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  #21  
Old 04-28-2008, 03:08 PM
BeautifulBurnout BeautifulBurnout is offline
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I like my crime thrillers, and I accidentally stumbled upon The Take by Graham Hurley in a charity shop one lunchtime when I had time to kill last week. I hadn't come across him before as an author. His writing style is not extraordinary, but he knows how to tell a good story that will keep you turning the pages, if you enjoy police procedurals in an Ian Rankin (Rebus) or Reginald Hill (Morse) style.
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2008, 07:39 AM
Rog Rog is offline
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The making of 'Unknown pleasures' by jake somebodyorother - about the making of Joy Divisions first album........its ok
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  #23  
Old 04-29-2008, 03:03 PM
ceramic'cow ceramic'cow is offline
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The making of 'Unknown pleasures' by jake somebodyorother - about the making of Joy Divisions first album........its ok
i think i read that. it was a bit rubbish. might give it another go
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  #24  
Old 05-06-2008, 10:47 AM
grady grady is offline
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Default Re: currently reading?

midway through the following two books at the moment:

The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
the league of extraordinary gentlemen Vol. II
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  #25  
Old 05-07-2008, 01:42 PM
oceanic oceanic is offline
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Just read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Started and finished in a day... absorbing isn't even the word for it. Very easy read but of the darkest subject matter I've come across in a long, long time. Post-apocalypse America is the setting and the plot explores a pilgrimage being made by a father and son from mid-western states towards the coast (presumably the Gulf-Coast around Texas). Horrifying images of societal collapse and the violence that has taken over. No faith, no morality, no hope - only desperation and the brutality that comes out of desperation. Scary in the way that only few details can conjure scariness. Did anyone feel the same way I did about Cloverfield in that the scariest thing about that movie was the many unknowns? Where did the monster come from? How old? What's it made of? Why's it angry? What's its purpose? Why here? Why now?
Same with The Road. Where did it all go wrong? When? Who started it? Where is the goodness? What's happening in the rest of the world? Where is the requisite "safe haven"? Why? Why? Why?
Disturbing and sad.

The movie is coming soon, which is an alluring and unnerving notion for me.
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  #26  
Old 05-07-2008, 02:49 PM
grady grady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanic View Post
Just read The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Started and finished in a day... absorbing isn't even the word for it. Very easy read but of the darkest subject matter I've come across in a long, long time. Post-apocalypse America is the setting and the plot explores a pilgrimage being made by a father and son from mid-western states towards the coast (presumably the Gulf-Coast around Texas). Horrifying images of societal collapse and the violence that has taken over. No faith, no morality, no hope - only desperation and the brutality that comes out of desperation. Scary in the way that only few details can conjure scariness. Did anyone feel the same way I did about Cloverfield in that the scariest thing about that movie was the many unknowns? Where did the monster come from? How old? What's it made of? Why's it angry? What's its purpose? Why here? Why now?
Same with The Road. Where did it all go wrong? When? Who started it? Where is the goodness? What's happening in the rest of the world? Where is the requisite "safe haven"? Why? Why? Why?
Disturbing and sad.

The movie is coming soon, which is an alluring and unnerving notion for me.
The last part of your message with the questions reminds me a great deal of one of the internal monologues/voice overs of a character in The Thin Red Line.

I didn't have quite as an adverse reaction to Cloverfield as the The Road but each is incredibly bleak at times and borderline unbearable in their own unique ways. I found The Road to be far more gripping in that the unknowns feel much greater and powerful. Not to devalue a giant beast ravaging the isle of Manhattan as not terrifying or gripping but rather the idea that the great nuclear apocalypse has already happen in The Road, maybe 5 years prior and we're reading about the fallout(no pun intended). What I find so amusing is that it's a post apocalyptic sci-fi-type setting but all that stuff has been stripped away. It's also amusing that it's kept in the literature section at most book sellers but could easily be kept in sci-fi.

