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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The Baron said:

Now reading:  The Making of the Atomic Bomb, by Richard Rhodes


Otorimonogatari: Decoy Tale, by Nisioisin

Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon 2, by Hirukuma

Now Reading: A Treatise on Tolerance, and Other Writings, by Voltaire

Read Steven Pinker's Enlightenment Now and took part in a discussion of the book last Saturday.

I've been making my way through Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series. I'm currently on the third book With a Tangled Skein which deals with Fate. I never had all of the books, not I have all but the last one, but that was published like 17 years after the first books came out, so I don't consider it part of the main series. 

I've also done some spot reading of Sparring with Gil Kane which is a collection of interviews he did.

Finally, I'm also reading Moving Day by Jonathan Stone. It is the story of a 72 year old man who is robbed by a con man, and his quest to get his belongings back. 

Now reading The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce's Ulysses, by Kevin Birmingham.

Malone's Jefferson: The Virginian.  This set has been sitting on my bookshelf for ... jeez, 25 years?

I recently read Charles Soule's first novel, The Oracle Year, which I really enjoyed. I recommend it.

Now I'm reading Stephen King's 11/22/63, which I've had on my Kindle for years. At about a third of the way in I'm enjoying it very much.

BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES: About a year ago, I was working my way through “Planet of the Apes” book/movie parings one book/movie at a time. Then I got to Battle and stopped cold. Well, not completely “cold”; I tried twice before and got about 1/3 way into before abandoning it. That’s odd because, being written by David Gerrold, it was the one I was looking forward to most. Unfortunately, the book hues pretty closely to the movie, my least favorite of the original five.

In the weeks to come, I plan to read the Battle comic book adaptation (which was adapted from an earlier, better, shooting script), but there are some other POTA-related things I plan to read in the meantime. Regarding the movie and the novelization, read the paperback, skip the movie.

Currently reading Collected Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

THE PRISONER by Thomas M. Disch:

After re-watching the TV series, I thought I’d delve into this novel based on it… again. Yes, I’ve started it twice before, but never finished it. The first time I got about ¾ through, the second time about half. I find Disch’s writing style nearly impenetrable. Maybe it’s supposed to be that way. As I read, details of my previous attempts came back to me. First, the differences between the prose novel and the TV are quite striking. (For example, the titular “Prisoner” arrives in the Village by train. there are other discrepancies and other seeming contradictions as well.) If the novel had come first, such differences would be expected, but the novel is based on the TV show, not vice versa.

Then I came to realize this is not an adaptation of the TV series; it is a sequel to it. Then I remembered coming to that conclusion when I read it before. The Prisoner arrives in the Village again (?), with all (or most) memory of his first visit (the TV show) wiped from his mind. Did he escape before? Or have the memories of his recent time in London been implanted somehow?

He goes through the motions of acquainting himself with village life. He makes an escape attempt and succeeds, only to find out the escape was all in his mind. He meets another prisoner and must decide whether or not to trust her. Between them, they arrange an escape for her (to prove he is not working for “them”). The escape involved turning a deflated “Rover” into a hot air balloon and launching it during a performance of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. In a twist, Number Two turns the tables on both of them and he escapes!

Then #6 becomes #2. At this point, I began to wonder whether or not I truly wanted Disch to reveal who is running the Village. It’s perfectly obvious to me Patrick McGoohan himself didn’t know (or care); that wasn’t what his “allegory” was about. But I have my answer that work for me. Did I really want that contradicted in print?

Then Disch did reveal who #1 is, and I remembered I had finished this book once before. I had simply repressed my memory of the ending. I can’t really recommend this book, even to fans of the TV show. I can recommend the Big Finish audio series, though, which is scheduled to conclude in May of 2019. Now I have to ask myself again: Do I really want to know who is running the Village and “Who is Number One?”?

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

I decided to take a little break from Piers Anthony and just finished reading The Little Sister by Raymond Chandler. Its been a while since I've read any Chandler, and it was a fun little diversion. Marlowe is hired by a Midwestern girl to find her brother, and gets involved with gangsters and Hollywood. A recipe for disaster to be sure.

I'm almost finished with the Executed by R R Haywood, which is the second book of the "Extracted" trilogy. This is a really good time travel story. Although it does make your head hurt sometimes. This book had a surprising death (to me), and something so obvious to me happens, I thought the character who didn't see it coming must be really dumb. I already bought the third book, and can't wait to finish it. I bought it digitally on Amazon.

I am also now back to Piers Anthony's "Incarnations of Immortality" series, and just begun Wielding a Red Sword which deals with the incarnation of War

It's October, so I'm back to my annual Halloween-oriented reading.  Currently working on:

  • The Vampire in Lore and Legend by Montague Summers.  Summers may (or may not) have been a Catholic priest.  He was definitely either a well-read and eccentric crank, or a very committed hoaxster.
  • Dracula's Guest, a collection of Victorian era vampire stories.  The collection includes the first chapter of Rymer's Varney the Vampyre, which is now on my "must read" list.  It's so over the top -- grandly putting the dreadful in penny dreadful -- that it's an absolute hoot (although I'm guessing best in small doses).
  • H.P. Lovecraft's Book of Horror, a collection of short stories referenced by Lovecraft in his essay "Supernatural Horror in Literature" (which is also included).

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