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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby TC on 16/03/11, 12:14:57

just finished book 4, god emperor of dune. i am upset, both for the ending (a good and necessary ending, just sad) and that there are only two frank herbert books left in the series....

amazing i say again.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby TC on 10/05/11, 13:37:09

just finished book six, chapterhouse. simply incredible series. i'm peeved at the last three pages though - felt like a stephen king-esque mindfuck, not sure what that was all about. FH died too soon for sure.

now i move onto the books created by his son and some other guy co-writing. going to skip the chronological progression, which would be the "prequels", and move right onto the "Dune 7" books that were allegedly compiled based on a treatment and notes from FH himself. i've been told not to have high hopes. this concerns me. however, they do continue to make these books, so the backlash can't be too great of no one would put them out.... right?

we shall see. hunters up next.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby big d note on 11/05/11, 09:30:40

I skipped the prequels too and just continued the main series. I think the series started to decline after book 4, but the slide really increased when his son took over. The last book was ok when I was in the process of reading it, but the conclusion was unsatisfying (I wonder if Frank or Brian came up with it), and looking back the whole book was pretty crappy. I'm glad I read through it to get to the final conclusion, but I wish the ending had been different.

I finished reading the first of the Drizzt novels by R.A. Salvatore, The Crystal Shard, which was pulpy nerdy goodness, but not terribly original. Now I'm mostly through a Soundgarden biography that I've had for a long time but never read. I thought it would be an interesting read before I see them at Red Rocks in July (woot!). Next up is Shogun by James Clavell, which I'm looking forward to a lot, but it will probably take me a long time to get through the 1000+ pages.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby TC on 11/05/11, 20:03:15

big d note wrote:I skipped the prequels too and just continued the main series. I think the series started to decline after book 4, but the slide really increased when his son took over. The last book was ok when I was in the process of reading it, but the conclusion was unsatisfying (I wonder if Frank or Brian came up with it), and looking back the whole book was pretty crappy. I'm glad I read through it to get to the final conclusion, but I wish the ending had been different.

i'm 36 pages into hunters and am supremely annoyed already. they feel the need to re-introduce every single character as though someone is going to start reading dune with this book. along with the re-intro comes a brief "here's what's happened so far" that effectively minizes every single event. also, they named their ship using a reference to the trojan war? who the fuck on that ship would have any frame of reference to that? everyone suddenly starts using earthly events to name things? i hope it gets better but this is not a good sign.

big d note wrote:Next up is Shogun by James Clavell, which I'm looking forward to a lot, but it will probably take me a long time to get through the 1000+ pages.

good stuff.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby Alexhead on 23/05/11, 12:49:05

Reading "At The Mountains Of Madness" and a few issues of the Runaways comic. Trying to catch up on the always-growing pile of New Yorkers in my house.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby TC on 14/06/11, 13:55:52

TC wrote:
big d note wrote:I skipped the prequels too and just continued the main series. I think the series started to decline after book 4, but the slide really increased when his son took over. The last book was ok when I was in the process of reading it, but the conclusion was unsatisfying (I wonder if Frank or Brian came up with it), and looking back the whole book was pretty crappy. I'm glad I read through it to get to the final conclusion, but I wish the ending had been different.

i'm 36 pages into hunters and am supremely annoyed already. they feel the need to re-introduce every single character as though someone is going to start reading dune with this book. along with the re-intro comes a brief "here's what's happened so far" that effectively minizes every single event. also, they named their ship using a reference to the trojan war? who the fuck on that ship would have any frame of reference to that? everyone suddenly starts using earthly events to name things? i hope it gets better but this is not a good sign.

finished sandworms yesterday.

while i can say that after the first 100 pages of hunters, it got much better, and that the first 3/4 of sandworms was actually pretty good, i whole-heartedly agree with you about the rest. the ending sucked - no way that's where frank was going. just no way. both books read like an extended commercial for their butlerian jihad book. they mentioned it every possible chance they had to the point of annoyance and the ending fed right into that. i too am glad i read through them to get some closure, but the journey through these two books was much better than the destination, and that's not saying too much. since this was my first time reading any of the books, i can't say i find them completely blasphemous like some herbert purists, but they were certainly devoid of his style and knack for characterization and making the reader emotionally invested in any of the participants. the last part of sandworms felt completely rushed, like someone reminded them when they were on page 400 that they had to wrap everything up in this book. while they did provide some closure, there were certainly a lot of loose ends left unaddressed. they re-introduced characters for no discernible reason and that went nowhere. just... using the first six books as reference points, these two were simply not nearly as good and not really in the same realm. i have a hard time believing that the places they went came from a 30-page outline allegedly found decades later in a safety deposit box (had no one really looked in this in that long???). dumb. some of the things, yes, but i seriously doubt this is what frank had in mind at all. as stand-alone novels not in the shadow of frank, they are merely passable. i just found the ending to be way too tidy, way too sickeningly "rainbows & roses".

all of that being said, i am going to read the rest of the books. already started the short story "hunting harkonnens", a prelude to the butlerian jihad. looking at their website, it kind of sickens me that they couldn't leave the original six alone and have now written novels that take place between the original six. but, i will read those too....
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby big d note on 15/06/11, 09:05:56

Good luck with the rest of them. I'm happy to have finished the main storyline for now. There's a lot of good sci-fi that I've never read that I'd rather get to first before reading everything else in the Dune universe. Aside from the happy ending in the last book, I think the thing that bothered me the most was how stupid the Sisterhood became. They were like the puppet-masters of the universe for millenia, and then suddenly couldn't anticipate or fight their way out of a paper bag it seemed like.

