GENERAL LITERATURE DISCUSSION. (Not just Pagan)

Love to read? Share your books, ideas, thoughts, etc.
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GENERAL LITERATURE DISCUSSION. (Not just Pagan)

Post by Ragnar » Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:19 pm

I envisage this to be an area, where, like "General discussion" we could discuss "What are we reading at present", or along those lines.

Personaly, I have a whole raft of books that do not neccessarily fit into "Pagan books", but may be of interest to other people here. Also it would be an area to, like in a literature class, discuss the "deeper meaning and relevance to todays society", of various books.

As "heavy" or as "light" as you want.

For example "1984" Was Orwell wrong, or just 20 years early on his chosen date?", or "Do you think that Science fiction books that rely on technology have been killed off, due to the imagination of authors having bieng "out stripped" by real technology?"

An area where people can go and, for instance to find something different to read. Something, subject, whatever, which they may not have thought of as being of interest. But find something on this proposed thread/topic board.

Where questions like, "I am wanting to read a new series, is David Eddings any good?" can go.

Any one any thoughts on the issue? Any one want to reccomend ANY book, ask questions, or discuss ANY book.

Not just Pagan, but all books.

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Post by xAutumn_Leafx » Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:33 pm

I love this idea! I think it has the possibility of becoming a huge thread, but we should totally do it. I enjoy discussing books that I've read to analyze and bring up all different points throughout stories and find different opinions and takes on them.

And hey, we could always be cliche and start with Harry Potter. :-D

Sorry; I'm feeling rather weird this afternoon. :roll:
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Post by Ragnar » Mon Aug 21, 2006 4:06 pm

o.k. harry potter has allread been a large topic on other boards.

or, better said, other threads. but that is the idea. 8-)

i will give a real example;

i have read a few books where a group of kids get on the internet and the whole thing becomes "real". there are various threads to these books, one involves a couple of world war one soldiers who end up in an almost alice in wonderland situation.

there is also a man in a wheel chair who seems o be gathering all the people around him, physicaly and on the net.

i can not remember the authors name, but does any one else recognise the story?

does any one know the author?

that is the kind of question i think should be here. then maybe a discussion about the books when we find out what they are.

that is a real question, by the way. i read the first three in english, but can not remember the author to read the rest.

i also apologise for having no caps key at the moment. i am getting a new key board tomorow. :-?

please note, key boards and german beer do not mix

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:48 pm

YES!!!

Ragnar, you are amazing. I am sorry I do not know the book you are speaking of.
please note, key boards and german beer do not mix
I'll keep that in mind 8-) ;) :roll:

I am a very large fan of classic literature. And mythology, and Irish lore and tales. And, I am a proud Stephen king fan ;) And Tolkein.

My question for all is this: What do you feel is the impact of Hollywood on today's youth in terms of literature and reading? Will the epic novels of Lord of the Rings be as appreciated in twenty years now that it has been made (poorly) into a movie? Do filmmakers even try to follow a book accurately anymore? Is this a problem for a) the authors or b) young audiences?
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Post by Ragnar » Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:27 am

i think a lot of it has to do with a reduced attention span. i remember going to watch florence of arabia. it was around 3 1/2 hours long. the origional waterloo film was 4 hours long. even that length of film have long dissapeared.

another sign of this shortened attention span is the way, today, it is a rare song indeed that stays at number one for longer than two weeks running.

a book of 1159 pages (my copy), like lord of the rings must terrify the poor dears. wow, in the time it takes to read that you may have missed three new number one records! #-o :lol:

as to the impact of holly wood. in this case i think it is because the place is now run by the "thinking not allowed" generation.

so how much of it is cause and how much effect?

at to l.o.r movie. this caters for the short attention span. i had an example about four weeks ago, where, on another board, we were talking about the film "das boot". out of 5Ö answers, 30 of them did not know it was first a book! #-o . i can see this happening with l.o.r.

