magicians' Guild, by Trudi Canavan
17. (11/09): Serenity: Better Days, by Joss Whedon and Brett Matthews (GN)
18. (01/10): Trouble With Lichen, by John Wyndham
19. (21/10): Boogie up the River, by Mark Wallington
20. (09/11): After the Quake, by Haruki Murakami
 
(CS) = Comic Strip Collection
(GN) = Graphic Novel
 
Wot I read in 2008:

01. (09/01): Starter for Ten, by David Nicholls
02. (11/01): The Stainless Steel Rat, by Harry Harrison
03. (21/02): Microserfs, by Douglas Coupland
04. (24/02): World of Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy: Dragon Hunt (GN)
05. (24/02): World of Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy: Shadows of Ice (GN)
06. (25/02): World of Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy: Ghostlands (GN)
07. (29/02): Cowboy Bebop: Volume 2 (GN)
08. (01/03): Cowboy Bebop: Volume 3 (GN)
09. (19/03): After Dark, by Haruki Murakami
10. (01/05): Thud! by Terry Pratchett
11. (12/05): When the Tripods Came, by John Christopher
12. (27/05): The White Mountains, by John Christopher
13. (02/06): The City of Gold and Lead, by John Christopher
14. (11/06): The Pool of Fire, by John Christopher
15. (04/07): Slaughterhouse 5, by Kurt Vonnegut
16. (17/07): Sputnik Sweetheart, by Haruki Murakami
17. (24/07): Wish You Were Here, by Mike Gayle
18. (02/08): His 'N' Hers, by Mike Gayle
19. (11/08): Chocky, by John Wyndham
20. (19/08): The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells
21. (28/08): Turning Thirty, by Mike Gayle
22. (18/09): The Hardest Day, by Alfred Price
23. (30/09): Dinner for Two, by Mike Gayle
24. (18/11): Enigma, by Robert Harris
25. (25/11): Doctor Who: The Writers Tale, by Russell T. Davis and Benjamin Cook
26. (11/12): The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham

(GN) = Graphic Novel

Edited by Raven

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-Place Holder-

 

(Gratuitous post count bump, actually . . .)

 

 

lol! Here's another post for you:lol:

 

I notice you read Day of the Triffids, I loved that book and might try and search it out again.

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I notice you read Day of the Triffids, I loved that book and might try and search it out again.

 

Do so, it's very good!

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JPod, by Douglas Coupland

 

jpod.jpg

 

JPod is a black comedy that tells the story of a group of software developers who struggle with the daily grind of their jobs, whilst trying to meet the ever more surreal demands of their marketing team. Throw in a drug dealing mother, a Chinese people smuggling ring, some ballroom dancing and Douglas Coupland himself, and things get truly bizarre . . .

 

Having read Microserfs last year, this is a novel I was really looking forward to reading, especially as it has been talked up a lot by several friends of mine. In some ways this is more of the same - Coupland takes the basic format of Microserfs and updates it to today’s Google powered age - but at the same time the story is much more surreal.

 

Both books are a commentary on working within the corporate structure, and on geekdom in general, but where Microserfs was grounded in the everyday and familiar, JPod is firmly set in the weird and fantastical. Everything seems to be slightly over-egged, and as a result I didn't find it as rewarding or enjoyable as I did Microserfs.

 

There are some brilliantly observed comments and sequences in the book, but as it went on I couldn't shake the feeling that Coupland was being a bit too clever for his own good, especially when he started to appear in the book himself.

 

If you work in IT, an office of any kind or are a bit of a geek then you will probably find quite a lot to like in JPod, but you will probably find a lot more in Microserfs, provided you are old enough to remember the mid-90s!

Edited by Raven
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Guest radjack

04. (24/02): World of Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy: Dragon Hunt (GN) 05. (24/02): World of Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy: Shadows of Ice(GN)

06. (25/02): World of Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy: Ghostlands (GN)

 

I own the hardcover ultimate edition of these books, but I got to tell you I don't like it very much...

I'm looking forward to read your opinion.:D

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I wasn't planning on writing reviews, or posting comments, on the books I read last year, but since you asked . . .

I can't say I was too keen on them either, but having read the first I wanted to see how the series ended.

