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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Jeff said:

Archer City is a place I've wanted to visit ever since moving to Texas, but I never got around to it for that very reason. Besides, even more than the movie theater, I'd want to see the pool hall, and that building is no longer standing. (In Texasville, Sonny had turned it into a video gamer arcade.) Have you ever driven through Anarene, TX (the ghost town eight miles south of Archer City)? Thalia (based on Archer City) was renamed "Anarene" for the movies (and Duane Moore was renamed Duane "Jackson").

Nah, I've never been to either one. I had to look at a map to see where Thalia was. I was always in a rush to get out west, or in a rush to get back home. I know my mom stopped at the book store in Archer City a few times.

For completion's sake, I spent most of my time at my grandpa's farm that was a couple of mile east of Rhineland, TX.

Last winter, my wife and I watched Norwegian Wood, the 2010 film based on the 1987 Haruki Murakami. novel inspired by the 1965 Beatles song.

(you may require a breather after that sentence)

I'm currently reading the novel. Even it translation, it's quite compelling.

"I had to look at a map to see where Thalia was."

I didn't even know Thalia was a real city until I Googled it just now!

(I thought it was a fictional name for Archer City.)

I love Murakami's stuff.  

JD DeLuzio said:

Last winter, my wife and I watched Norwegian Wood, the 2010 film based on the 1987 Haruki Murakami. novel inspired by the 1965 Beatles song.

(you may require a breather after that sentence)

I'm currently reading the novel. Even it translation, it's quite compelling.

DUANE'S DEPRESSED: This is the third in Larry McMurtry's series set in and around Thalia, TX. Texasville took place when Duane Moore, the central character, was 48 years old. I found myself identifying with him quite a bit. Duane's Depressed opens when Duane is 62 and takes us through two years of his life. I feel as if, in some ways, I am looking into my own future. Duane reads Thoreau's Walden and Proust's In Search of Lost Time. Although I've read Walden, I've never before read Proust, but I can honestly say I came out of the book with a greater understanding of his work than I did going in. A lot of shocking developments happened in Duane's Depressed, which wouldn't mean anything to anyone not familiar with the characters. I can hardly wait to move on to the next book in the series. 

Oh, one (or two) other things... In Texasville, McMurtry wrote in a cameo for Willie Nelson, but it was not in the movie version. In Duane's Depressed, McMurtry mentions that the longest book Duane had read prior to Proust was Lonesome Dove (also by McMurtry). 

I read the first two volumes of Proust's book, and decided that I wasn't going to live long enough to read the other five.  

Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz the latest, licensed James Bond novel. A prequel to Casino Royale, Horowitz gives his take on Bond earning his 007 ranking and his subsequent first assignment from M. Horowitz does a good job emulating the Ian Fleming writing style. The story itself has enough twists and turns to keep you reading. Recommended.

Oh, I remember reading a review of that a couple of years ago but it slipped my mind.

Thanks for the reminder to buy it!

WHEN THE LIGHT GOES: At 193 pages, this is the shortest installment of Larry McMurty's "Thalia" series. Duane's Depressed was written in three parts, each quite different in tone from the other two. When the Light Goes picks up Duane Moore's story two weeks after the end of Duane's Depressed and reads like a fourth part of the previous narrative, as different from the other three as they are from each other. (In that respect, it is the longest of the four parts.)  The early chapters serve as a summary, primarily of Duane's Depressed.

There are slight contradictions throughout (as there are with any novel series, I suppose), but it would be perfectly easy for a new reader to star here and skip the previous three (although I wouldn't necessarily recommend it). In Texasville, Duane had four kids and two grandkids; in Duane's Depressed, he had nine grandkids. I had been looking forward to seeing how the first two grandkids grew up, but they are barely mentioned. His own children's character do change and develop over the years, however. 

By When the Light Goes, most of the main characters from The Last Picture Show and Texasville are dead. As the book opens, Ruth Popper is still alive (95 years old), but Cloris Leachman (who played her in the movies) is now dead. Before the book is over, Ruth is dead, too, and Duane has had two heart attacks and triple bypass surgery. 

There was a lot of sex in Texasville, but it was mostly offscreen, so to speak. In Duane's Depressed there was less, and in When the Light Goes, when Duane is 64, there was none... up to a point. Then it becomes practically pornographic (with emphasis on the graphic). There's one more book in the series, although When the Light Goes brings the story to such a conclusion I don't where McMurtry is going to take the story from here. I'm eager to find out, though.

doc photo said:

Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz the latest, licensed James Bond novel. A prequel to Casino Royale, Horowitz gives his take on Bond earning his 007 ranking and his subsequent first assignment from M. Horowitz does a good job emulating the Ian Fleming writing style. The story itself has enough twists and turns to keep you reading. Recommended.

Has anyone here read Trigger Mortis, also by Anthiony Horowitz? Amazon's description...

"It’s 1957 and James Bond (agent 007) has only just survived his showdown with Auric Goldfinger at Fort Knox. By his side is Pussy Galore, who was with him at the end. Unknown to either of them, the USSR and the West are in a deadly struggle for technological superiority. And SMERSH is back.

"The Soviet counter-intelligence agency plans to sabotage a Grand Prix race at the most dangerous track in Europe. But it’s Bond who finds himself in the driving seat and events take an unexpected turn when he observes a suspicious meeting between SMERSH’s driver and a sinister Korean millionaire, Jai Seong Sin.

"Soon Bond is pitched into an entirely different race uncovering a plan that could bring the West to its knees.

"Welcoming back familiar faces, including M and Miss Moneypenny, international bestselling author Anthony Horowitz ticks all the boxes: speed, danger, strong women and fiendish villains, to reinvent the golden age of Bond in this brilliantly gripping adventure. Trigger Mortis is also the first James Bond novel to feature previously unseen Ian Fleming material.

"This is James Bond as Fleming imagined him."

I'm reading Silent City, the first of the Pete Fernandez mystery novels by comics editor/writer (formerly at Archie, currently at Oni) Alex Segura. It's good stuff, pulling me right along.  It's funny -- at first I found the prose unremarkable and kind of plain -- maybe because I had just finished reading noir master James M. Cain's final novel, and this is Segura's first, definitely an unfair comparison. But once I got a chapter or so in, Silent City suddenly gripped me and felt more direct and visceral, and has really propelled me through. (As opposed to The Cocktail Waitress, which I really enjoyed, but would put down for days at a time.)

Yes, I read Trigger Mortis a couple of years ago. The story picks up immediately following the events of Goldfinger. I don't remember much about the book other than Pussy Galore playing a small role in the early chapters and that a car race is a pivotal event. I believe the race sequence was based on notes from Ian Fleming. The fact that the book did not make much of an impression on me is enough of a critique.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Has anyone here read Trigger Mortis, also by Anthiony Horowitz?

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