Official JC Book Review Club: Fiction...has moved.

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Kessel Runner, Nov 8, 2001.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    This is the companion thread to the Non-fiction book club. Here, we will exclusively discuss fiction books. There have been a few I am very anxious to discuss here, but for this thread, I will let all of you introduce the first books.


    Please go to The Amphitheatre and a new thread, to be started by Kessel Runner, to continue this discussion.
  2. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    This should be interesting :).

  3. FlamingSword Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2001
    star 6
    Yeah, now if only someone would post a book :)
  4. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Okay. May as well start with a book that got a lot of mentions in the "Best book" thread.

    1984.

    What are your thoughts on this haunting story?
  5. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Had to start with one I haven't read didn't you? ;) I'll be hanging around and getting in on this one when I have something to actually say. Good idea for a thread!
  6. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Well, in the vein of 1984, one of my absolute favorite books of all time is Brave New World.
  7. Double_Sting Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2001
    star 4
    Brave New World was a good one. Read it quite a while back in HS.
  8. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Well, specifically one of the books I wanted to discuss here was one that I just finished reading... After much procrastination, I finally got around to reading two "classics" of the geek world....The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy (all of the books) and The Hobbit.


    I thoroughly enjoyed both. I particularly enjoyed how the Hitchiker's Guide was able to play with the laws of physics in a way that introduced complex theories, but also made them funny.
  9. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I'm hoping I'll be able to read Tolkien's books after I watch the movies. I know the books are almost always better than the movies, but being a visual person, it's hard to grasp stories through writing sometimes.
  10. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    My visual nature, in terms of stories tends to do better from the reading. My mind builds the scenes very clearly. However, reading The Hobbit was an interesting amalgam of both for me. Since I have seen the trailers and know the cast of LOTR, I had certain faces popping into my head. I have red Fellowship of the Ring as well. I already have seen that my mind's eye did not match the movie entirely, but the imagery is still fairly close.
  11. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    That's definitely good :).

  12. AurraJade Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2000
    star 4
    I've just started to read Fellowship of the Ring. I'm so excited now for the movie. I see all the characters that I read just as they appear in the previews.

    I've read The Hobbit and enjoyed it. The whole mix of elves, dwarfs, etc intrigued me and I find the same fascination in LOTR.
  13. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Honestly, that was something I had trouble with at first. Since dwarves are a "real" kind of person, the imagery of a real world dwarf kept popping to mind, even though they are clearly not of that nature in the TOlkien world.
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    I've read the entire Hitchhiker's Guide series and I must say that they manage to tred a thin line between tragedy and comedy. Especially Mostly Harmless, in my opinion, the best of the series, which had an absolutely incredible ending. I remember sitting there completely blown away when I finished it. Gorgeous ending, really.

    On a related note, has anyone read the Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency books?
  15. Genghis12 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 1999
    star 6
    One of my favorite "science fiction" novels of all-time is Walter Miller's Canticle for Leibowitz. This novel is simply amazing. It mixes the best of everything - humor, Mad Max wastelands, biblical allegory - into an interesting story that can change the way you view life.

    The core essence of the novel is an examination of the meaning of faith against the backdrop of nuclear holocaust.

    A Canticle for Leibowitz is generally different from other sci-fi yarn (excepting Dune), which doesn't really deal with religion all that seriously. I'm not Catholic, btw (Catholocism and the undying nature of it is a major part of the novel) and the comparison of this novel's Catholic church in the 26th, 32nd and 38th centuries to a realistic portrayal of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages was rather interesting.

    The first section of the novel, Fiat Homo, which originally appeared in a shorter version in Fantasy and Science Fiction (April 1955), deals with the discovery by a novice, Francis Gerard, of a tomb which may or may not contain relics of his order's founder, the Blessed Leibowitz. Throughout this section the question of what Francis actually encountered in the desert and whether or not Leibowitz would be canonized a saint are used to demonstrate the strength of Francis's faith in the face of a variety of obstacles.

    Fiat Lux picks up the story five centuries later. Civilization has begun to rebuild itself from the dark period when Brother Francis made his journey to New Rome. Scholars, like Thon Taddeo, are now doing research at colleges and have some understanding of the knowledge which existed before the Deluge occurred. While Fiat Homo examined the existence of faith, Fiat Lux is more concerned with the flow of history and the inaccuracies of the study of the past. Doubt is the tool used by Thon Taddeo to discover what actually happened to the great European-American civilization which once rose and fell.

