Discussion in 'Community' started by droideka27, Aug 31, 2005.
Rereading a few scenes from Thomas Covenant while I wait for another book to arrive.
Lucifer's Star by CT Phipps and Michael Suttkus
Far future space opera about a fighter pilot on the losing side of the big war who gets swept up in plotting and intrigues 5 years after the war. I'm seeing a little Firefly, a lot of WW2 history, and some WH40K flavoring. It wasn't awful. I sensed a lot of tonal shifts, which I choose to blame on having two writers not in perfect sync. And it seemed to be written without a lot of true comprehension of combat, or life in general. At the end I read the authors' bio blurbs; they are both professional game writers, and there was no mention of anything else in their backgrounds. I'd suggest that they step away from the games for a little while and experience life in the real world, if they want to write more realistically.
Well it was written by a JC poster, so there you go.
Finished...The Umbrella Academy Volume 1: Apocalypse Suite which was good, but not the best comic book I have ever read. I like the story, but comparing the characters with how they are portrayed on screen...the TV series makes them a lot more likeable. 3/5
Starting...The Umbrella Academy Volume 1: Dallas which has introduced Cha-Cha and Hazel, who are seen in the TV series. Only finished 2 parts so far and I like this more than volume 1 so far.
I might feel bad about naming the guilty party, but the book cover is literally his avatar. Longtime Lit poster Charlemagne19.
Rereading Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Listening to What School Could Be: Insights & Inspiration from Teachers Across America by Ted Dintersmith (narrated by Tom Perkins)
I recently finished The Ninja (1980) by Eric van Lustbader (Swedish translation, talking book version)
The Ninja is about Nicholas Linnear who is part British part Hong Kong Chinese, raised in Japan and identify himself as Japanese more than anything else. When the book starts (in USA) so is Linnear just quitting his job in advertising, he then meets a beautiful, if disturbed, woman called Justine with whom he begin a relationship with. This peaceful existence is broken by the murders of a people in the area, and the way the murders are committed indicate that the killer is most likely a ninja - something only realised by Linnear, who is a highly trained ninja himself, and some of his close friends.
Linnear then finds out that Justine is the estranged daughter of a big time business mogul who is most likely the main target of the ninja, and Linnear also begin to realise that the ninja is somebody from his past…
The Ninja is not chronologically written, it jumps back and forth from the books now to the past were we get to follow how Linnear’s parents meet, why they moved to Japan and Linnear growing up and how he begun to train in ninjutsu. There are a lot of explanations about Japan and Japanese culture all over the book since it’s an overall alien culture to early 80’s USA.
I have wanted to read this book for a long time since I saw it at my older cousin’s bookshelf and now when I have read it can I say that it’s an interesting book but not that good.
It’s overall to long: at least one third, if not more, of the flashbacks could easily have been cut and the story would have missed nothing; and the sex scenes are often too long in their descriptions if you ask me, I understand that important talk or thinking do happen before/while/after sex but you don’t need to go into so much detail since the sex itself ain’t that important.
I find the way van Lustbader discuss/present Japan and Japanese culture interesting (if for no other reason than that I have seen The Ninja among many Japan inspired RPG’s lists of recommended reading) but I’m a bit confused about how he has done his research since I have myself studied Japan (lightly) and find some of the stuff he writes to be corresponding with my own knowledge while some of the stuff are things I know to be wrong (f.ex. do he seem to believe that all geishas were/are in the sex-trade (maybe he’s confusing them with oiran?)) so I’m left wondering about how much stuff he explain about stuff I don’t know about is right.
Van Lustbader has also a tendency to present, both in the mind of the character and in the narrative text, Japanese and Western way of thinking as very different and that there are no real reference points in western culture to the Japanese way – since I can think of reference points to many of the stuff that’s presented in this way do it make it hard for me to buy it. That van Lustbader present “Western culture” as something whole instead of being made up by many different cultures is also a bit irritating, I have no problem when Japanese characters think that or even American but that Linnear, who has a British father, think that feels wrong (I would have loved if Linnear’s inner dialog at some time would have him sighting “Americans” and him not knowing if it was his British or Japanese background that made him think that). I’m also missing some explanation to why Linnear went to USA when he moved from Japan instead of UK.
End thoughts: Unless you are really into ninjas and/or how Japan is presented to readers in the 80’s so would I say that you should read the Modesty Blaise books instead, you get the same action/adventure/agent stuff but much more economically told and with more interesting characters.
