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Saphrax

Nomad
I'd rather he just wrote the next damn book in the series.
I agree — I’m even less interested in “Wild Cards” or GRRM’s football opinions, etc that seem to distract him. Imagine if he were an Iron Maiden fan and decided to follow them on tour vs. finishing his books.

I’ve just finished reading “Fire and Blood,” however, and liked it much better than I expected I would. It covers the first half of the Targaryen history in Westeros and is written like a history book. I happen to like real world history, so a fictitious history is actually also fun for me to read.

I think “The Winds of Winter” is more analogous to the next Tool album than anything else in music.
 
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Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
I'm doing a presentation on Atlas Shrugged eventually and accidentally started a re-read of the book. I'm supposed to be reading Don Quixote instead. This is fun.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Started reading Bird Box today. Saw the film last night, and it was so amazing I had to go out this afternoon and buy the book.
 

Ariana

Black-and-white leopard
Did you really like it so much? We watched it when it came out and it left me with mixed feelings.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Did you really like it so much?
I did because I knew little to nothing about it. All I knew was that there was "a mysterious presence" leading people to suicide, and I didn't quite know what to expect, about the actual plot and everything. I'm loving the book so far as well, and it's different enough from the film that it doesn't seem to matter whether you read it or see the movie first.
 

Ariana

Black-and-white leopard
Well, I basically knew nothing about it either. But I like mysteries to have at least some reasonable explanation, so I'm not satisfied with the lack of any clarity whatsoever about the mystery.
Not to mention that it is beyond any logic that whatever that thing was could affect people via CCTV.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
I myself like those kind of mysteries the most. There's something eerily realistic about humanity being attacked by an unknown presence that you can't look at. It's like you're trapped in a nightmare. There's no solving the nightmare, you just want to get out as soon as you can.
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
So... I started reading Bird Box on Saturday night, and by 1 AM on Monday I had finished it. I had to take some time to fully process it, I even went on to watch the film again (terrible adaptation by the way), and now I can firmly say that this is my favorite book ever. No book had ever frightened me the way Bird Box did, and I rarely get to actually feel what the author asks me to feel like I did here. The way the author (Josh Malerman) describes everything, and how it all sums up to build tension is genius, and the climax is incredibly rewarding and more than satisfying.

Every horror/thriller fan should read this book. It's very original and very well written, and I'll definitely be looking for more books by this author.
 

JudasMyGuide

...quite like the Jack of Hearts...
Aldous Huxley-Brave New World
Sadly it's not as good as the song.
I think Postman expressed it absolutely flabbergastingly:

"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that our fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us."


And it's all true. Orwell's vision never actually happened, Huxley's here now, for quite some time. His book is the prophetic one. That's why when someone overrates 1984 in front of me (and it happens quite often, actually), I tend to throw them Huxley in the face.
 

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
I think Postman expressed it absolutely flabbergastingly:

"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that our fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us."


And it's all true. Orwell's vision never actually happened, Huxley's here now, for quite some time. His book is the prophetic one. That's why when someone overrates 1984 in front of me (and it happens quite often, actually), I tend to throw them Huxley in the face.
There is a lot of truth in this, but I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Orwell. Orwell was a lot more blunt and dramatic, and that's what gets in the way of appreciating the subtleties in his vision. One of the key differences between Brave New World and 1984 is that both societies live in a completely different context. Huxley's world is one that offers people pleasure because it can. Orwell's world can't do that because it lives in a permanent state of emergency that it needs to survive. This is true for many parts of the world today, and a lot of countries live in a state that is closer to 1984 than to Brave New World. One thing that I think Orwell absolutely nailed is the way conflict is perpetuated to keep fear alive. Let me elaborate on this a little.
After 9/11, I remember websites and news articles popping up everywhere constructing a history of Islamist terrorism that has been an ancient enemy of the west. Suddenly, the War on Terror had started in 1946 with an attack on the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, US military involvement in the 20th century was a lot of Beirut and very little else, and basically it all went back to the Assassins anyway. Former Soviet militarymen were consulted about how to go about Afghanistan. Oceania was at war with Eurasia. It had always been at war with Eurasia.
You see, all the surveillance and Big Brother stuff is the part of 1984 that had me the least intrigued. There is a lot more to the novel, and very much comes from Orwell's own observation of Stalinism. 1984, to me, is not about the big guy you could always bring down, but about all the little nuances of totalitarianism that you wouldn't even think about, but that tend to stick around.
I totally agree that Brave New World is probably more relevant to our present society, and I fully agree with the assessment you quoted. We need to watch out more for distractions and information overload, the latter in particular because we increasingly can't agree on what truth is anymore, than for TV screens that watch us. But there still is a lot of 1984 in our world.
 

Spambot

Educated Fool
About a month ago I've read Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero. For those who don't know, he's Mark in the infamous "The Room" 2003 movie. The movie made about this movie "The Disaster Artist" made by James Franco was based on this book which basically tells the experience how the movie was made.

