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    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 22nd Apr 17, 8:30 PM
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    UncannyScot
    Lost in a good book? What are you reading?
    • #1
    • 22nd Apr 17, 8:30 PM
    Lost in a good book? What are you reading? 22nd Apr 17 at 8:30 PM
    Quite simple, probably been done or tried before...
    MSE Readers' Club

    What are you currently reading?

    Favourite authors and genres etc

    A wee place to talk about books...
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
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    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 12th Sep 18, 9:52 PM
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    dustydigger
    I dont enjoy ''unreliable narrator'' books,which seem all the rage at the moment. I tend to want to like the protagonist,identify with them,follow them through dangers to triumph in the end. I wouldnt want to be some of the heroes of today's books,sometimes they are little better than the villains IMO

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    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 12th Sep 18, 10:32 PM
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    onlyroz
    I dont enjoy ''unreliable narrator'' books,which seem all the rage at the moment. I tend to want to like the protagonist,identify with them,follow them through dangers to triumph in the end. I wouldnt want to be some of the heroes of today's books,sometimes they are little better than the villains IMO
    Originally posted by dustydigger
    When done well, unreliable narrators can be stunning. It's not just the narrator outright lying - sometimes they misunderstand events, or simply view them from another angle.

    Perhaps I can put in a shameless plug for my own multi-viewpoint novel...

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fair-Play-Mystery-Rosemary-Chandler/dp/1481199110/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536787925&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=fair+play+a+myst ery+story&dpPl=1&dpID=41dbFV0K1bL&ref=plSrch
    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 13th Sep 18, 10:20 AM
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    • 2,318 Thanks
    dustydigger
    Hi Roz,your book looks fun and interesting.I admire anyone who can write,I have totally zero skills in that direction! It must be so satisfying seeing your work in print.
    I have nothing against multiple viewpoint stories at all,its a valid way of storytelling. And I dont mind the ''Rashomon Effect' (I read Rashomon after seeing the film,and it helped me to understand Kurosawa's brilliant film even more.Wow,that brings back memories I remember being riveted to a whole series of Kurosawa's films,with the fantastic Toshiro Mifune.Hadnt a clue what was going on most of the time,but it was so riveting and visually stunning.Rashomon,Ran,Throne of Blood,Seven Samurai. Wonderful if very gory stuff)No, its not so much unreliable,sometimes even downright lying,narrators in general I dont like,its the way everyone jumps on the bandwagon when someone finds a new twist in crime fiction. Soon it all becomes a bit ho-hum when almost every book uses the same twist.Since I tend to identify strongly with a protagonist I dont like being a liar,cheat,murderer or psychopath!
    Brings back memories of one of the most famous unreliable narrators in all crime fiction history,in Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger AckroydThats at least 80 years but it caused a real outcry at the time,that it wasnt ''fair play''.
    It happens again and again. When Thomas Harris published his stunning Silence of the Lambs,every book for the next 10 years seemed to be about serial killers. A myriad authors jumped on the bandwagon,and as each tried to find new angles on the formula they became more and more outre and violent.
    When Terry Brooks did a LOTR knockoff with the Shannara books,it started a whole new subgenre still going strong today,
    Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire started off the whole vampire subgenre also still going strong.In fact it spread out to embrace werewolves,demons,sirens,angels and a hos of other supernatural creatures.None of these writers was doing anything really new but they caught the imagination of readers at the time,and then the publishers,as ever set out to milk them as long as possible

    There's nothing new under the sun!

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    • colinw
    • By colinw 13th Sep 18, 1:11 PM
    • 53,897 Posts
    • 149,017 Thanks
    colinw
    The Singing Line about the building of the telegraph line from Adelaide up to Darwin by Alice Thomson, been reading it since 2009, about half way through it
    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 13th Sep 18, 2:04 PM
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    • 2,318 Thanks
    dustydigger
    I just finished Jacqueline Winspear's An Elegy for Eddie,book 8 in the series about Maisie Dobbs,a private investigator in the 1930s. I have often felt frustrated by this series as we rarely really got inside Maisie's head,only saw her from the outside. This time we did go deeper into her thoughts. The book is winding down on one story arc,the rest of the series sees her changing her life,and moving forward to WWII time period and topics,and I dont fancy that at all,so I think its goodbye to Maisie!
    Trying to spend as much time as possible finishing an Andre Norton novel,required by another reader. I make my friends laugh when I say I must have a book stalker,because I am forever rushing to finish a book because someone wants it.OK,understandable if its a popular book,but in one case I ordered a book from the library by an obscure author,simply because I needed a cover with an item on it for a challenge. I got the book,found it was from the library stockroom and hadnt been issued for 6 years. Yet within days someone ordered it!

