Just bringing this discussion over to ning...

What books are you reading right now that don't have a narrative driven by images as well as words?

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"Off Season" (1981), a horror novel by Jack Ketchum -- the man Stephen King describes as a writer who scares HIM!

"Off Season" is an VERY graphic and brutal novel about a family of cannibals preying on people in the Maine woods. When it came out, it was widely regarded as the most violent novel ever published -- and that was after the original publisher dictated cuts in the most gruesome passages. (The uncensored version is now available.) It's also incredibly suspenseful and fast-paced; I read it in two sittings. Highly recommended, f you have a strong stomach.

I'm listening to Stephen King & Peter Straub's Black House -- it's a much later follow-up to their first collaboration, the Talisman, which I read in college. I'm halfway through, and it's great.

Just started "Frank: The Voice," by James Kaplin. Yet another Frank Sinatra biography, and a pretty good one so far. I'll read any book about Sinatra. I guess that's my guilty pleasure.

The Ouroboros Wave, by Jyouji Hayashi

Picked up the re-issue of Wild Cards I & read through the added stores. Very very cool. My original PB copy of WC1 has been recycled, it finally fell apart due to so many read-throughs. I hope they re-issue the rest of the original trilogy, but if not, I'm good until Fort Freak comes out.

Also, going through Green Ronin's Wild Cards RPG books again (the main rules, All-In adventure supplement & Aces & Jokers character book). I'm seriously thinking of creating my own character with this system, but we'll see.

Right now, I'm waiting for Spells & Chrome, the new Shadowrun novel to become available on Dec. 22nd, so I can order it.

I've been listening to the librivox.org version of After London by Richard Jefferies, from 1885. The book is set in England in the future, after contemporary civilisation has collapsed from unclear causes. It's a very remarkable work, especially for its period.

 

In the opening section Jefferies, writing in the person of a future historian, describes the ecological changes that overtook England after the end of civilisation, discusses theories as to the cause of the collapse, and describes the peoples of future England. The second part of the book depicts a journey undertaken by a young man from an aristocratic family through part of future England.

 

Jefferies was also a nature writer, and both parts of the novel reflect this. The descriptions of ecological change with which the book opens are particularly striking. The second part is full of imaginative details about life and customs in the future.

I just started Private Wars, Greg Rucka's 2nd Queen & Country prose novel.  As I mentioned over on the WAYR comics thread, I read the comic arc "Operation: Red Panda" over the weekend, which took place between A Gentlemen's Game (the first Q&C prose novel) and this one.  I wonder if Rucka got a lot of criticism about the previous two parts being too much "in continuity."  The first prose novel gave a very brief overview of all that had happened in the comic series, and "Operation: Red Panda" was difficult to follow if you hadn't read the preceding novel (I speak from experience, having read it both ways).  So this time there is a very thorough summary of Red Panda and Gentlemen's Game included as part of the Tara Chace "Preoperational Background" at the beginning of the book.  I don't want to spoil anything, but Tara is out of action as the story proper begins in Uzbekistan.  It will be interesting to see how she gets into the mix.

 

I enjoyed A Gentlemen's Game very much, and was impressed by Rucka's writing.  It's a 500 page novel, while the Atticus Kodiak novels average about 300 pages.  And the narrative structure is very different, adhering to a more conventional thriller structure with action taking place in several locations, with each chapter headed with the physical location and time.  But Rucka handles it as if this was how he had been writing all along.  If anything the narrative is tighter, despite the increased length.

Anime and Philosophy: Wide Eyed Wonder, edited by Josef Steiff and Tristan D. Tamplin

Luke Blanchard said:

I've been listening to the librivox.org version of After London by Richard Jefferies, from 1885. The book is set in England in the future, after contemporary civilisation has collapsed from unclear causes. It's a very remarkable work, especially for its period.

 

In the opening section Jefferies, writing in the person of a future historian, describes the ecological changes that overtook England after the end of civilisation, discusses theories as to the cause of the collapse, and describes the peoples of future England. The second part of the book depicts a journey undertaken by a young man from an aristocratic family through part of future England.

 

Jefferies was also a nature writer, and both parts of the novel reflect this. The descriptions of ecological change with which the book opens are particularly striking. The second part is full of imaginative details about life and customs in the future.



I love stories of this type. I've added this to my "To Read" list. Thanks, Luke!

Just made it through two or three chapters' worth of almost non-stop exposition in The Bourne Identity (which I've just passed the halfway point of on my audiobook). I guess half a book's worth of almost non-stop action buys Ludlum a certain leeway on that front, but man!, I hope it gets back to action now.

 

Can't remember if I mentioned on here before that I'm also reading Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me, which I'm just reading a little bit at a time to savor his stories. Birbiglia is a funny storyteller, so I don't want to rush it.

I've just finished listening to the librivox.org version of "The King of Schnorrers" by Israel Zangwill. This is a comedic book about tricky beggers in the Jewish community in late 18th century England. It's genuinely funny in parts.

 

Yesterday I listened to/read The History of Pompey the Little by Francis Coventry, a mid 18th century novel. This is ostensibly the life story of a lap dog, but really a series of satires on mid 18th century types (Pompey passes through a succession of hands). Some of the satire had me squirming, out of feeling for the characters being mocked. The novel also provides a picture of the treatment of dogs in the 18th century. It was revised for its third edition, and I think that's the version Librivox used.

Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy  - this will be the fourth time I have read the series.

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