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 What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)

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Athrun888
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Fri 6 Apr 2018 - 13:43

The Gonne is here and Ankh Morpork has descended into chaos! Carrot has taken the lead in sorting this mess out.
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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Fri 6 Apr 2018 - 19:26

Dance

JayMoyles wrote:
I must admit I had no idea about Lovecraft's racism, but after reading that (he would hate modern America's melting pot of cultures judging by his description of that pocket of New York) and having a cursory Google search about some of his other works, I'm disappointed to see how much of an out and out racist he was.

Perhaps you might enjoy The Ballad of Black Tom too then, Jay. Not that I've read it yet, so I can't say whether it's good or not, but it's meant to be both an homage to Lovecraft and a fierce rejection of his racism.

My next book club book, The Beach, arrived at the same time as TBoBT. Read it before, thought it alright, unsurprised it got made into a film. Re-reading imminent I suppose.
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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Mon 9 Apr 2018 - 15:58

Balladeer wrote:
Dance

JayMoyles wrote:
I must admit I had no idea about Lovecraft's racism, but after reading that (he would hate modern America's melting pot of cultures judging by his description of that pocket of New York) and having a cursory Google search about some of his other works, I'm disappointed to see how much of an out and out racist he was.

Perhaps you might enjoy The Ballad of Black Tom too then, Jay.  Not that I've read it yet, so I can't say whether it's good or not, but it's meant to be both an homage to Lovecraft and a fierce rejection of his racism.

That sounds like just the ticket. As I said, Lovecraft does existential dread like no other author but it's going to be difficult to read his works in the future without noticing anything that could be a racist allegory. If there's writing out there with that same level of cosmic horror whilst rejecting the racist depiction of "the other" that Lovecraft utilises, then I'm all for it.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Thu 12 Apr 2018 - 4:30

The Lovecraft issue is an interesting one. It is more apparent in some stories than others, and I can understand difficulty in separating art from artist. I think I'd feel differently if he were alive and writing today, and engaging in his content were funding his beliefs. As it is, he's long dead - in a pauper's grave, unappreciated in his own time - and the problematic elements of his work can be identified and isolated while other aspects can still be enjoyed. If anything, they add to the sensation that this is a seriously troubled, dark mind whose fears do offer some insight into why people are scared of the unknown even today.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Thu 12 Apr 2018 - 21:44

I've never been that good at separating art from artist, but I think I could probably read more Lovecraft. As Drunka says, he's not going to make much more money out of it anyway. It's an interesting history piece.
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PostSubject: Re: What are you reading Thread (What did you read in 2017?)   Sat 22 Sep 2018 - 13:38

It's been a busy few months with moving not only home but city, and my reading cycle was disrupted to the point I snailed my way through it, but at last I've finished Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders trilogy! Solid character driven stuff this was, and one heck of a journey.

Naturally I'd heard of Hobb before, you can't really read fantasy and not know of her, but I hadn't really sat down and given her stuff a solid shot before. That all changed with Ship of Magic, a story that follows a trader family and their failing fortunes and a pirate with goals of becoming a king.

The strength of the characters and their portrayal cannot be understated, likely some of the best I've seen. It takes serious skill to, in an introduction to a character, make them simultaneously a brat and have the reader sympathetic to their plight. That is exactly how Althea starts off. A selfish brat that needs a bit of a kick up the proverbial backside. It's immediately clear there's a strong person hidden within, but that strength has stagnated into selfish arrogance. And yet you cannot help but feel your heart break a little as the world gives her that kick up the bum, as she's stripped of her inheritance she'd been raised and groomed for for years to the piece of work that is Kyle (F*** KYLE HAVEN! Oh god do not get me started on how much I despise that man! It says a lot that I actually hate him more than a character in a different series that had children thrown off a bridge.) Althea's subsequent journey and development is as fascinating as it is rewarding to follow. As is the rest of the family.

And of course there's Kennit the pirate, one cannot mention the trilogy without mentioning that gem of a villain. It's always the mark of a good villain when you find yourself eager to see where their scheming and plotting will take them. His journey did not disappoint.

I feel like I say this about everything I read, but this trilogy goes in the "you really must give this a try" list for anyone looking for a good novel to dig into.

As one might expect my next book is the start of the Elderling Realms proper, Assassin's Apprentice.
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