Books moral and immoral

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Sep 6, 2012.

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  1. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I hope that feeling carries with you for the full book. I really loved the first 4/5 or so of the book, had a lot of the same feelings about it as you ... but hated, hated, hated the ending. So much so that I spoiled my enjoyment of everything that came before it. I know a lot of people found the ending profound, but for me it was just manipulative.

    I have had wondered if I gave it a raw deal though. Since the movie is coming out soon, I might re-read the book afterward. But then again ... I might not. Esp. since I had pretty much the same reaction to his more recent book, Beatrice and Virgil. :mad:
     
  2. skatefan

    skatefan Well-Known Member

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    I was searching for a book for a friend's birthday and picked up 61 Hours thinking it looked interesting, ended up keeping it myself and since then have spent lots of time going through the previous Reacher books. I've just finished reading 61 Hours for the second time and had to laugh at the part where the description of Reacher reads 'he was 6 feet 5 inches and weighed 240 pounds' after seeing a trailer for the Cruise film :shuffle: I think the part has been hopelessly mis-cast :(
     
  3. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    I had a very similar reaction to "Life of Pi". I didn't mind the ending :) Angela's Ashes made me :wuzrobbed I'm not a crier but my goodness did I need the tissues. Having said that, I'm really glad I read it and promptly read his other two books after that.
     
  4. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    Yes, GKelly and Prancer, I remember that picture, thanks, saw it on Amazon before you linked, they had it for $.01 from that seller in Indiana, plus shipping.
     
  5. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    my eyes have been bothering me so i'm specializing in books with large pictures right now. i'm reading whiting and davis: the perfect mesh about the whiting and davis handbags. it's a better read than i anticipated. i was just hoping to look at the photos which are great.
     
  6. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    I've never read anything from either author. So many people have commented about the ending to me, that I really want to get there just so I can form an opinion!
     
  7. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    The Neiman Marcus catalog is a visual and literary masterpiece as well.
     
  8. my little pony

    my little pony snarking for AZE

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    i'd be better off if someone stole my wallet :p
    i cant control myself
     
  9. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

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    Finished Winter's Heart over the weekend, and sort of started reading Crossroads of Twilight, which, along with Winter's Heart, is the draggiest if my memory serves. I do remember the last Jordan book picking up the pace a bit, and I bought the first two Jordan/Sanderson books today as incentive to keep at it. The problem with rereading looong series of seriously thick books is that it takes forever. I thought I'd get through them at a good clip, but I'm still averaging only 2 of them per month. Of course, I've been reading other books on the side. :shuffle:

    I'm considering hunting down Cloud Atlas, because Mr Evilynn wants to see the movie, and I want to read the book first.
     
  10. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

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    Just finished Bel Canto yesterday. Between this and State of Wonder earlier in the year, I realized that I like Ann Patchett's storytelling, but not particularly her use of language.

    Next up are The Expats, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Seating Arrangements.
     
  11. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I'm reading Elaine Viets' "Pumped for Murder" the latest in her Dead-End Jobs series of "light" mysteries. It's not quite a cozy but there's not a lot of blood and gore. Helen, now married to Phil and starting a private dective agency with him, takes a job working as a receptionist at a gym to investigate a clietnt's husband and ends up in the middle of a drug-scandal, a murder and a 25-year-old suicide case that isn't a clear-cut as public records claim. There's also a brief ressurection of Helen's past issues with her sister that interrupts the proceedings and seems thrown in merely to put strife into Helen's idyllic marriage, but otherwise, it's a pretty convoluted tale that's keeping me turning the pages.

    I bought a half-dozen historical romances (for a quarter each) at a yard sale on Saturday so I may be submerging my brain in tea and crinoline shortly. :)
     
  12. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Oh, Prancer. I can't wait till you get the new Reacher. :lol: There will be much :rolleyes: And it is relevant to the story. Let's just say Lee fills multiple pages with :rolleyes: I'll say no more until others have a chance to read. I just kept saying out loud, "but if......then why not...."
     
  13. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Reading Midnight Riot slowly as I am also researching. It is very entertaining. Thanks for the recommendation here--I believe it was rfisher??? :)
     
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  14. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Has anyone read any TC Boyle? I don't know the author at all, but his new book San Miguel sounds interesting.
     
  15. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    I will be interested in knowing what you think about We Need To Talk About Kevin. I don't think I have ever loathed a book more than that one. :shuffle:

    Let me know if you find something good. I need some brain candy.

    Gee, I can hardly wait. But no matter how bad it is, I can remind myself that at least I haven't paid for it :p

    I have, but never a full-length novel. I will never forget his short story "The Descent of Man." I read it years ago and it still pops into my head every now and then. What does it mean? :confused:

    I think he's interesting; not necessarily enjoyable, but interesting.
     
  16. Michalle

    Michalle New Member

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    What is it about Life of Pi's ending that people don't like (under spoiler bars, of course)? I have no interest in reading it but I'm curious about why the ending is so controversial. I tried to skim the end in the store but couldn't figure it out without the larger context of actually having read the book!
     
  17. TygerLily

    TygerLily Well-Known Member

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    I loathed it, too. It's possible that I've loathed a book more, but improbable. Unfortunately, a mentor recommended and lent it to me so I had to finish it. To be fair, that was also long before I realized that no, I'm not actually obligated to finish a book I dislike.

