1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

What are you Reading Now?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Mythopoet, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. BronzeOracle

    BronzeOracle Sage

    287
    85
    28
    I finally dumped The Stand about 800 pages in - its taking far to long to get anywhere. I know it was meant to be the expanded version but I couldn't handle it anymore.

    I'm now reading Virgil's The Aeneid and loving it - its quick to read and engaging. Also interesting to read something 2000 years old and yet it feels so familiar.
     
  2. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    1,952
    981
    113
    Finished reading Jirel of Joiry, a collection of stories by C. L. Moore featuring the first modern fantasy heroine. Stories included: The Black God's Kiss, The Black God's Shadow, Jirel Meets Magic, Dark Shadow and Hellsgarde. Black God's Kiss, Dark Shadow and Hellsgarde were, imo, the better ones. Though I think as a heroine Jirel is just a little to angry and violent for my tastes.
     
  3. Writeking

    Writeking Sage

    235
    28
    28
    Tried to read The Barrow by Mark Smylie, but I couldn't get into it. It's like Fifty Shades meets Lord of the Rings.
     
  4. The Dragonbone Chair is so dang plodding, please, someone tell me its worth it. I want to punch Simon in his dumb face.
     
  5. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    1,952
    981
    113
    It's so not worth it, imo. ;)
     
  6. Incanus

    Incanus Auror

    1,024
    426
    83
    Dragonbone Chair series is one of my all-time favs. It starts a bit slow, but it does pick up--a little. It never gets to be really fast-paced. From your reaction so far, I'd say you're not going to like it. It's pretty big so you may want to do yourself a favor and drop it now.

    For myself I love the pacing as it allows me to get fully immersed in the world, experiencing most every moment of the story. More than just about any other book I can think of, this series really puts me 'in' the scenes. The events that do take place have all that much more impact due to all the set-up and exposition. The characters are rendered most excellently and the writing is strong. Can't imagine why anyone would want to punch Simon in the face.
     
  7. I'm not opposed to slower paced stories or big ones. I slogged through each and every wheel of time book, loved every minute of it. This one though, maybe it's because I am a more experienced fantasy reader, this one is driving me nuts. Simon isn't just your average 14 year old idiot. He's a special kind of 14 year old idiot that bugged me when I was 14 and bugs me more today. "Blah, blah, blah they're mean because I don't do my chores. Life is unfair. blah blah blah."

    But, if the virtues are what you say they are Incanus (immersion, set-up, and strong writing) I'll push through. I just needed something to tell me there is something worthwhile at the end. This way I can look for that and ignore my gripes with it for post reading complaining.
     
  8. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    1,952
    981
    113
    I wouldn't say I wanted to punch him, but I found him dreadfully dull and stupid. I just couldn't manage to care about him even a little. Actually, I don't think there was a single character (and I read well into the final volume before giving up) that I cared about at all.

    I like books that I can immerse myself in, but I found that the more I read of those books the less I wanted to immerse myself in them because every part of that world felt like a very bad copy of some part of our world. I like worldbuilding where the author is clearly inspired by our world but also clearly adds plenty of their own imagination in and thus comes up with something unique and interesting. But I didn't feel as though Williams managed to do that. I rather felt that all of the cultures he obviously copied from our world were diminished in his world. They were less complex, less interesting and carried less impact even though they were wielded like a sledgehammer to the head. And despite the real world x for x equivalencies, the various places and cultures had a pasted together feeling, a hodge podge of real world allusions.

    I think it's some of the worst worldbuilding I've ever read, personally. I eventually realized that I cared so little about the characters and the fate of the world that there was no point finishing it.
     
  9. Incanus

    Incanus Auror

    1,024
    426
    83
    Different strokes for different folks, as they say.

    Brian, I'd still recommend not bothering with it. Not sure how far in you are, but I'm guessing the whole thing will be a slog for you.

    For myself, I was immediately swept away with the tale and have very few complaints about it. In my opinion this series is far, far superior to The Wheel of Time in every conceivable catagory. Lord of Chaos was one of the worst books I had read in a long while, I can't possibly continue with the series.
     
  10. BronzeOracle

    BronzeOracle Sage

    287
    85
    28
    The Dragonbone Chair was plodding but it was one series where I very much believed the massive development in the protagonist - so much happened to him and he reflected so much that it made sense where he ended up and how he interacted with the protagonist in the finale, which was critical to the outcome. I found his immaturity tiring at the beginning but that was the point, he was immature and uneducated and the author conveyed this well - far better than some other stories where the bumpkin morphs into hero with ease.

    There are some fantastic characters in the story - Binabik, Josua, Miriamele and Isgrimmur - and it has a greater psychological depth than some other series of the time - but it is very very slow.
     
  11. Gryphos

    Gryphos Auror

    1,417
    466
    83
    I recently read Simon Armitage's translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and it was quite nice. The translation was really easy to read and captured the legendary feel without resorting to unnecessarily complex language. The story has a bit of an anti-climax though. A small part of me was really hoping for some kind of epic clash and fight, but hey. Also, one of the passages was disturbingly misogynistic. But, it was written in the 14th century or something, so wtf was I expecting?

    Now I'm about half way through H. G. Wells' War of the Worlds. And I'm really enjoying it. By now alien invasion stories are a dime a dozen, but it's so interesting to go back to the original and see an alien invasion story through a late 19th century lens.
     
    TheCatholicCrow likes this.
  12. acapes

    acapes Sage

    224
    31
    28
    Same, it's nice to see a character change across a series
     
  13. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    1,952
    981
    113
    I'm currently reading The Tritonian Ring by L. Sprague de Camp, a short (by today's standards) sword and sorcery fantasy adventure. It's not a masterpiece, but it's a fun fantasy romp with some interesting facets. The MC is a very flawed sort of Hero and there's a very realistic depiction of a master/slave relationship that doesn't set either the master or the slave up as ideals, but treats them like real, flawed human beings. I was going to mention the book in the Slavery in Fantasy thread, but it got closed before I did.

