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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Luke, funny you should mention the U.N.C.L.E. books - as a kid I read the first dozen or so in the series and have recently been tempted to pick up copies on Ebay. I shied away from bidding because I didn't want to be disappointed by the content. What thrilled me at age twelve was not likely to hold up to my much older sensibilities. Your comments indicate otherwise. David McDaniel was a regular contributor to the series and I believe The Monster Wheel Affair and The Vampire Affair were two of his best.

Luke Blanchard said:
I've finished The Man From U.N.C.L.E. No.12: The Monster Wheel Affair by David McDaniel, and Taras Bulba, by Nikolai Gogol.

The U.N.C.L.E. book is an enjoyable short light thriller. Taras Bulba is a short historical novel about the fifteenth century Cossacks. They are vividly depicted as passionate, warlike, and lacking self-control. Jews are depicted antisemitically. This translation, by C.J. Hogarth, translates the revised 1842 edition.
It's a very short novel, the opening is dramatic, and the story moves briskly. The adventure is played straight, and there's an element of humour. THRUSH needs better security.
I've just finished Cavalleria Rusticana and Other Stories, by Giovanni Verga. This is a selection of Verga's stories , translated by G.H. McWilliam.

Most of the stories are concerned with rural life in Sicily (where Verga was born). A few are set elsewhere in Italy. The stories are vivid, unsentimental, and emphasise the harshness and tragedy of life. A number are concerned with sexual passion.

The title story was turned by Verga into a play, and then by others into the libretto of Mascagni's opera.
Currently a little over two-thirds of the way through The Malleus Maleficarum of Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, translated by The Reverend Montague Summers, a 15th Century Catholic witch-hunter's manual. It's interesting stuff, but it's a very dense text. There's also an introduction by the translator, in which he seems to be saying that the medieval witches were the spiritual ancestors of the Bolsheviks.
Malleus Maleficarum is commonly held to have contributed significantly to the witch craze. Summers is worth looking up at Wikipedia.
Yeah, Summers comes across as a bit of an odd bird.
I've just finished The Mind of Mr. J.G. Reeder, by Edgar Wallace.
John Carter of Mars a hardback collecting the first three Mars novels, illustrated throughout by Tom Yeates. I'm really looking forward to finally reading ERBs original Mars trilogy.
Burial in the Clouds, by Hiroyuki Agawa, a novel about a naval aviator in the Pacific War, who is transferred to a "Special Attack" (i.e., "Kamikaze") group. Agawa himself was a naval aviator during the war.
I've read four longer J.G. Reeder stories by Wallace, “The Treasure House”, “The Shadow Man”, “The Man Who Passed” and “The Guv’nor”.
I'm finishing up the Percy Jackson series with the fifth and final book: The Last Olympian. I've been reading at a really good pace in general. This is my ninth novel since the week of Thanksgiving.
I went through all three Dean Koontz's Frankenstein books in a week. I will be doing a blog post about those next week. Currently I am reading American Gods by some guy named Gaimen. It seems like I have seen him mentioned around here somewhere.

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