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read any good books lately...

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tszirmay View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tszirmay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2015 at 21:53
Enemies of the People by Kati Marton ! A personal story of courage and discovery. I am also a product of escape from the Iron Curtain! 
"The more I analyze the human race, the more I love my dog" Mme de Stael
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2015 at 01:37
Working on A Passion Play.  Currently stalled, but a good read so far...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2015 at 03:40
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

^ It is a mystery--  Streiber has steadfastly maintained that he is not creating his story nor is there any indication of a mental problem according to tests he had done.   One interesting follow-up was his Solving the Communion Enigma from 2011 which revisits his experiences after he and his wife had to sell the cabin where the visitations allegedly took place.   Apparently his books stopped selling, even the novels, and the Streibers fell on hard times which is one of the reasons he took the job hosting Art Bell's Dreamland and other questionable outlets.


Did the cabin's new owner also have encounters with the so-called "Visitors"? I remember reading that Strieber is not exactly sure what those entities are, hence why he calls them that instead of extraterrestrials.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2015 at 04:21
^ I don't know but I wouldn't be surprised, the phenomenon seemed as much provincial as personal.   As far as I know, Streiber stopped encountering visitors after they left.   Then his wife got cancer and it didn't look good; he's had it tough for awhile now, poor guy.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2015 at 05:31
Whitley Strieber's definitely lived a very strange and probably rather traumatizing life. It's rather peculiar to me, how his story differs so much from that of other UFO contactees. I'm guessing it has something to do with his Roman Catholic religious background, and how he interprets his experiences through a different link than say the Theosophy-by-way-of-New Age frame of reference that informs most others.


Edited by Toaster Mantis - February 19 2015 at 14:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2015 at 20:43
^ That's possible, and he alludes to that in his books; how different reports of visitations are in Asia and South America.   Some have also suggested his experiences sound a lot like the sort of biotelemetric mind control purportedly dabbled in by the intelligence/military community.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 19 2015 at 14:17
I think it's more how the current alien contactee/abduction experience corresponds closely to old-fashioned tales of pre-Disneyfied elves elves, angels/demons et cetera right down to "missing time" stuff and the hybrid mythology corresponding to fairy changeling stories. Whether or not the beings actually exist, it's probably the same archetype at work in terms of what kind of experience is at work. (which has also been compared to the shamanic vision quest) I think it's something that British paranormalist Lynn Picknett has written a lot about in her work dealing with UFOlogy.

On a related note, a half-Japanese co-worker of mine claims that current clichés about how extraterrestrials are supposed to look and act correspond extremely closely to the least flattering Occidental stereotypes of Japanese people...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheProgtologist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 23 2015 at 22:12
Just started the last book in Ellroy's L.A. Quartet,which I have enjoyed immensely.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2015 at 03:36
James Ellroy's the man. He kinda reminds me of Raymond Chandler channeling Louis-Ferdinand Céline, though there are times when I find his writing a bit clunky I still admire him for being a step higher in his literary ambitions than most other crime writers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheProgtologist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 07 2015 at 21:52
His style does take some getting used to,especially in L.A. Confidential where his prose is delivered in short,chopped sentences.On to the Lloyd Hopkins trilogy....






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 11 2015 at 03:56
Yeah, his style reminds me a lot of L. F. Céline's Death on the Installment Plan. No idea if James Ellroy ever read "the Andy Warhol of the far right", though.

I think Ellroy's more highbrow inspirations come from Jack Kerouac who in turn was inspired by Céline, and Don DeLillo who also deals with similar "secret history of the United States" themes in some of his novels.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mithrandir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2015 at 15:01
Sharpe Series - Bernard Cornwell (been tearing through these... focuses in and around the Napoleonic Wars, easily some of the best War/Military fiction I have ever read, the depictions of skirmish and battle are stunningly accurate and vast, he also pulls no punches when it comes to the brutality and realities of war: rape, pillaging, "collateral damage" etc... I can't wait to read more of his other series)

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn (thing was visceral man, haha! beyond the story there's a lot to relate to in regard to the development and decay of love, relationships, marriage, etc.... I loved the movie, but this book, damn!)

Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie (cutthroat low-magic fantasy involving an amoral cast of characters that you cant help but love! This revenge story starts small and gradually gets bigger and bigger, also connected to the rest of The First Law series, so you kind of have to read those first, but honestly I think I enjoyed this one even more than the trilogy - and I really liked the trilogy!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2015 at 08:15
A couple weeks ago, I finished...



Half autobiography, half re-write of Mikhail Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time just set in 21st century Denmark instead. Not that much of the original is left intact here except the barest outlines of the plot, in part because it needs to be fit into author's life... but also because that novel is such a peculiar product of Imperial Russia.

It's okay I guess, I read it mostly because the author is a friend of mine from university, he's got an interesting prose style that kinda reminds me of Charles Bukowski except choppier and more frantic. I gotta say that I prefer the times when he goes on weird hallucinatory introspective philosophical musings that are obviously made up, and it becomes unclear how much is actually happening, to either the biographical parts or the Lermontov pastiche.

Right now, I'm reading these:


An anthology of horror short stories not written by the Hitch, but selected and compiled by him from many different authors. It's also old Alfred who wrote the introduction. The stories vary quite a bit in style and quality as you can expect, but surprisingly many of them revolve around spousal infidelities or conflict within an institution or organization with the characters' resulting psychological insecurities being the driving motivation behind the plots' central conflict.


One history of horror fiction, focusing on how the various monstrous archetypes of the genre have evolved throughout different cultural contexts and from which folkloric/philosophical/religious backgrounds their ideas come from. It's very well written, being able to fit a lot of information and analysis covering much cultural history and different perspectives into very short space while also being entertaining to read. Requires quite a bit of concentration to read, though.


Uncle Steve's perspective on the genre in which he plies his trade (for the most part) is more autobiographical and focused on the psychological processes which make horror fiction "click" for him when he reads it, rather than the cultural history angle of it. A very different way of analyzing the same genre to that other book, the writing is as typical of the author long-winded but conversational and easy to read with many humourous anecdotes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2015 at 09:31


Edited by dr wu23 - March 20 2015 at 09:33
Et In Arcadia Ego
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2015 at 08:29

Late-19th century novel about a ridiculously dysfunctional aristocratic family in Sicily, told from the point of view from their two daughters. It basically plays like an extremely violent soap opera, with ghost hauntings as well as traumatic past revelations spilling out and characters dying dramatically every chapter. The plot is rather convoluted with a large cast of characters, but it moves very quickly... all that even though Radcliffe spends quite a bit of time floridly describing the main characters' inner emotional lives as well as how beautiful the architecture, clothing and landscapes surrounding everyone is.

Consider that it's very short, just above 200 pages in length or so, and it can get somewhat confusing especially to a 21st century reader... but it's extremely entertaining. I kind of miss that kind of unselfconsciously weird storytelling that they had before modern times, in particular here that it's certain that the author still clearly knows what she's doing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheProgtologist Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2015 at 23:48
I liked Danse Macbre alot when I read it as a teenager and was gobbling up all things horror.It's a nice examination of the genre as a whole by someone who I share a lot of influences with.

Now reading this book,recommended by a friend who owns a comic book shop.Good mix of sci-fi and football (American),set 700 years in the future with football as a bloodsport.The writer comes from a football background,his father coached and he and all his brothers played so all the football parts are very well written.Book 1 in a 4 book cycle so far called The Galactic Football League.


Also reading this,no explanation needed





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toaster Mantis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2015 at 05:05
John Lydon is what I imagine Bart Simpson would look like as an adult.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guy Guden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2015 at 15:33
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:




Consider that it's very short, just above 200 pages in length or so, and it can get somewhat confusing especially to a 21st century reader... but it's extremely entertaining. I kind of miss that kind of unselfconsciously weird storytelling that they had before modern times, in particular here that it's certain that the author still clearly knows what she's doing.
Interesting choice.  I used to love reading Gothic Literature.  Have read Mysteries of Udolpho and The Italian from Miss Radcliffe, but not your recommendation.  Thanks.
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