    I've also started The Magicians by Lev Grossman. It's quite enjoyable with a very relatable MC and an amusing and blatant reference to Narnia. Though there's the occasional crudity that just feels unnecessary.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  14. Russ

    Russ Istar

    2,161
    1,150
    163
    Have worked my way into Rothfuss' Wise Man's Fear, after Name of the Wind. This guy is very, very good. Not in love with his pacing but his MC is the kind of guy you would want to go out for a few drinks with, and the surrounding cast is great. His characters really come alive and are fascinating.
     
  15. Kobun

    Kobun Scribe

    41
    13
    8
    Those are some of the very best new Fantasy books I've read in the last ten years. Some of the others are like the one I'm reading now. I've just dipped into Lynch's second Gentlemen Bastards book. God, this guy's fun to read.
     
    Russ likes this.
  16. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    1,952
    981
    113
    Finished The Tritonian Ring. It was a decent read. I'd rate it average, not something I'd strongly recommend, but also not something I would recommend against. I think most people would find it a good, but not great, book. I think the MC and his relationship with his slave is worth some interest. Vakar of Lorsk was definitely a flawed hero, but not so flawed that you couldn't root for him.

    Making progress on The Magicians. I'm finding it quite enjoyable. There is no big conflict yet, but there are little clues along the way that something is not right. Another interestingly flawed MC. In that, he seems to see himself as a victim of his own life and doesn't seem to notice the problems that he has in his relationships with other people. Since this is written in tight third, we are getting his perspective, and only small clues that his problems are deeper than he understands. Nicely done, so far.
     
  17. TheCatholicCrow

    TheCatholicCrow Inkling

    438
    200
    43
    Just finished my last book & am now waiting on my next 2 books to arrive in the mail (any day now!) The Maltese Falcon & Double Indemnity. I've seen Double Indemnity a few times but watching Fiction really doesn't compare to reading it. I'm really excited for Maltese Falcon- I've managed to restrain myself from watching the film until I can read the book.

    When I finish those I'm due for another classic and long overdue for something other than 18th- 19th century French or British Lit. I think I'll be reading La Celestina by Fernando de Rojas. It's neither French nor British, was published in 1499 and has the added bonus that I'll be able to practice my Spanish (that is - if I prove to be fluent enough to read it).

    I might skip La Celestina though ... I've got a stack of Raymond Feist books that have yet to be read. I think I've got a few from the Riftwar Saga and a couple from the Darkwar Saga.

    But then I also promised a friend I'd try Tom Clancy ... I also haven't finished William Rosen's "Justinian's Flea" & I'm overdue for some nonfiction. Hmm ... what's a girl to do? Too many books & not enough time!

    I have a copy translated by Brian Stone. I'd be curious to see how they compare.

    I've come across some books that are rather dreadful in certain translations and positively spectacular in others (Seamus Heaney's version of Beowulf and John Ciardi's translation of the Divine Comedy comes to mind).
     
  18. Incanus

    Incanus Auror

    1,024
    426
    83
    I have started Titus Groan, the first Gormenghast book.

    Though barely into it yet, I am positively floored by this work. It is astounding, amazing, unbelievably cool. My mind reels from the bizarre beauty of this. By the time I reached the description of the ‘grey scrubbers’, my socks shot off of my feet with great velocity (if you see what I mean).

    Never have I encountered a work of art that captures the phantasmagoric experience so perfectly, in any medium. It is a fully realized dream-world.

    I think my favorite feature of this book so far is the myriad ways that most everything is depicted through a theme or pattern of disconnectedness, and the way this is harnessed to create the surreal atmosphere. A few examples (without spoilers ‘cause everything I mention is in the first few sections). The people living inside and outside the castle meet only once per year for a ritual whose meaning has since been diluted or forgotten. Sometimes, specific features of characters are described in isolation to the rest of the character. And in one instance we told explicitly that the eye looking through a keyhole had a body connected to it (I just love this ironic, backwards way of hinting at disconnectedness–just one more hint that things here are made up of isolated items, loosely connected). And I’ve already seen at least a dozen other such iterations of this concept. Just lovely.

    On top of that, most features of the story seem to redound upon the other features that make it all up. We have a castle made up of winding and indirect corridors, characters whose thought patterns are twisting and winding and inefficient, and hordes of written sentences that are winding labyrinths all in themselves. And then, a sort of weird humor is deftly woven into everything, and the prose is nothing less than stellar.

    That said, I can see why this might not be for all tastes. It’s resonating very strongly with me however. In my view, this is high art. I think that I just happen to be in the right time and place with my reading and writing level to properly receive this masterpiece. If the book continues to pull off these kinds of things, it is well on course to becoming one of my all-time favorites.

    Astonishing, brilliant, totally original, thoroughly entertaining. This is fiction of the highest quality.
     
  19. sirlongarm91

    sirlongarm91 New Member

    1
    0
    1
    H. Sienkvici - The Deluge
    C. S. Lewis - Prince Caspian

    Trimis de pe al meu SM-G357FZ folosind Tapatalk
     
  20. teacup

    teacup Auror

    1,120
    171
    63
    I preordered a book I planned on reading and got free delivery if I paid over £10, so I also ordered the other book I planned on reading. I didn't think it through though, so now I have both books arriving sometime in October, leaving me with no new books to read and no idea what to read until then.

    So I just began rereading The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie. I'm undecided whether to read this until I decide on a new book to read or to just read it all again. I'm sure I'll enjoy it enough to read it through twice, so I might just do that.
     
Loading...

Share This Page