One more bit of amusement: It was an Oprah book club of the month selection! I regaled in the image of soccer mom's and Oprah viewers reading this book and being terribly frightened or potential disgusted by the novel.

Then it went on to win a Pulitzer.

After reading The Road in the Fall 06 I've been somewhat fearful of how the eventual film translation would turn out. Particularly that you're dealing with two different mediums and so much of the novel is internalized.

The film does seems to have a good creative team behind it though. John Hillcoat is directing the film. He made a film a couple years back written by Nick Cave and starring Guy Pearce called The Proposition. If you haven't seen it do check it out, it's an Australian western. Viggo Mortensen has been cast as the lead in the film along with Charlize Theron as his wife in what I presume will be periodic flashbacks.

Over the next couple weeks the film will be shooting scenes here on the Oregon coast. Part of me wants to go rubber neck and see if anything can be seen, but I imagine they'll be shooting in pretty damn remote areas away from the peering eyes of locals and Viggo fans.

Have you read any other novels by Cormac McCarthy oceanic?

One other thing to check out is the following link to an enjoyable book review of The Road written by Michael Chabon and published in the New York Review of Books last Winter.

link
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Last edited by grady; 05-07-2008 at 02:55 PM. Reason: word and sentence changes.
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  #27  
Old 05-07-2008, 04:18 PM
oceanic oceanic is offline
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Default Re: currently reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grady View Post
The last part of your message with the questions reminds me a great deal of one of the internal monologues/voice overs of a character in The Thin Red Line.

I didn't have quite as an adverse reaction to Cloverfield as the The Road but each is incredibly bleak at times and borderline unbearable in their own unique ways. I found The Road to be far more gripping in that the unknowns feel much greater and powerful. Not to devalue a giant beast ravaging the isle of Manhattan as not terrifying or gripping but rather the idea that the great nuclear apocalypse has already happen in The Road, maybe 5 years prior and we're reading about the fallout(no pun intended). What I find so amusing is that it's a post apocalyptic sci-fi-type setting but all that stuff has been stripped away. It's also amusing that it's kept in the literature section at most book sellers but could easily be kept in sci-fi.

One more bit of amusement: It was an Oprah book club of the month selection! I regaled in the image of soccer mom's and Oprah viewers reading this book and being terribly frightened or potential disgusted by the novel.

Then it went on to win a Pulitzer.

After reading The Road in the Fall 06 I've been somewhat fearful of how the eventual film translation would turn out. Particularly that you're dealing with two different mediums and so much of the novel is internalized.

The film does seems to have a good creative team behind it though. John Hillcoat is directing the film. He made a film a couple years back written by Nick Cave and starring Guy Pearce called The Proposition. If you haven't seen it do check it out, it's an Australian western. Viggo Mortensen has been cast as the lead in the film along with Charlize Theron as his wife in what I presume will be periodic flashbacks.

Over the next couple weeks the film will be shooting scenes here on the Oregon coast. Part of me wants to go rubber neck and see if anything can be seen, but I imagine they'll be shooting in pretty damn remote areas away from the peering eyes of locals and Viggo fans.

Have you read any other novels by Cormac McCarthy oceanic?

One other thing to check out is the following link to an enjoyable book review of The Road written by Michael Chabon and published in the New York Review of Books last Winter.

