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Drew Linky
Wizard
Joined: Jun 12 2009
PostPosted: Aug 04 2012 01:45 am Reply with quote Back to top

Cattivo wrote:
Dostoevsky is almost all of the Russian lit that I've read, outside of some small works by Gogol or Pushkin, perhaps. Dostoevsky's Crime & Punishment is probably the best novel I have ever read. Unlike his other novels, it fulfills its concept and appears to be as perfect as a novel can be, if a bit long, as his novels tend to be.

I've been meaning to look into War & Peace, but that one just seems waaaaay too long.

I'm embarrassed to say that I have not heard of the novel that you mention.

As far as foreign literature goes, it's not well known outside of Mother Russia. But it was released in the heart of the Cold War, and brings to light some of the atrocities committed by the authorities of the Soviet Union on war veterans. Many prisoners from WWII were treated beyond poorly in Siberia, and a lot of prisoners consisted of Russian war veterans. The book itself focuses on a period of time extending over one day in the life of a man called Ivan Braginski (as the title implies).

I wasn't aware that Crime and Punishment was so good, I'll give it a try sometime. Anna Karenina was kind of dry for me, but I lost interest in the first few pages... which is never a good sign.


https://discord.gg/homestuck is where you can find me literally 99% of the time. Stop on by if you feel like it, we're a nice crowd.
 
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JoshWoodzy
Joined: May 22 2008
Location: Goshen, VA
PostPosted: Aug 04 2012 11:23 am Reply with quote Back to top

Drew Linky wrote:
As far as foreign literature goes, it's not well known outside of Mother Russia.

Not sure if joking or if American seriously calling Russia "Mother Russia".


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Greg the White
Joined: Apr 09 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Aug 04 2012 01:29 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Finally got around to reading Anthony Bourdain's book, Kitchen Confidential. For those who don't know, Bourdain is a chef who hosts the show "No Reservations", the only travel show worth watching. He's one of the guys who leads the "simple food" revolution over dull classic haute cuisine, and and modern plates with $50 worth of garnish on them.

His book is kind of a look into the life of the average kitchen worker/culinary student/restaurant manager's life. I suppose it's shocking to people who have never worked in the restaurant industry, but I think the shock is lost on guys like me who have been working kitchen jobs since high school. It's still a good read, though. It's more interesting to hear him talk about himself. He's got some decent stories and diatribes, and he balances out his usual pretentiousness with self-effacing humor, and the book is paced


So here's to you Mrs. Robinson. People love you more- oh, nevermind.
 
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Cattivo
Joined: Apr 14 2006
Location: Lake Michigan
PostPosted: Aug 06 2012 10:28 am Reply with quote Back to top

That book sounds really interesting Drew.

If you've read and liked any 20th Century existentialism Drew, you'll definitely like Crime & Punishment. The French basically took Dostoevsky's themes and inserted a distaste for religion (unless of course, one believes that Dostoevsky believed what he put into the mouth of Ivan Karamazov in his novel The Brothers Karamazov).
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Fighter_McWarrior
Title: Gun of Brixton
Joined: Jun 05 2011
Location: Down by the River
PostPosted: Aug 06 2012 11:08 am Reply with quote Back to top

As far as Russian lit goes, The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is an incredibly powerful read as well. It's also about the purges, and life in Soviet Gulags for those unfortunate enough to be caught by them. If post-apocalyptic fiction is your thing, Dmitry Glukhovsky's Metro series is pretty kick ass. It's what they adapted the video games from.

As for lit about Russia, City of Thieves by David Benioff chronicles the lives of two boys, one the son of a disappeared Jewish poet and the other a Red Army deserter. It starts before the siege after Kolya (the deserter) has fled the battle of Stalingrad and take refuge in Leningrad, which at this point, has devolved into a complete mess because of thieving and murdering over the lack of resources and eventually segues into the siege by German forces. It's a fantastic read that captures a side of the Soviet war that us westerners don't often see. I just finished it and I highly recommend it.


"Spanish bombs, yot' quierro y finito
Yo te querda oh ma corazón
Oh ma corazón, oh ma corazón" - The Clash, Spanish Bombs
 
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Drew Linky
Wizard
Joined: Jun 12 2009
PostPosted: Aug 07 2012 11:49 am Reply with quote Back to top

This all reminds me of "The Horsemen", a French book by Joseph Kessell. I can't remember many details, but you would all enjoy it, I'm sure. I'll try to remember more about it.

City of Thieves also sounds great, I'll have to check that out.

But now, I'm reading Rule 34, courtesy of Marvel.


https://discord.gg/homestuck is where you can find me literally 99% of the time. Stop on by if you feel like it, we're a nice crowd.
 
