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hydroazuanacaine

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May 17, 2007
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appears some bluelighters use this thread for "i just read blank" posts. i'll do the same, if that's alright.

Pnin by nabokov

other than Lolita, this is my favorite of his so far. cute, sad, funny, and of course well written. not too much in the way of plot, just a character sketch and a quick description of a period in that character's life. the novel does not try to be anything grandiose. it's short and light. and for what it is, it's close to perfect.

reminded me of Four Seasons in Rome by anthony doerr.
 

hydroazuanacaine

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May 17, 2007
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Breakfast at Tiffany's by capote

i'm sure everyone does, but i know or used to know a girl very much like holly. well in personality, not background.

i wanted to read it before i saw the movie. i really like it. a one day treat. this was my first exposure to capote. because you always hear about In Cold Blood, i've always thought of him as that guy who is all serious and writes about real-life murders, which i do not want to read about. but this book is fun. capote successfully and pleasingly communicates some ideas and emotions. and even though it seems like he uses colons, semicolons, and commas completely interchangeably, his style is a-ok with me.

the end is not my favorite part. as in the very end, where the narrator goes back and finds the...

edit:
though the more i think about it, the more possible interpretations i come up with from that last little bit. maybe i'm alright with it.
 
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hydroazuanacaine

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May 17, 2007
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Summer Crossing

like a not so boring version of Pride and Prejudice. the theme reminds me a lot clowe's Ghost World--though Summer Crossing follows the story further and with less attention to the initial break. like in Breakfast at Tiffany's, the main character is young, beautiful, and fun. even more so than with Breakfast at Tiffany's, the ending has me quite befuddled. like the former, it too ends in this little paragraph packed with ambiguous meaning that completely skews how i would like to interpret the story. but in this case i think there is a possibility it is a placeholder ending. it feels that way. and this was published after his death. according to wiki, the manuscript was found in the trash and kept by capote's mid-century house sitter. the edition i have has an afterword on the subject that i am yet to read, which is probably more reliable than wiki. but it sounds like something he gave up on, maybe before he came up with a real ending. maybe not. in retrospect, it does seem foreshadowed. whatever. if anyone else has read it, i'd love to discuss.

i really like these capote novellas. i hope there are more of them. lots more. but it seems like he mostly did short-stories.
 
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Max Power

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Dec 2, 2007
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reading Borges lately . . .

Daylight leaks in, and sluggishly I surface
from my own dreams into the common dream
and things assume again their proper places
and their accustomed shapes. Into this present
the Past intrudes, in all its dizzying range—
the centuries-old habits of migration
in birds and men, the armies in their legions
all fallen to the sword, and Rome and Carthage.

The trappings of my day also come back:
my voice, my face, my nervousness, my luck.
If only Death, that other waking up,
would grant me a time free of all memory
of my own name and all that I have been.
If only morning meant oblivion.
 

Kerrigan

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I am certainly a fan of Fyodor Dostoevsky and a majority of writers from Russia: their literature, such as Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls exudes this beautifully-crafted view of peasant-life and of there being incredibly strong dividers in society, with each man having and knowing their place and existing precisely to conform to what they are there to do; if they're born a land-owner, they'll own land, if they're born a farmer, they'll farm, and so-on. When I heard, after reaching almost the end of the book, that Dead Souls was unfinished, I was very upset and desperately wished to know how it would have turned out...

That's wassup. Throw some Nabokov in there and you have the holy trinity.
Notes from the underground - Dostovevsky
Anna Karenin - Tolstoy
For instance, I loved Crime and Punishment and The Idiot and I'm saving The Brothers Karamazov for a day when I've read everything else within my collection and truly lack something epic to read, and speaking of epics, I've a wonderful hardback edition of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace; regardless of whether his Anna Karenina is quintessential or not, I find this a thrilling piece and I'd love to be able to finish it, though finishing any book is a truly tragic affair with realization that, no, there is no more afterwards, and that's precisely why I'm saving some Dostoevsky for later!

'Penguin Classics' have an incredible title named Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida and I've read every story in there - some of them twice - because I just, for some reason, find this area of literature to be so agreeable that I even attempt to mock it; to imitate and re-create it in my own works, yet it just doesn't show and in my embarrassment I'll destroy the nonsense manuscript, as if I am Frankenstein (now there is definitely a great book by Shelley) myself attempting to create a counterfeit Crime and Punishment mockingbird that wouldn't fool a soul and could barely even caw, but raspily croak instead, all stitched together from others' genius with the most inaccurate and clumsy methods possible!

hydroazuanacaine said:
appears some bluelighters use this thread for "i just read blank" posts. i'll do the same, if that's alright.

