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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Doctor Hmmm? said:
Doctor Hmmm? said:
I'm trying my hand at Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (Rhys trans.).

Once you get past the archaic English, the repetitive and (literally) formulaic jousting scenes, the "isn't this tale of Sir Goober exactly the same as the tale of Sir Doofus fifty pages back" and all the other stuff that makes this a potentially hard slog for a modern reader ... well, it's pretty addictive and not hard to see why people are still reading Mallory almost 600 years later. I'm about to start Volume 2. ("In the which Queen Guinevere giveth great good cheer unto Sir Lancelot who doth right unknightly and King Arthur wroth wood anon.")

I felt the same way about Arabian Nights when I read that back in the day. There was a lot of repetition to it, but it still had some really good, strong stories.
In anticipation of the new series on Masterpiece Mystery...I'm reading the first Wallander novel.
I got around to The Mystery of the Yellow Room because a 2003 French film version played on TV here recently. I wanted to read it without already knowing the solution to its locked room mystery, so I ended up missing the film. As it happens, it's on the station's digital channel tomorrow night, so I have another chance to catch it. I understand it moves the action to the twenties.

Malory's work was known by its printed editions - it was one of books printed by Caxton - until 1934, when a manuscript version was discovered. The manuscript presents the material as eight tales or books (e.g. "The tale of Sir Gareth of Orkney that was called Bewmaynes", "The book of Sir Tristram de Lyones") and lacks a blanket title, so its editor, Eugène Vinaver, argued that these should be understood as eight works and titled his edition The Works of Sir Thomas Malory. Reportedly Caxton's version is much shorter in the Roman War section.
I haven't read this yet, but Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception sounds interesting to me. Frequently these days I let the authors featured on The Daily Show influence my book choice. I didn't learn of this one there (I read a review of it in the paper this weekend), but I hope to see the author interviewed by Jon Stewart in the near future.
I watched that film version of Leroux's novel. It follows it pretty closey, but injects an element of goofiness into the proceedings that isn't there in the book.
I don't read that much prose fiction these days, but a few weeks ago, I read The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

I wouldn't have picked it myself, as I understood that it was probably 'harrowing' (it is!) but my wife got it based solely on McCarthy's Irish name, and raved about it so much I had to read it. Having read it, I'd have to declare - it's a masterpiece of our times! It's still going around inside my head. I'd strongly recommend it to anyone and everyone.
I'm reading Planet of the Apes Revisited by Joe Russo and Larry Landsman. It's about the making of the five movies and it has some great stories and anecdotes.
"Thinking in Systems: A Primer" by Donella H. Mead. I have always loved the concept of systems theory. Found this book on Amazon and downloaded to my Kindle.
I just finished Zero History, William Gibson's new novel. Enjoyed it very much, as usual. He always pull me right in. I would certainly recommend it to any Gibson fan (surely there must be some among this group?). Tomorrow I'll start Smoker, Rucka's 3rd Atticus Kodiak novel.
Finished Smoker on Monday. I'm a little concerned about the direction Rucka is headed with the introduction of master assassin Drama, but I liked the book. Kudos to him for breaking the pattern of ending the novel with a shocker (although Atticus finally calling Bridgett qualifies as a cliffhanger). I started Cormac McCarthy's The Road, another book I've been meaning to read for awhile. Thanks to Figs for the reminder. I'm still wrapping my head around the bleakness of it: McCarthy paints a convincing picture of a dying world, with no hope. The language is stunning, though, with poetic imagery in the midst of the most mundane scenes.
Stephen King's Pet Semetary. I enjoy King's short stories for the most part, but I'm not big fan of his novels. Half way through this one and my opinion has not changed in that regard.
Finished The Road a few days ago, and I'm still thinking about it. Haven't returned it to the library yet, because I keep picking it up and rereading bits of it. For a complete change of pace, I'm back to Rucka. Shooting At Midnight is the next Atticus Kodiak novel, sort of. It stars his P.I. girlfriend Bridgett Logan, with Atticus only appearing in the background. So far we mainly see his efforts to get back together with her, from her perspective.

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