Author Which books kicked your butt?  (Read 19895 times)

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Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #210 on: April 22, 2017, 01:16:15 AM »
This sounds like a good B.S test opportunity.  Maybe say "I hope you liked Volume 5 as much as I did ... Tell me, what did you think about my favorite part: 'THE TWO EASTERN EXPEDITIONS OF STILICHO AND HIS ILLYRIC POLICY', and don't leave out any details."

(I've never read it, just copied that chapter title in.)  :D

Personally I preferred Volume I in particular The Death of Severus – Tyranny of Caracalla etc. :P

It is far too imposing for me to even try though I love Roman history. If there was an equivalent lengthy modern version, I would give it a shot .

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #211 on: April 22, 2017, 02:18:22 AM »
The Dictionary. It's pretty amazing in that it's a story told entirely in alphabetical order but at the end I still didn't really get it. It's been revised several times but it hasn't helped, IMHO.  :-\

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #212 on: April 22, 2017, 01:11:36 PM »
Someone told me to read War & Peace, so I completely ignored it.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #213 on: April 22, 2017, 01:44:36 PM »
Rhanks for clearing that up for us. I thought Joyce was master of his craft. Thank goodness we have self important fuck nuggets like yourself to keep us informed.
It was explained to me (probably by an Engllsh professor) that the best way to do it is to read them is in this order: Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, Finnegan's  Wake. Those who try to start with Finnegan are begging for trouble, I beleve. That being said, I have only read the first 3. Dubliners has some of t he best stories ever written in E glish, IMO.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #214 on: April 22, 2017, 01:47:02 PM »
This reminds me of a passage in Gravity's Rainbow, where he goes into obsessive detail about the contents of someone's desk. 

"... tiny red and brown curls of rubber eraser, pencil shavings, dried tea or coffee stains, traces of sugar and Household Milk, much cigarette ash, very fine black debris picked and flung from typewriter ribbons, decomposing library paste, broken aspirins ground to powder ... paperclips, Zippo flints, rubber bands, staples, cigarette butts and crumpled packs, stray matches, pins, nubs of pens, stubs of pencils of all colours including the hard-to-get heliotrope and raw umber, wooden coffee spoons, Thayer’s Slipper Elm Throat Lozenges sent by Slothrop’s mother, Naline, all the way from Massachusetts, bits of tape, string, chalk ... above that a layer of forgotten memoranda, empty buff ration books, phone numbers, unanswered letters, tattered sheets of carbon paper, the scribbled ukulele chords to a dozen songs ... "    (... and so on)

.... This is around where I bailed out.   ::)

Still, I want to try again.  I think there's some greatness in that novel if you can get past the more exasperating parts.

That makes me want to read it.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #215 on: April 22, 2017, 01:49:17 PM »
Yes, almost as bad as A Conspiracy of Dunces.

Sorry, I liked that one. But I like southern Gothic. Him and Donna Tartt are two of the few who come close to the great Flannery O'Connor.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #216 on: April 22, 2017, 01:52:10 PM »
That one has a bit of a rep for being difficult.  I might check it out sometime, but first have to see how I do with Pale Fire, which is on my reading list.
The only ones of his I've read are Lolita and Pnin: A Remembrance. Iiked them both.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #217 on: April 22, 2017, 01:59:45 PM »
I find King to be immensely readable.  Some of his books are intimidating in length but they are very rewarding.  The Stand being the primary example. 

Another writer I had a problem with was James Michener.  He had a tendency to start his novels at the creation of the world and goes through all of the Earth's mutations until he gets to the meat of his story.  Usually, this takes around 100-150 pages to slog through and it is quite a chore to read.  Centennial is a good example of this though I did manage to finish the book.

I loved The Stand. If you read it, you MUST read the long version. The miniseries with Gary Sinise was pretty good too.