In my experience Warcraft lore is basically a rambling mess, which isn't surprising when it was originally written to support on going computer game series, and not to be a story in its own right. It's certainly not like Lord of the Rings, where you have a game based on an established mythology, it's someone saying: "Right, years ago there were titans and they seeded this world . . ." before eventually getting to "and that's why the Alliance and the Horde don't like each other very much." Of course, as the sequels came out it mutated into "Three years after the battle of X, a new threat has arisen, and now the races of Azeroth must join together once again . . ." Blizzard have pretty much stolen story points and plot ideas from across the fantasy board, and although it doesn

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Oh dear. I bought my 15yr old son (who is addicted to WOW) two World of Warcraft novels for xmas in the hope of getting him to start reading. Hope it doesnt actually put off books! :D

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I remeber you mentioning that before. I wouldn't worry about it too much, I suspect a 15-year old who doesn't read much will think they are really good!

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Phew! Thank goodness for that ... I was beginning to think I was gonna have to root around in the horrors of hell, being his room, to find and remove them! :D

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PvP At Large, by Scott Kurtz

 

pvpatlarge240.jpg

 

I've been reading PvP, an on-line comic strip that generally specialises in commenting on films, comics and the gaming industry, for the last few years, and I stumbled upon this in Forbidden Planet in London just before Christmas.

 

Coming to it well after it started, I had missed a lot of the early strips, so this has filled in a lot of the back story for me.

 

It has also reminded me that it used to be a lot funnier, and worked a lot better, when it stuck to making genre references (something it doesn't do much of today - although, ironically, today's strip does feature the TARDIS!).

Edited by Raven
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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami

 

wot.jpg

 

Japanese author Haruki Murakami writes about running, writing and life in general.

 

There's something about Murakami I can't quite put my finger on.

 

His writing style is very lyrical - almost poetic - and to a point it doesn't seem to matter what he is writing about, it is just a joy to read his prose. Perhaps that explains how I came to read a book about running, something I have personally detested since I was forced to do cross country at school.

 

The book covers a two year period in Murakami's life, and mainly details his preparations for the 2005 New York Marathon, and then a triathlon in 2006. During the course of the book he also looks back over his running history and how it has affected his life and his writing.

 

Throughout, the book has a gentle, self deprecating sense of humour, and Murakami himself is incredibly modest when talking about his works, but the thing I liked most is that it has given me an insight into the mind of an author whose works I am only just beginning to discover, but am thoroughly enjoying.

Edited by Raven
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Nice review, Raven :lol:

 

Murakami is an author I've been hearing a lot about lately. I'm getting more and more curious about reading his work.

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Nice review, Raven :lol:

 

Thank you!

 

Murakami is an author I've been hearing a lot about lately. I'm getting more and more curious about reading his work.

 

I've only read three of his books - including the above - but I'd say give him a try, he really is very good.

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Excellent review Raven, I have What I Talk About When I Talk About Running on my wishlist, I just finished 'South of the Border, West of the Sun', also by Haruki Murakami. I always find Haruki Murakami the most unassuming writer but ultimately brilliant the way he tells a story.

 

Happy reading :lol:

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I just finished 'South of the Border, West of the Sun', also by Haruki Murakami.

 

Funny you should say that, I started reading it last night! (and didn't make it to bed until 2.30 because of it!).

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Funny you should say that, I started reading it last night! (and didn't make it to bed until 2.30 because of it!).

 

I was the same Raven, I could not put it down :P

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I was the same Raven, I could not put it down :P

 

I think you will find What I Talk About... interesting, because there are a number of parallels between the main character in South of the Boarder... and Murakami himself.

 

Up to page 70-something now, his old flame has just appeared on the scene!

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A couple of reviews to catch up with . . .

 

South of the Border, West of the Sun, by Haruki Murakami.

 

southoftheborder.jpg

 

 

South of the Border, West of the Sun tells the story of Hajime, who after a turbulent time in his twenties has finally found contentment in his thirties as a husband, father, and the owner of two successful jazz bars.

 

Despite having everything however, Hajime is a man haunted by his past, and one day she walks back into his life . . .

