NOW READING

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
I'm going to re-start the Stephen King's The Dark Tower Saga. I was stucked in the 3rd book, and I don't remember very well so, I'm going to start again. I hope to finnish it at the end of the summer.

The Dark Tower I. The Gunslinger (Stephen King)

4153HF0AQAL._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
 

Spambot

Meme Lord
@JudasMyGuide @Perun
Aw man, I wish we were at some bar or coffee shop discussing this. I've re-read your posts a couple of times and got a lot to say, but I'm afraid my thoughts will be lost as I write this.

Let me just say that I enjoyed the book and I enjoyed the movie (which I watched some time ago, so I can't remember all the details right now. I have to re-watch it again, after reading the book) for entirely different reasons.

First, yes, I was surprised how well the book was written. Stephen King really is a master of painting a picture with just a few strokes. Just a couple of sentences and - BAM - you're there, you know the character, you can see, hear and smell where they are and what they're doing. Especially, if he's writing about feelings, traumas and other intangible things. I agree with everything Judas wrote about Jack's alcoholism, thoughts about divorce, abusiveness from his father and his own approach to his own son (In On Writing King wrote how one hard it was to write about Jack's relationship with his father and then in a same vein writing about Danny's relationship with Jack.) Even though I knew how it would end, same as Perun, I cheered for "normal Jack" knowing he was spiraling down (which speaks volumes about how King gets you emotionally invested). I don't even remember how the hotel looked in the movie, and I might be a bit disappointed when I see it, because it was like King booked a room for me during reading. All this being said, I have to repeat that King really is a master of writing, an incredible talent for putting the right word in the right place, line after line. But, as I've said before, King loses me at plotting.

I've said that he is against plotting, he just starts with an idea and goes where it takes him. And knowing the ending, I noticed there are some 'blind alleys' in the book. For example, I didn't like all that detailed history about the hotel. He already painted the picture, I didn't need to know what happened in detail decade after decade. Jack's gone mad passing the line of no return and the ending of the book isn't in sight - King knows that, the reader knows that, hell, even Jack Torrence probably knows that. Yet, there are scenes after scenes when he's trying to confirm it, and I'm like "I got it already, just move the plot!!" But then again, it's a horror book. I must admit, I haven't read a lot of those, so maybe that's how the plot unfolds in them. If that's the case, OK. But what bugs me is that at some places he aligns plot with atmosphere perfectly, you find things out at a pace enough to keep you interested and craving for more and just a couple of chapters after it's like you still need to reach the point that you already passed.

As per book VS movie: I know some things King said about the movie, either from his books or from his interviews, and I agree with some of them. Wendy is less than one-dimensional, the ending is a bit anti-climactic, and the biggest of all, which kind-of sums it up it this: the book is about a hotel, the movie is about Jack. (At least that's what my friend told me. He said after he read how King 'spat' on Kubrick's version, he watched King's version of the movie. And he said it was worse than shit. Then again, my friend isn't really a King fan, I think he's still pissed off about Gunslinger saga - which again shows you how big a pantser King can be.)

I'm not trying to defend Kubrick, but while reading The Shining I was commenting it with my wife. It would be hard to make a movie that follows the book exactly. First, there's 'shining' itself. It's one of those things that work perfectly in the book, and in the movie it works maybe 1 in a 100 times. Dick Halloran is a phenomenal character, I was really surprised how big of a role he plays, and I enjoyed reading his chapters. But in a 2-hour movie which set the snowy claustrophobic tone perfectly, I think putting scenes with character in some sunny city would ruin it. The ending was better in the books, setting all the place on fire, while here we just see Jack in a snow. But then, I disagree that Kubrick didn't do enough to make hotel creepy: there's those twins' scene a couple of times, blood from an elevator scene and I think those guys in costumes appear earlier, not only in the end. Meanwhile, however he is good with details, King (only at some scenes, mind you) either repeats some details or he delays them for so long that they don't have an effect they would have if they appeared earlier (for example, I was expecting a lot more from the elevator).

And one thing where King lost me at the end a bit, let's transcribe it to the movie. If I was watching some 'regular' movie that just happens to be on TV and at the end I see a guy fighting the hedges - I'd be laughing. If I saw that same scene in a movie that set the tone as Kubrick did - I'd be pissed. I realize King is a fan of those 60s and 70s B-list horror movies, but if you paint some miniature details so perfectly that make me disgust or afraid and then at the end you have giant hedge animals fighting - I'm going to be let down a little. So yeah, if someone asks me if the movie is good, I'm going to answer 'Yes'. But if they ask me is movie good adaption of the book, I will answer 'No'. Because it would be pretty hard to make one in the first place.