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@om*d
Title: Dorakyura
Joined: Jul 10 2010
Location: Castlevania
PostPosted: Aug 18 2012 12:56 am Reply with quote Back to top

Just started reading The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. So far, it's an interesting SF read.
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Fighter_McWarrior
Title: Gun of Brixton
Joined: Jun 05 2011
Location: Down by the River
PostPosted: Aug 26 2012 11:53 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Just wrapping up American Gods. I've read it before, but I like to revisit it every now and again. I'll start Anansi Boys as soon as it's done.


"Spanish bombs, yot' quierro y finito
Yo te querda oh ma corazón
Oh ma corazón, oh ma corazón" - The Clash, Spanish Bombs
 
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Greg the White
Joined: Apr 09 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Aug 27 2012 12:14 am Reply with quote Back to top

Fighter_McWarrior wrote:
Just wrapping up American Gods. I've read it before, but I like to revisit it every now and again. I'll start Anansi Boys as soon as it's done.

I bought Anansi Boys at the local hippie shop for $1. Haven't gotten around to reading it.


So here's to you Mrs. Robinson. People love you more- oh, nevermind.
 
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Drew Linky
Wizard
Joined: Jun 12 2009
PostPosted: Aug 27 2012 01:49 am Reply with quote Back to top

"Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire".


https://discord.gg/homestuck is where you can find me literally 99% of the time. Stop on by if you feel like it, we're a nice crowd.
 
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SoldierHawk
Moderator
Title: Warrior-Poet
Joined: Jan 15 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
PostPosted: Aug 27 2012 06:32 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Greg the White wrote:
Fighter_McWarrior wrote:
Just wrapping up American Gods. I've read it before, but I like to revisit it every now and again. I'll start Anansi Boys as soon as it's done.

I bought Anansi Boys at the local hippie shop for $1. Haven't gotten around to reading it.

I adore American Gods, but Anansi Boys may be my favorite of his adult novels. Also, the pun in the title is gold. I didn't get it until like 3/4ths of the way through the book when I remembered that Gaiman is, in fact, British.

I just finished reading the first two books in the Wheel of Time series. Gonna start #3 tonight. Love the world, but holy Jesus Rand pisses me off. If I have to put up with him whining for another paragraph, I'm going to scream. It wouldn't be so bad if each paragraph where he stops to whine wasn't basically a cut/paste of all the others. Seriously, get rid of those, and the books are shorter by like 100 pages each.

Hopefully that will lessen now that he's officially (er, spoilers, I guess?) declared himself the Dragon Reborn.




William Shakespeare wrote:
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

 
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Fighter_McWarrior
Title: Gun of Brixton
Joined: Jun 05 2011
Location: Down by the River
PostPosted: Aug 27 2012 10:38 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
I adore American Gods, but Anansi Boys may be my favorite of his adult novels. Also, the pun in the title is gold. I didn't get it until like 3/4ths of the way through the book when I remembered that Gaiman is, in fact, British.


American Gods may very well be my all time favorite novel. I say that without even the slightest exaggeration.

But Anansi Boys is great. It's definitely got a lot more Gaiman's humor than American Gods, which is refreshing. There are a few elements of the story I find a bit disturbing, and that's probably what stops me from loving it whole heartily, but Anansi was one of my favorite characters in American Gods, so making a spinoff around him was a brilliant choice.


"Spanish bombs, yot' quierro y finito
Yo te querda oh ma corazón
Oh ma corazón, oh ma corazón" - The Clash, Spanish Bombs
 
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Greg the White
Joined: Apr 09 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
PostPosted: Aug 27 2012 10:42 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Re-reading Cat's Cradle, probably my personal favorite book. I always like reading it at the end of summer. I just like reading it on a warm, breezy day.


So here's to you Mrs. Robinson. People love you more- oh, nevermind.
 
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username
Title: owner of a lonely heart
Joined: Jul 06 2007
Location: phoenix, az usa
PostPosted: Aug 28 2012 03:40 am Reply with quote Back to top

SoldierHawk wrote:
Greg the White wrote:
Fighter_McWarrior wrote:
Just wrapping up American Gods. I've read it before, but I like to revisit it every now and again. I'll start Anansi Boys as soon as it's done.

I bought Anansi Boys at the local hippie shop for $1. Haven't gotten around to reading it.

I adore American Gods, but Anansi Boys may be my favorite of his adult novels. Also, the pun in the title is gold. I didn't get it until like 3/4ths of the way through the book when I remembered that Gaiman is, in fact, British.

I just finished reading the first two books in the Wheel of Time series. Gonna start #3 tonight. Love the world, but holy Jesus Rand pisses me off. If I have to put up with him whining for another paragraph, I'm going to scream. It wouldn't be so bad if each paragraph where he stops to whine wasn't basically a cut/paste of all the others. Seriously, get rid of those, and the books are shorter by like 100 pages each.