Pnin by nabokov

other than Lolita, this is my favorite of his so far. cute, sad, funny, and of course well written. not too much in the way of plot, just a character sketch and a quick description of a period in that character's life. the novel does not try to be anything grandiose. it's short and light. and for what it is, it's close to perfect.

reminded me of Four Seasons in Rome by anthony doerr.
Lolita is one of my favorites: I've been shunned in the past by a girl for reading something about a paederast and general paedophilia, but the book is hilarious in and of itself, and the descriptions so deep and powerful that I wonder how the man managed to research everything in it. But just by closing my eyes, I can recall passages as read by Jeremy Irons, the perfect choice for any Humbert Humbert and there's a Humbert within every man, whether he wishes to admit it or not: we can all be awkward and shy but in love with whom our eyes have designated the most beautiful creature upon this planet and somehow, someway get into her life and proclaim our love... I laugh out loud whenever I read Lolita and I'm not at all ashamed to do so, even though I've no lust or sexual passions for children, silly woman attempting to criticize me for reading that book? Must I be a devout Christian, or perhaps Jesus himself, to pick up a copy of The Bible..? Tshk!
grimble crumble said:
just read Life of Pi by Yann Martel last week, great great book, heres my review of it for those who havent read it and my analysis with of the underlying themes and messages for those who have read it in NSFW because it contains spoilers



A boy of many faiths and a 450 pound Bengal tiger sharing a life boat waiting for rescue in the Pacific Ocean after a shipwreck… sound like an interesting story? Then read on.

First off let me say Life of Pi is a great great book. Its one of the few books that even though I didn’t necessarily agree with the final premise, I still wholeheartedly enjoyed the book. Not because if was written very well, was suspenseful and made a tiger come to life in my mind (which it did all of these things) but because it made me look at the underlying debate differently. As I said, I may not have agreed with the final premise but it gave me a new perspective on it, and that is what I think good books should do.

If your looking for an emotional survival story mixed with light waters of man vs. nature and faith vs. knowledge look no further.
Again, another book that I thoroughly enjoyed!
lostNfound said:
Having said that though, I also loved Hubert Selby Jnrs Last Exit to Brooklyn.
Ah, I've recently ordered that (seems that it wasn't being printed at the time, though it's come back into vogue here?) and I must say that as a piece without punctuation and following on from the whole Kerouac school of writing without care for presentation, merely for thought and emotion to be passed along, it is a fascinating piece that I'd love to spend time on, but a Degree in English Language and English Literature actually affords little time for reading anything other than the prescribed reading list's contents!

Now, I'm a fan of Chuck Palahniuk as far as modern writers go; earlier than that, Burroughs, Kerouac, I'm getting into Hubert Selby Jr. and I'm looking at a copy of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test right now: I love classics and have a whole library of them; I collect hardbacks or signed copies or signed copies of hardbacks and therefore have more than one of certain titles, but I'm not so much a serious collector as I am a serious author - I bought those classic Russian novels hoping that they would teach me how to write an epic story. Turns out you've got to live something fantastic, or at least (day)dream that you've lived something like that, in order to be such a good story-teller.

I suck at telling stories, so I'm not going to stop reading until I've read every significant book of the past 200 years. I love all of those texts about the "American Dream" and things like that and I weep now that it's all over and has become something of an "American Nightmare": Europe is a place to see beauty in architecture and language and history and people, and travel has always served to be a very fascinating muse, though the lines she whispers into my ear as made so much more audible and relatable when I've lubricated her vocal cords with certain chemicals...

Reading is my passion and I must say that The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Stieg Larsson's following two massive books are lacking in so much! The characters are fantastic and beautiful, but the books themselves probably could've been trimmed down to, say, less than the length of the first book for the entire trilogy in total! Even at the end, the reasoning behind it all is just...

NSFW:

"Because I could and it seemed like a fun idea!" - not actual quote...


Still, literature is a huge part of my life; I'd love to one day help write "Bluelight: The Book" and stuff it full of anedotal stories about people getting high, harm-reduction information for a generation of stoners whose parents are at their wits' ends and have no clue whatsoever about how to help, and also to just tell the truth about drugs and the drug-user's lifestyle!