For those who don't know, „The Room“ is a movie I watched some 10 years ago on a „Trash-movie night“ my friends use to organize. It runs at 99 minutes but it probably took us 4+ hours to watch it. It's that… memorable. Several viewings and a video-game later, movie reached cult status up to a point where James Franco picked it up and made a movie about make a movie. Only recently I found out „Disaster Artist“ was based on a memoir written by The Room's own Mark – Greg Sestero.

The book itself is divided into 2 parts: Greg Sestero's private life, from his childhood to meeting Tommy and Tommy's role in his life. Second one is the shooting of „The Room“, from first day until last take. These two part go parallel side by side, chapter by chapter and I would be a liar if I said I didn't prefer second one more. After all, it was a movie what everybody wanted to read about and its making, like these behind-the-scenes moment:
While writing the scene, Tommy forgot, at some point, that Lisa was on the phone, so he ends the scene with Lisa walking her mother to the door and saying good-bye.
Or this movie trivia:
[Tommy Wiseau after watching „The Talented Mr. Ripley“] „I know the name of your character now“ Tommy said, looking at me „You will be called Mark – like this guy Mark Damon“.
I could continue listing examples and quotes here but they would be long as the chapters about making of „The Room“. So, I suggest you buy or borrow it and read at least those chapters if you can't remember when was the last time that a book made you laugh. I guarantee you'll find at least one details that'll make you chuckle later in the day.

But it was the other part of the book that it got me thinking. Greg Sestero (and some reviewers) looked at the whole story from different perspectives and most common one was about friendship. And up to a point, they're right. Greg Sestero did stick with Tommy Wiseau through sive and griddle and cared about his well-being at some points. Tommy Wiseau did help Greg Sestero in pursuit of his dreams without asking anything in return (at least in the beginning).

Greg Sestero finishes the book with the conclusion it is all about a dreams and pursuing them. True, a lot of people dream of being a movie star, few make it and if Tommy Wiseau's story of upbringing is remotely true, it makes it another Cinderella story. From gutter to stars (I guess this wasn't how Tommy imagined he would became a star, nevertheless, he still is one.)
Somebody can dig deeper and probably found some different points of view, but one of the them stuck with me (and I must confess it even surprised me because I rarely look at things in that light.) That factor is money. Even author Greg Sestero admits is at one point, that it was the money that made him participate in movie making and portraying the role of Mark. Money is, as well, one of the main reasons why the movie „made it“ in the first place. Words from an author:
Money is what allowed Tommy to not only produce and release The Room, but also to extensively advertise it and keep it alive in the dark time between its disastrous initial release and eventual success.
Take Tommy's money out of the equation, we wouldn't have the movie, the book, the movie about movie and so on. Which got me thinking: if this whole story went „traditional way“ it would probably tank and all of them would be an experience wiser. But it was the money that kept the train rolling and what we got is virgin first-try which usually (in artistic world) authors look back with nostalgia and a bit shame. Give any writer, actor, singer etc. their very first (mostly unpublished) work, majority of them would start laughing and probably blush a little. Now imagine throwing 6 million (!) dollars at that work to make it succeed. That is what happened to Tommy and the Room.

Some time ago I searched for something through my mail and found one of the mails I sent to some professor at 1st year of college and started laughing. I remember how it took me at least dozen of minutes to write 2-3 sentence long mail and how much I thrived for it to sound professionally. When I read it now, I realize how juvenile and unprofessional I sounded. Nowadays, I whip the mail with the same message in a matter of seconds and it sounds way better than it would then. It was that whole path of trial and error through which I obtained some sort of quality and it took mails and mails, years and years.

Tommy Wiseau and most of his cast and crew were debarred from that whole experience by money. So, however enjoyable and funny I found the book, it also made me realize something else. Each day we get discouraged by our fails, forgetting how each fail can be a lesson to make us a bit better.
If we all made it on our first try, would we all be disaster artists?

Currently reading A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena. I know mystery/suspense books should be fast, but I think I'm halfway through the story and throughout this whole time there isn't sentence longer than 5-6 words. Also, if you every couple of paragraph start 5-6 consecutive sentences with "He" or "She" (He opened the door. He entered. He closed the door. He looked around etc.) than it's lazy writing. Plot twist better be good although I smell a very predictable one coming.
 

Black Wizard

Cereal Litigator
About a month ago I've read Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero. For those who don't know, he's Mark in the infamous "The Room" 2003 movie. The movie made about this movie "The Disaster Artist" made by James Franco was based on this book which basically tells the experience how the movie was made.
expert_mark.gif
 

Number 6

Ancient Mariner
Started reading Vox, Christina Dalcher's debut novel released last year. It's set in a dystopian future where the USA became a dictatorship, and follows a woman trying to live through it with her family (husband, three sons and a daughter) under the condition that women are forced to wear a word counting bracelet which cannot exceed 100 words per day — otherwise they get electrically shocked.

I'm about 20 pages in, and am already in a state of pure desperation.
 
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