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What book are you reading at the moment?

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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 07:46 - 01 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

duhawkz wrote:
Just dug out my dead tree format copy of IT, to read again ahead of going to see the new film


Soz to chime in all ranty and negative but wow that book is fucking rubbish. Don't get me wrong, I love some Stephen King novels and stories - Different Seasons, The Shining, etc. But I remember buying It when it was first published and being appalled by how crap it was. A vast benign turtle at the end of the galaxy is something something the arch nemesis of clown down the drain whilst blah blah the goonies on angel dust all growed up going back to the sewers of small town America. Bloody hell. What utter tosh.
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Pigeon
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PostPosted: 20:32 - 09 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://d1w7fb2mkkr3kw.cloudfront.net/assets/images/book/lrg/9781/7824/9781782438045.jpg

Elspeth Beard - Lone Rider

Bought this on a whim to get free delivery from Amazon on some other stuff, effectively for 2.

Took a while to get comfortable with her style and some of her personality, but the book itself, wow.
Her story is incredible, an amazing and emotional read. Loved it!


Turns out she lives just up the road from me too. Small world innit.
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CBFcarl
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PostPosted: 09:52 - 10 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just picked up the new Jack Reacher book - The Midnight Line.

Better than the last couple, but it is less actiony, and more a microscope in Americas Opiate issues. A good read, if not a little short.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 00:50 - 11 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Picked up a couple on the Kindle from the horror genre. I've tried to go more for the supernatural rather than outright gore-fest stuff, as I prefer chilling to brutal. Nothing dearer than 2 quid a shot, so just took a chance really. We'll see. Might be spending the winter walking up the stairs backwards when I go to bed of a night (as my ol' grandma used to say) Laughing
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panrider_uk
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PostPosted: 10:48 - 13 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/5179mrE%2BWWL.jpg

Not much of a biography fan but he's doing some interesting things.
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PostPosted: 11:13 - 14 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just finished The Phillip Pullman book, La Belle Sauvage. It is fantastic. Thumbs Up If you liked 'His Dark Materials' You will love this.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 13:11 - 15 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stephen King's The Stand, again.

Dammit, why can't I find any other fiction writers I enjoy? So many others I try seem so amateurish, like they're trying too hard, or just can't hold my attention. I'm not even really bothered about plot (most horror stuff seems to disappoint in the endings anyway), but just want something gritty, earthy, realistic, with characters that are believable. Something with a bit of suspense that draws you in. Ah, sod it, I don't know what I'm looking for really Rolling Eyes
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Matt B
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PostPosted: 09:35 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://pictures.abebooks.com/isbn/9780751541755-us-300.jpg

Jupiter's Travels. Lent to my by GroovyLee, cheers dude Thumbs Up

It's straight out of the 70s and definitely reads that way but harks back to a time when parts of the world were still unexplored, people used maps not satnav and carried Travellers Cheques.

I'm not far into it but it's a decent read so far. Much more about the people he meets on the way (he relies heavily on the help of strangers). Less about the actual roads travelled.
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 09:56 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
Stephen King's The Stand, again.

Dammit, why can't I find any other fiction writers I enjoy? So many others I try seem so amateurish, like they're trying too hard, or just can't hold my attention. I'm not even really bothered about plot (most horror stuff seems to disappoint in the endings anyway), but just want something gritty, earthy, realistic, with characters that are believable. Something with a bit of suspense that draws you in. Ah, sod it, I don't know what I'm looking for really Rolling Eyes


Are you reading the slightly longer, unedited version? I've read the original far too many times - esp. as a kid. The longer one, I had a go at more recently. There isn't a lot of difference tbh. The part I remember most clearly was some weird guy in a muscle car / dragster. Pointless, really - didn't add anything.

I think I've probably said this before when this book comes up, but the older I get, the more I resent the religious shit in it. There's absolutely no need for that crap. True, the dreams the survivors have are an important and genuinely unsettling aspect of the tale. And, yes, I can't quite fathom how this part of the story could be retained if the obtrusive religiosity was done away with.

However, I do often end up thinking that there's rarely anything more horrific and disturbing than reality. Or the potential for horror and suffering that exists within reality.

