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Last Book You Read and Rate It (Part II)

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Old
03-02-2012, 11:33 AM
  #101
kihei
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Originally Posted by hototogisu View Post
The Sunset Limited, Cormac McCarthy: 7.5/10
A play (more accurately, a conversation) between two men, Black and White, this zips along at a pace alien to most McCarthy works (I finished it in one morning on the way to work). It deals with themes that turn up frequently in McCarthy's work - mainly religious and existential dilemmas. It may not pack the punch most of his work does, but it's a gripping and easy read.
Haven't read or seen the play, but there is a (well, seemingly) decent film adaptation with Samuel L Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones. It pales badly in comparison with something like Beckett's Waiting for Godot, and I found it static as it sort of paints itself into a theological corner, make that two corners. But the acting is very good.

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03-02-2012, 11:37 AM
  #102
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Originally Posted by kihei View Post
Haven't read or seen the play, but there is a (well, seemingly) decent film adaptation with Samuel L Jackson and Tommy Lee Jones. It pales badly in comparison with something like Beckett's Waiting for Godot, and I found it static as it sort of paints itself into a theological corner, make that two corners. But the acting is very good.
The movie must be idential to the play which must be identical to the book...but even so, I downloaded the movie a while ago and I'll try to get around to watching it shortly.

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03-03-2012, 01:18 AM
  #103
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The Hunger Games: 8.5/10
Catching Fire: 9/10
Mockingjay: 7.5/10


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03-03-2012, 03:49 PM
  #104
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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I wrote about a month ago about having just started reading this and finding its language (sentence fragments, run on sentences and lack of punctuation, among other things) incredibly maddening. Well, the thought bugged me that I wouldn't really be able to rant effectively about the novel having read only the first 15 pages, so I went back and read it until I finished it. What I discovered, surprisingly, is that the language is only the half of it.

The other half is that there is no plot. Seriously, this is the thinnest plot that I've ever read. There's more plot in every 20-page-long Sherlock Holmes story than there is in this 287-page novel and that's not even a joke. It reads like the diary of a hobo: we get a description of how he felt upon waking in the morning, an account of the trash that he rummaged through that day and his thoughts on how he felt as he went to sleep. This goes on day after day for about 50 pages; then, something minor happens that makes the day a little different than most days and, 3-4 pages later, it's back to the same-ol-same-ol routine as though nothing ever happened for the next 50 pages. It goes like this for pretty much the entire book. The last few pages deviate slightly, but that's it.

Basically, IMO, this is your typical "artsy" book that poet and book club types praise as being a "masterpiece" when it's really just a plot-less mess of style and symbolism. The "style" is really just abandoning almost every rule of grammar, for which the author has gotten praise, rather than criticism. The symbolism is neither original nor subtle... ex. "the road" symbolizing the journey of life. Too easy, almost amateurish use of symbolism, right? If you agree, "The Road" definitely isn't for you. If you don't agree and, instead, feel that that's deep, however, "The Road" probably is for you. Anyways, this clearly wasn't for me. I don't have a very high opinion of the author's writing skills after this, but my beef is more with the people who have called this a masterpiece and made it a Pulitzer Prize winner. That's the prize that Gone With the Wind (the novel before it was made into a movie) won and to think that it's now going to novels like The Road really just makes me shake my head.

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One Corpse Too Many, by Ellis Peters: a very reliable detective series this, set in 12th century England and with a sleuthing Benedictine monk named Brother Cadfael. When Cadfael has been asked to supervise the burial of 94 loyalists who have been hanged, he notices that there are actually 95 bodies awaiting burial. This slight discrepancy doesn't bother anybody else, but it certainly bothers the good brother, who takes it upon himself to find out what is going on. Great premise and a well-executed mystery. One of the bonuses in this series is that you learn a lot about the so-called Dark Ages. Entertaining reading.
Awesome. I'm a big fan of The Name of the Rose and have always wished for more like it (mysteries set in the middle ages). This sounds right up my alley. Thanks. EDIT: Oh, wow... there are 20 books in the series. That should certainly give me lots of reading. Also, it looks like 13 of the books were adapted to British television (and carried by PBS over here) in the 90s. They're all on DVD and Netflix instant streaming. That gives me even more incentive to check out the books.


Last edited by Osprey: 03-04-2012 at 04:21 PM.
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03-03-2012, 04:01 PM
  #105
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Awesome. I'm a big fan of The Name of the Rose and have always wished for more like it (mysteries set in the middle ages). This sounds right up my alley. Thanks. EDIT: Oh, wow... there are 20 books in the series. That should certainly give me lots of reading. Also, it looks like 13 of the books were adapted to British television (and carried by PBS over here) in the 90s. They're all on DVD and Netflix instant streaming. That gives me even more incentive to check out the books.
The novels in the series are nowhere near in the same class as The Name of the Rose, but they are amiable page turners, lightweight but well executed. I've seen a few of the series on late night TV over the years. Derek Jacoby, an excellent actor more known for his Shakespeare roles, is marvelous as Brother Cadfael, and the series is a total delight.