I'm planning to return to King soon. @JudasMyGuide @Perun Any recommendations? The plot isn't important, I'll give up on that even before I start reading, I'm looking for something in the same writing style (please, no Gunslinger saga)
 

Jer

Abysmal display of mental decay
Catching up on old books I was given as gifts that I never would have gotten on my own.

First up:

51YHQn+-MkL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


Yep, it’s conspiracy theory time! Well, sort of. This book is a meandering information dump without a coherent thesis for most of its first half, but there are some interesting elements later on where testimony from first responders and photographic and mass spectronomy evidence are shared that make a fairly strong case that a standard pancaking building collapse couldn’t have produced the behavior witnessed and measured on 9/11, but that many aspects of what actually happened line up well with the so-called “Hutchison Effect” that can apparently be caused by interfering electromagnetic fields. No specific device or specific culprits are theorized to be responsible, though there are some bizarre insinuations about a hurricane off the coast of NYC possibly being involved.

Much of this is noise or outright bunk, but I would be curious to read a detailed counterargument regarding the Hutchison Effect theory, as there seemed to be a kernel of believability to its side effects lining up better with much of the physical evidence from the WTC site than any other mainstream theory I’ve heard. But Hutchison himself is a fringe figure, so such a thing may not exist.

Anyway, this book is more interesting in relation to the questions it raises rather than the small handful of conclusions it attempts to offer. In the end it didn’t feel like a complete waste of time to read it.
 

Jer

Abysmal display of mental decay
Second:

41tTcBdGo0L.jpg


This was a breezy read that I finished in one sitting. Mostly it argued that bureaucratic infrastructure is bad, external investment money is bad, growth for the sake of growth is bad, getting too feature-rich is bad, and workaholism is bad. It posits that staying as lean and simplistic as possible, and letting people work as autonomously as possible with simple, achievable goals and good work/life balance produces the best results with far fewer resources.

I agreed with most of what these people were saying, though their complete aversion to planning anything beyond the next week or two seems hopelessly unrealistic and inefficient, and the fact that their company only has about 16 employees explains how they’re able to get away with having so little structure without having everything fall apart. While their approach may work great with a tiny company, at least a quarter of their tenets would implode once they approached 50 employees or more.

Still, it was enjoyable enough, and probably a good counterpoint to conventional wisdom about technical management. Kind of funny to read this now, after I’ve already retired, but whatever.
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
savage.png
Every Tool's a hammer (Adam Savage)
Although I'm reading the first book of Dark Tower (finishing now) I'm going to start this one because it's not a novel and I think I can read both.
Adam Savage was the 50% of Mythbusters. I'm following Adam Savage's Youtube Channel and he's amazing, he's so passionate about everything…
This book is about his life as a maker. An exploration of his own productive obsessions. He will help turn your curiosities into creations. It's about to find everything you need to inspire you to build, make, invent, explore and enjoy the thrills of being a creator. Very Interesting. It's going to be a little hard because it's not translated to my native language so… it's English text. I hope enjoy it.
 

Magnus

Pica Serdica
Philip K Dick, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: Volume five of the collected stories.
I never stop being amazed by PKD. I thought I had some idea of how paranoid his prose can be by now but "Retreat Syndrome", one of the stories in this collection, is, well.
Also, the stories seem to reflect his sense of humour, dark or otherwise, better than the novels.
 

MindRuler

Found in a lost world
Philip K Dick, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale: Volume five of the collected stories.
I never stop being amazed by PKD. I thought I had some idea of how paranoid his prose can be by now but "Retreat Syndrome", one of the stories in this collection, is, well.
Also, the stories seem to reflect his sense of humour, dark or otherwise, better than the novels.
What´s your thought on the movie based on this story, Total Recall?
 

Magnus

Pica Serdica
What´s your thought on the movie based on this story, Total Recall?
I don't remember* being much impressed honestly.
But:
I don't remember** much of the movie either, I'm sorry to admit; when I saw it, as far as I remember***, I had read little, if at all, of Philip K Dick, The Man in the High Castle probably but can't remember**** for sure anymore, so I certainly didn't make the connection.
(Years later, when seeing The Adjustment Bureau without having read Adjustment Team yet, I was pretty certain it must have been based on a story by him, you start to recognize the symptoms at some point).

Edit:
Something seems to be wrong with spoilers tonight, so here's the original spoiler, sorry:
********** #WholesaleOrBust
 
Last edited:
Top