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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A few days ago I finished up Brainquake by Stephen Fuller (perhaps best know for The Big Red One). Its about a bagman for the mob who breaks all of the rules for a bagman. Full of surprises, for me anyways, but definitely not a feel good book.

Not I'm reading Flecth Won by Gregory McDonald. I've never read any of the Fletch books, and so far I've enjoyed it. This was one of the later books written, but takes place when he was just a fledgling newspaper man, on the eve of his wedding. My main problem is that there are too many characters at the ready with a snarky remark. I still like it.

I'd never heard of Brainquake -- or even knew that Fuller wrote novels -- but his name's Samuel Fuller, not Stephen. I haven't seen The Big Red One yet, but judging from his film Shock Corridor, feel-good is the last thing I'd expect from him. 



The Baron said:



The Baron said:

Now reading The Early History of Rome: Books I-V of the Ab Urbe Condita, by Livy.

Finished Livy, next up is Hear the Wind Sing, by Haruki Murakami.

Finished Hear the Wind Sing. Next up is Pinball, 1973, also by Haruki Murakami.

Since last posting I've finished

The Calendar and The Terror by Edgar Wallace. They're both novelisations of plays. The first is a racing story, and the second a melodrama. Neither is worth your time.

The King is Dead by Ellery Queen. I very much disliked it. It's an impossible murder story set on a munitions magnate's private island. I found it too far-fetched.

A Taste for Honey by H.F. Heard. A bee-keeper's wife is killed by his bees. The death was really murder. This is the first of Heard's Mr Mycroft novels, and not so much a whodunit as a what-do-we-do-about-it. My Mycroft is implicitly Sherlock Holmes in his retirement. My copy is an old Penguin that changed his incognito to Bowcross, presumably for copyright reasons. The film version, The Deadly Bees (1966), turned the novel's stubborn and selfish narrator Mr Silchester into a young lady pop singer and changed the solution. It's a so-so film. Paramount has placed it online at YouTube.

 

Tales from the Galaxies, a collection of SF stories intended for children. It has a good line-up of authors, but most of the stories were abridged. The story by one of the editors (Amabel Williams-Ellis) didn't read out of place among the works by more famous authors.

 

Nightfall One, a collection of Isaac Asimov's stories. "Nightfall" is its best one.

A translation of some of La Fontaine's fables. They didn't do much for me.

Doomsday Wing by George H. Smith, a short WWIII novel which predates Dr Strangelove and has its crisis start in a similar way, except the nutter is a Russian.

 

And Great Racing Stories, edited by Dick Francis and John Welcome. My favourite story in the collection is "The Bagman's Pony" by E. de Somerville and Martin Ross, which is set in India during British rule. The narrator acquires a pony when its former owner decamps because he can't pay a bet. When he's twitted about it he bets it can trot at 12 miles an hour, and the whole of Delhi turns out to watch. Somerville and Ross are remembered for their Irish R.M. series, about the experiences of a British magistrate in Ireland. A series based on the stories starring Peter Bowles appeared in 80s.

The Deadly Bees also ended up as an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Wikipedia says Robert Bloch wrote the first version of the script, and the film used a rewritten version. The plot of the book is like the film's if you take the twist out. I suspect the twist is what the rewrite added.

Ah, crap you're right on the name. I guess I had my own brainquake. This book was originally printed in France, was finally published in the US a couple of years ago. 

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I'd never heard of Brainquake -- or even knew that Fuller wrote novels -- but his name's Samuel Fuller, not Stephen. I haven't seen The Big Red One yet, but judging from his film Shock Corridor, feel-good is the last thing I'd expect from him. 



The Baron said:



The Baron said:



The Baron said:

Now reading The Early History of Rome: Books I-V of the Ab Urbe Condita, by Livy.

Finished Livy, next up is Hear the Wind Sing, by Haruki Murakami.

Finished Hear the Wind Sing. Next up is Pinball, 1973, also by Haruki Murakami.

Finished Pinball, 1973. Now reading The Thief, by Fuminori Nakamura.

Looks like it was Hard Case Crime that picked it up. I love that publisher!

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

Ah, crap you're right on the name. I guess I had my own brainquake. This book was originally printed in France, was finally published in the US a couple of years ago. 

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I'd never heard of Brainquake -- or even knew that Fuller wrote novels -- but his name's Samuel Fuller, not Stephen. I haven't seen The Big Red One yet, but judging from his film Shock Corridor, feel-good is the last thing I'd expect from him. 

Finished The Thief, then I read Captains Courageous, by Rudyard Kiplingg. Now I'm reading volume one of Plutarch's Lives.

I'm reading Colonel Sun by Robert Markham (=Kingsley Amis), from 1968. This was the first "official" Bond novel written by someone other than Fleming. It's set me wondering if there are any outstanding books by the later continuators. Does anyone reading this have a favourite?

It's a bit soon to say how good this one is going to be, which might not bode well as I'm roughly a quarter of the way through. M has been kidnapped by agents of an Anglophile PRC interrogator based in the Greek islands.

My copy is a 1970 paperback. The Markham name is used on the cover, but the first page has quotes from a review that named him as Amis.

I read Colonel Sun after finishing all of the Fleming books. I don't remember much about it other than I was never interested in reading another non-Fleming Bond.

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