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Old 05-22-2021, 11:08 AM   #10441 (permalink)
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@adi that's funny, Vonnegut's style is not beautiful imo but also not bad. His sentences are short and rhythmic in a way that evokes a particular way of talking, he's one of those authors whom you feel has a strong presence, in the sense like you feel you can hear him speak.

Also I forgot to mention Invisible Cities along with In Search of Lost Time as a recent book that may end up a GOAT after time has put it into perspective for me. And if we can add poetry then Elizabeth Bishop also deserves a place in my list.

Ps @Frown, awesome that you mention Virginia Woolf, I didn't know you liked her that much
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Old 05-22-2021, 07:33 PM   #10442 (permalink)
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Wow. Who sets these stupid ques - oh. Wait.


1. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?*

Dickens, King (yeah), Pratchett, Alan Dean Foster, Dean Koontz, Michael Moorcock, David Eddings, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, Douglas Adams. I can't say Tolkien really, as I've only read the four books.

2. And your least favourite?

Roddy ****ing Doyle. **** him.

3. What is your preferred genre to read?

Fantasy (more humorous/satirical fantasy now), Science Fiction (not so much these days), some horror

4. What is/are the best book(s) you ever read?*

Interview with the Vampire, Memnoch the Devil (both Rice), Stormbringer (Moorcock), The Lord of the Rings, Mort (Pratchett), Bleak House, Les Miserables, Dark Rivers of the Heart (Koontz), Hyperion (Dan Simmons), The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

5. And the worst?*

Moby Dick. Emphasis on the last word. My god it's boring.

6. Who do you believe gets more credit than they should as an author?

In Ireland, Roddy ****ing Doyle. Otherwise I would have said Stephen King, but since I began reading him, yes he can be really awful but when he's on there's nobody can touch him. Other than that, E.L James. Writes smut and makes millions and everyone thinks she's an author. She's not a ****ing author: she's someone who was incredibly lucky and appealed to the LCD, which made her fortune. Remember, we're all pigs. Except that guy.

Same again please, when you're ready there mate!


7. What determines, generally, if you stop reading/lose interest in a book?

Whether I have a heart attack or not. Once I get bored and start idly reading on a few lines ahead, I realise it's time to stop. If I can't be bothered with what's in front of my eyes it's unlikely I'm going to be bothered about what comes after it. Also if I don't like or care about the character(s).

8. Do you have a Kindle/reader and if not, do you ever intend to get one?


I got a Kindle for Karen, but I use the app on my phone. It's free, you know.

9. How large (approximately) is your book collection (to the nearest hundred, say)

A very rough count gives me about 400 - 500, though I reckon I've sold, loaned or lost about half that over the years.

10. What is the best line you ever read in a book?

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way to the shops but that's just peanuts to space. Listen..."

(The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

"Inside every old person is a young person asking, what happened?"

(Shop! or, A Store is Born, Jasper Carrott)

The opening and closing lines in A Tale of Two Cities. The most perfect beginning and ending to any novel.

"Now that you've seen me," said the unicorn to Alice, "if you believe in me, I'll believe in you."

(Alice in Wonderland)

Probably a lot more too, but that's all I can think of at the moment.

11. What is/are your favourite non-fiction book(s)? *

Either In Plain Sight: The Life and Lies of Jimmy Saville by Dan Davies or

Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son by Gordon Burn (a biography of Peter Sutcliffe)

12. What book(s) have you never read, but would like to?*

Far too many to list

* Keep it to a maximum of ten
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Old 05-22-2021, 09:25 PM   #10443 (permalink)
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@adi that's funny, Vonnegut's style is not beautiful imo but also not bad. His sentences are short and rhythmic in a way that evokes a particular way of talking, he's one of those authors whom you feel has a strong presence, in the sense like you feel you can hear him speak.
Oh no it's not bad, it's very simple and readable, just not very beautiful.
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Old 05-24-2021, 10:20 PM   #10444 (permalink)
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1. Who is/are your favourite author(s)?

Henry Miller
Hubert Selby Jr.
Oscar Wilde

2. And your least favourite?

Bret Easton Ellis

EDIT: Actually, you know what, **** it. Nathaniel Hawthorne. I think I'd rather soak my balls in ice water (and I'm not into that) while reading Ellis's first novel than read another Hawthorne book.

3. What is your preferred genre to read?

Historical Non-fiction

4. What is/are the best book(s) you ever read?*

Tough to say. Miller's 'Tropic of Cancer', Richard Nixon's Memoirs, and perhaps Moby Dick. Can't forget Celine's 'Journey to the End of the Night' and Mailer's 'The Naked and the Dead'.

5. And the worst?*

Bret Easton Ellis's 'Less Than Zero' - and the Great Gatsby gets an honorable mention given its fanfare.

6. Who do you believe gets more credit than they should as an author?

Hemingway. Love some of his books but....come on.

7. What determines, generally, if you stop reading/lose interest in a book?

If I find it to become a chore or an obligation rather than something that genuinely feels enjoyable to do.


8. Do you have a Kindle/reader and if not, do you ever intend to get one?


I do have a Kindle, but rarely ever use it anymore. I'm more of a fan of physical books, but occasionally I'll read digital copies on a Macbook.

9. How large (approximately) is your book collection (to the nearest hundred, say)

Geez, at this point? Probably around 700 books. I've got pylons of them stacked in my closets due to lack of bookshelf space. My wife is staunchly against me getting anymore until we buy a house.

10. What is the best line you ever read in a book?

"Call me Ishmael".

11. What is/are your favourite non-fiction book(s)? *

Nixon's memoirs, Warlord: Tojo Against the World, Berg's "Wilson" biography, Idi Amin Dada: Hitler in Africa

12. What book(s) have you never read, but would like to?*

The Brothers Karamazov
War and Peace
Mein Kampf
The Holy Bible
The Quran
Gulag Archipelago
In Search of Lost Time
Bend Sinister

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Old 05-25-2021, 02:01 AM   #10445 (permalink)
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Oohh I'm interested in hearing the reasons for your Hawthorn hate, I love him.
Same for Hemingway because I feel weirdly ambivalent about him, like I mentioned I LOVE for whom the bell tolls but I was less impressed by some of his other writings, especially a farewell to arms
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Old 05-25-2021, 02:07 AM   #10446 (permalink)
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11. What is/are your favourite non-fiction book(s)? *

Nixon's memoirs
Neoliberal propaganda counts as fiction though.
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Old 05-25-2021, 03:23 AM   #10447 (permalink)
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Same for Hemingway because I feel weirdly ambivalent about him, like I mentioned I LOVE for whom the bell tolls but I was less impressed by some of his other writings, especially a farewell to arms
He definitely got better with age I think. Those first few novels (including The sun also rises) were a little awkward. Have you read A moveable feast? That one is lovely.
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Old 05-25-2021, 05:00 AM   #10448 (permalink)
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Not yet! It's on my reading list. But I feel the same, for whom the bell tolls is more well-crafted and emotionally much more mature
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Old 05-25-2021, 05:21 AM   #10449 (permalink)
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Neoliberal propaganda counts as fiction though.
Ah yes but you see, when the President writes it, it's no longer fiction.
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Old 05-25-2021, 05:25 AM   #10450 (permalink)
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I still For Whom the Bell Tolls unread on my shelf but I know it's about the Spanish Civil War and Hemingway fought the fascists in that was so is the book commie ****?
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