I've never liked another King book nearly as much, though From a Buick 8 is pretty good. I'd like to read his nonfiction book on writing. I have a feeling it's pretty good.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #218 on: April 22, 2017, 02:33:29 PM »
I loved The Stand. If you read it, you MUST read the long version. The miniseries with Gary Sinise was pretty good too.

I've never liked another King book nearly as much, though From a Buick 8 is pretty good. I'd like to read his nonfiction book on writing. I have a feeling it's pretty good.

I thought he got lazy at the end of The Stand. It was riveting reading for 800 pages and then it just ended. Like he looked up one day,  saw the calendar, and realized he had to finish the book.

Still a good book though. Probably my favorite King book.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #219 on: April 22, 2017, 04:02:33 PM »
I loved The Stand. If you read it, you MUST read the long version.

I loved it. I loaned my copy to a girl I loved, and then she spilled a whole bunch of stuff on it while having sex with dozens of other guys.


Still a good book though. Probably my favorite King book.

I feel like neither of you ever read Wolves of the Calla. No, you can't borrow mine--i burned that one.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #220 on: April 22, 2017, 07:05:28 PM »
It was explained to me (probably by an Engllsh professor) that the best way to do it is to read them is in this order: Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, Finnegan's  Wake. Those who try to start with Finnegan are begging for trouble, I beleve. That being said, I have only read the first 3. Dubliners has some of t he best stories ever written in E glish, IMO.

I haven't read Dubliners but some of the characters I believe reappear in Ulysses - which I'm still working my way through (after a year or so I'm still on Chapter 8 lol). 

Sometimes for kicks I'll scan through a passage of FW.  At first it seems like gibberish but somehow you can tell there's information there.  It's almost sounds like a fairy tale told in some ancient tongue. 

One theory I heard is that Ulysses (which takes place during a single day) is about the workings of (daytime) consciousness, while FW is about the more symbolic dream-world of (nighttime) unconscious - or something like that.   :-\


Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #221 on: April 22, 2017, 11:42:55 PM »
I haven't read Dubliners but some of the characters I believe reappear in Ulysses - which I'm still working my way through (after a year or so I'm still on Chapter 8 lol). 

Sometimes for kicks I'll scan through a passage of FW.  At first it seems like gibberish but somehow you can tell there's information there.  It's almost sounds like a fairy tale told in some ancient tongue. 

One theory I heard is that Ulysses (which takes place during a single day) is about the workings of (daytime) consciousness, while FW is about the more symbolic dream-world of (nighttime) unconscious - or something like that.   :-\

One theory I heard is that FW is supposed to be music.
Buck and Stephen, the characters in Portrait, appear in Ulysses.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #222 on: April 23, 2017, 12:56:34 AM »
I have great admiration for anybody who is willing to admit that they are trying to read Ulysses.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #223 on: April 24, 2017, 02:36:50 AM »
The Exorcist. I was 13.

A Kinship With All Life. It's a small book, almost a large pamphlet, I first heard about it listening to Wayne Green on C2C AM W. Art Bell.

I've read The Art Of Talk seven times.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #224 on: April 25, 2017, 11:45:10 PM »
I have great admiration for anybody who is willing to admit that they are trying to read Ulysses.

Weird coincidence. I have passed by this thread many times. And finally decided I would stop and mention my battle with Joyce and Ulysses during my college days. Ulysses is so infamous I figured it was probably cited here many times. But felt a bit apprehensive when I saw it was noted recently by my dear friend Jack.

Being more brave than bright I decided to post anyway. I did complete the book on the third attempt. Generally understood the obvious relationship to the Odyssey. And could appreciate the main characters, follow some of the tangled storylines and make a certain sense of the stream of consciousness style. But only on the most surface level.  I would have to admit Ulysses = 1 TigerLily = 0

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #225 on: April 26, 2017, 12:54:52 AM »
...I did complete the book on the third attempt. Generally understood the obvious relationship to the Odyssey. And could appreciate the main characters, follow some of the tangled storylines and make a certain sense of the stream of consciousness style. But only on the most surface level.  I would have to admit Ulysses = 1 TigerLily = 0

No way, just tackling it is considered a win by me, my dear.  I've only gotten as far as I have due to a great podcast that's helped unravel it (mentioned earlier on this thread). 

