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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ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES by Jerry Pournelle: Jerry Pournelle takes the movie and makes it his own in this novelization of the third movie in the POTA franchise. It’s a flip of Pierre Boulle’s original in some ways, but the thrust is not satire but paranoia and danger. It’s difficult to put my finger on the reason why I say so, but this novelization rises above a simple adaptation. It’s much better than the previous novelization.

It probably helps that Pournelle is from a scientific background and has written a number of s-f stories and novels. He teamed with Larry Niven for several top notch novels like The Mote in God's Eye, Footfall and Lucifer's Hammer among others.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES by Jerry Pournelle: Jerry Pournelle takes the movie and makes it his own in this novelization of the third movie in the POTA franchise. It’s a flip of Pierre Boulle’s original in some ways, but the thrust is not satire but paranoia and danger. It’s difficult to put my finger on the reason why I say so, but this novelization rises above a simple adaptation. It’s much better than the previous novelization.

ANTHONY BROWNE’S KING KONG: This is a lavishly illustrated children’s book based on the original screenplay, but borrowing certain elements from the movie version as well. Hidden in some of the paintings are images of gorilla heads, adding another level of fun for kids of all ages. It reads really well aloud, and I hope, someday, to be able to read it aloud to my two nieces I have yet to meet.

I recently finished Rage by Zygmunt Miłoszewski. A Polish crime novel, that was pretty good. Unsurprisingly a little depressing. It stars a Polish prosecutor named Teodor Szacki, who gets involved in a case when a skeleton is found in a construction site. I enjoyed the writer's line for the English translation for the book's note,"As every European crime writer knows, it's much easier to commit the perfect crime than to find a publisher in the United States."

Right now I'm reading:

THE LUFTHANSA HEIST by Henry Hill and Daniel Simone: If you remember the movie Goodfellas, this crime was an important plot point in the movie as Robert DeNiro's charter starts killing off all of the other robbers in the heist to keep the money for himself. This book goes more into the actual crime (as it was glossed over in the movie), and the ensuing investigation. I'm about halfway done and it is really good. They do admit to taking some liberties with some of the dialogue, and such, but still a good read.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Monroe: From the creator of the webcomic xkcd, The title says it all, and it is mostly pulled from Monroe's blog. ITs really good and has a lot of humor injected into it. Some examples are: "What would happen if a pitcher threw a baseball at 90% the speed of light?" and "How long could a nuclear submarine last in orbit?" Really fun and pretty educational

["What AreYou NOT Reading These Days?"]

CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES: This always happens to me. Whenever I get into a good book reading rhythm, sooner or later I come up against a book that stops me cold. Rather than abandoning it and moving on, I keep it by my chair week after week and eventually end up abandoning it anyway. I took a brief trip out of town last month, but two hour and a half long plane rides were still not quite enough for me to finish it. I’ll try to finish it off this weekend, but if not I’ll abandon it and move on.

POTA OMNIBUS: I was at the bookstore last week and saw a thick paperback titled Planet of the Apes Omnibus Vol. 2. It comprised Conquest, Battle, and the novelization of the 2001 movie. (I didn’t see it, but presumably there is a volume one which collects the Pierre Boule original, Beneath and Escape.) Nice to have if I didn’t already have the originals of the original five movies. I don’t know if I want the 2001 novelization bad enough to pay an omnibus price for it. Now that I know it exists I can scour the used books stores for it or, if necessary, resort to the internat.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES: This is the official prequel to the movie coming out July 14. It shipped this week. I’d like to finish Conquest, Battle and War by that time.

CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES: The novelization of the fourth movie is written by John Jakes, known in some circles for Brak the Barbarian but probably better known overall for the Kent Family Chronicles. The premise (that an ape revolt in a single city spread to the overthrow of the human race) is to be taken with an entire shaker of salt, but Jakes adds scenes throughout of Caesar interacting with apes more directly and even learning their language. The movie, being a visual medium, chose to show the spread of Caesar’s revolt almost telepathically. The book is only slightly more plausible than the movie, but there’s really no reason to read the book instead (or even in addition to) seeing the movie.

Since last week I’ve learned that there was a prequel and novelization for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, as well as a forthcoming POTA Omnibus 3 reprinting the four TV show adaptations, which I had long ago given up any hope of finding.

Tokyo: A Biography, by Stephen Mansfield.

Um, I'm about halfway through the Amber Chronicles vol. 2 by Roger Zelazny, which wraps up the first cycle of the Amber books. Man, I forgot how much I enjoyed this the last time I read them. 

I've also just about finished Bum Rap, a digital book I've been reading by Paul Levine. Here we have lawyer Jake Lassiter, who is like a bull in a china shop, that has been hired by another lawyer who has caught with the murder weapon of a dead Russian mob in a locked room (whoops!). Jake's cocounsel, is the defendant's partner in life and law. I've really enjoyed this, and there a re a ton of twists and turns that keeps you riveted to the story.

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