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It is certainly not an easy read. More difficult and longer than Ulysses, that's for sure!

 

Really? I think you've make an excellent case for reading Ulysses these past few weeks! :lol: 

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'Pynchon also inserted enough sexually graphic imagery to make Ulysses look like the Pope's favourite book.'

 

:giggle2: 

 

 I've always been undecided whether I should try reading Pynchon, and your review hasn't helped me any! :P I only have The Crying of Lot 49 on my TBR pile. I used to have one of his longer books, but I got rid of it without even attempting it because I was too scared. TCoL49 is so short that surely I'll be able to manage it...right?  :hide:

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 I've always been undecided whether I should try reading Pynchon, and your review hasn't helped me any! :P I only have The Crying of Lot 49 on my TBR pile. I used to have one of his longer books, but I got rid of it without even attempting it because I was too scared. TCoL49 is so short that surely I'll be able to manage it...right?  :hide:

 

TCoL49 was featured in some of our lit classes and so I've always thought I must read the book some day. I found a cheap copy of it, too, so I have no excuses to not read it. I'd recommend you give it a try, too :cool: It shouldn't be as difficult as the one Tim's reviewed. 

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Somehow I knew that was going to be your answer  :giggle2:

I'm like an open book :readingtwo:.

 

(funny thought: my last name means 'stone book')

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I finished my re-read of the The Two Towers, it goes without saying how brilliant it is but it is my least favourite of the three.

 

Mine too! Same goes for the films, even though almost everyone I know thinks it's the best one. Fellowship all the way! :D

 

(funny thought: my last name means 'stone book')

 

:lol: That's awesome :D

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I've always been undecided whether I should try reading Pynchon, and your review hasn't helped me any! :P I only have The Crying of Lot 49 on my TBR pile. I used to have one of his longer books, but I got rid of it without even attempting it because I was too scared. TCoL49 is so short that surely I'll be able to manage it...right?  :hide:

 

I think I will give it a go... should be manageable :D

 

 

It shouldn't be as difficult as the one Tim's reviewed. 

 

Not sure it's possible :blush2:

 

I also have V. on my TBR pile which is again supposed to be easier and a sort of prequel to Gravity's Rainbow, but not really.

 

 

I'm like an open book :readingtwo:.

 

:giggle2:

 

 

Mine too! Same goes for the films, even though almost everyone I know thinks it's the best one. Fellowship all the way! :D

 

My favourite too! The Two Towers film has so much filler it seems to go on forever.

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^^ All those films would be half the length if he cut out all the bleeding slo-mo  :banghead:  :lol:

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Great review of Gravity's Rainbow. I haven't read it, though I intend to at some point (if I ever have the time :sarcastic: ). I have heard that it is a complex read, and it certainly sounds like it, from your review.

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Great review of Gravity's Rainbow. I haven't read it, though I intend to at some point (if I ever have the time :sarcastic: ). I have heard that it is a complex read, and it certainly sounds like it, from your review.

 

It ain't easy! Hope you enjoy it though :)

 

I finished On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which is definitely one of the best Bond books so far and the closest to the film. Overall 9/10

 

Also finished The Martian by Andy Weir which was really good, despite being a condecending at times (the science is all aimed at the layman) it was a real page turner. More of a thriller with a SF setting then a straight up SF. Heartily recommended though. Overall 10/10

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I'm glad you enjoyed both books :)! I'll have to read The Martian some day, I've heard lots of good things about it. What's next?

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I'm glad you enjoyed both books :)! I'll have to read The Martian some day, I've heard lots of good things about it. What's next?

 

Just started Sharpe's Revenge, the 20th in the series. :)

Edited by Timstar

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Just started Sharpe's Revenge, the 20th in the series. :)

 

I'm planning on starting that once I'm done with O'Brian  :smile:

 

Out of interest, have you watched the tv series and, if so, how do you feel it holds up against the books?

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Out of interest, have you watched the tv series and, if so, how do you feel it holds up against the books?

 

Yeah I've seen them all, they are good fun but often fail to capture the mood and scope of the books. They feel a bit dated now and the low budget really held them back. I'd say they get better as they go on and the series becomes established. If you enjoy the books they a worth a look.