In other words, I tend to think - these days - that The Stand would've been a better book if it'd taken a realist approach to the story - for instance, as Stephen King does with Cujo. I concede that this latter book is nowhere near as good as the former - but damn it, all that white hat / black hat Christianity shit in The Stand is bloody rubbish and seriously weakens what could have been an awesome book dealing with the very real-world eventuality of a bio-weapon catastrophe. Nine-tenths of the story could've been retained, and - with skilful plotting and character development - a more powerful book would have resulted.

For me, the most compelling sections of writing are the beginning - the small town blue collar backwater US Americana - excellently captured, as the first victims of the plague emerge. Next, that scene involving a shoot-out in a shop - a botched robbery. A brilliant sort of frame-by-frame, cinematic piece of writing. Also, the escape from Atlanta plague centre. Etc. etc. Point being that imo the hardest hitting parts don't rely on anything to do with magic-realism, way-out whacky supernatural horror, or any other fantasy crap.

Here's where I recommend a novel by King (and Straub) that's magic realism, fantasy crap - The Talisman. Worth a dekko if you haven't already been there.
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Rogerborg
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PostPosted: 10:35 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

panrider_uk wrote:
Not much of a biography fan but he's doing some interesting things.

Panhandling billions in taxpayer slush, flushing it down the crapper, laying off staff instead of expanding, and being wayciss?
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Ed Case
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PostPosted: 10:55 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum" by Iain Hollingshead.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 11:24 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

trevor saxe-coburg-gotha wrote:


For me, the most compelling sections of writing are the beginning - the small town blue collar backwater US Americana - excellently captured, as the first victims of the plague emerge. Next, that scene involving a shoot-out in a shop - a botched robbery. A brilliant sort of frame-by-frame, cinematic piece of writing.


This is exactly where King's writing works so well for me. The lower end of the spectrum of humanity, the characters, they way they speak and act. It doesn't matter much to me whether it's horror or some other genre. One of my favourites is The Dark Half. It still has the supernatural side to it, but reads more like a crime thriller.

Having said that, I'm still very fond of Salem's Lot, one of the few vampire tales that works for me.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 11:36 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

trevor saxe-coburg-gotha wrote:


Are you reading the slightly longer, unedited version?


I've no idea which version I'm reading. Got it on Kindle, if that gives the game away.

King also exhibits a comically cynical side now and again, and I love that.
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hedgehugger
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PostPosted: 15:57 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
trevor saxe-coburg-gotha wrote:


Are you reading the slightly longer, unedited version?


I've no idea which version I'm reading. Got it on Kindle, if that gives the game away.

King also exhibits a comically cynical side now and again, and I love that.


Have you read Needful Things. Worth a go if you haven't.

Salem's Lot is one of the only books that I saw the tv series (as a kid), and because that was so scary I put off reading until I felt brave enough Razz
When I was approaching the part with the kid and the window my anxiety levels were rocketing lol
would recommend Smile
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 17:12 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much Stephen King I haven't read/re-read (countless times Rolling Eyes ).

Yeah, I remember the tv version of Salem's Lot. David Soul (of Starsky and Hutch, or "car keys and clutch" as it got nick-named, and "don't give up on us bay-ay-by!" Puke Laughing fame). Seemed pretty good at the time. But I read the book first. First horror story I ever read in fact.

I'd probably, like Trevor, prefer to read King writing non-horror now, but keeping to the small-town characters, keep it gritty, keep that somewhat twisted sense of humour in it. He comes close with the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, but it's still got the supernatural twist.
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 18:35 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
I'd probably, like Trevor, prefer to read King writing non-horror now, but keeping to the small-town characters, keep it gritty, keep that somewhat twisted sense of humour in it. He comes close with the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, but it's still got the supernatural twist.


Fwiw I don't dislike horror - what I can't quite get into any more is what might be called fantasy horror. So for instance, the former would be something like The Rats by James Herbert, or The Fog. Plenty of scope for gore, splatter and terror - but without the fantastical stuff of chain rattling ghosts etc. of stuff like, well, like Salem's Lot. It's like I said above, there's nothing more horrific than reality e.g. when you think of what it must've been like to fight in the trenches of northern France during WWI, and so on.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 19:08 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

trevor saxe-coburg-gotha wrote:
what I can't quite get into any more is what might be called fantasy horror. So for instance, the former would be something like The Rats by James Herbert, or The Fog. Plenty of scope for gore, splatter and terror - but without the fantastical stuff of chain rattling ghosts etc. of stuff like, well, like Salem's Lot.


