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Thread: So, whatcha reading?

  1. #121
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetstop
    The Jeff Daniel's character in "The Squid and the Whale", who is a writer and literary snob, tells his son that A Tale of Two Cities is "lesser-Dickens" and not to waste time w/ it. Somehow, it has fallen through the cracks of my reading. I've seen the movie w/ Ronald Colman and know the story is compelling. Should I waste my time? It's a far, far better thing...
    Ughh that movie made me want to take a shower after I watched it.

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  3. #122
    Mon chou Choo vaticanplum's Avatar
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Well, to combine the last two posts, Bleak House is good, but yes, a bit dry at times. But Tale of Two Cities is AMAZING, it's a good introduction to Dickens even though some people claim it to be the most un-dickenslike of Dickens. Flawed, but great. I hated it in high school, picked it up again as an adult, and couldn't believe how good it is. I finished it on a flight, just as it was landing, and was crying so much that the guy next to me flagged down a stewardess to get me tissues.

    It's not his best book -- the girl character in particular is like a cardboard cutout -- but it's very emotional and covers a lot of ground. So yes, I think you should read it. Plow through it if it gets tough, because the end is great.

  4. #123
    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    I saw that in the airport book store, looked through it, I love tha Mini Series, have the DVD and like those Ambrose books as well.
    I highly recomend it. Winters also has his own autoboigraphy out. I can't remember the name of the book. It just came out and I just got it. I will read it later this summer or fall and let you all know what it's like.

    I pulled out Winters book last night,It's called Beyond Band of Brothers, The memiors of Dick Winters.
    Last edited by cumberlandreds; 04-21-2006 at 07:04 AM.
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  5. #124
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    I mostly despise contemporary MFA fiction, but one of the greatest and most underrated books I've ever read is a book called State of Grace by Joy Williams (she's a mad genius and a brilliant teacher, btw--I speak from experience).

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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Reading the "The Iron Heel" by Jack London. It's London's little-known (buried?) dystopic novel of a future capitalist police-state. The Iron Heel predates Looking Backward, Brave New World and 1984.

    Honestly, its not a great novel but still fascinating.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  7. #126
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Borges - Collected Fictions.

    I have some weird dreams.

  8. #127
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    Still sifting slowly through Until I Find You : by John Irving (fiction just doesn't pull my strings lately)

    Pennant Race by Jim Bronson
    Branch Rickey by Arthur Mann

    The Devil In The White City is in the cue
    I'm currently working on Game of Shadows about the organzied African American baseball.

  9. #128
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    I mostly despise contemporary MFA fiction, but one of the greatest and most underrated books I've ever read is a book called State of Grace by Joy Williams (she's a mad genius and a brilliant teacher, btw--I speak from experience).
    What is considered contemporary MFA fiction? Anyone who has a masters in fine arts?

    are there particular authors that you are thinking of when you say this? Just curious.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

  10. #129
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    That comment is pretty reductive, pedro, on my part. Sorry if it offended anyone. I guess I feel I can say it, having graduated from an MFA program. And it mostly applies to the poetry end of things, which I know much, much better than the current fiction scene.

    It generally applies to extraordinarily careful, "little" books that eschew difficulty, complexity and most of all earnestness for flippancy, cynicism, and dullness. My wife and I call it "chucklehead" fiction. Too many people think that they're humorous. And they're just not. So they really need to stop trying.

  11. #130
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    It generally applies to extraordinarily careful, "little" books that eschew difficulty, complexity and most of all earnestness for flippancy, cynicism, and dullness. My wife and I call it "chucklehead" fiction. Too many people think that they're humorous. And they're just not. So they really need to stop trying.
    Por ejemplo?

    I have a bit of a complex around MFA as well. When I first moved to San Francisco, some girl told me she was moving back to NYC to pursue her MFA. "What's that?", I said. She looked at me like the propeller had just fallen from my beanie.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  12. #131
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    Por ejemplo?

    I have a bit of a complex around MFA as well. When I first moved to San Francisco, some girl told me she was moving back to NYC to pursue her MFA. "What's that?", I said. She looked at me like the propeller had just fallen from my beanie.
    Padgett Powell, Denis Johnson, and their legion of imitators. (Though, to be fair, Denis Johnson has written some beautiful poems).
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 04-20-2006 at 09:54 PM.

  13. #132
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    That comment is pretty reductive, pedro, on my part. Sorry if it offended anyone. I guess I feel I can say it, having graduated from an MFA program. And it mostly applies to the poetry end of things, which I know much, much better than the current fiction scene.

    It generally applies to extraordinarily careful, "little" books that eschew difficulty, complexity and most of all earnestness for flippancy, cynicism, and dullness. My wife and I call it "chucklehead" fiction. Too many people think that they're humorous. And they're just not. So they really need to stop trying.
    Criticizing MFA fiction from Philadelphia. Is that you King Wenclas?

    I agree with what you said, but was surprised you mentioned Denis Johnson (I thought Angels was a pretty great book). I thought you would be talking about the preciousness of McSweeney's and all those followers.

  14. #133
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by nycredsfan
    Criticizing MFA fiction from Philadelphia. Is that you King Wenclas?

    I agree with what you said, but was surprised you mentioned Denis Johnson (I thought Angels was a pretty great book). I thought you would be talking about the preciousness of McSweeney's and all those followers.
    Yes, McSweeney's and their ilk. I just don't like Johnson's little gimmicks in his fiction--he should have stuck with poetry. I understand why people like Johnson's fiction, it just does nothing for me.

    But strangely, I really love Stanley Elkins, a proto-chucklehead, but a damn great mind; something about him I trust completely.

    King Wenclas? Good one. No, I don't deride the program I went through--there's nothing wrong, in and of themselves, with MFA programs. Not in the least. And I don't begrudge rich folk for being great writers--Merrill was one of the greatest writers of the last 50 years.
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 04-20-2006 at 10:13 PM.

  15. #134
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Have you ever read George Saunders? He probably falls right into your chucklehead categorization, but is probably my favorite living writer (at least of short fiction). If you haven't, I would recommend the book Pastoralia and more specifically the story Sea Oak.

    In all seriousness, being in Philadelphia do you know of the Underground Literary Alliance? I will refrain from commenting on it just in case.

  16. #135
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    Re: So, whatcha reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by nycredsfan
    Have you ever read George Saunders? He probably falls right into your chucklehead categorization, but is probably my favorite living writer (at least of short fiction). If you haven't, I would recommend the book Pastoralia and more specifically the story Sea Oak.

    In all seriousness, being in Philadelphia do you know of the Underground Literary Alliance? I will refrain from commenting on it just in case.
    I've heard of ULA, sure. But I have nothing to do with it? Please don't refrain from commenting.

    I've read some George Saunders. He's not odious. There are some fine practitioners of fiction out there, no question. I don't want to leave the impression that I chuck it all out the door. I quite love Kathryn Davis' work.


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