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?

Views: 12503

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Thank you, Kevin. Since I last posted to this thread, I went ahead and ordered both Trigger Mortis and Forever and a Day. The latter seems to be the place to start, i.e., before the beginning. I've read all 14 Ian Fleming novels at least three times each, and all 14 John Gardner ones at least once each. Beyond that, I have six by Raymond Benson, and one each by Sebastion Faulks, Jeffrey Deaver and William Boyd. Perhaps  after I've finished up with Larry McMurtry, these two by Anthony Horowitz will open the James Bond floodgates once again. 

 A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series (2nd ed.) by David Kalat

On another thread, I mentioned that The Lovely and The Lad gave this to me as a Father's Day gift this year.  I took it with me on vacation last week, and have been wolfing it down like candy.  It's full of interesting BTS details about the making of the films, with a film critic's eye toward what the filmmakers were intending, how well those intentions were realized, and what the finished product has to say about the "Japanese zeitgeist" at the time(s) they were made.  While Kalat doesn't shy away from being critical (duh!) when it's called for, he's clearly coming from a place of sincere affection for The Big G.

This probably isn't to everyone's taste, but if you're interested in a serious discussion of one of film's great monster/heroes, I'd happily recommend this book.

RHINO RANCH: This is the last of Larry Mc Murtry's "Thalia" or "Duane Moore" series. I bought this book when it was new in 2009 but have gotten around to reading it only now because I wanted to "read up" to it. The titular ranch is a rhino preserve, not the location of a "canned shoot" as I had feared. that still doesn't stop those who feel they have a god-given right to shoot large animals, however. the ranch starts with 15 rhinos, and grows (to 80 or so) and fluctuates over time. Competing for space on the Texas plains surrounding Thalia are a number of pop-up meth labs. 

Rhino Ranch begins place five years after the end of When the Light Goes, when Duane Moore 69 years old. Several new characters are introduced as many of the old ones have died off. Lester Marlow (Randy Quaid's character from The Last Picture Show) is still around, for the beginning of the novel at least. It's too bad that the Texasville movie was not a box office hit because I would have enjoyed seeing movie adaptations of the later books in the series. Quaid's character, in particular, developed along the same lines as the actor who portrayed him. Duane's grandson Willie, now a Rhodes Scholar, moves into a central role in this book. 

Rhino Ranch is a very quick read, most of the chapters being only a page or two in length. The book brings the series to a satisfying, and final, conclusion. 

I finished Rhino Ranch last night and started Forever and a Day this morning. 

FOREVER AND A DAY: This is the latest licensed "James Bond" novel, as doc photo noted last week, but it's not particularly recent, a fact I (re)discovered when I went to add it to my notes and discovered it was already there. It was written in 2018; I made a note of it then forgot about it. I am even more enthusiastic about it than doc was. It's very definitely a post-war espionage novel in the Fleming style. I wish I had taken note of all the turns of phrase and whatnot that were evocative of Fleming without being fannish. In Forever and a Day we get to see the "origin" if you will of many Bond motifs, most of which were already in place in Casino Royale. I've read James Bond books of this nature before, but they have always come off as gimmicky; this reads like a lost Fleming Bond. Anthony Horowitz has one distinct advantage over Fleming, however: he has 70 years of post 1950 world socio-political development to draw on. I'm looking forward to Trigger Mortis (despite doc's lukewarm reaction above).

Looking at some of my other as-yet-unread non-Fleming Bonds, Devil May Care (2008) is set in 1969, and written by Sebastian Faulks "writing as Ian Feming" according the the cover (emphasis mine); Carte Blanche (2011) by Jeffrey Deaver is an updated, post-9/11 reboot; and Solo (2013) by William Boyd is back to 1969. Boyd's introduction outlines his intention, and (from what little I've skimmed of each) his writing style seems to better emulate Fleming's than Deavers'. 

Currently reading Godzilla vs, Kong:  The Official Movie Novelization, by Greg Keyes

Glad you enjoyed Forever And A Day. I'll be interested to read your thoughts on Trigger Mortis. As to the other books, even though I prefer Bond adventures set during the Cold War, Deaver's Carte Blanche was good enough that it motivated me to check out his non-Bond work. Story-wise Carte Blanche worked but is it really a James Bond 007 novel? Seems like you could swap out the hero and still have an intense spy thriller just not a Bond book.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

FOREVER AND A DAY: This is the latest licensed "James Bond" novel, as doc photo noted last week, but it's not particularly recent, a fact I (re)discovered when I went to add it to my notes and discovered it was already there. It was written in 2018; I made a note of it then forgot about it. I am even more enthusiastic about it than doc was. It's very definitely a post-war espionage novel in the Fleming style. I wish I had taken note of all the turns of phrase and whatnot that were evocative of Fleming without being fannish. In Forever and a Day we get to see the "origin" if you will of many Bond motifs, most of which were already in place in Casino Royale. I've read James Bond books of this nature before, but they have always come off as gimmicky; this reads like a lost Fleming Bond. Anthony Horowitz has one distinct advantage over Fleming, however: he has 70 years of post 1950 world socio-political development to draw on. I'm looking forward to Trigger Mortis (despite doc's lukewarm reaction above).