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03-04-2012, 06:45 AM
  #106
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Just finishing Tai Pan, and it's awesome. 9/10.

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03-04-2012, 02:37 PM
  #107
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9/10

Outstanding. He was always one of my favorite tennis players, but he may #1 after this. One of the most engaging autobiographys I have ever read.

And it just makes you appreciate the amount of talent he had. We're talking about a player who in his mid-20's described his mental strength at a level of say a guy like Ilya Bryzgalov or Luongo. It was amazing while reading thinking, he is choking in so many finals. And then through dedication and tapping into his talent, he carved out a supreme career.

Just an incredible read throughout. My only complaint is that he didn't go into some of his shenanigans that he must have gotten into due to his fame. He went a little bit about getting fan mail which included certain pictures, but apart from that not much.

Still, a phenomenal read and I'd recommend it to anyone, weather you are a tennis fan or not.

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03-04-2012, 04:49 PM
  #108
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10 out of 10.

A truly inspiring book that has completely altered my view and approach on life. It will now serve as a key pillar of my existence. I was already a huge fan of Ayn Rand but the reading of this book only further cements her status as one of the most revolutionary authors and philosophers in the past century.

Also, don't watch the movie. It's a huge ripoff of this masterpiece. Always, always, read the actual book

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03-04-2012, 07:09 PM
  #109
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A Good Man, by Guy Vanderhaeghe: I couldn't get through this which is a shame, because I really liked The Last Crossing. Vanderhaeghe has a gift for the Western genre but it eludes him this time out. The plot takes place just after Custard's defeat at Little Big Horn, and Crazy Horse and the Sioux are headed north in a way that might complicate US/Canada relations. Reasonable premise, but the characters aren't that interesting and the thing takes forever for the plot to go anywhere. Having gotten to 200 pages, I didn't even feel like skimming the rest.

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03-04-2012, 07:49 PM
  #110
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10 out of 10.

A truly inspiring book that has completely altered my view and approach on life. It will now serve as a key pillar of my existence. I was already a huge fan of Ayn Rand but the reading of this book only further cements her status as one of the most revolutionary authors and philosophers in the past century.

Also, don't watch the movie. It's a huge ripoff of this masterpiece. Always, always, read the actual book


I hope to god you're being sarcastic.

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03-04-2012, 08:03 PM
  #111
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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Had to read it for English class. Actually wasn't too bad of a book. 8/10

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03-04-2012, 08:18 PM
  #112
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Party Wars: Polarization and the Politics of National Policy Making by Barbara Sinclair.

9/10. Sinclair is a straight up genius when it comes to congress. She outlines the history of the 20th century congress and how the formation of a more cohesive party leadership has led to increased polarization in political elites. Fantastic read, I would marry this woman.



The Disappearing Center by Alan Abramowitz.

8/10. Abramowitz focuses on polarization in the US electorate, arguing that there are distinct cleavages in the US population that is causing polarization in the political elites/US congress.



Disconnect: The Breakdown of Representation in American Politics by Morris Fiorina.

6/10. Fiorina is a great writer and a smart man, but I don't really agree with his conclusions. Fiorina argues that polarization in US politics is strictly a political elite phenomenon, and the US electorate remains very moderate and in the center.

I think you can guess what I am writing a thesis on.

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03-04-2012, 08:25 PM
  #113
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Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn 5/10 and 7/10.

I never read these in school like most other kids (thats why I decided to now), and that is probably the age group they are made for. But Tom Sawyer was an absolute bore to me. Huck Finn I was really liking until the last ~25% of the book when it became the Tom Sawyer show, not to mention the whole absurdity of the situation.

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03-04-2012, 08:37 PM
  #114
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I hope to god you're being sarcastic.
I'm curious as to why you wouldn't take me seriously.

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03-04-2012, 09:00 PM
  #115
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I'm curious as to why you wouldn't take me seriously.
Because objectivism is considered a complete sham by most scholars.

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03-04-2012, 09:10 PM
  #116
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Because objectivism is considered a complete sham by most scholars.
Would you mind elaborating a bit more?

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03-04-2012, 09:18 PM
  #117
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Djibouti by Ellmore Leonard - Alright, nothing special. First of Leonard I've read. I'd give one of his better books a shot but not for a while. 7 / 10

Reading John Vaillant's The Tiger right now and about 65 pages in, it's terrific.

