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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 19 March 2011 at 3:36pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

I'm about 20 pages in an thoroughly engrossed, Matt. The book is written in almost novel form, with many pages of dialog taken from court transcripts and reports of conversations. De Camp was evidently most thorough in his research.

Had to find a library copy, on sale on Amazon, tho. Book appears to be out of print.

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Ryan Maxwell
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Posted: 19 March 2011 at 4:23pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Just started Dracula (I have a new love for Barnes & Noble Classics cheap paperbacks).  Good grief, I can't get Keanu Reeves' voice out of my head for Jonathan Harker.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 19 March 2011 at 4:25pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I'll be very impressed if you finish, Ryan! Aside from the crawling-down-the-wall scene, which I found one of the creepiest I had ever read, I found DRACULA an enormous snooze-fest!
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Ryan Maxwell
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Posted: 19 March 2011 at 4:37pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I read it about 15 years ago, but my wife was just going on and on about how much she loves it, so I picked it up again.  I don't recall liking it that much the first time.  The ending chase across Europe was the, ah, final nail in the coffin.  The erotic legend women seem to have in their heads is definitely blown out of proportion. 
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Richard White
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Posted: 19 March 2011 at 5:18pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

It's interesting you say that about Dracula JB, I'm a big fan of F.W. Murnau, Sunrise ranks as one of my favourites but Nosferatu beyond a couple of scenes does nothing for me.

 

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Michael Wolner Jr
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Posted: 19 March 2011 at 8:03pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I just started reading Pronto by Elmore Leonard on my Kindle.  I am really enjoying the Justified TV series so I thought I give the books about Raylan Givens a try.  So far pretty good.  
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Aaron Smith
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Posted: 19 March 2011 at 8:13pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I'll be very impressed if you finish, Ryan! Aside from the crawling-down-the-wall scene, which I found one of the creepiest I had ever read, I found DRACULA an enormous snooze-fest!

***

That's come up several times here in the years I've been on the forum and it seems to be the one big exception to the fact that I usually seem to have the same taste in things as you, JB. I tend to agree with you on comics, definitely on everything Star Trek related, and on most books that we've both read (Fleming, Tolkein, Zelazny, to name a few), but with DRACULA, complete opposite opinions. It's one of my favorite novels. I always thought the pace of it was perfect for the atmosphere that Stoker was building.

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Tim O'Neill
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Posted: 20 March 2011 at 8:48am | IP Logged | 8 post reply



Matt R:  "For me, even The Hobbit, Paulo. "

***

"The Hobbit" was my way in - I loved that book when I read it.  And at the time I had no desire at the time to read "Lord of the Rings" nor did I know that it was the more popular work.  I just got hungry for more of that world after reading "The Hobbit" twice.



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Robert Cosgrove
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Posted: 20 March 2011 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

More serious reading:  Ratification:  The People Debate the Constitution;  Book on Tape for automobile driving:  Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell  (recently finished his King Arthur trilogy);
Light reading:  bogging down in The Sherlockian;
next up:  either After America, by John Birmingham, or Death of a Red Heroine, by Qui Xiaolong, whose work I haven't sampled before.  Also dipping into the short story collection, Sympathy for the Devil.
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 20 March 2011 at 9:49am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I'll be very impressed if you finish, Ryan! Aside from the crawling-down-the-wall scene, which I found one of the creepiest I had ever read, I found DRACULA an enormous snooze-fest!

***

That's come up several times here in the years I've been on the forum and it seems to be the one big exception to the fact that I usually seem to have the same taste in things as you, JB. I tend to agree with you on comics, definitely on everything Star Trek related, and on most books that we've both read (Fleming, Tolkein, Zelazny, to name a few), but with DRACULA, complete opposite opinions. It's one of my favorite novels. I always thought the pace of it was perfect for the atmosphere that Stoker was building.