If you don't like fantasy horror, why on earth are you reading Stephen King at all? Then criticising it? Confused
I might as well read romantic novels, then tell you how much I hate them.
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hedgehugger
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PostPosted: 19:27 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you read Eyes of the Dragon?
Another excellent book.
Am currently reading Sleeping Beauties, which is Stephen King and his son Owen. An easy read so far. Joe Hill (his other son) is also worth a gander.

Just don't do Mills and Boon, or do, I don't care Razz. Once you've read 5 you'll realise it's the same story, just replace the words doctor/nurse, with secretary /boss, or some such pairings. All the same.
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 20:21 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip wrote:
trevor saxe-coburg-gotha wrote:
what I can't quite get into any more is what might be called fantasy horror. So for instance, the former would be something like The Rats by James Herbert, or The Fog. Plenty of scope for gore, splatter and terror - but without the fantastical stuff of chain rattling ghosts etc. of stuff like, well, like Salem's Lot.


If you don't like fantasy horror, why on earth are you reading Stephen King at all? Then criticising it? Confused
I might as well read romantic novels, then tell you how much I hate them.


As I said - because he writes straight horror as well as what I'd refer to as fantasy horror.

And please also note that I said "any more". Once I could enjoy the fantasy stuff - although admittedly a fair while ago - and now I can't.

But in any case, Stephen King has written lots of great things that aren't reliant on fantasy and indeed are nothing but harsh, relentless realism - The Body, Apt Pupil, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption plus a number of the short stories in Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, also the shorter novels under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, such as Roadworks and Rage. To all these can be added Misery, Cujo and Danse Macabre.

None of those have a fantasy element, and in fact, a fair few have no horror aspect either. But they're all eminently readable and in the case of a several, I'd say they're widely recognised as his best.

Haven't you read any of these? I'm a bit nonplussed as to why you've got it in your head that it's somehow impossible to read and rate Stephen King whilst not being into fantasy shite, when even a cursory glance at his published output shows he's written a fair amount of straight horror, realist thriller, non-fiction, crime, mystery, and even memoir.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 21:06 - 16 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

trevor saxe-coburg-gotha wrote:


As I said - because he writes straight horror as well as what I'd refer to as fantasy horror.

And please also note that I said "any more". Once I could enjoy the fantasy stuff - although admittedly a fair while ago - and now I can't.

But in any case, Stephen King has written lots of great things that aren't reliant on fantasy and indeed are nothing but harsh, relentless realism - The Body, Apt Pupil, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption plus a number of the short stories in Night Shift, Skeleton Crew, also the shorter novels under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, such as Roadworks and Rage. To all these can be added Misery, Cujo and Danse Macabre.

None of those have a fantasy element, and in fact, a fair few have no horror aspect either. But they're all eminently readable and in the case of a several, I'd say they're widely recognised as his best.

Haven't you read any of these? I'm a bit nonplussed as to why you've got it in your head that it's somehow impossible to read and rate Stephen King whilst not being into fantasy shite, when even a cursory glance at his published output shows he's written a fair amount of straight horror, realist thriller, non-fiction, crime, mystery, and even memoir.


I probably did miss that you said " any more" Shifty

Yeah, funnily enough, I just re-read both Night Shift and Skeleton Crew, and I do take your point on the non-fantasy horror. Actually, I think I'm getting more into horror short stories than novels, but I do like something chillingly supernatural now and then. It all depends on how good the writer is really.

I've just dipped for a couple of new (to me) authors to try. If I like what I read, I'll report back. It's fantasy horror, so probably don't watch this space Laughing but they sound like they have a bit of a twist to them, which is why I'm gonna give em a whirl.
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waffles
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PostPosted: 19:29 - 17 Nov 2017    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling, because I watched the TV version of it and heard that the book was very different in the end. A very slow start but now its getting much more interesting.
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