"a problem for authors". well, i think that depends. if the author is worried about his, or her, message being distorted, then yes, it is a problem. but how many origional ideas do you get from authors these days any way?

dickens, stoker, even pratchett, came up with origional ideas and characters.

you mention stephen king. how many of his ideas can you find in other authors books? he came up with christine, that was closely followed by a whole drove of "buldozer chases driver", "tanker truck chases car", or gang of trucks attack mid west burger joint" type books and movies.

the christine motive was easy to see.

no imagination to write thier own work, and the short attention span of the customer base, is killing reading. it is also killing hollywood, as they strive to captuer the rapidly diminishing number of brain cells in the general public.

so i would say it is the effect of youth on hollywood that is of the most concern.

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Post by morgana » Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:21 am

You know what's really odd? I have a short attention span when it comes to movies, but a long book? I can sit and read forever. Weird huh? I think it's because when reading a book, my mind is active, reading the words and trying to create the characters and scenes in my head, whereas watching a movie, it's all given to me so I just sit and stare...and get bored after about 2 hours.

As far as the authors being concerned about their stories being distorted, I can see that, though most movies consult the authors (if they're still alive that is) about what they can throw out and what needs to stay, and even when that does happen the movie always seems lacking to me. But on the other hand, I can't imagine the authors would be too worried about how the movie turns out as it still puts more money in their pockets in the end.

As for authors, I liked Stephen King when I was a kid, but after a while, all his stories started to sound the same...always about an author living in Maine. These days I tend to lean towards fiction of the supernatural variety. I love Ann Rice, and I've also been reading a vampire hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton which, while it's certainly no literary masterpiece, it does have interesting plot lines which become highly addictive. As far as classics go, I love Edgar Allen Poe, and Shakespeare, and have been trying to wade through a book of Medieval epics and sagas, but it's taking quite a while cuz those are the kind of stories where you have to read each line twice to try and understand it. I haven't given up though! I just occasionally have to put it down and go read something in "plain English" to keep from getting frustrated. #-o :roll:
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Post by Ragnar » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:32 am

morgana wrote:You know what's really odd? I have a short attention span when it comes to movies, but a long book? I can sit and read forever. Weird huh?
Hmm. Wish I could say the same. Up until about 18 months ago, I could read four to five books per week. NOW, however, I have not read a full book in that time.

That is partly what got me started with this thread idea. Hopefully find some inspiration to try something new. Like science fiction, or something.
I think it's because when reading a book, my mind is active, reading the words and trying to create the characters and scenes in my head, whereas watching a movie, it's all given to me so I just sit and stare...and get bored after about 2 hours.
A whole 2 hours??? Over achiever.:-D

I find the same though. A book exersises the imagination much more. I can not remember a film where when it finished, I could say "that made me think".
As far as the authors being concerned about their stories being distorted, I can see that, though most movies consult the authors (if they're still alive that is) about what they can throw out and what needs to stay,
But I have heard many authors complain about being treated like the "village idiot" on film sets, by the directors. Who obviously have a much better idea as to what was in the authors mind, and what he meant to say, than the idiot sitting in the corner who, after all, only wrote the book.
As for authors, I liked Stephen King when I was a kid, but after a while, all his stories started to sound the same...always about an author living in Maine.
Must admit, I found the same thing. But did Chjristine contain an author? I don't rightly remember.
By law of averages, I will say "yes", but would not bet on it.:lol:
These days I tend to lean towards fiction of the supernatural variety.

My favourites are crime/detective books. But only when they are proper police. I do not hold with these bloody amateurs sticking thier nose into official bussiness.:roll :-?
I just occasionally have to put it down and go read something in "plain English" to keep from getting frustrated.
I had the same problem for five years at Uni. Reading the Sagas in Old high German, or Old Swedish, was easy compared to trying to wade through some dry as bones Proffessors translation into 1950's new high "English".

I was once asked b my Proffessor (Peter Graves) what I thought of a certain book. I answered that it was crap, unreadable and did not answer what it set out to answer. In fact it only lead to more confussion on the issue.

He slowly sucks on his pipe, and says "Hmmm. I did not think that when I wrote it". #-o

Also, to be fair, I must say that was in my first year. Pete Graves book, the one I "pulled to bits", actualy became my "life saver" on a few essays.