Anything by Kerouac, anything by any Russian author of some repute (Gogol was from the Ukraine, but even so...) and, oh! I've neglected to mention Chekhov! Well, I've a collection of all of his shorts and pretty much everything Kafka and Camus ever wrote; unfinished glimpses through the eyes of genius philosophers who, at the very least from Camus's standpoint, had seen so much. The Motorcycle Diaries is one that I'm definitely going to try and get through, along with I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter - understanding consciousness is tantamount to understanding the reason we exist, perhaps; the reason we choose to believe in gods, indeed if we even ever choose such a thing at all, fascinates me also. There was a medical textbook on neurobiology that spoke all about how the brain works (as far as we know) and how drugs affect it. I want to buy a copy of that, and got the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Volume IV (or DSM-IV-TR) for some bargain-basement price; ten times less than it should've otherwise cost, and the only problem was a little scuffing on the cover.

Palahniuk, Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, Lovecraft's Necronomicon and accompanying Eldritch Tales, Nicholson Baker's House of Holes is full of graphic depictions and discussion of sex, as well sex should be discussed as such, and so I love it for it, and then Ira Levin with his bizarre powers of predicting the courses of history with his books on subjects that had yet to even become mainstream political and global issues, like Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives, The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson was funny and fun and fascinating. Tom Wolfe, as mentioned, and then George Orwell and Thomas Harris (I love the character of Hannibal Lecter and feel that Anthony Hopkins is some almost-perfect incarnation of the abominable yet small, non-threatening man with his curious teeth...

Oscar Wilde may very well have planned "Nothing but my genius!" as some quote to say, as Ricky Gervais riffed about on one of his DVDs, but still, I've nothing against homosexuals and, on the contrary, would die for a cause so noble as gay-marriage, though I'd rather it be for freedom of speech. Ahem, I'm finished. Thanks and I love that you're all avid readers; teaching yourselves all about anything and everything, becoming absorbed into the characters' lives and so-on. If any of you would like to discuss literature via PM, I'd happily abide and spur on such behavior. Yes, books are very, very important to me and print is not a dying medium; we'll always like our books, even if we have to download an ebook, transfer it to an ancient PC with equally-old laser printer, print it and bind it and then read it ourselves, for books are the legacies of those before us; they invite us into their authors' minds and we touch upon what stirs them to anger or lust or hatred or love or fear and, I feel, we become closer to such people by consuming their written words...

Yes, I've ranted a truckload (or a fuckload) of nonsense, but you guys reminded me to pick up House of Holes and read it through again, 'cause I swear I could write something even kinkier and crazier! Hell, I'm gonna challenge myself to that!
Peace. ;-)
 

K-Dazed

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Faulkner. William Faulkner. Not really in the same domain as the others I've mentioned, or so it might seem. Light in August is an incredible experiment with non-linear narrative, which tells a gripping tale of the intertwining of three lives, well a good deal more than that, but the focus is on three main people, all told from each of their perspectives and, like I said, non-linearly, giving pieces of the story away at well engineered times that make it a unique read. I've never read The Sound and the Fury all the way through, but I didn't stop reading it for any lack of interest. I'd recommend that one as well.

Didn't finish The Sound and the Fury! It's a tough read, but it's still fulfilling at the end despite what happens. I suggest you finish it.

Man, someone mentioned Russian lit.. I love Russian authors <3 Lolita, as praised above me, is one of my favourite books. So fucking funny, but still has a sincere, profound theme which provokes much thought.

I liked Life of Pi as well, again mentioned above. Just ordered Yann Martel's other book "Beatrice & Virgil", looking forward to that.

Someone mentioned Camus! I love Camus! We studied L'etranger in my grade 10 French class and it opened the door for me to study all of his other writings. Great reads, though read them in French if you can.

I'm currently in the process of reading Alistair MacLeod's "Island" short story collection. His use of language is marvelous, and even though the stories seem simple and don't have much dialogue, the imagery completely takes you over and guides you to the fulfilling finish. Scenic.
Also reading Northrop Frye's, "Educated Imagination". Only six or so chapters in, but I've studied the study of literature in highschool and now in university so a lot of this isn't new to me, but despite that, it is still an interesting read and makes you think. Frye also has a good and easy-to-follow lecture style which is nice.
The third book I'm currently reading is "the five people you meet in heaven" by Mitch Albom. Only just started reading this, but liking it so far.