 

Sean Bean is great as Sharpe... if you ignore the Yorkshire accent :giggle2:

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Just started Sharpe's Revenge, the 20th in the series. :)

I hope you enjoy it :).

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Yeah I've seen them all, they are good fun but often fail to capture the mood and scope of the books. They feel a bit dated now and the low budget really held them back. I'd say they get better as they go on and the series becomes established. If you enjoy the books they a worth a look.

 

Sean Bean is great as Sharpe... if you ignore the Yorkshire accent :giggle2:

 

Well I'm enjoying Hornblower, which I never watched while it was actually on tv (all the episodes are available on the ITV Player until the end of the month), so I'd imagine I can deal with it :lol:  I saw the whole Sharpe series has been re-issued on blu-ray, so I might give it a go at some point  :smile:

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I'm planning on starting that once I'm done with O'Brian  :smile:

I found them rather thin after reading O'Brian: better the other way round (too late now  ;) !), but then I suspect most writers in this genre will be. The Sharpes are, however, infinitely better than Cornwell's efforts in non-fiction: his book on Waterloo is great fiction, but dire history.

 

 

They feel a bit dated now and the low budget really held them back.

My abiding memory is the lack of numbers: battle scenes featuring half a dozen individuals desperately trying to make you think of armies (exaggeration, but not much!). Bean was excellent as Sharpe himself though, as was the guy acting as Patrick.

Edited by willoyd

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Out of interest, have you watched the tv series and, if so, how do you feel it holds up against the books?

 

Sean Bean is great as Sharpe... if you ignore the Yorkshire accent :giggle2:

 

:lol: It always cracks me up hearing him shouting "come 'ere, ya b@stards!" in his Yorkshire accent. I don't think I've ever heard him change his accent for anything. :D:giggle2:

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:lol: It always cracks me up hearing him shouting "come 'ere, ya b@stards!" in his Yorkshire accent. I don't think I've ever heard him change his accent for anything. :D:giggle2:

 

Someone over on SFF Chronicles tried to convince me that he should play Uhtred in the upcoming BBC adaptation of Cornwell's The Last Kingdom.  Dear Lord, NO! :banghead:  :doh:  :lol:

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I don't think I've ever heard him change his accent for anything. :D:giggle2:

 

oh oh I actually did the other day! A fairly awful film called Bad Blood, despite a few slips he does a not too bad American accent.

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oh oh I actually did the other day! A fairly awful film called Bad Blood, despite a few slips he does a not too bad American accent.

 

Ah, but would an American think so? :shrug:  It's very rare that I hear an American actor do a convincing, regular English accent (i.e. not a posh one!) - the only ones who've got it spot on that I've heard are the guys in This is Spinal Tap.  When I first saw that I couldn't believe they weren't English  :D

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fd1d7974943fd2fba90abf0c364e3190.jpg The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers

 

Synopsis

 

Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.

Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.

 

Review

 

I saw this cover advertised for a new book coming later this year and thought it was amazing, then I found out it was already an e-book so I downloaded the sample then promptly bought the whole thing. I very rarely buy e-books above £1 but this debut novel was a brilliant purchase.

 

The book is completely character centred, putting them above all else and this approach worked brilliantly, you fall in love with each of the characters for their own reasons. You very quickly come to care about each and every one of them as Chambers has given them their own unique personality and voice on the Wayfarer, with Jenks, one of the technicians being my particular favourite.

 

The premise is fairly simple, a lone ship is offered a lucrative job after the forming of a new alliance with the Galactic Commons (GC) and they jump at the chance, but they soon get embroiled with the tenuous political links and caught in the middle as the peace comes crashing down.

 

Chambers was ambitious in that she rests everything on her characters in this fairly lengthy novel, it is never rushed yet it never overstays its welcome, it is slow but never feels as such. She is good at writing characters and sticks to it, the science is very limited as it is simply not needed. There is a brilliant assortment of races that all have a unique characteristics, idiosyncrities and interactions, much of the story revolves around exploring these. The only criticism of the book I can give is that the ending felt a little rushed and never really built up to a decent climax with a satisfying conclusion.

 

Overall a brilliant debut novel that makes you wish you were aboard the Wayfarer. I can't wait to read more from Chambers.

 

Overall 9/10

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Is the Gentleman 'person of dubious parentage' series any good? I've had my eyes on the first one to give a try for a while.

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