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On 10/20/2020 at 8:08 AM, JSngry said:

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Highly entertaining in establishing a "high probability", if perhaps less than 100% factually conclusive.

Were they experienced?

I was given this to read too, though I haven't gotten to it yet. I have read quite a bit along these lines. That said "Foreword by Graham Hancock" tells me a bit.

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This Graham Hitchcock guy had me fearing the worse, lord what a pissy little ramble that was, but the actual author allayed most of them. Most...

It's a fun trip that is perhaps more interesting for the people he brings in along the way than any destination.

But as far as "was it possible", i think that's always been a solid "absolutely!". I think you have to be willfully, at best, ignorant to see it otherwise. Past that, though...the begging of the question seems to me a bit like asking for permission, and I'm kinda like, you know, fuck asking for permission, right? If you want to find out, go find out. Just don't be stupid, and if you don't know what THAT means, then DON'T go find out.

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On 10/30/2020 at 10:03 AM, ghost of miles said:

Picked up several Library of America volumes in their recent sale and am about 40 pages into Philip Roth’s American Pastoral, included as part of the LOA’s Roth American Trilogy omnibus. Riveting so far:

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3 great novels. He should have won the Nobel.

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I'm fairly sure (but not 100%) that I read Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.  I actually own all of his novels now in LOA editions, but haven't read that many, and it will take a while to remedy that, just because I have so much else I am trying to get through.  I just borrowed this graphic novel adaptation from the library and thought it was pretty successful.

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In addition to slowly making my way through Don Quixote, I am currently reading books by Quebec authors from QC Fiction (https://qcfiction.com/), including Tatouine and The Electric Baths.

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1 hour ago, ejp626 said:

I'm fairly sure (but not 100%) that I read Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.  I actually own all of his novels now in LOA editions, but haven't read that many, and it will take a while to remedy that, just because I have so much else I am trying to get through.  I just borrowed this graphic novel adaptation from the library and thought it was pretty successful.

81PWUQgQ2uL.jpg

In addition to slowly making my way through Don Quixote, I am currently reading books by Quebec authors from QC Fiction (https://qcfiction.com/), including Tatouine and The Electric Baths.

That’s the one that was based on Vonnegut’s first hand experience of being bombed in Dresden as a POW/slave worker billeted in a slaughterhouse shed, I believe.

Edited by sidewinder
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Finished American Pastoral several days ago and am about 100 pages into I Married A Communist in the LOA edition of Philip Roth’s American Trilogy. American Pastoral was outstanding, except... much like The Plot Against America, I think Roth fails to stick the ending, which is frustrating for me in both instances, because they’re such ambitious and well-written books. I read Plot not long after it came out, and it merits a rereading (does it ever, given current circumstances), and found it a brilliantly-rendered and all-too-plausible alternative-history novel until the ending, which at the time struck me as ludicrous and almost pat in the way it corrected the narrative back on track to subsequent real-life events. But maybe I was asking too much and will find it less disagreeable in a reread. With American Pastoral, there’s an epic and revelatory dinner party that goes on for quite some time, and then the book just sputters out IMO with an attempted act of violence, the significance of which didn’t work for me as a conclusion to such a large-scale narrative... it closed the story off in an abrupt and (to me) artistically-unsatisfying manner. But a superlative novel nonetheless. 
 

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Aside from my very slow march through Don Quixote (and Nabokov's lectures on same), I'm mostly reading Canadian literature.

I thought The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis had its moments, but I thought the situations were a bit too pat (like a play in many cases) and it certainly isn't as good as The Free World.

I thought the claustrophobic rural community depicted in Fortier's The Unknown Huntsman was certainly creepy but it was a literary affectation that bore no resemblance to anything in real life (maybe drawing on his memories of watching The Wicker Man or the like).  I'm glad it was fairly short as I was getting ready to bail.

I'm starting in on Atwood's The Edible Woman (which I read many, many years ago), and I expect this will hold up better than these other two.

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41 minutes ago, Dave James said:

Purely and simply, a war crime.  No ifs, no ands, no buts. 

That statement can be debated ad infinitum and I don’t think any of us who weren’t there first hand and exposed to the horrors - either in Germany or elsewhere on this Continent - can make judgement. Sadly, Dresden’s strategic location as a border rail marshalling area and pressure from the Russians to support their advance probably sealed its fate.

As I said in my original comment, a very good book which provides a balanced, unbiased account and can be recommended.

Edited by sidewinder
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