I have a little less than a hundred pages left in A Game of Thrones. Decided to finally start reading the books now that the show is over.
WWWWWOOOOOWWWWWW. I did not know this. Back in the glory days of my Journey Through the EU thread we basically fought a long bloody battle about every Jude Watson book that came up. And when you're reading in the prequel era, there are a LOT of Jude Watson books. I remember having one long argument through the twenty or so books in the Jedi Apprentice series. And then we got to the Jedi Quest series and I was like, "Hey, dude, you'll be thrilled to hear that I actually like some of these!!" And he was like, "Oh, yeah, I hate that series."
Have now read the follow up book to The Ninja by Eric van Lustbader: The Miko (1984, Swedish translation, talking book version)
Nicholas Linnear now work for Justine's big business mogul father, Raphael Tomkin, and they two of them has arrived in Tokyo to discuss a fusion of one of Tomkin's smaller companies with a company belonging to a smaller keiretsu. While they are there so are people belonging to the keiretsu ritually murdered by a female ninja who is able to hide her intent from Linnear's (and other martial art masters) danger sense, and wants to bring vengeance to both the keiretsu and Linnear. Also the keiretsu involved in creating something highly hush-hush called Tenchi, something that KGB, CIA, and communist China want to know about. Beside that so is there also at least one more side plot...
I said that I found The Ninja not that good, and to me The Miko is worse. As with The Ninja so is it way to long with lots of flashbacks, many that could been cut without problem. It also has four/five different plots that needs to be braided together, you could easily have focused on only two of the plots and the reading enjoyment would not have suffered one bit; and there is to many characters, it quickly become hard do keep up with who is who.
I said in my review of The Ninja that van Lustbader "has also a tendency to present, both in the mind of the character and in the narrative text, Japanese and Western way of thinking as very different and that there are no real reference points in western culture to the Japanese way" and he dose so more in this book and there seems to be no Japanese characters who don't follow the archetype that van Lustbader present.
Nicholas Linnear now feels OP, some of the ninja stuff he dose is a bit to much, at least for somebody who is not constantly mentioned as being one of the best. He also show himself knowing Russian and being a high competent business man - who for some reason don't tell his boss, Tomkin, how to act while in Japan until after they have landed and Tomkin already have made a fool out of himself. That part really makes my wonder why he did that since we never got an explanation for that.
My last thoughts are that some of the reavelse feels a bit farfetshed to really work; and this is a book full of spies, traitors and double agents, and with least some of those so would I have wanted to know why they were working for the other side.
The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea by Yukio Mishima.
Because the publishing date was reversed I am not getting the 3rd book in the Nevernight series this month, it's coming out in Sept.
Anyway, time to move on. The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon.
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction--but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.
Act of Treason by Vince Flynn.
Can't Wait. I get the point of Shades of Grey, but it is boring me to no end. Of course that could also be because I really want to start Nursery Crimes.
Military Science of Star Wars by George Beahm. This is pretty interesting so far. Beahm, an author and former US Army Major, compares the military structure, weapons, tactics, etc to that of the US Army and does it with a bit of humor. His book covers the films from ANH to Rogue One. I don't have a military background - just what I've seen in films and read - but I'm finding it fairly easy to follow. It does help if you are at least familiar with the US Army though.
Bernard Cribbins' autobiography .
he's just told a story about how in the 1940s they still used real swords and daggers on stage , in a production of Macbeth he was in an actor was accidentally stabbed ... and died!
The Great Democracies by Winston Churchill. I was interested in the series of books of which this is the last part. I don't agree with everything, but nevertheless it is well written and very informative.
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
I decided I’m going to read GOT once Martin finishes the series.
A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly
Another Harry Bosch novel, this time including characters from Connelly's other works. It's all one big universe.
In other words, never?
Hopefully by the time you are finished reading A Dance with Dragons, GRRM will have written a second chapter of The Winds of Winter.
Pop. 1280 by Jim Thompson
Finished this. I found it interesting but it could have really used a proofreading by a Star Wars fan - one that knows the films inside out, not one who has just watched a couple of times on DVD. The biggest mistake, and it ran through the book, was that he had the Gungan battle on Naboo taking place in AOTC and not TPM. I can't speak for the accuracy of the US Army information as I'm not military. SW howlers aside, still an interesting read.