    The final section of A Canticle for Leibowitz, "Fiat Voluntas Tua," takes place in a world which has far surpassed our own technologically. Intrasystem spaceflight is reasonably common and the first interstellar colonies are being set up at Alpha Centauri. The section begins with a nuclear explosion and fears of another nuclear war, but Miller's main focus is on when, if ever, suicide is a viable option. The government has set up an euthanasia station near the monastery of St. Leibowitz and Abbot Zerchi comes into conflict with Dr. Cors over suicide. This segment becomes even more poignant in light of Miller's own death by suicide in January 1997.

    There are numerous memorable characters and issues - especially with the "Revelations" connection. Presumably, Christ returns, but because man ruined the world through nuclear war, his "virgin birth" is as a wasteland mutant growth on the back of a person. Some serious issues touched upon in all sections of the book.

    It is a rather pessimistic statement on human nature, however, that we are doomed to repeat our mistakes of the past.

    I read Miller's sequel, Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman and thought that novel blew. Just stick with A Canticle for Leibowitz.

    I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a bit of depth to their sci-fi.
  16. Gandalf the Grey Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2000
    star 6
    I'm 426 pages into Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover. When I finish it, I might post a review. So far, it's great.
  17. Valiowk Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2000
    star 6
    I haven't read 1984, but I read Animal Farm by George Orwell. Perhaps that book may provide more to talk about if we are more familiar with it?

    (Hopefully this doesn't turn into anything Literature like :) )
  18. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Animal Farm... now that's something I think has happened in the past and can happen again in the future (in reality, that is).
  19. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    Has anyone else here read the novels from a husband and wife team by the name of Gear?

    They have several novels which follow a similar formula, but which seems completely unique to them.

    The first of their books I read was The Visitant. It takes a few pages to get used to their style, but it was startling in its contrast to other novels out there. This couple are archaelogists and writers, so their books take on a unique perspective of "prehistoric suspense/murder-mystery" type subjects. What is so great about these books...especially The Visitant, is that the book is divided into two timelines which are constantly overlapping. One storyline is of an archaelogical team digging a site and trying to figure out what happened, while the other timeline is of the events as they occurred at the site in the Stone Ages.

    They tend to have a mystical/spiritual element (their stories focus on Native American tribes) and leave you wondering about the nature of spirituality. I highly recommend them.
  20. bright sith Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 1999
    star 5
    Nope, I haven't KR, sounds interesting though.

    I just read Kafka's The Metamorphosis for class recently. Definitly a riveting novel, despite its short length. The whole novel is about Gregor, a regular salesman, finding himself turned into a bug when he wakes up. Through this transformation, we are shown how others also undergo a transformation. The novel has strong undertones of existentialism, but because of Kafka's writing, it doesn't feel like one of those purly pointless novels. Take a look if you haven't already.
  21. Obi-Wan_and_only Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 27, 2001
    star 2
    Catcher in the RYe is a great book. I'd have to say one the best (If not THE best) to coem out of the US in the 20th century. I mean, EVERYONE can relate to Holden in some way. If you haven't read this one yet, go and get it form a library or something. It's a real gem. Trust me. Maurice and Daisy's the most memorable pairing from that book, for me anyway. You actually feel genuinely sorry for her. I remember A few years abck when we had to play out a scene from the book for a lit class. Our teachers first words were you Can NOT do the elevator scene :D it's a classic.
  22. Kessel Runner Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 1999
    star 6
    You haven't read a book in four years, Pizza?


    That's just sad.

    Yes, Catcher is a classic for good reason. As is Metamorphosis. Great stuff by two unique authors.
  23. JediFarfy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 4
    Wow. I've read none of those books! :D

    Has anyone here read The Enchanted Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede? Great books. Or if you want classic, how about Fahreinheit 451? That was also an amazing book.

    JediFarfy
  24. Aunt Jar Jar Mimah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 1999
    star 5
    I really enjoyed "Memoirs of a Geisha." I hear Steven Spielberg owns the rights to a movie. It would make a beautiful movie, but I'd much rather see a foreign director create it.
  25. Liz Skywalker Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2000
    star 6
    I love a Cantical for Lebovits! but one thing always bothered me. It enver even mentions how a guy with a majorly Jewish name became a saint...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.