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Post by morgana » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:01 pm

Hmm, well I never read Christine, but the one that I CAN remember reading that actually DIDN'T have an author living in Maine in it was Carrie. That was definitely one of his better books.

On the topic of "movies making you think" there is one, which I absolutely love, called Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It STILL makes me think and I've seen it like 5 times. It's one of those movies where you don't get everything the first time you watch it, so each time you do, you discover more subtle nuances. Absolutely LOVE that movie.

As for your professor, that's pretty funny. Glad I never had any authors as my professors making me read their books and tell them what I thought. Honestly alot of "classics" I absolutely can't stand. Of Mice and Men disturbed me on some level, still don't know why. The Scarlet Letter focused so much on the details that you forget what the book is about. There were so many books that I was made to read in school which were supposed to be "literary masterpieces" that I just found boring. But then again, I like "action" books. Books where there's always something big and dramatic happening. But I'll try anything once, cuz I can always learn something new from a book, even a boring one lol. :roll: :lol:
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Post by Ragnar » Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:15 am

morgana wrote: The Scarlet Letter focused so much on the details that you forget what the book is about.
That is a big problem with most of the German authors. They try to be far to clever by half, and end up just causing confussion in the reader.

I mentioned "detective" novels. There is one great author Andreas Franz, who writes this type. They are very similar to style to the likes of Henning Mankell, or Ian Rankin.

But other authors (German and Russian), tend to feel the need to give you the entire life story of every character that appears. So you find the story going backwards and forewards in time at an ever increasing rate. Finding out that character "A"'s Great Grandfather was a taxi driver to the Shah of bloody Tibet or something, and some long boring anecdote about how the Shas dog once crapped on the back seat, or somthing. Totaly nothing to do with the story.

One recent example, the victim was wearing a particular dress on the night of the crime. The book then went on for ten pages, telling you the story of the dress maker, and her troubles with the Gestapo, 60 years before, and how her Son had trouble at school because of that. That was only one example of six or seven similar in the same book. Any relevance to the crime?

No. But this seems to be an "illness" of a lot of German authors.

I see it as an attempt to annalyse the mind of the criminal, and the victim. But leaves very little space for the investigation, and the police work involved. Which is why I read a "detective" novel.

I object to buying a 1000 plus page book, to find 700 pages are taken up finding out why the crimials Mothers dogs cheuffers Aunties second cousins niece got bad grades at school 30 years ago.

This is also a trouble with German history books. They use the same methods.

I read many books about WWII in Britain. All of them much better than any novel on the subject.

German history books tend towards the opposite. They all appear to have been written by some strictly conservative Prussian tax accountant during his lunch breaks, and between writting books like "Anecdotes of the great accountans. Volume 32".

Also, a real bug....annoying thing, ( :-D ), is thier apparant inability to add an index. At most you get a list of people. But this helps not one bit when trying to find the Captain who lead the assault on the Russian artillery positions during the Crimea. In a British/American book you would just look up "Russian artillery" and hey there you go. With a German book you need to know the information you are trying to find to find the information you are traing to find.

Ahh. Another Stephen King without an "author" was "fire starter". But I think this is a case of "The exceptions proving the rule".

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:54 pm

As for authors, I liked Stephen King when I was a kid, but after a while, all his stories started to sound the same...always about an author living in Maine.
Meh. You write what you know ;) My favourite of an author living in Maine was Salem's Lot. Tommyknockers was also very good, and actually spooked me!! Something about hair falling out and radiation and alien craft really gets to me, though. (Thinks back... Was I abducted? :lol: ;) )

And Carrie was his first book ^_^ Well, the first that anyone would think of publishing, anyway.

If you skip past a lot of his drug-induced stories before his accident, and go to those he wrote after (Dark Tower series), you'll be pleasantly surprised at the well of talent that was locked up in that man!! He went from being a "lowly writer" turning out a book a week (like Tom Clancy *shudders* or Dean Koontz) to this fabulous author deserving respect and admiration.
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Post by Ragnar » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:52 am

I think "The Stand" is one of his best. One of the few books I have read more than once.