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03-05-2012, 04:45 AM
  #118
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Because objectivism is considered a complete sham by most scholars.
No, it's rebuked by most scholars who you read and agree with. Most scholars who Jared or I would read and agree with would rebuke Marxism, which you had a positive review for earlier in this thread. Your views were respected and you weren't bothered about them, so I think that the same is owed in return. This is a book review thread in an entertainment forum, not a political debate, afterall. I say that we respect everyone's beliefs and allow people to review the books that they please without their reading choices being questioned, IMHO.

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03-05-2012, 11:35 AM
  #119
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No, it's rebuked by most scholars who you read and agree with. Most scholars who Jared or I would read and agree with would rebuke Marxism, which you had a positive review for earlier in this thread. Your views were respected and you weren't bothered about them, so I think that the same is owed in return. This is a book review thread in an entertainment forum, not a political debate, afterall. I say that we respect everyone's beliefs and allow people to review the books that they please without their reading choices being questioned, IMHO.
I wasn't the one mocking his liking of the book if you noticed. Nor did I personally say objectivism is a sham. But just to clarify, I wasn't exaggerating when I said the majority of scholars have denounced the philosophy.

I do find his extreme allegiance to the work a little humourous, but I couldn't care less about what he reads/subscribes to.

And by the way, my review of Marxism shouldn't be classified as 'positive.' If he likes the idea of libertarianism he should read some more enlightening works such as On Liberty by Mill, or some Isiah Berlin "Two Concepts of Liberty," Ayn Rand is considered an intellectual midget with regards to her philosophies.

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Would you mind elaborating a bit more?
http://world.std.com/~mhuben/critobj.html


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03-06-2012, 01:22 AM
  #120
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Red and Blue Nation? Consequences and Correction of America's Polarized Politics edited by Pietro Nivola and David Brady.

10/10. Absolutely fantastic. Hetherington, Binder, Brady, Beinhart...and of course my total scholar crush Sinclair all make appearances in this book. I was looking for the implications of American political polarization and this book hit a home run for me. Foreign policy, congress/public policy, political engagement among others are all covered in it. The actual articles are great, but the editors and other scholars also provide subsequent notes, discussion and further arguments to each one.

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03-06-2012, 01:48 AM
  #121
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How often do you read a day buddah?

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03-06-2012, 01:43 PM
  #122
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How often do you read a day buddah?
Depends on how busy I am. The more free time I have = more time to read.

But on average I'll probably read somewhere between 5-10 news articles and a couple poli sci scholarly articles a day, plus about a book or two a week. Sometimes I'll go gung ho and read 3 or 4 books over a weekend, sometimes only a few articles a week.

But I am a poli sci student, they basically put us through a ringer in every class with regards to reading. Most of my classes have upwards of 200 pgs of reading a week.

I barely have any time for leisure reading (it is pretty much only news articles). Can't wait for the summer so I can do some independent reading. My summer hit list so far is:

Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, The Social Contract by Rousseau, and Cosmos by Carl Sagan.

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03-06-2012, 02:28 PM
  #123
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I'm curious as to why you wouldn't take me seriously.
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Originally Posted by Captain Tripps View Post
Would you mind elaborating a bit more?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
No, it's rebuked by most scholars who you read and agree with. Most scholars who Jared or I would read and agree with would rebuke Marxism, which you had a positive review for earlier in this thread. Your views were respected and you weren't bothered about them, so I think that the same is owed in return. This is a book review thread in an entertainment forum, not a political debate, afterall. I say that we respect everyone's beliefs and allow people to review the books that they please without their reading choices being questioned, IMHO.
I just said I hoped he was being sarcastic. It's almost like a satirical take on the usual response to Ayn Rand's tepid, meandering ultra-long book among young, malleable, would-be industrialists. It's not a novel. It's a terribly written and poorly disguised philosophical manifesto.

10/10, really? Was the prose sharp, were the characters so well developed, did the plot suck you in and never let go?

It has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with how bad it is as a novel.

edit: Read over the original review again... It's so over the top that I'm still thinking it's a satirical response.

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03-07-2012, 03:24 AM
  #124
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North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

This is one of my favourite love stories. I think the author does a great job of really delving into and revealing the characters of the two leads, Margaret Hale and John Thornton. I've always been very impressed with how well she describes Thornton. Gaskell is the earliest woman novelist I have read that did a great job of tackling the male's take on love (alongside all the other things Thornton is involved with).

While the heart of this story is a tale of love, it actually takes a backseat to the industrial themes and the constant clash of classes, intellect, ideologies, philosophies, religion and of course the constant competition between the industrial Northern town and the aristocratic south. It is a very descriptive novel, in both the conversations and prose, which can make it a little tedious at times, but for the most part the descriptiveness just adds greatly to the character of each person involved. The slang incorporated into the Northern working class is fun to read out loud

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03-07-2012, 08:47 PM
  #125
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Picked up "The Name of the Rose" because I wanted something good to read and you guys had mentioned it. Is the whole book as difficult to read as the 1st chapter was??

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