Afterward I have a couple other books I just order that I'm going to read; opinions/recommendations on any of them?: "The In-Between World of Vikram Lall" by M.G. Vassanji, "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving, and lastly "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Marquez.

As for my favourite books, I really enjoyed "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig, "Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life" by John Lee Anderson, and "The Art of War" by Sun-tzu.

My final recommendation is "Gods Behaving Badly" by Marie Phillips. This book is too fucking funny. Go get it <3
 

xxxyyy

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hubert selby jr. is a brilliant and unique writer, but i would probably never feel compelled to re-read one of his works with the possible exception of songs of the silent snow. the room is a book that spoke directly to the darkest, most broken parts of me, and it's probably his most effective work, considering he wrote last exit to brooklyn, the demon and requiem for a dream that says a lot. at least for me.
i haven't read waiting period, the synopsis sounds really appealing but i've heard a lot of people saying that the premise doesn't work. regardless, i just ordered it and will see for myself. i think selby is up there with beckett and kafka among the most depressing writers ever in my opinion. i know a lot of people dislike the castle by kafka but i thinkit's his strongest novel, however his short stories are in my opinion the very epitome of his writing. my god did he have a masterful command over the german language. his prose is both simple and intricate, and i guess a lot of that gets lost in the translations. i wish i spoke more languages, especially french, it's a goal of mine to learn french solely so i can read baudelaire, lautremont and celine in the original.

also i tried at least ten times to read the sound and the fury. never made it past page 20. one day i'll read the fucking thing but i probably should have started with as i lay dying. it always sort of shames me that i never read such a seminal author.

oh and camus is pretty cool too, i consider the fall his best novel while the plague sort of is his worst. the stranger i read a long time ago on a beach in holland while on some fairly good heroin, and thus i remember it very positively. my ex was very much into camus and she gave me the fall, which is one of her favorite books. i'm still thankful for it, as it is a very good book.
 
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Axed

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Finally getting around to reading Brave New World. I'm probably about a third through it and I love what I've read so far. Even though Huxley wrote it quite some time ago, there are still many parallels to be drawn to our moderns society and its flaws. I can't wait to read Doors of Perception next.
 

xxxyyy

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books that will be read soon: (once i'm finished with mike carey - the naming of the beasts)
zack parsons - liminal states
will self - the butt
derek raymond - he died with his eyes open
david peace - occupied city (one of the most difficult crime novels i've ever encountered)
hubert selby - waiting period
 

34-dihydroxyphen

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King, Queen, Knave by Vladamir Nabokov. I've already read Mary, and didn't love it, but I'm liking this one more.

I read certain (depending on how many books they wrote) authors chronologically to see how they progress, and this is only my second Nabokov. 11 to go before I get to Lolita, with a lot of books in between (I'm not just going to read 11 Nabokov novels in a row).
 

coelophysis

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Reading George Bataille after having a fit with Bret Ellis' Rules of Attraction. I spent all day reading it and got 3/4ths of the way through before I tore the pages from the binding and proceeded to bring it outside and light it on fire. I've never hated a book so much in my entire fucking life, holy fuck.
So now I'll read some vintage smut about ladies cracking eggs in her ass while a guy rubs his face in it.

Fuck me.
 

justinsayno

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Finally getting around to reading Brave New World. I'm probably about a third through it and I love what I've read so far. Even though Huxley wrote it quite some time ago, there are still many parallels to be drawn to our moderns society and its flaws. I can't wait to read Doors of Perception next.
I can't fucking stand Huxley. You do know Brave New World started as a blueprint ? Apparently he changed his views on eugenics after WW2....but did he really ?
I kind of think the savage's struggle reflects how Huxley himself felt exasperated at being surrounded by 'inferior' people.

As for Doors of Perception, he can shove that up his cold, dead arse. He thought psychedelics should only be used by the elite. Thats even worse than prohibition IMO "we can have fun, but you just keep cleaning my pool you little oik, you wouldn't appreciate this shit"

Maybe its a class thing....Huxley just gets on me tits
 

xxxyyy

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my ex was way into batailles, and i did read the story of the eye.
how did batailles engender this violent a reaction from you? and what did you read?

also, while i generally like ellis, i absolutely loathed the adaption of the rules of attraction and subsequently never read the book.
 

xxxyyy

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do yourself a favor and just read joe abercrombie, scott lynch and steve erikson instead.
 
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