 

The story is one of a man who is troubled by his past, and the notion of what could have been, and despite his happiness with his current life, his doubts and the pull of those unanswered questions cause him to risk everything in an obsessive pursuit of a life that never was.

 

This book is a bit of a departure from the other Murakami novels I have read in that although it has an air of mystery to it, it doesn't have the same surreal aspect that both After Dark and Sputnik Sweetheart do.

 

Murakami's writing is once again achingly beautiful, with prose so precise it almost feels sculpted. Hajime is written without any attempt to excuse the character's actions, and the honesty of this portrayal allows you to side with him even when his actions are more than questionable.

 

This is a bitter-sweet book about love and loss; about the choices people make and their consequences and about finding redemption and peace with oneself.

 

Like the other Murakami novels I have read, this stayed with me for a long time after I put it down.

Edited by Raven
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Doctor Who: The Suns of Caresh, by Paul Saint.

 

sunsofcaresh.jpg

 

Strange things are afoot in West Sussex; people are being turned to stone; a lost alien is found wandering the streets of Chichester; a mental patient is haunted by strange terrors; some boys discover an impossibly large cave hidden beneath a lake and, on a far away planet, the Doctor is asked to track down a missing Time Lord . . .

 

It's been a long time since I last read a Doctor Who novel, I generally shy away from them these days because the quality of the writing varies greatly from book to book (and on-line reviews can't be trusted because Who fans aren't the best source for balanced opinion!). Despite that, the setting in this one tempted me into giving this book a try . . .

 

It's strange reading a Doctor Who story set, in part, in your home town. The idea of the Doctor walking the same streets I do, and reading descriptions of places I know well, made the whole experience slightly surreal (especially as the story is set in 1999 and several of the places described - St Ivel and Hammicks bookshop, for example - have now passed into history themselves).

 

Past that, however, The Suns of Caresh is a very uneven book.

 

The first few chapters suffer from a bloat of characters. With so many being introduced its hard to keep track of them all as the narrative jumps around - which it does quite a lot. Later on the book settles down, but it then starts to feel as though the author is adding padding to get to the required page count.

 

This really is a book of two ideas ("Doctor Who in my backyard", and a more traditional "Doctor trying to save an alien race" type story) and I feel the author, Paul Saint, would have done better if he had chosen one of them rather than trying to combine the two.

 

I also feel that some of the characters he introduced were woefully underused. Simon, a science fiction fan who suddenly finds himself living with a real alien, and Michael, a rather self-possessed amateur UFO nut - where both quite interesting and I think they should have been explored further (I think that taking a sci-fi fan and a UFO nut to the alien world would have given Saint more options with the story, and I also think that their inclusion could have avoided a section of the book that simply feels like padding). It's also quite jarring to have two seemingly important characters introduced at the start of a book only for them to both disappear before the story is half done - I kept expecting them to reappear, but they never did.

 

Saint doesn't get it all wrong, his writing for the Third Doctor is excellent, and he adds some nice touches (such as the total eclipse in 1999), but this isn't enough to redeem a novel that I feel could have been so much more.

 

The Suns of Caresh is a Third Doctor novel, set shortly after The Three Doctors.

Edited by Raven
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I'm currently reading my first Haruki Murakami and enjoying it immensely. I'm finding 'A wild sheep chase' very much like Andrey Kurkov's style of writing ALTHOUGH Haruki Murakami is more poetic and easier to read. I'm also finding the storyline of A wild sheep chase to be quite similar to 'Death and the penguin' by Kurvov.

Have you read any of Andrey Kurvov or A wild sheep chase?

 

I enjoyed reading your reviews, I will look out for them in the future. :lol:

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I enjoyed reading your reviews, I will look out for them in the future. :lol:

 

Thank you!

 

I've not read A Wild Sheep Chase yet, I'm trying to ration myself to a Murakami every few months so I don't read the lot - and risk getting tired of him - in one hit!

 

Not sure what is next on my Murakami list, but it will probably be either Norwegian Wood, or A Wild Sheep Chase (I really want to read Dance, Dance, Dance, but someone on here recommended I read A Wild Sheep Chase first as they follow on from each other).

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