Amph What are you reading right now?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Jon_Snow, Nov 3, 2002.

  1. DAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2004
    star 4
    I've got three chapters left in A Clash of Kings. I don't want to move on to A Storm of Swords just yet, need a little break from Westeros.

    I think I may move on to either Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter or The Ten Cent Plague. Not quite sure yet.
  2. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
  3. severian28 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2004
    star 5
    The Last Days Of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley. Excellent book, as usual from Mosley.
  4. Sara_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2000
    star 7
    The Other Boleyn Girl: I`ve read this one a few times. I usually am not a fan of this style, but it is an easy read, and interesting. I think I keep hoping for a different outcome for the main characters, but sadly it ends the same way, every time. :p
  5. Drac39 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    A compilation of works by Lenin. The man was a genius but he definitely had a neurotic streak in his writings. He is obsessed with his detractors and spends large sections going into rants about them. His "Development of Capitalism in Russia" is probably my personal choice for the best work in the compilation so far. I've read large sections of his work before and from another translator so this may affect my opinions.
  6. DAR Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2004
    star 4
    I decided to read A Princess of Mars in anticipation of the new John Carter movie. I know the buzz isn't that great on it, but I trust the director Andrew Stanton enough. Plus I do like Taylor Kitsch, Friday Night Lights proved to me that he is capable of strong work.
  7. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Re: Lenin "What Is To Be Done" is even drier.

    Reading Robert K. Massie's "Catherine the Great". I've enjoyed previous books by him, but he does have a pacing problem, and it's gotten acute. An awful slow-moving slog.
  8. Nagai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2010
    star 3
    Robocalypse by Daniel H Wilson.
  9. EBSaints Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 6
    The Stand by Stephen King
  10. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    "Popular Crime" by Bill James.

    A thoroughly entertaining assessment of real-life crime cases. Highly recommended.
  11. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
  12. King_of_Red_Lions Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2003
    star 3
    The Tin Dum by Gunter Grass

    Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

    Jingo by Terry Pratchett
  13. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Red Harvest. Dashiell Hammett is amazing. Hammett's Continental Op comes into a corrupt town at the behest of the newspaper editor, who is killed before the Op can meet with him. The Op tries to solve the murder, and ends up working to take the whole corrupt nexus of four or five factions down. The plotting is intricate and the character work is very strong. A plot thread in which the Op may have committed a murder himself while doped up and has to deal with that uncertainty is unexpected and very well done. Tremendous atmosphere and a great, iconic story.
  14. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    Agreed. I read this book several years ago in a university English class. Its a great noir mystery.

    I am currently reading The Big Roads, which tells the story of the US highway system. Also a really good book.
  15. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
  16. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Dain Curse. Hammett has achieved an interesting structure by setting up a mystery, then solving it . . . and then having the central character pulled into another mystery, and resolving that, and then finally getting a third mystery in which the Continental Op is able to put together all the threads and not only solve the final crime, but get the true solution to the first two mysteries and put everything together. It results in a story that has its fair share of disjointedness, but overall Hammett keeps the threads straight and puts together an intricate mystery full of atmosphere. The first act is probably the strongest, as the second act gets a little goofy with a cult plotline, and the third act has accumulated too many balls in the air for Hammett to juggle cleanly and relies on a heavily expository ending that's not quite satisfying. Hammett still manages to craft an entertaining, pulpy story, though, and he does fantastic character work.
  17. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Maltese Falcon. Hammett goes to third person and adopts a rather different writing style, very heavy on description, with a sort of staccato, information-overload style of scene setting.

    Spade returned to the living-room and sat on an end of the sofa, elbows on knees, cheeks in hands, looking at the floor and not at Brigid O'Shaughnessy smiling weakly at him from the armchair. His eyes were sultry. The creases between brows over his nose were deep. His nostrils moved in and out with his breathing.

    Brigid O'Shaughnessy, when it became apparent that he was not going to look up at her, stopped smiling and regarded him with growing uneasiness.

    Red rage came suddenly into his face and he began to talk in a harsh guttural voice. Holding his maddened face in his hands, glaring at the floor, he cursed Dundy for five minutes without break, cursed him obscenely, blasphemously, repetitiously, in a harsh guttural voice.


