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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Reading Zombie Movies - The Ultimate Guide, by Glenn Kay.
The Baron said:
Reading Zombie Movies - The Ultimate Guide, by Glenn Kay.


Brains!

Crime Wave a book that collects James Ellroy's articles he did for GQ. Dunno if it all of the ones he did, since he could have done more since it came out.
I'm listening to an unabridged recording of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. I loved the movie. Really loved it. But, man, is the movie a lousy adaption of the book. There's so much that the movie has "wrong."

On the other hand, the movie has far less Harry Potter parallels than the book does. I'm still enjoying the book but there are many times when I go, "That's Harry Potter."
Following up The Protector's War with book 3: A Meeting In Corvalis... which, for some reason, I keep thinking of as A Meeting With Cornholio.

The first 100 pages are a bit of a slog.. like with The Protector's War, Stirling is very concerned about exposition, and I'm being re-told details I just read a month ago, and a couple months before that. And with this one beginning only a few months after the last book ended, there's not even really any passage-of-time issues to deal with.

Enjoying it, though -- despite it's pacing issues. (Protector's War had it's own, with the climax of the book really happening around 2/3 of the way in, followed by a looong denoument, with another battle at the end treated almost like an afterthought, with scarecly any buildup, tension-wise. (Necessarily so, since it was a surprise attack. I don't know how I'd have solved that problem, but it *was* a problem. Too much of the end of book 2 seemed to be there just to set up book 3, and not provide excitement of its own... and now I'm in book 3, and too much of it seems to be finding ways to remind me of what happened in books 1 and 2. But that should change soon enough.)
Rob said Following up The Protector's War with book 3: A Meeting In Corvalis... which, for some reason, I keep thinking of as A Meeting With Cornholio.

I need Tee Pee for my ....

doc photo said:
Just finished The Bloody Crown of Conan collection that covers Howard's middle period Conan stories. I have now read every Conan story written by REH. Sometime in the future I plan on re-reading the stories in chronological order as they occurred in Conan's life as opposed to order in which they were written.

Wow, I just picked up a complete REH collection of Conan this week.

I read most of his History of Conan's world and the first two stories in it. I presume they are in the order Howard wrote them, as the first two stories are about Conan the King. Phoenix on the Sword and the Scarlet Tower. It's a long time since I read any Howard, but I was surprised how well written the two stories were. I'll be sad if they are the only King Conan stories. There is a nice disconnect between his personality and his station in these two tales.

It contains Red Nails. Is that the novel that Howard wrote, or is it just an especially long story? If not, what's the name of the novel?

It's a nice collection. Large size, with semi-hard covers and the little ribbon place-keeper like an old book. I was also chuffed as a comics fan to see that it was illustrated by John Ridgeway, but maybe not at his full rate as they are quite sketchy. I wouldn't have matched him to Conan, but the pictures are interesting as a curiosity.

The essay on the history is full of half-baked racist ideas, concerning the purity, vitality and indomitable spirit of certain northern-originated races over other races who seem doomed to be enslaved again and again. It's a pity as he is also very insightful about how history happens in waves of invasions and empires that fall through internal pressures rather than outside causes.

Oh, and of course, like all the best people - Barack Obama, Muhammed Ali etc, Conan is Irish! At the end of the essay he says that the Cimmerians were the ancestors of the fighting Irish and Scots stock.

Figures.
Figs, Phoenix on the Sword was the first Conan story.Though it started life as a King Kull tale, Howard switched protagonists. There were however a number of stories written prior to Scarlet Citadel, so the ordering of the stories is a bit odd. The Conan novel you may be thinking of was published in paperback as Conan the Conqueror, originally titled Hour of the Dragon it is one of Howard's best. Howard had written it with hopes of breaking into the UK where there was no market for his short stories.
I'll probably read the rest of the short stories. They are certainly enjoyable. I'll treat myself to the novel if I finish them. This is the first time I've read them in the order they were published (more or less!) I've just read tower of the elephant..
Still on Conan - almost finished 'Black Colossus' even though no-one/nothing answering to that description has yet appeared in the story.

My question is - are these stories now out of copyright or something? It's just the impression I'm getting from my collection. It's a neat enough publication and publishers I've heard of, but it was obviously printed to be sold cheaply.

(The price sticker says "$29.99 - reduced to $7.99" but they aren't fooling me...)
The Conan collections published by Del Ray indicate copyright is held by Conan Properties LLC, and the Conan name is trademarked.
Rob Staeger said:
Just started reading The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon. So far, I'm enjoying this strange mix of alternative history and police procedural.

I started on this yesterday myself.
I've been reading Thomas Pynchon's novel Inherent Vice. For Pynchon, it's a relatively straightforward detective story. Still has the usual quirky characters, and a probable conspiracy behind everything. His last couple books were 1,000 page doorstops, which I didn't feel up to. But I've been enjoying this so much that I might go back and give the bigger ones a shot.

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