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    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 13th Sep 18, 4:19 PM
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    dustydigger
    Currently reading Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly and have raced through this one in a couple of days. It's really entertaining so far.
    Originally posted by Locky

    I havent got round to reading any of Daly's books yet,they look very tense and gripping,probably too tense for my nerves these days.
    From what I gather she writes ''domestic suspense'',about some very flawed characters.which looks very far away from ''cozies''Intend to try one of her books next year,in a section of a challenge to read one book each by 12 new to me crime writers.
    Enjoy your read,but dont chew your nails down to the quick!

    SPC 2019 # 012 -
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    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 13th Sep 18, 10:38 PM
    • 14,672 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    onlyroz
    Hi Roz,your book looks fun and interesting.I admire anyone who can write,I have totally zero skills in that direction! It must be so satisfying seeing your work in print.
    I have nothing against multiple viewpoint stories at all,its a valid way of storytelling. And I dont mind the ''Rashomon Effect' (I read Rashomon after seeing the film,and it helped me to understand Kurosawa's brilliant film even more.Wow,that brings back memories I remember being riveted to a whole series of Kurosawa's films,with the fantastic Toshiro Mifune.Hadnt a clue what was going on most of the time,but it was so riveting and visually stunning.Rashomon,Ran,Throne of Blood,Seven Samurai. Wonderful if very gory stuff)No, its not so much unreliable,sometimes even downright lying,narrators in general I dont like,its the way everyone jumps on the bandwagon when someone finds a new twist in crime fiction. Soon it all becomes a bit ho-hum when almost every book uses the same twist.Since I tend to identify strongly with a protagonist I dont like being a liar,cheat,murderer or psychopath!
    Brings back memories of one of the most famous unreliable narrators in all crime fiction history,in Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger AckroydThats at least 80 years but it caused a real outcry at the time,that it wasnt ''fair play''.
    It happens again and again. When Thomas Harris published his stunning Silence of the Lambs,every book for the next 10 years seemed to be about serial killers. A myriad authors jumped on the bandwagon,and as each tried to find new angles on the formula they became more and more outre and violent.
    When Terry Brooks did a LOTR knockoff with the Shannara books,it started a whole new subgenre still going strong today,
    Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire started off the whole vampire subgenre also still going strong.In fact it spread out to embrace werewolves,demons,sirens,angels and a hos of other supernatural creatures.None of these writers was doing anything really new but they caught the imagination of readers at the time,and then the publishers,as ever set out to milk them as long as possible

    There's nothing new under the sun!
    Originally posted by dustydigger
    Was Interview with a Vampire before or after Salem's Lot? (I'm too lazy to look it up). Either way surely they were both influenced by Bram Stoker? I don't think there's necessarily a problem with popular themes. Eg today it's vampires but the True Blood and Rivers of London series are great. All right Twilight is a bit sh*t but at least they got the teens reading again. A few decades ago it was serial killers and we now have Kay Scarpetta etc etc.

    As for my own book, it was a lot of fun to write but I doubt I can retire on the few sales I've had. And self publishing is a doddle these days - but on the other hand we now have self published phenomenon like Andy Weir and Hugh Howey (and yes 50 Shades of Grey but again it's better that people read sh*t than the Daily Mail).

    PS I've just started a Jo Nesbo. The Redbreast, which I think was his first to be translated into English.

    PPS Wyllard's Weird is promising. The narrator is awful - very amateurish and keeps stumbling over the words - but the story is good. A girl has fallen from the train between Plymouth and Bodmin, and we are not sure if she jumped, fell or was pushed. Victorian sensationalism at its best.
    Last edited by onlyroz; 13-09-2018 at 10:45 PM.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 13th Sep 18, 11:26 PM
    • 17,693 Posts
    • 31,273 Thanks
    Ames
    Was Interview with a Vampire before or after Salem's Lot? (I'm too lazy to look it up). Either way surely they were both influenced by Bram Stoker? I don't think there's necessarily a problem with popular themes. Eg today it's vampires but the True Blood and Rivers of London series are great. All right Twilight is a bit sh*t but at least they got the teens reading again. A few decades ago it was serial killers and we now have Kay Scarpetta etc etc.

    As for my own book, it was a lot of fun to write but I doubt I can retire on the few sales I've had. And self publishing is a doddle these days - but on the other hand we now have self published phenomenon like Andy Weir and Hugh Howey (and yes 50 Shades of Grey but again it's better that people read sh*t than the Daily Mail).

    PS I've just started a Jo Nesbo. The Redbreast, which I think was his first to be translated into English.

    PPS Wyllard's Weird is promising. The narrator is awful - very amateurish and keeps stumbling over the words - but the story is good. A girl has fallen from the train between Plymouth and Bodmin, and we are not sure if she jumped, fell or was pushed. Victorian sensationalism at its best.
    Originally posted by onlyroz
    Just a quickie because I'm on my tablet but you might want to put down The Redbreast - it was the first translated but it's not the first chronologically. I think I started with that then switched to reading them in the 'right' order but got a bit confused. I think I managed to miss one out.

