ghost of miles

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Always heart-warming to re-read this.

Edited by Jerry_L

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Just finished reading

Mikhail Lermontov - Geroj Nasjego Vremeni (A Hero of Our Time), 1840

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This book is considered to be the first psychological novel in Russian literature, and boy I enjoyed this one (on par with the other great hero's of Russian literature like Dostoevsky, Tolstoj, Gogol, Toergenjev, etc)! Too bad this is the only novel he wrote in his life, because he died at the age of 27 in an old fashioned duel.

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Some fascinating insights into the British jazz scene in this one.

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Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil. I have to admit I didn't really think much of this novel. It is totally disorganized, with the point of view skipping around from the clients in this opium den, to the owner, to some of the employees and back. I'm truly astounded that it was shortlisted for the Booker.

Anyway, to complement this, I am finally reading de Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. This version goes back to the original, punchier 1821 version but then has long sections from the 1856 revision printed at the back.

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Complete Stories of Robert Bloch: Final Reckonings (Complete Stories of Robert Bloch, Volume 1)

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Finally reading a book I've wanted to read for almost forty years. I won't say it was worth the wait; I'd rather have found it back in the seventies, but it is enjoyable.

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Finally reading a book I've wanted to read for almost forty years. (Effinger)

I don't think I've read this one, though I read a fair bit of his other work. Have you read When Gravity Fails, and then the rest of that Trilogy? I remember liking the first one a lot.

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Wish I could say yes, but this is the first book I've read by Effinger. There are a few authors that slipped through the cracks for me, and he's one. Lafferty is another. Just never seemed to spot their books.

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Wish I could say yes, but this is the first book I've read by Effinger. There are a few authors that slipped through the cracks for me, and he's one. Lafferty is another. Just never seemed to spot their books.

Quite a few of his books have a humorous twist to them, esp. Maureen Birnbaum: Barbarian Swordsperson. I'd say When Gravity Fails et. al. is his most serious series, which sort of tapped into the whole Neuromancer/Snowcrash cyberpunk world. I might actually save them for last, as I think they are probably his highest achievement.

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Good bio.

Agreed. Informative and intelligent on both the artist and the various "scenes" he became a part of.

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W.P. Kinsells: Scars

Interesting. I haven't read anything by Kinsella in years. I have to admit, I've kind of forgotten about him.

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James McBride: The Good Lord Bird

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Road Dogs - Elmore Leonard

Really fun book.


Finally reading a book I've wanted to read for almost forty years. I won't say it was worth the wait; I'd rather have found it back in the seventies, but it is enjoyable.

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I remember noticing this title back in the 70s, when sf was the main thing I read. I didn't get around to it, either, but the title is one of those that sticks in your head. I vaguely recall reading some stories by Effinger that didn't do a lot for me.

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Every story a gem.

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I remember noticing this title back in the 70s, when sf was the main thing I read. I didn't get around to it, either, but the title is one of those that sticks in your head. I vaguely recall reading some stories by Effinger that didn't do a lot for me.

It is extremely seventies, if that makes any sense. Heavy on the metafiction, at times bordering on silly. A child of the New Wave...

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I remember noticing this title back in the 70s, when sf was the main thing I read. I didn't get around to it, either, but the title is one of those that sticks in your head. I vaguely recall reading some stories by Effinger that didn't do a lot for me.

It is extremely seventies, if that makes any sense. Heavy on the metafiction, at times bordering on silly. A child of the New Wave...

Effinger struck me as very much a product of the New Wave, and not always in a good way.

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I won't be surprised if I feel the same way, if the next book I read by him is similar. However, I do have a weakness for many new wave works. Except Ellison's At the Mouse Circus. What an overrated piece of crap. But then, that's a common reaction for me to Ellison's writing...

Edited by Jazzmoose

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Laurent Binet - HhhH (Himmlers hersens heten Heydrich / Himmlers brains are called Heydrich)

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Starting with this stone cold classic today:

Ivan Turgenev - Ottsy i Deti (Fathers and Sons)

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I've the Noel Coward diaries on the go at the moment, he comes across as quite a stoic patriot, despite his tax exile status in the Caribbean. There's also no bitchiness in any of his character observations, which are engaging and full of empathy. The diary is much more mature and interesting than the first part of his autobiography Present Indicative which I find trite and shallow. After this I will probably read Future Indefinite which covers the war years.

He didn't dig bebop though, in one of the posts just after the war, a young starlet takes him out clubbing in Chicago and they end up in a jazz club and he has to leave, as he can't stand the cacophony any longer. Back at the hotel his diary entry states that he realises he is 47 years of age, but quite sane.

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Finished Entropy, and I've got to say, I was impressed. I knew that it was nominated for a Nebula, so I looked up the list to see what beat it: Asimov with The Gods Themselves. I want a recount.


(Don't take that as a knock on the Asimov; i like it.)

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finally read Dream of Fair to Middling Women - 25-year-old Beckett with lot of very Joyceish jesting and more jesting rather like Beckett got to later in Watt and the 2 great plays. It's a sort of autobiographical novel about the loutish Belacqua (Beckett's alias) and his lady loves, whom he describes savagely. Light, mostly fun, concluding with a hilarious dinner party scene. Great, masterful writing.

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