link

Media of all kinds try so hard to "give the people what they want", with the common belief that what they want is choice, options, detail. Do these things make consumers feel safe, in control or sophisticated? I don't really know. I'm hugely interested in the psychology of marketing and the methods of selling, although I admit I don't really have a critical eye for that kind of stuff and am often times very, very opposed to its manipulations. My danger is that I might head towards the point where I stop being analytical and just blindly angered. I need to stay wary of that. Anyways, with Cloverfield the thing that stood way out for me was the way the film snatched all that choice, all those options and any real details away from the viewer and left us all hanging, clinging onto visual, real-time image, often blurry, and nothing else. It was like all that choice obsession finally did away with itself and from its ashes emerged the new choice which, unbelievably, is NO choice. With all the viral marketing and commerical success of Cloverfield, I'm willing to believe that the makers of the film are marketing-savvy individuals. I couldn't stand the acting in the film and thought the characters were empty, but even still, the film makers obviously knew what they were doing by using the actors they did and succeeded in reeling in the hardcore movie-going demographic that consists of late-teens and twentysomethings. That, coupled with this strange new absence of choice, made me feel very, very uneasy. Maybe the same thing was done in Blair Witch... I don't remember that movie too well and when i did see it all those years ago I wasn't nearly alert enough about these kinds of things to have a say in the matter. I felt the same way reading The Road as I did watching Cloverfield, and both blew me out of the fucking water. I knew The Road won a Pulitzer, but I didn't know it was an Oprah book. I know Oprah doesn't want to coddle or placate her followers, but still... what a horrible story. Much more terrifying and with what seem to me to be much more massive implications and judgments than something like A Million Little Pieces. I really wonder what loyal Oprah fans had to say about it. I also wonder what kind of effect the story would have had if the ending had not taken a turn for the hopeful. Any thoughts on the conclusion, Grady?

I understand your fears on the movie adaptation. I'm guessing the internalized nature of things will come through as facial expression and hopefully nobody overdoes anything. Considering Mortensen's body of work, I've got some faith, and I've heard nothing but good things about The Proposition and I'm surprised at myself for having not gotten off my ass and checked it out yet. Among other reasons, because I've become really interested in the Western genre over the past few months. I'm guessing a lot of people have and McCarthy's No Country probably had a lot to do with it. It did for me.
Speaking of which, The Road is the only book of his that I've read. Got any other recommendations for me? At the back of The Road, there are a few short summaries of his other works. They all sound interesting, to be honest. In the meantime, I'll check out that review of The Road. Thanks for the link.
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  #28  
Old 05-12-2008, 02:38 PM
grady grady is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanic View Post
Media of all kinds try so hard to "give the people what they want", with the common belief that what they want is choice, options, detail. Do these things make consumers feel safe, in control or sophisticated? I don't really know. I'm hugely interested in the psychology of marketing and the methods of selling, although I admit I don't really have a critical eye for that kind of stuff and am often times very, very opposed to its manipulations. My danger is that I might head towards the point where I stop being analytical and just blindly angered. I need to stay wary of that. Anyways, with Cloverfield the thing that stood way out for me was the way the film snatched all that choice, all those options and any real details away from the viewer and left us all hanging, clinging onto visual, real-time image, often blurry, and nothing else. It was like all that choice obsession finally did away with itself and from its ashes emerged the new choice which, unbelievably, is NO choice. With all the viral marketing and commerical success of Cloverfield, I'm willing to believe that the makers of the film are marketing-savvy individuals. I couldn't stand the acting in the film and thought the characters were empty, but even still, the film makers obviously knew what they were doing by using the actors they did and succeeded in reeling in the hardcore movie-going demographic that consists of late-teens and twentysomethings. That, coupled with this strange new absence of choice, made me feel very, very uneasy. Maybe the same thing was done in Blair Witch... I don't remember that movie too well and when i did see it all those years ago I wasn't nearly alert enough about these kinds of things to have a say in the matter. I felt the same way reading The Road as I did watching Cloverfield, and both blew me out of the fucking water. I knew The Road won a Pulitzer, but I didn't know it was an Oprah book. I know Oprah doesn't want to coddle or placate her followers, but still... what a horrible story. Much more terrifying and with what seem to me to be much more massive implications and judgments than something like A Million Little Pieces. I really wonder what loyal Oprah fans had to say about it. I also wonder what kind of effect the story would have had if the ending had not taken a turn for the hopeful. Any thoughts on the conclusion, Grady?

