Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Anonymous, Dec 4, 2003.
Thanks. Indeed it sounds constructed, as you say, 'in retrospect'.
Finished Karamazovs lately (my feelings still stand - an amazing book, without a doubt).
Also, I have finally read the novel one of my favourite movies is based on - A River Runs Through It, by Norman Maclean. And it was absolutely awesome and beautiful. Both the beginning (“In our family...") and especially the ending
"Of course, now I am too old to be much of a fisherman, and now of course I usually fish the big waters alone, although some friends think I shouldn’t. Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise.
Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters.”
are among the best novel opening/closing parts I've ever read. A very strong experience, cathartic even.
So, now I'm still re-reading LOTR, for the first time in English (currently nearly halfway up The Two Towers, chapter Road to Isengard), Chapterhouse Dune and that Jesus of Nazareth by Brandstaetter. Also began reading Klavan's The Great Good Thing, on a recommendation of a friend, and it's a really fun read, more than I expected.
Looking forward to Narnia, which I'll start next.
Okay, but what about your Lent?
What about it?
Lent itself to cross-pollination?
A Lent-il, you mean? No, not really.
Hey, @Ariana , would you be interested in a "Stephen King commented bibliography" thread? I mean, going through his books by publishing date, commenting and discussing? I probably don't have the guts to open it (since my last attempt at "commented -graphy" ended when I stopped listening to Rush altoghether), but I keep toying with the idea
Yes, absolutely! It would be fun.
Oh, wait, are you implying that I should open it? I... could think about it, I guess..
Stephen King- Needful Things
Finished The Dark Tower. The last 3 books were difficult to get through, but I was so invested that I managed to power through the last one in a week.
Because this is Maidenfans, I have to rank them:
Ranking of the first four is very close though. Gunslinger was difficult but I found myself revisiting different sections of it over the course of the series. Wouldn't be surprised if it became my favorite after reading it another time. Either way, the first four are all fantastic.
Book 5 takes a dip but it's still pretty good. Felt like a similar adventure as the one in the previous book, but it worked. 6 was a (luckily short) waste of time. I felt that nothing important happened and all it did was serve as a bridge between 5 and 7. The last book was OK. There were moments of brilliance but I feel the story came to way too many halts for being the final book. The pace should've been closer to book 3 than book 5.
I imagine the ending pissed off a lot of fans but I really liked it. First of all it only made sense for Roland to reach the tower alone, so I was happy with that much. The end of each character was very satisfying. Although if anything I have more mixed feelings on the Susannah epilogue than Roland's end. I think the story looping makes sense for this universe and is fitting for his character. I found myself pitying Roland toward the end, instead of relating to him or even rooting for him the way I did in earlier books. His fate helped solidify that. Besides, I don't think any ending to a series like this would universally please the fanbase. I'm also more excited for the movie now that I know the ending to the book series left the possibility open for other outcomes.
The biggest disappointment was the death of Flagg. I get what he was going for but it was way too early in the book and was unsatisfactory given how much he built this character up. He went from being the main antagonist in the first book to being a side character dying a lame death. I would've liked to see him as a larger presence in general.
The last controversial thing is of course Stephen King writing himself into the story. I was worried about where this would lead, but now that I know it didn't go in the direction I feared I am fine with it. Not sure it was totally necessary, but it wasn't the worst thing that happened to the books.
Overall, a good series, despite some major flaws. He took a long time to write these and it shows. I would submit this as proof that spending a long time on something isn't necessarily going to improve it. It might even work against it. The space between the first four books worked fine, but with each book it felt like the original plot had slowly been lost, the difference was that there were also improvements to make up for it. But after his accident the entire thrust of the series changed and maybe not for the better.
But I loved the universe he created so much that the mediocrity of the final three books was bearable. The characters were intriguing and felt real, the places were exciting, and the whole concept behind The Dark Tower was unique. Definitely worth checking out for the first 4 books alone.
I see that you skipped The Wind Through the Keyhole. Probably a good choice on the first read-through, but I'm going to recommend it as well. It takes place in between IV and V, but is essentially mostly another big flashback. Necessary? Not at all, but a good book. Then you've got the "Little Sisters of Eluria" in Everything's Eventual, a short story. And if you're like me, you're going to want to read all the other books with connections to the tower... I'm not done yet, and I read the series 10 years ago. The only thing I'm not a fan of is all the Marvel comics.
Interesting ranking though. It resembles what most long-time fans would say I guess, but VII usually gets ranked very high even with them (not to mention with newcomers). And the emotional impact of VII alone makes it the best one for me.
7, 1, 4, 5, 2, 3, 6 - would be my ranking. The Wind Through the Keyhole would place somewhere in the latter half I think. What makes me rank the series this way is that I, unlike most other people, didn't find The Gunslinger to be inaccessible - I loved it, thoroughly, so when the tone changed in the next book it took some getting used to.
I definitely enjoyed the first book, I just wasn't invested in Roland's quest until after his palaver with Walter. But I also like how King eases the reader into it.
The emotional highs of 7 are great, but the pacing of the story felt off to me. Maybe I was too harsh on it, but I didn't expect the grand finale to have so many slow moments.
I will get to Wind Through the Keyhole and other Dark Tower related materials eventually, but I'm taking a break from the universe for now. I am looking forward to it though, one thing about the later books that disappointed me was the lack of stories about Roland's past.
I felt like Cuthbert and Alain's deaths were kinda glossed over and there was at least one story that was hinted at but never told
Jeremy Fisk series (three so far published) by Dick Wolf (creator of Law & Order TV series). Interesting series about all the resources, organizations, technology, and people the NYPD have at their disposal to combat city wide threats.
Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and the Prisoners of Collectivism
Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and the Order of Psycho-epistemology
Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Ayn Rand’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Has anyone read Catch-22 without wanting to read other stuff in between? I find it so hard to get through since it doesn't have a particular story, but it's so easy to forget the characters that it will probably make me less likely to finish it if I put it down for other things. It's not boring at all, I enjoy it, but it demands some discipline from one.
Oh boy, how am I going to resist typing a four-page reply now... Catch-22 is my all-time favorite book, which basically means I want to read it any time. It's very important to get used to the idea that you're not supposed to remember the characters or easily follow the story. See, it's all stylistic devices that are intended to reveal how soldiers feel when thrown in with thousands of other men they're supposed to share what's left of their lives. At the same time, the book introduces characters out of the blue, without any hint, which symbolises the importance of those people for the main characters. They are all that the world consists of for them at that point. Everything in the book is intended to reveal the absurdity of war - the constant recycling of stories, the meaningless dialogues, etc... So I wouldn't say you need discipline to read Catch-22, but a certain mind set for sure.
I do like how the dialogue makes no sense and is repetitive, but I think this part:
See, it's all stylistic devices that are intended to reveal how soldiers feel when thrown in with thousands of other men they're supposed to share what's left of their lives. At the same time, the book introduces characters out of the blue, without any hint, which symbolises the importance of those people for the main characters. They are all that the world consists of for them at that point.kind of explains why the writing seemed "cold-hearted" to me, so to speak. I might have gotten attached to Yossarian since he is the first to be introduced but I guess that it wouldn't be focused on him since he's a part so small of the whole war that basically no one but him cares about whether he dies or not.
I started reading Catch 22 once (inspired by Meshuggah's Catch 33), but lost interest pretty soon.
And you've summed up Catch 22 in one sentence Well done. It's an excellent book. I also found it difficult when I first attempted it. When I came back in my mid-20s (after university-level English classes) I found it to be a much more accessible read.
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