    The orders important because a couple of books in there starts being an overarching storyline which runs through the series and I don't think it would make sense if you read them out of order. Plus they won't be as enjoyable when later books have spoiled the earlier ones.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • onlyroz
    • By onlyroz 14th Sep 18, 9:13 AM
    • 14,672 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    onlyroz
    Just a quickie because I'm on my tablet but you might want to put down The Redbreast - it was the first translated but it's not the first chronologically. I think I started with that then switched to reading them in the 'right' order but got a bit confused. I think I managed to miss one out.

    The orders important because a couple of books in there starts being an overarching storyline which runs through the series and I don't think it would make sense if you read them out of order. Plus they won't be as enjoyable when later books have spoiled the earlier ones.
    Originally posted by Ames
    Yes I have read the first two Nesbos. The Bat and Cockroaches I think. I enjoyed them but I think that the later ones are better regarded. I like that this one is set in Norway.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 14th Sep 18, 10:53 AM
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    • 31,273 Thanks
    Ames
    Yes I have read the first two Nesbos. The Bat and Cockroaches I think. I enjoyed them but I think that the later ones are better regarded. I like that this one is set in Norway.
    Originally posted by onlyroz
    Ah, sorry I misunderstood and thought you were completely new to them and reading them in translation order.

    I do like the Norway ones better, and the fact they follow on from each other. Although I've read, I think, three of them and I'm starting to think it's getting stale and want it to be resolved.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 14th Sep 18, 10:12 PM
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    • 2,318 Thanks
    dustydigger
    Had a very enjoyable time reading Andre Norton Moon of Three Rings Exciting and rather unusual. Judith Tarr did a great review on Tor's ''reread'' series.I love Judith Tarr and Jo Walton's reviews,we seem to have similar tastes in many respects.
    check out https://www.tor.com/2017/02/27/spaceships-and-magic-andre-nortons-moon-of-three-rings/

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    • Ames
    • By Ames 14th Sep 18, 10:32 PM
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    • 31,273 Thanks
    Ames
    I dont enjoy ''unreliable narrator'' books,which seem all the rage at the moment. I tend to want to like the protagonist,identify with them,follow them through dangers to triumph in the end. I wouldnt want to be some of the heroes of today's books,sometimes they are little better than the villains IMO
    Originally posted by dustydigger
    Ah, no I love a good unreliable narrator! When you're always on your toes and not sure if you can trust anything. The big reveal at the end when everything's turned on it's head.

    The key word in the above paragraph though is 'good'. It can be done really badly.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 14th Sep 18, 10:35 PM
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    • 31,273 Thanks
    Ames
    I'm watching the first episode of 'A Discovery of Witches', it's ages since I read the book so I can't remember how accurately it's sticking to the storyline, but I think it's being done a bit too Twilighty - lots of brooding vampire, and ditsy young woman (even though she's supposed to be an Oxford Professor).
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • Lucifa73
    • By Lucifa73 17th Sep 18, 1:56 PM
    • 7,467 Posts
    • 9,699 Thanks
    Lucifa73
    I'm watching the first episode of 'A Discovery of Witches', it's ages since I read the book so I can't remember how accurately it's sticking to the storyline, but I think it's being done a bit too Twilighty - lots of brooding vampire, and ditsy young woman (even though she's supposed to be an Oxford Professor).
    Originally posted by Ames

    I have just finished listening to the last of the trilogy. What channel is the show on? I'd be interested to see how they have done it (it could not possibly be any worse than the attempt to make the Shannara world into a TV show...). Hmmm - the narrator of the audiobook was pretty good at accents (her Scottish was a bit ropey and strayed into Irish/Welsh in places but she had a good go!) - I wonder if the actors sounding different will bother me...
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    • Ames
    • By Ames 17th Sep 18, 5:05 PM
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    • 31,273 Thanks
    Ames
    I have just finished listening to the last of the trilogy. What channel is the show on? I'd be interested to see how they have done it (it could not possibly be any worse than the attempt to make the Shannara world into a TV show...). Hmmm - the narrator of the audiobook was pretty good at accents (her Scottish was a bit ropey and strayed into Irish/Welsh in places but she had a good go!) - I wonder if the actors sounding different will bother me...
    Originally posted by Lucifa73
    I watched it on Now TV so it's on one of the sky channels. Maybe Sky 1?
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 18th Sep 18, 8:14 PM
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    • 2,318 Thanks
    dustydigger
    Just completed Nicci French's excellent 4th outing for her Frieda Klein character,Thursday's Children.


    blurb : ''Frieda Klein is uninterested in catching up on old times when her former classmate, Maddie Capel, shows up at her door - until she hears about Maddie's troubled daughter, Becky. The teenager claims she was raped in her own bed one night while her mother was downstairs. Her assailant left her with a warning: "Don't think of telling anyone, sweetheart. Nobody will believe you." And no one does - except Frieda.
    Becky's story awakens dark memories of an eerily similar incident in Frieda's own past that she's been avoiding for decades. When Becky is found hanging from a beam in her bedroom, Frieda returns home, seeking out her old high school friends to ask what they remember about the night that prompted Frieda to leave town for good. But confronting the ghosts of the past turns out to be more dangerous than she ever expected.''