I understand your fears on the movie adaptation. I'm guessing the internalized nature of things will come through as facial expression and hopefully nobody overdoes anything. Considering Mortensen's body of work, I've got some faith, and I've heard nothing but good things about The Proposition and I'm surprised at myself for having not gotten off my ass and checked it out yet. Among other reasons, because I've become really interested in the Western genre over the past few months. I'm guessing a lot of people have and McCarthy's No Country probably had a lot to do with it. It did for me.
Speaking of which, The Road is the only book of his that I've read. Got any other recommendations for me? At the back of The Road, there are a few short summaries of his other works. They all sound interesting, to be honest. In the meantime, I'll check out that review of The Road. Thanks for the link.
Sorry for the delay in this reply, I will begin from the top.

Cloverfield I wasn't terribly sold on, but enjoyed what it did for the most part and admired it's execution, both in it's production and promotion. The viral aspect of the campaign was quite essential, but I'm not one to get involved in those for the most part, but instead keep an arm's length if not further, quietly observing.

I too had similar problems like you did with Cloverfield but it did have a couple choice moments throughout.

As for Oprah and her book club, I didn't really keep up with it, but did join the book club to gain access to her interview with Cormac McCarthy that she did for her show. It was the first televised interview he had ever conducted and the first interview in I believe almost 15 years. It's worth a look.



Signing up for her website, I didn't lurk around in the forums to see what readers had to say about it, but I was mighty curious. Judging from friends who picked up the book after the success of the Coen's adaptation of No Country for Old Men, reactions have been either incredibly positive or terribly disappointed.

I usually reply with the suggestion of going further back into McCarthy's work to say All the Pretty Horses or if they're feeling really adventurous, Blood Meridian(probably my favorite of his and one of my favorite books.)

As for the film adaptation of The Road, I have some trepidation about the film, but there really isn't much else that can be said or done. Just hope for the best and that the source material is treated with a decent amount of respect. In light of the success of No Country for Old Men this past year I doubt this will be a problem. But there is always the dark side to something so positive. Billy Bob Thorton's adaptation of All the Pretty Horses was eviscerated by Harvey Weinstein in 2000 and eventually trimmed from a three hour film to a taut 1 hour and 55 minutes gutting most of the film.

A more detailed account of said situation can be found in Peter Biskind's gossipy style book, Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film. In that book you learn that Thorton was incredibly faithful to McCarthy's text and then had it torn down by Harvey Weinstein.

But, with The Road, I'd imagine there is a higher expectation for the film as the novel had won the Pulitzer and is coming off the heels of No Country...
The crew making the film, Viggo and the director included, seem like a good team. But film and literature/writing are two different mediums so obvious liberties throughout will be taken whether in structure or presentation.

I would recommend reading the following McCarthy books next if you're interested. Blood Meridian, All the Pretty Horses, and No Country for Old Men. If you were to read them in that order you would see the progression of his prose style that you experienced in The Road. Blood Meridian is quite a bit longer and brutal, but well worth the read. All the Pretty Horses is a great western and the first part of his Border Trilogy. No Country... is the book that preceded The Road.
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  #29  
Old 05-12-2008, 03:02 PM
BeautifulBurnout BeautifulBurnout is offline
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Just devoured The Woods by Harlan Coben in a day and a half. I hadn't read any of his, and, frankly, had never heard of him before until I saw the French movie "Ne Le Dis a Personne", based on Tell No One, which I really enjoyed.

He has a wonderful way with plotlines, snaking their way all over the place until they all come to a wonderful denouement at the end, which is everything I expect from a good crime thriller. His characters are solid and well written, and entirely believable. And I really had difficulty putting The Woods down. I will be looking for his other titles now too. Highly recommended.
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  #30  
Old 05-12-2008, 11:37 PM
chuck chuck is offline
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Holy shit!

Someone used denouement in a sentence.

I've been beating my students over the head (not literally) about writing book reports - using words like protagonist, antagonist, denouement.

They look at me like I'm a mad person. But then - they're 11 - so I can but hope they slowly learn to appreciate novel structure - and appreciate how hard it can be to write and to write well.
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