Hopefully that will lessen now that he's officially (er, spoilers, I guess?) declared himself the Dragon Reborn.

he doesnt show up much in book #3 which is probably why its my favorite. he is a whiny little bitch.


Klimbatize wrote:
I'll eat a turkey sandwich while blowing my load

 
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SoldierHawk
Moderator
Title: Warrior-Poet
Joined: Jan 15 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
PostPosted: Aug 28 2012 08:20 pm Reply with quote Back to top

username wrote:
he doesnt show up much in book #3 which is probably why its my favorite. he is a whiny little bitch.

Oh thank god. Perrin >>>>>>> Rand.

You know, I think the only thing that stops me from listing American Gods as one of my all time favorite novels is Shadow. I've read it several times, and in none of those readings has he been remotely interesting. All of the events and characters that surround him are fascinating, but he himself is just...boring. Like an empty video game protagonist you're supposed to project onto (I suspect that something like this was Gaiman's intent), but for me it just comes off as completely and utterly flat and dull. I did, however, LOVE playing "spot-the-god" before each one was actually revealed.

[SPOILER:d2defb7c3d]I got Loki right away (I mean, Low-Key Lyesmith? Really Neil? Subtle much?) I was actually a little insulted when it was treated like a huge revelation towards the end of the book. Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Norse mythology (or Thor, for godssake) could have guessed that the very first time they saw the name. Although I suppose Gaiman may have known that, and intended us to be a step ahead of Shadow there?

Odin took me a couple chapters. Once they mentioned Mr. Wednesday's eye, I put the pieces together though.

Anansi took me a little while too. Of all the gods I knew that could have shown up, I was NOT expecting him--but once I figured it out, I was thrilled. I LOVE Anansi stories.

I was VERY proud of myself for spotting Toth right away--based on the fact that he liked to write, rather than the Ibis reference. And of course Anubis. Mr. Jackal isn't exactly rocket science either.)[/SPOILER:d2defb7c3d]

I do love Gaiman's sense of humor though, which is probably why I love Anansi Boys and Neverwhere so much.

Come to think of it, I might even like Neverwhere more than Anansi Boys. That may be the Anglophile in me though.




William Shakespeare wrote:
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

 
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LeshLush
Joined: Oct 19 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
PostPosted: Aug 29 2012 12:45 am Reply with quote Back to top

Hawk, as one who enjoys playing spot the god, do you have a personal theory for the identity of the god who's name Shadow can't remember?
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Hacker
Banned
Joined: Sep 13 2008
PostPosted: Aug 29 2012 02:10 am Reply with quote Back to top

I started reading Dracula a bit ago. I need to finish it though



 
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Fighter_McWarrior
Title: Gun of Brixton
Joined: Jun 05 2011
Location: Down by the River
PostPosted: Aug 29 2012 02:23 am Reply with quote Back to top

There are so many little gods, culture heroes and creatures that are casually thrown around in that book that it's damn hard to keep track of them all. Even as versed in different mythology as I am, I've missed a few that weren't pointed out to me.

As for the Forgotten God, I have a couple theories. It could be Lethe, a Greek god who lived in the Underworld and guarded the river Lethe, which is that which makes the living and the dead forget one another.

For that matter, it could be Hades himself. While Hades was never a wealth deity, his Roman counterpart Pluto shared a pantheon with Plutus, a God of wealth. The similarity of names has lead to Pluto being conflated with Plutus, and in the American Gods universe, belief is everything. If enough people believed that Pluto was a deity that derived power from money, he would.

The theory I tend to lean toward the most, though, is simply that the forgotten god is a forgotten god. Some deity that someone worshiped and now no one remembers. If Chernobog could derive power from the blood sacrifice of cattle he butchered in the capacity of his job, it stands to reason that the forgotten god could draw power from the transfer of money that he might have once represented himself. It also explains his desperate need of Soma. Who would need a drink of concentrated prayer and belief more than a forgotten god who had absolutely no more hope of getting either of those things?


"Spanish bombs, yot' quierro y finito
Yo te querda oh ma corazón
Oh ma corazón, oh ma corazón" - The Clash, Spanish Bombs
 
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username
Title: owner of a lonely heart
Joined: Jul 06 2007
Location: phoenix, az usa
PostPosted: Aug 29 2012 03:45 am Reply with quote Back to top

SoldierHawk wrote:
username wrote:
he doesnt show up much in book #3 which is probably why its my favorite. he is a whiny little bitch.