    It makes for an unusual style of prose, but it gets across a distinct atmosphere and comes across as appropriately pulpy. Hammett uses the style to build up a great protagonist in Spade. Where the Continental Op in Red Harvest was concerned about turning into a monster, Sam Spade is a monster and perfectly comfortable with it. He is cold and absolutely callous, and up-front about it, which plays perfectly into the masterful ending, where Spade puts a woman in jail even though he might love her. "Maybe I do. What of it?" is his reply. It's irrelevant; what's relevant is that he can't trust her and he doesn't want to hang himself.

    "You know," she whispered, "whether you do or not."

    "I don't. It's easy enough to be nuts about you." He looked hungrily from her hair to her feet and up to her eyes again. "But I don't know what that amounts to. Does anybody ever? But suppose I do? What of it? Maybe next month I won't. I've been through it before -- when it lasted that long. Then what? Then I'll think I played the sap. And if I did it and got sent over then I'd be sure I was the sap. Well, if I send you over I'll be sorry as hell -- I'll have some rough nights -- but that'll pass."


    Hammett has said that Spade was what every private eye in the business wanted to be, fancied himself as being -- cocky, cold, dashing in a dark way, able to get the upper hand on everybody around him. And he is, and he's a fantastically dark character, a perfect protagonist for the grim world of murder and crime. Probably my favorite aspect of that is the slant it gives to Spade's relationship with his helpful, sweet young secretary Effie, who, sweet as she is, reflects his own callousness as she dispassionately, even playfully, deals with Archer's murder and Spade's affair with Archer's wife and everything else. Something about this single young woman who still lives with her mother feeling so grown-up by dealing dispassionately with death and the big bad detective Spade really makes her character pop and resonate.

    The other characters are just as vibrant, whether it be the slimy, effeminate Cairo; the jovial but vicious Gutman; the prickly, defensive Wilmer; or the manipulative Brigid. Brigid is a great femme fatale, an alluring but completely untrustworthy crook seeking to protect herself and manipulate the protagonist; what's even better is the way Spade almost effortlessly sees through her, but keeps her around as he continues playing the situation. The others certainly aren't hurt by having seen Lorre's, Greenstreet's, and Cook's iconic performances. Nor is Spade by Bogart's. The movie happens to be pretty damn good, I guess is the point.

    The plot is deft, a mystery that neither gets out of hand nor is too easily guessed and that gives plenty of opportunities for great scenes (more of it being great character work than action) as Spade unravels what's going on. And the finale is perfect, as everyone gathers together for a shocking disappointment, and Spade is able to turn the tables, reveal a hidden truth, and then put Brigid away in a scene that's wonderfully pragmatic and ambiguous about Spade's moral sens
  18. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Star Wars: Darth Plagueis

    My positive vibe paid off. I do not like the EU, but this is written well so far just a couple chapters in.
  19. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    Cool story: I no longer read the EU, really, but I might have been willing to check this one out if it the title were, well, just about anything other than Darth Plagueis.
  20. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I understand your EU pain. I am a SW/GL baby and have been grossly offended by much of the EU. But, so far, I am pleased with this book. So far.
  21. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    I'm finally starting to read The Hunger Games. I've always wanted to even before the movie was announced, but lack of funds for hardback when it first came out prevented me and the list for borrowing it at the library is 10 pages long. Now that the movie is coming out, the books are cheaper. So far it's very good and congrats on her using 1st person effectively. Not easy to do. Already, I'm looking forward where the story is going in the next books.
  22. Marold Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2001
    star 6
    I'm currently reading Dance with Dragons. Don't laugh or make fun but yes I bought it when it came out and I've still been trying to get through it. Not a bad read but with how big the book is I have a hard time lugging it around with me so I usually get to it when I'm at home with not a whole lot to do.

    I just finished the first book in I guess a 4 part series that my friend introduced me to and the first book is Hush, Hush. Good story and plot lines about fallen angels and what have you. Seemed like a jab at the Twilight books where the girl can't stand that guy that really wants to be with her.

    I am also rereading The Hunger Games to my fiance. It's not that he can't read, he can but he's going through eye treatments that are building up to massive eye surgery in a few months. So for him to look at pages with a lot of words on them tend to give him eye strain which he's supposed to avoid and it's kind of fun to curl up and read a book to someone. Don't knock it til you try it people.
  23. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    "The Night Circus" Not finished it & it has to go back to the library...
  24. Marold Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2001
    star 6
    I just came home today with 7 more books from the library and was just notified my audio book is ready to be downloaded onto my ipod. So glad I don't sleep so I can have the time to finish everything.
  25. EBSaints Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 6
    started A Game of Thrones yesterday