What Book Are You Reading?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Huntn, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #6501
    That sounds pretty interesting. I think I’ll download a sample to my Kindle.
     
  2. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6502
    Well, I loved - or thoroughly enjoyed - Canterbury Tales, Pilgrim's Progress a lot less so; this is a work that strikes me as having little by way of humour.

    Re fantasy (or even YA fantasy), I will say - and it is one of the reasons for my questions and comments above - that the best works of fantasy that I have read - or, rather, the works I have enjoyed most - are those where the society (its structures, political and economic power systems, values) is a logical construct in the context of the story that is being told. Characters exist within worlds and these worlds (the best ones) have their own internal logic.
     
  3. Dave Meadows macrumors 68040

    Dave Meadows

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    #6503
    One of my favourite books of all time.
     
  4. Falhófnir macrumors 68030

    Falhófnir

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    #6504
    Just had this pop up on YT, got me thinking back to the book(s) on which it was based.


    As far as the first couple of books in the series of 4 goes I remember quite enjoying them, though (even at ~age 10!) there were a few eye-rolling parts that seemed more suited to a fantasy parody than a serious attempt at creating a fantasy world (I'm thinking the unpronounceable words; stock elves and dwarves; really generic setting etc).

    Lasting impression of the third book gets a little less nostalgic - I remember being quite put off by the purple prose (I guess it's probably there in books 1 and 2 but this is where I really started to notice it in a negative sense) and having the general impression of a big meander in a river that takes us back to almost where we started without really changing an awful lot along the way. Sort of like the entirety of the third book was padding for a few scraps of plot he wanted to keep but couldn't quite fit in anywhere else.

    Then of course the series finale. I can remember it seemed to just pop into existence one day a long time after the previous release, and after the last book had been a bit of a letdown I almost didn't bother, and I more or less wish I hadn't. I can't remember a lot of details at this point, but 'massive anticlimax' is pretty much what I've been left with as an aftertaste. Around this time I also came across a lot of criticism aimed at the heavy similarities to a number of other works. I'm not sure I'd go as far as some did (plagiarism accusations) but there's no doubt it's a bit of a lazy anthology of vanilla fantasy tropes.

    Well that's a 15 minute blast from the past - anyone else read and want to share their opinions? (and if you haven't I honestly wouldn't recommend :p)
     
  5. ThisBougieLife macrumors 68000

    ThisBougieLife

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    #6505
    @Falhófnir

    I remember reading the first two books when I was in middle school, but I wasn't interested enough to continue. The thing that let me down most about the series (and what killed my desire to read on) wasn't the "meh" writing or the generic story (I did find some of the intricacies of the magical system interesting), but in the second book when
    Eragon is transformed into a half-human half-elf hybrid and essentially becomes "perfect". Yawn. Eragon was never a very interesting character (one of the series' many flaws) but him literally losing his humanity made him even less interesting.

    I doubt I'll return to it, there's much better fantasy out there, but I at least remember enjoying it for the most part up until that point.
     
  6. Falhófnir macrumors 68030

    Falhófnir

    Joined:
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    #6506
    Yeah, I can’t remember a lot of the details about the character arcs without re-reading but if memory serves Eragon was also pretty much written as a heroic character from the get-go as opposed to someone who got dragged into events and rose to the challenge?
    The part you mention definitely a lazy way of progressing the character, particularly as
    in the finale he doesn’t even actually engage Galbatorix in a fight anyway!

    The first couple of books definitely do a lot right, my overwhelming memory is enjoying them and that the series had quite a nice ambience, just think the ending and some of the weaker aspects drag it down from what could have been quite a solid fantasy series :)
     
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6507
    Gentlemen: I will not watch a video.

    Please tell me what this is about - author, title, and your comments and opinions on same.

    I want words, not images, and I deeply distrust video as a (credible) source with which to examine, explore or simply read some source material.
     
  8. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #6508
    Great book (great band too btw). I remember being shocked back around turn of century when Reisner died of cancer at only age 51. Cadillac Desert was a milestone in raising public awareness of issues around water rights and use of dams and irrigation channels that endangered the environment. Reisner made so many contributions towards bringing oppositional forces together to work on better ways to manage water resources.

    I ran into that book in a rather odd way I guess, but just odd regarding the timing. There was a long stretch in which I devoted zero time to the cinema and practically none to contemporary reviews of it either. So I saw the 1976 movie Chinatown for the first time in 1990-something, having no clue what it was about beforehand. I ended up interested in how water resources figured into regional politics in the USA, then bumped into that 1986 book of Reisner's while trying to learn more about the subject.