Oh thank god. Perrin >>>>>>> Rand.

personally i like Mat the best.

i think book 3 & 4 are my favorites. then it peters down after that until book 10 or so. but thats just my opinion. my friends think there are no slow books at all.


Klimbatize wrote:
I'll eat a turkey sandwich while blowing my load

 
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SoldierHawk
Moderator
Title: Warrior-Poet
Joined: Jan 15 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
PostPosted: Aug 29 2012 07:31 am Reply with quote Back to top

LeshLush wrote:
Hawk, as one who enjoys playing spot the god, do you have a personal theory for the identity of the god who's name Shadow can't remember?

Hmm. I don't think it's Lethe. That was the name of the river, not an actual god as far as I can tell. (Not that some of the gods aren't incarnations of ideas, but...)

I always assumed that the Forgotten God was Budha (not to be confused with Buddha the Enlightened One.) He's the Hindu god of wealth, both giving and taking it (ergo, living in Vegas), He is also able to control people's minds, both planting and removing ideas, thoughts and inspirations. He is also (I found, after a little research to confirm) associated with the day Wednesday. That, along with the fact that I know Gaiman *loves* Hindu mythology and there aren't many other Hindu gods present in the story, kinda sealed the deal for me.

Also, on WoT: Perrin and Mat have now officially become as annoying as Rand. Their internal monologues are nothing but the exact same thing over and over and over and OVER again. Attention Ta'veren: you don't like Aes Sedai and don't want to be controlled by them. You are nothing but a simple shepard/blacksmith/farmer. You are not heroes. You don't want to be Dragon/Cool Wolf Guy/Reincarnation of Mandatharian/whatever. You want to go home.

[SPOILER:bc86e59a81]WE FUCKING GET IT! NOW SHUT UP ALREADY![/SPOILER:bc86e59a81]

Seriously. The women in this story (so far) are the only ones who are not incredible, REPETITIVE whiners. When something bad happens to them, the get through it, man the fuck up, and move on to the next thing, no matter how much they hate it or how much it scares them.

Okay, and Lan. Lan is like that too. Because Warders are fucking badass.




William Shakespeare wrote:
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

 
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Fighter_McWarrior
Title: Gun of Brixton
Joined: Jun 05 2011
Location: Down by the River
PostPosted: Aug 29 2012 10:25 am Reply with quote Back to top

Hop down to the mythology section

I'm hesitant to start the WoT. On one hand, I could really use a long, meaty series to sink my teeth into, since I'm still driving 14 to 25 hours a week. On the other, I've heard a lot of mixed things.


"Spanish bombs, yot' quierro y finito
Yo te querda oh ma corazón
Oh ma corazón, oh ma corazón" - The Clash, Spanish Bombs
 
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SoldierHawk
Moderator
Title: Warrior-Poet
Joined: Jan 15 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
PostPosted: Aug 29 2012 02:08 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Its worth giving a try too. In spite of my own constant repetitive whining, I really have enjoyed it so far.




William Shakespeare wrote:
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

 
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Fighter_McWarrior
Title: Gun of Brixton
Joined: Jun 05 2011
Location: Down by the River
PostPosted: Aug 29 2012 02:14 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Well, the complaints I've heard are usually directed more at the back end of the series. And for me, that's the worst part. There's nothing more frustrating to me as a reader than a series that starts off hot and then gets incredible weak as it goes forward. I'm starting to worry about A Song of Ice and Fire heading in that direction, as much as I adore it.


"Spanish bombs, yot' quierro y finito
Yo te querda oh ma corazón
Oh ma corazón, oh ma corazón" - The Clash, Spanish Bombs
 
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username
Title: owner of a lonely heart
Joined: Jul 06 2007
Location: phoenix, az usa
PostPosted: Aug 29 2012 02:19 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Fighter_McWarrior wrote:
Well, the complaints I've heard are usually directed more at the back end of the series. And for me, that's the worst part. There's nothing more frustrating to me as a reader than a series that starts off hot and then gets incredible weak as it goes forward. I'm starting to worry about A Song of Ice and Fire heading in that direction, as much as I adore it.

the last 2 books (book 10 & 11 or whatever) have been very engaging... it did fall off (IMO) from book 5 or 6 to 9, but the following 2 have been very well written. probably cuz they were written by Sanderson & not Jordan.


Klimbatize wrote:
I'll eat a turkey sandwich while blowing my load

 
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Fighter_McWarrior
Title: Gun of Brixton
Joined: Jun 05 2011
Location: Down by the River
PostPosted: Aug 29 2012 02:52 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Fuck it. Now I have to read them...


"Spanish bombs, yot' quierro y finito
Yo te querda oh ma corazón
Oh ma corazón, oh ma corazón" - The Clash, Spanish Bombs
 
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