And that's what makes America great! :-)

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Aaron Smith
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Posted: 20 March 2011 at 11:21am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Absolutely.
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Chris Cottrill
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Posted: 21 March 2011 at 4:38pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

I just started reading "Emerald Hell" by Tom Piccirilli.The synopsis or
vignette on the back describes it as being like the Mike Mignola story
"The Crooked Man".By the way it's a Hellboy novel.
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Carmen Bernardo
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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 6:18am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

     Currently in the process of re-reading The Ottoman Centuries, by Lord Kinross.  This book chronicles the dynasties of the Sultans of Ottoman Turkey, from their establisment on the shrinking frontiers of the old Byzantine Empire, through their zenith as an Islamic empire capable of taking out anything that Christian Europe could fling at them, to its decline and collapse from the Renaissance era onwards.  Quite a few lessons can be taken from this, to the effect of George Santayana's well-known proverb about learning from History.
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Tom French
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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 6:31am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

I just read my very first book on iPhone -- well, the iBooks app, actually.  I'd loaned away my hard copy of this book and after recommending it to a friend, decided I wanted to read it again. 

Anyway, can't recommend Matt Ruff's BAD MONKEYS enough!  A great page-turner that tricks the reader into believing an unreliable narrator -- is she a fratricidal drug-addicted homeless woman, or does she really work for a secret governmental agency?  Good stuff.

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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 6:41am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Did I mention CITY AT WORLD'S END is on my bedside table the past few nights? Not quite an annual read, but just about that often.

This is a kind of "special" reading, tho. It was my father who introduced me to the book when I was around 13 years old, and a few years back I found for him an autographed copy. That copy has since come back to me.

It's fun to read the book, knowing that, at some point, Edmond Hamilton himself actually held it in his hands!

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Mike O'Brien
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Official JB Historian

Joined: 18 April 2004
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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 7:22am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

That's how I feel about stuff I own that you've autographed, JB.

In other news - I just finished reading a book that blew my mind - could be my all-new favorite - it's called The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale - about a chimp who learns to talk - brilliant.

A must-read.

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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 8:06am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

about a chimp who learns to talk

Reminding me immediately of a "bit" in Clifford Simak's CITY. Set in the distant future, when humans have long since left Earth and moved on to worlds around other stars, the principle characters are the robots and genetically altered dogs who were left behind.

The "bit" derives from the fact that long ago humans engineered dogs so they could stand on their hind legs and talk -- and one of the first things we learned when dogs became able to speak was that when a dog stares off into the distance and growls at what appears to be nothing, the dog is actually seeing something!

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Scott Silverstein
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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 9:10am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

 

 ROLE MODELS by John Waters

This book is a laugh riot!! ...Its nice to laugh these days.....

 

A fascinating chapter is devoted to John Water's close friendship with LESILE VAN HOUTEN .... better know as one of the Manson's girls....it is creepy yet insightful.....

 

 

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Marc Foxx
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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 11:27am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

Just finished "City At World's End" (a couple of years back, someone here had provided a link to a free pdf copy that I downloaded and promptly forgot about).

Just picked up Philip Roth's "The Plot Against America" from the library.

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Jesus Garcia
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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 2:23pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

The Big Lizard Book of Black Mask Stories. About 800 pages of criminal fun.
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Mike O'Brien
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Official JB Historian

Joined: 18 April 2004
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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 2:32pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

Black Lizard.

The best crime fiction publishing company on earth!

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Jesus Garcia
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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 2:38pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Yeah, baby, yeah!
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Steven Myers
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Posted: 22 March 2011 at 8:05pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

I got through Dracula the same way I did Lord of the Rings: listened to them on audio books.  I could never get past the part in the Hobbit where he discusses how much Hobbit's eat.  zzzzzzz.  I felt vindicated when I discovered Gary Gygax didn't much like Tolkien, either.  And Gary did okay working in the fantasy genre himself...
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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 23 March 2011 at 4:08am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

In preparation of the HBO series airing in a few weeks I have started rereading George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones.
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Jesus Garcia
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Posted: 23 March 2011 at 6:13am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Sometimes it's a good idea to avoid reading any critique of a book before diving into it.

F'rinstance. The Lord of the Rings: I'd read somewhere that one of Tolkien's objectives was to write a long, rambling pseudo-history.

And I did indeed find the first and second books long and rambling, with payoffs far and few. Never got beyond the first third of the second book. Had I not read the critique, I probably would have figured that it was just my impression that the book was deliberately long (instead of the author simply letting the story find its own length) and I would have made the effort to finish all three.

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