I quite like Tom Clancy and Dean Koontz. But I think that may be a "male" thing.

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Post by Lotus » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:27 am

Personally, I really liked Needful Things.
Stephen King has a few conventions that he likes to stick to and my friends and I call them his Stephen Kingie-ness.
A few off the top of my head:

He likes there to be a female child who is wiser and more advanced that what she should be...and somehow, for some reason. the vast majority of the characters either listen to her blindly or protect her with gusto.
Found In: Cell, Lanoliers (cant remember how to spell this one).

Likes to have children overcome some evil force and gang up on it. Normally this evil force has something to do with the paranormal.
Found In: Stand by me, The Stand, and the Dreamcatcher

Likes to have the lead character be an author or writer of some sort (already noted)
Found in: Misery, Bag of Bones, and The Shineing (spelling again)

Writes in a train of thought sort of manner where you know what is going on in the character's minds and their impressions
Found in: Needful Things and Red Rose

Likes to have a superpowerful black man save the day:
Found in: A Green Mile and The Shawshank Redeption

I have always liked and will always like Stephen King books but, unfortunately he writes for a living and I do not read his books for a living. :lol:
He does hit and miss...sometimes he tried to shake things up a bit.
My least favorites (that I recall off the top of my head):
The Dark Tower series
Hearts in Alantis (or what it Alanta?)
A (or The) Girl who loved Tom Gordon (Way too much like the book Hatchet written by a different author)

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Post by runewulf » Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:33 am

If anyone wants to pick up some wonderful books, at least in so far as end of the world books go, pick up the books by S.M. Stirling:

Dies The Fire
The Protector's War
Meeting at Corvalis (coming out in a lil over a week)

These are about the failure of technology and how groups of people basically rebuild civilization, but one group of people are based around a wiccan coven/scottish clan. Very well written and very interesting. I can't wait for the next book to come out on the 5th of Sept. I have it pre-ordered, :lol: .

Seriously, I bought this just to have something to read and totally fell into it. Yes, there is a fair amount of violence in the book, but you kind of have to expect that with an "end of the world" kind of scenerio, and there are good guys (groups) and gals (the leader of the neo-clan of witches is a woman) and of course you have the bad guys and groups, but I haven't read many books that well done in a long time, more less that original.

Try the first one and you'll likely be hooked.

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Post by Willow » Thu Aug 24, 2006 3:05 pm

I don't know if this fits, but your comments about attentions spans remided me of something.

The Da Vinci code (shudder).

I am currently reading Foucault's penduluum by Umbarto Echo, because I only read it when I am biking at teh gym it is taking me some time, but the book swallows me up and I can wind up biking and reading for four hours. Anyway, it has everything the Da Vinci code has to offer with one huge difference


You have to THINK! The plot does not lay itslef out for you, it twists and turns and suprises you. Sometimes you have to even look words up in the dictionary to understand. The themes and info in Foucault's pendulluum are similar ro the Da Vinci code but it never caught on in the same way, it is still sort of an elitist book.

I wonder if, the problem is, people aren't being taught how to read and follow complex stories. Reading is more skill than talent...maybe that is something other than atttentionspan to blame on people's lack of reading, they just aren't being taught how.

After grading some first year university essays...I think I might be on to something.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
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Post by Ragnar » Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:30 am

Thanks runewulf. Just the kind of book I am after. I will keep my eyes open.

As to Stephen King, I seem to have missed out on quite a few, from the lists I am seeing here.

Lotus. I see what you mean. But Do you think maybe it is like Van Goughs "Blue period"? Ie, a passing phase.

I think "It" is the last I remember with the "Kids gang up on creepy thing" plot.

Salems lot...any others? I can not remember.

Willow Foucault's penduluum. I have not tried that yet, but I did attempt the "Name of the Rose", in Swedish. Terrible mistake. Trying to struggle with the plot AND translating. #-o [-X

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