Looking at some of my other as-yet-unread non-Fleming Bonds, Devil May Care (2008) is set in 1969, and written by Sebastian Faulks "writing as Ian Feming" according the the cover (emphasis mine); Carte Blanche (2011) by Jeffrey Deaver is an updated, post-9/11 reboot; and Solo (2013) by William Boyd is back to 1969. Boyd's introduction outlines his intention, and (from what little I've skimmed of each) his writing style seems to better emulate Fleming's than Deavers'. 

TRIGGER MORTIS: I liked this one as much as I did Forever and a Day, but in a different way. What I liked about F&AD was how much it seemed like an actual lost Fleming novel. I didn't quite that feeling this time, but then again Fleming's own style changed over the 13 or years he was writing them. There's no mistaking Fleming's early style with his later style, but there's also an elusive "middle" style that's more difficult to define, and with Trigger Mortis being set between Goldfinger and For Your Eyes Only, it occurs smack in the middle. 

Whereas the style is difficult to pinpoint, Anthony Horowitz has the structure down pat. the book is written in two parts ("What goes Up..." and "Must Come Down"), one of which sets up and leads directly into the other. Two of the chapters, chapter 10 in part one ("Pick a Card...") and chapter 18 in part two ("...Any Card") even complement each other. Also like Fleming, Horowitz does an excellent job of researching how a particular thing is done, be it making heroin (in F&AD) or race car driving (in TM). 

He deviates from Fleming a bit when it comes to referencing previous stories, although that's not necessarily a bad thing; it helps add a sense of continuity. Bond gets the girl at the end of every book I can think of, and fleming usually leaves readers with the impression that they will be together forever. Then he spends a bit of the first chapter of the next book explaining why it didn't work out. But in Trigger Mortis, Pussy Galore (from Goldfinger) hangs around for five full chapters. (In canon, the book which followed Goldfinger was a short story collection and Pussy's final departure was not dealt with directly.) References to previous Bond thrillers are peppered throughout Trigger Mortis, unusual for Fleming but not overdone here.

Nor is there a lack of femmes fatales (Logan Fairfax, Jeopardy Lane) or a distinctive central villain (Sin Jai-Seong, a.k.a. "Jason Sin"). If it's death traps and action you're looking for, Bond takes a harrowing ride atop a NYC subway car immediately after having been (unsuccessfully) buried alive. The plot goes from Grand Prix racing to a plot to bring down an experimental missile (or, rather, to fake it) in the heart of New York City. In some ways this is a post-9/11 plot, but set in 1959, the target is not the WTC but the Empire State Building.

Gone is Fleming's blatant casual racism... which is not to say that there is no racism in Trigger Mortis, only that is displayed by the villain and not by Bond himself. Bond's own sexism is still on display, of course, but Pussy, Logan and Jeopardy give as good as they get. 

Trigger Mortis is the last hurrah of SMERSH before being replaced in canon by SPECTRE, and I agree that Bond works best set during the Cold War. That is why I have decided not to move on to Carte Blanche at this time. I would not be unhappy if Anthony Horowitz were to write a third James Bond novel, perhaps one set after his last adventure in Fleming canon.

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

I'm about 50 pages into Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne. I just straight steal this next part from the cover, is about Quanah Parker and the rise and fall of the Comanche tribe. Very interesting so far. I really just need to sit down some time and really dive into it, otherwise it will take me forever to get through it. 

This is the second book recommended by one of the hosts of the sports talk station I listen to has recommended. He's had pretty solid picks so far.

I finally finished this today, and I thought it was great. I learned so much from this book. It was of great interest to since it deals with a lot of Texas history as well.

Basically everyone was terrible to everyone. So many of the tribes warred against each other. The Comanches kicked the Spanish butts, followed by the Mexicans, followed by the Texans, followed by the Americans. Until America got a technological advantage.

All of the treaties broken. The US broke all of them. The native tribes broke most of them.

One of the best books I've read in recent memory.

I am reading Agatha Christie's Death on the NileI never read any of her books until last year when I read Murder on the Orient Express but only after I had seen three versions of it!


You certainly enjoyed Trigger Mortis more than I did. Maybe I wasn't in the proper mood when I read it a couple of years ago. I agree that a third Horowitz book would be welcome.


Jeff of Earth-J said:

Trigger Mortis is the last hurrah of SMERSH before being replaced in canon by SPECTRE, and I agree that Bond works best set during the Cold War. That is why I have decided not to move on to Carte Blanche at this time. I would not be unhappy if Anthony Horowitz were to write a third James Bond novel, perhaps one set after his last adventure in Fleming canon.

"Maybe I wasn't in the proper mood when I read it a couple of years ago."

That can certainly make a big difference. 

Right now I'm reading "White Butterfly" by Walter Mosley. It has been a loooong time since I've read an Easy Rawlins novel. I'm happy to get back here.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Welcome!

No flame wars. No trolls. But a lot of really smart people.The Captain Comics Round Table tries to be the friendliest and most accurate comics website on the Internet.

SOME ESSENTIALS:

RULES OF THE ROUND TABLE

MODERATORS

SMILIES FOLDER

TIPS ON USING THE BOARD

FOLLOW US:

OUR COLUMNISTS:

Groups

© 2021   Captain Comics, board content ©2013 Andrew Smith   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service