    ====

    At the moment I'm finishing up Emily Mitchell's The Last Summer of the World, a book that I had forgotten I'd bought. For awhile there I was immersed in WWI books, took some from the library, bought some and had to set some of the latter aside. This one certainly deserved picking up again. It's historical fiction about the photographer Edward Steichen when Paris was under threat by the Germans and he was doing aerial reconnaissance over France for the Americans (and suffering through the end of his first marriage thanks to an alleged affair he'd had with a best friend of his then wife). The book is painstakingly researched, imaginatively constructed with respect to analysis of some of the actual photographs Steichen took, and deeply moving in a way that I did not expect from a debut novel.

    coverLastSummerOfTheWorldEmilyMitchell.jpg
     
  9. ThisBougieLife macrumors 68000

    ThisBougieLife

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    #6509
    The video is actually about the movie that was made of the first book, that is, Eragon by Christopher Paolini. It's a fantasy series about a boy and dragons and it's famous for being derivative.
     
  10. Falhófnir macrumors 68030

    Falhófnir

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    #6510
    The video was incidental, just jogged my mind about these books which I haven’t read in years now... I would probably have to re read to give any more detailed insight (than the above) but I am a little short on time to do that currently. Ultimately I felt the need to post as the inheritance book series is an unusual one which I have mixed feelings about (I usually find I either really enjoy or outright don’t like a series). Overall I feel the really poor ending makes it a not-recommended read, which is a shame as there’s quite a lot to like about the earlier books :)
     
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6511
    Thank you; all I wished to know was the name of the book (or books).

    I had seen them advertised (presumably when the movie was released) and wondered at the time whether they were worth reading.
     
  12. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #6512
    Started re-listening to Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin. Such a wonderfull and likely the most cozy story I know, as the narrator is amazing. :) But it is definitely not for everyone, since it goes very heavily into biology!

    Well, in principle no. If you don't accept the scythes selection of you, and you run or fight back, the scythe will also kill the persons immediate family. This works as a deterrent in most cases.

    Male. He managed to write a fine heroine though.

    This is something that is skimmed over. But they have these emergency drones which picks up corpses, and flies them to a resurrection center, where they are then revived. If they are completely destroyed, say, by fire, then it is not possible.

    Trust me, you just have to accept the premise and enjoy the plot. Otherwise there's nothing left in the book for you. :p It is a YA after all.

    But some of the scythes consider it a prerogative to be able to use any weapon they want (Knife, gun, explosives, flamethrower, remote controlled detonations!). There's a fair amount of scythe politics in the book, where they discuss their internal rules and ethics (!).

    Well, most don't. They go through a year of training to ensure that they will be good scythes... Well, and by training, I mean fighting and weapons techniques. Nothing on the mental state of mind. :p There's also a fair discussion on what is a good scythe and what is a bad scythe, which is a large part of the plot. Some scythes are old school and have ethics, while more modern scythes just want to have fun.

    But since you have so many questions, you should consider reading it! I ended up with a 4/5 rating, since, if you go into it knowing its a YA book, and you can accept the premise, then the story is actually quite fine. It even has a 4.36 rating on Goodreads (From 57.000 rating even) , which is pretty high.

    Yes, I enjoyed that one very much too. The sequel was also quite good.
    I enjoyed Dracula more with the book, while Frankenstein more in the movies.

    Still on my to read list. Got the free eBook on iTunes, but have still to find time for it.

    I enjoyed this one very much!
     
  13. arkitect macrumors 603

    arkitect

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    #6513
    Alas, I am an OA. Not quite an OAP (yet!)
    :p
     
  14. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #6514
    So...why bother? They already send assassins around the world to kill people (in what sound like somewhat brutal ways) in order to prevent over population. Why bother resurrecting people who die?
     
  15. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #6515
    Ah, the ambiguities of life in YA dystopia..
     
  16. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #6516
    What's YA in this context?
     
  17. arkitect macrumors 603

    arkitect

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    #6517
    I think YA = Young Adult…
    At least that's what I assumed.
     
  18. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #6518
    Ahhh, okay. Thank you!
     
  19. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6519

    I have questions because in my experience the best fantasy works (or rather, the works I have most enjoyed) have a well developed and thought through (and internally logical) society (and sometimes, system of magic); that means a world where economics, power, politics and religion are all somehow integrated into the plot, and serve to give it a context within which these actions and characters are credible.

    Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle is brilliant.
     
  20. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #6520
    Don't blame the messenger. I am just describing the book!
     
  21. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #6521
    Not blaming you, just wondering if there’s some internal logic that explains it!
     
  22. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6522
    Exactly, this is what I had wondered, as well.
     
  23. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #6523
    I downloaded a sample of this on my Kindle and read it. Seems pretty intriguing, so I will be buying it in the near future. Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  24. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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  25. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    #6525
    None what so ever. This is usually the case for Young Adult books I find, so I just tend to go with it.

    In general, I always just accept the premise from the get go, because I'll enjoy the books much more. After all, they are fiction.
     

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