    I quite like Tilda Swinton, but not enough to watch the movie.
     
  18. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    I'm always amused at people who feel obligated to finish a book they don't like. The book police are not going to sweep down and arrest you. :lol: If I don't like it past the first chapter, out it goes. Too many other books out there to waste time on ones I don't like. I didn't even bother when I was in college. You can pretty much always get the info you needed for the class if you know how to skim. :p
     
  19. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in opinions anyone might have about Ursula K. LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness. I am about to start it, in part because a friend just read it for a class, and I can't discuss it with her until I read it. My friend HATED it and cannot understand why in the world it got the Hugo and the Nebula.

    Whether you liked it or disliked it, I would like to know why. Thanks in advance for any replies.
     
  20. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    I loved it when I read it in high school, but I'd have to refresh my memory before I could say anything intelligent about it now.
     
  21. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for trying to answer.
     
  22. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I PMed you on this.
     
  23. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    People read for different reasons. I am always amazed at people who assume that their standards are or should be the same as everyone else's when it comes to reading books.

    I read We Need To Talk About Kevin for several reasons, none of them having to do with seeking entertainment. The book was promoted as an award-winning and insightful look into what produces school shooters, which is why I started reading it, and I kept reading it because I couldn't believe anyone got anything at all about the psychology of school shooters out of the book. What I got from it is that the author thinks that smart, sophisticated women should never have children (or get married, either), as children will destroy everything good and worthwhile about them, and that the author is herself is a real piece of work, an impression reinforced by reading a couple of her interviews about the book.

    But maybe that's just me. People have mentioned the book here a few times, and I've always wanted to know what they think about it, but so far, no one has really said much.
     
  24. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I didn't get that, either from the book or from the movie. I certainly wouldn't say that this book, or any book, that presents an individual story is meant to be interpreted as "all similar cases will turn out this way."

    I saw it more as being a question asked rather than answered. Was Kevin
    an evil seed born that way, or did his mother's failure to bond create the person that he became. Nor is the father presented as completely innocent in the matter -- again, the book asks, but doesn't answer, whether his indulgences had anything to do with the eventual outcome.
    Deep psychological insight? No. But thought-provoking questions? Absolutely.

    Did Shriver's own personal circumstances, views, and choices affect the book? Of course. As do any author's. But nowhere do I interpret that as a broader indictment of marriage or motherhood.
     
  25. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I'm peeking at Barbara Cleverly's "Bright Hair About The Bone" a historical mystery set in Burgundy, France. It opens with a funeral which could be a little more depressing than I'd like at this moment but the writing is descriptive and flowing, so I'll plunge on and see where it gets me.
     
  26. Prancer

    Prancer Jawwalking Staff Member

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    Um, I don't either. I don't think the story has anything at all to do with the purported plot, so.....?

    I got that that's what Shriver was going for, but I didn't get that at all because
    neither of the children in the book was a child or anything like one. There are no children in that book, bad seed or angel. And because of that, I couldn't see that the book was about a school shooter. Kevin isn't a person; he isn't even a good characterization of a sociopathic child, but more like caricature of what a person with little knowledge of children might think a sociopathic child might be like. The story, therefore, is all about Eva and what happens to her--because it is all about her. She asks herself if Kevin is a bad seed or it was her lack of nurturing that led to his attack, but even that smacks of total self-aggrandizement to me by that point. I have rarely loathed a character in a book as much as I loathed Eva--and not because, when examing her flaws and how she might have contributed to Kevin's actions she identifies ways in which she might be culpable because of her failures, but because of how she presents what she thinks are her good points and other people's flaws.

    Yes, I do grasp that. But it isn't her personal circumstances that make me think she's a piece of work. It is, instead, her reactions to criticism of the book, particularly criticisms along the lines of what I said above, that make me think so.
     
  27. PRlady

    PRlady Smoking

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    All I know is that I loved it when I read it but that was thirty years ago. :shuffle: And I don't remember it at all, but the fact that I remember I loved it counts for something.

    Since Prancer told me I should add my preferences I want to say that if you like social realism novels, Capital by John Lanchester was the best book of its kind I read this year. I used up my whole Nook charge reading it cover to cover...it takes place in modern-day London.

    (There, I have fulfilled my duty to Lady Prancer. I think.)
     
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  28. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Well, I haven't read any of said reactions, so can't comment there. The only interview I've seen with her was on the DVD, and she came across there as very matter-of-fact: this is how I came up with the idea, this is how it came about. No attempt to pretend to be more than that.

    I haven't done any more "research" into the book, the author, or the issue, so I'll bow to your superiour knowledge there. I was just reacting on face value to both the book and the movie.
     
  29. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I'm doing a happy dance: Just spotted that there's a new Ian Rankin coming out in November ... and it will be a Rebus book! :cheer2: I do like his new protagonist, Fox, but miss Rebus. And it looks like this new book will have both of them.

    Standing in Another Man's Grave, out on Nov 6.
     
  30. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    I always try to finish books I start. Maybe it's idealistic but I always figure that there's something I can take away from it. I read the Twilight series despite wanting to throw them all into a fire because I was working with a bunch of girls who were all reading them and I wanted to be able to participate in their discussions. Also, I just really really hate not finishing things I start. And I'm kind of a masochist :shuffle:
     
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