The original Odyssey is one of my favorite works, but really it's only part of the crazy array of allegorical material referenced on multiple levels throughout the book (e.g. Irish history, Catholic symbolism, 19th century poetry, various philosophers, Shakespeare plays, etc.)  In any case I see such challenging works as a worthwhile journey even if only partially understood.  To use a skiing metaphor, I may still be on the bunny slopes, but it's still a fun ride.   :) 

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #226 on: April 26, 2017, 01:03:52 AM »
No way, just tackling it is considered a win by me, my dear.  I've only gotten as far as I have due to a great podcast that's helped unravel it (mentioned earlier on this thread). 

The original Odyssey is one of my favorite works, but really it's only part of the crazy array of allegorical material referenced on multiple levels throughout the book (e.g. Irish history, Catholic symbolism, 19th century poetry, various philosophers, Shakespeare plays, etc.)  In any case I see such challenging works as a worthwhile journey even if only partially understood.  To use a skiing metaphor, I may still be on the bunny slopes, but it's still a fun ride.   :)

Thank you for your kind words, gracious squirrel. Yes, when considering James Joyce I am definitely a snow bunny

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #227 on: April 26, 2017, 11:40:58 AM »
But felt a bit apprehensive when I saw it was noted recently by my dear friend Jack.


I have great admiration for anybody who is willing to admit that they read my notes.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #228 on: May 03, 2017, 10:44:03 PM »
Just to be clear--I probably would not have made it through Ulysses had it not been assigned for a college course.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #229 on: May 11, 2017, 05:14:46 AM »
I thought he got lazy at the end of The Stand. It was riveting reading for 800 pages and then it just ended. Like he looked up one day,  saw the calendar, and realized he had to finish the book.

Still a good book though. Probably my favorite King book.

Old post, so sorry, but are you talking about the unabridged version? The Stand was the first full-length novel I read in English; and the abridged first release was the one I read. Have you ever read Robert McCammon's Swan Song? I remember back in the day there were some drag-out fights on Usenet and BBS between which one was the better post-apoc novel.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #230 on: May 11, 2017, 06:49:42 AM »
Old post, so sorry, but are you talking about the unabridged version? The Stand was the first full-length novel I read in English; and the abridged first release was the one I read. Have you ever read Robert McCammon's Swan Song? I remember back in the day there were some drag-out fights on Usenet and BBS between which one was the better post-apoc novel.

Yes. SPOILER ALERT

As I remember it after 35 or so years, he kills off 95% of the world in the first 50 pages, tells a damn interesting tale with a lot of character development for the next 750 pages and then all of a sudden says "oh crap! I'm over 800 pages, I have to end this book". So he does. The ending to me seemed really rushed.

I have never read Swan Song.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #231 on: May 11, 2017, 07:20:52 AM »
Yes. SPOILER ALERT

As I remember it after 35 or so years, he kills off 95% of the world in the first 50 pages, tells a damn interesting tale with a lot of character development for the next 750 pages and then all of a sudden says "oh crap! I'm over 800 pages, I have to end this book". So he does. The ending to me seemed really rushed.

I have never read Swan Song.

The one that I read was the paperback that was released about 1980.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #232 on: May 12, 2017, 10:05:48 PM »
Ulysses. Fuck Ulysses.

No shit.  I've had Ulysses on Kindle for two years and am maybe 1/4 of the way through it.  I don't know whether it's the dialect or the stream of consciousness thing but it puts me to sleep in no time and I've read the tomes of the major Russian writers.  Maybe I should open up a bottle of Jameson's and try it again.

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #233 on: May 12, 2017, 11:26:33 PM »
"Hooked on Phonics" kicked my ass.

peace
Hog

Which books kicked your butt?
« Reply #234 on: May 13, 2017, 01:38:08 AM »