I'm about halfway through Shogun now and liking it a lot. I wonder how the rest of the series is.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby TC on 31/07/11, 19:50:39

so i finished butlerian jihad. other than sharing some names/lineage with characters in the main series, this bears no resemblance whatsoever to the dune you know. in reality, other than maybe the last couple hundred pages (where it started to get decent), it could have been any other generic sci-fi if they had renamed the characters. you couldn't begin to guess it had anything to do at all with the duniverse. and really, until the last two books (also written by them), it kinda, you know, didn't. given that disassociation, this was rather unexciting and unengaging sci-fi. if it wasn't for the dune tie-in, i would have given up after a hundred pages or so. still, like i said, it did get better toward the end, but the -very- end felt extremely rushed. in fact, the title is deceptive - it covers everything leading up to the titular jihad and ends essentially when it's starting. it felt much better written than the last two dune books in the original series, which is weird because this was the first one they wrote. i guess they are better when they don't have to live within the confines of a pre-existing story. not great, but better.

guess i'll read the machine crusade next. not really looking forward to it.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby PZ on 01/08/11, 02:23:51

(brief commentary: I love the dejected resignation of your final statement. Ebook or not, I hope you're not spending legal tender to indulge in such masochism.)
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby TC on 01/08/11, 12:12:56

no, no money spent. all soft copies.

and i was mistaken, next up was Whipping Mek, a short story intended to come before Machine Crusade. it was interesting, if predictable in the items it touched upon. still, if this is any indication of where we're going, MC could be much better than i anticipate.

will keep you posted.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby big d note on 02/08/11, 09:58:03

I finished up Shogun now, which was really cool. I'm about 100 pages into The Name of the Wind now and liking it so far.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby Alexhead on 03/08/11, 15:48:53

Paged through A Renegade History Of The United States and a big career-spanning Richard Shickel interview book with Scorsese, Patton Oswald's book is on deck.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby Alexhead on 28/09/11, 11:41:06

So I suppose this is as good a place as any to share this news...Stephen King's upcoming book is a sequel to The Shining, titled Dr. Sleep, and from some youtube footage of him reading some of it at a college recently, it appears Danny will be fighting psychic vampires in it. Yay.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby darkness on 28/09/11, 16:01:55

Alexhead wrote: it appears Danny will be fighting psychic vampires in it.

I sure hope they sparkle and brood a lot!
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby Alexhead on 28/09/11, 17:40:09

Stephen's cutting edge enough that I'm sure they will be.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby TC on 03/11/11, 15:55:20

i just finished the machine crusade. looking at the above post, i guess it took me three months to read this 1177-page behemoth. as with their previous efforts i've read, this one started getting really good toward the end, like after page 1000. could have used some very aggressive editing as i was forcing myself to walk on glass through parts of it just to finish. however, they are transitioning into setting up the well-established duniverse. it's turning into a decently-crafted backstory of how all things came to be - fremen, the guild, BG, hatred for the harkonnen, spice trade, the oracle of time, etc. next up is the battle of corrin, the final in this prequel trilogy. hopefully it will be a faster and more satisfying read.

all in all, it's an interesting study to go back and read these. in hindsight, i did them a disservice by going from the original books directly into these. there should have been a several-month moratorium to avoid too many direct comparisons.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby Alexhead on 07/11/11, 09:58:34

I'm reading my first book on an e-reader, the last book in the Del Toro/Hogan Strain trilogy, The Night Eternal. Fairly neutral on the kindle so far, my wife made a cool case for it out of an old book binding so it still feels somewhat natural. Got a couple of horror manga, Uzumaki, that JD told me were made into a pretty good J horror flick back in the mid 2000s. Also have the Bowie biography, Starman, and even picked up the first Dark Tower book for the heck of it.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby TC on 01/01/12, 13:00:26

finished the battle of corrin a week or so ago. it was actually a pretty cool book. they delivered on several of the things set up in the previous two books as well as set it all up nicely to transition into the known duniverse. it was a satisfying end to this trilogy that predates dune by 10k years.

my recommendation to anyone that enjoyed the original 6 and/or +2 dune books that is curious about these - if you start them, be prepared for a big lull in the middle but stick with it. it gets better.

have already started on the next trilogy with House Atriedes. these books lead directly to the events of dune, a much more recent prequel if you will. pretty cool so far, 100 pages in.
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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby O-dot on 01/01/12, 21:53:39

"Iron Man," Iommi's memoir. So far I've mostly been flipping through it and seeing what he has to say about this event or that album, etc. Looks like he covers just about all the high points, from losing his fingertips to the drunken and drugged-out debauchery to the revolving Sab lineups.

"The Complete Peanuts 1979-1980."

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo": We both zipped through this one fairly quickly. It's a fun whodunit, certainly nothing that anyone is going to confuse with actual literature, but not a bad way to spend your evenings. Amusing how it's already kind of dated, with the author feeling compelled to explain things to his audience, like what an iPod is. Ho ho ho.

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Re: Recently Read/Currently Reading

Postby TC on 01/01/12, 22:24:45

WOW!!!! congrats you two!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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