    I found this the most riveting of the series so far,dark,gripping and atmospheric,as we learn much more about the rather enigmatic Frieda
    Recommended.

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    • Lucifa73
    • By Lucifa73 19th Sep 18, 8:45 AM
    • 7,467 Posts
    • 9,699 Thanks
    Lucifa73
    I watched it on Now TV so it's on one of the sky channels. Maybe Sky 1?
    Originally posted by Ames
    Caught the first episode last night. It shows potential although I did find the vamp eyes a little freaky. I also found the change in introduction of Marcus a little odd. The casting of Alex Kingston as the aunt is perfect!
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    • pollypenny
    • By pollypenny 19th Sep 18, 10:06 AM
    • 25,122 Posts
    • 65,772 Thanks
    pollypenny
    Ah, no I love a good unreliable narrator! When you're always on your toes and not sure if you can trust anything. The big reveal at the end when everything's turned on it's head.

    The key word in the above paragraph though is 'good'. It can be done really badly.
    Originally posted by Ames


    Me, too.

    The best is when the narrator is ostensibly honest, but the reader can see that his pov blinkers him. Remains of the Day is a good example of that.

    I love Jo Nesbo and thrillers in general, although some tend to blend into a mush in my memory.

    Anyone read Camilla Lackberg? Her books are set in rural Sweden and follow a writer, with a detective boyfriend, later husband. The Ice Princess is one.
    Last edited by pollypenny; 19-09-2018 at 10:09 AM.
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 19th Sep 18, 11:06 AM
    • 684 Posts
    • 2,318 Thanks
    dustydigger
    Me, too.

    I love Jo Nesbo and thrillers in general, although some tend to blend into a mush in my memory.

    Anyone read Camilla Lackberg? Her books are set in rural Sweden and follow a writer, with a detective boyfriend, later husband. The Ice Princess is one.
    Originally posted by pollypenny
    The Ice Princess is the only one of her books I have read. A few years ago I think I binged too much on nordic crime - Henning Mankell,Jo Nesbo,Yrsa Sigurdadottir,Arnoldur Indridason,Sjowall and Wahloo,Stieg Larrson,Jussi Adler-Olsen to name quite a few!
    Dark,stark,gritty and atmospheric,but I think thats where I picked up my recent aversion to depressing crime novels full of equally dark characters.I need lighter stuff to improve my mood!

    Havent read any nordic crime at all this year,though I just got Maj Sjowall/Per Wahloo's The Locked Room from the library, book 8/10 of the Martin Beck series. I hope to finish the series early next year.
    The only nordic stuff I've read this year are Astrid Lindgren's Pippi Longstocking stories,and some Tove Jansson Moomin rereads. Also I read her The Summer Book,a masterpiece IMO.On an island in the Gulf of Finland, a small girl and her grandmother, with seventy years between them, argue, dream, and explore together their island. Probably my best read of the year.
    But no crime. Maybe I can dip a toe in the (freezing,of course) waters again next year. Asa Larsson looks interesting,and maybe Hakan Nesser - but no bingeing,all that nordic angst and darkness makes me depressed!

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    • dustydigger
    • By dustydigger 19th Sep 18, 11:45 AM
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    dustydigger
    Finished the Junior fiction segment of my 12x12 challenge for this year
    Junior classics - completed
    1. Ludwig Bemelmans - The Madeline Books
    2. Enid Blyton - First Term at Malory Towers
    3. Enid Blyton - Five Go Adventuring Again
    4. Jan Brett - Town Mouse,Country Mouse/The Mitten/Gingerbread Baby
    5. Meindert DeJong - The Wheel on the School
    6. E T A Hoffman - The Nutcracker and the Mouseking
    7. Tove Jansson - The Moomins and the Great Flood
    8. Andrew Lang - Yellow Fairy Book
    9. Salman Rushdie - Haroun and the Sea of Stories
    10. Noel Streatfeild - Ballet Shoes
    11.T H White - Mistress Masham's Repose
    12. Oscar Wilde - The Canterville Ghost


    Already thinking about next years list. I may choose books from the Newbury Medal lists,not sure yet.

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