Rate the last book you read Page 100

  • Decks 20 Feb 2021 07:41:22 29,725 posts
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    My Kindle seems determined to get me to buy something by Dean Koontz, is any of his stuff any good?
  • Murbs 20 Feb 2021 08:02:56 25,082 posts
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    @Decks 15 year old me would say yes. 47 year old me isn't so sure.

    Incidentally, the one that 'predicted' the pandemic has been changed to say the virus was from Wuhan. When originally published years back it was a Russian virus. Personally I think it's unforgiveable cashing in like that whether the author had a hand in it or not.

    Edited by Murbs at 08:12:24 20-02-2021
  • Dougs 20 Feb 2021 08:03:23 99,019 posts
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    A lot of his older stuff is quite entertaining. Not read much in at least 20 years. The reason they're Pushing him is because he's written a load of short stories for Amazon. Probably as a way of luring you into Kindle Unlimited
  • Decks 20 Feb 2021 08:06:43 29,725 posts
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    Where is he on the highbrow to trashy metre? I normally like to aim for equidistant between the two.
  • Mola_Ram 20 Feb 2021 08:06:50 25,701 posts
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    Koontz is a bit like early Stephen King, but with more genre-bending (scifi/horror/thriller/mystery). A bunch of his standalone books are pretty "airport novel" (easy to read page-turners that you don't remember much about afterwards), but Phantoms is great. And I liked the Odd Thomas series from him.

    Definitely wouldn't call him highbrow, though. He's sort of in the middle of that spectrum.

    Edited by Mola_Ram at 08:09:44 20-02-2021
  • TechnoHippy 20 Feb 2021 08:52:32 18,993 posts
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    Watchers was my favourite of his. He's very readable, but rarely stand out.
  • Murbs 20 Feb 2021 09:11:51 25,082 posts
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    PazJohnMitch wrote:
    @Murbs

    I read the original Sabriel trilogy years ago. I remember Lireal being the best. (Which is odd as it is the middle book of the trilogy).
    Having now read this now it definitely feels like the dark middle chapter.

    I'm now nearing the end of Abhorsen and all in all its been a thoroughly enjoyable trilogy. My youngest is really keen to read them too (though this means buying them all in paperback - rest of the family are anti-Kindle).

    Can't wait to see how it all ends (and where these other Old Kingdom books and short stories fit in).
  • PazJohnMitch 20 Feb 2021 09:22:07 16,904 posts
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    I have not read the others. Do own Cariel though which I think is a prequel.
  • MrFlay 21 Feb 2021 09:52:43 4,652 posts
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    Paul Theroux - The Great Railway Bizarre

    A highly entertaining account of a train journey in 1975 from London to Japan and back. It's a gritty account of what it was like to travel through these mostly poor countries and he doesn't conceal the frequently grim spectacle of extreme poverty. Despite that the author is very witty and meets a lot of bizarre and fascinating characters. He travels through Vietnam with an escort while the war is still ongoing. He travels through Europe, Turkey, Iran ( before the Islamic Revolution), Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and Russia. This is Louis Theroux's father btw.
  • Steifybobbins 21 Feb 2021 11:44:28 797 posts
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    MrFlay wrote:
    Paul Theroux - The Great Railway Bizarre

    A highly entertaining account of a train journey in 1975 from London to Japan and back. It's a gritty account of what it was like to travel through these mostly poor countries and he doesn't conceal the frequently grim spectacle of extreme poverty. Despite that the author is very witty and meets a lot of bizarre and fascinating characters. He travels through Vietnam with an escort while the war is still ongoing. He travels through Europe, Turkey, Iran ( before the Islamic Revolution), Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and Russia. This is Louis Theroux's father btw.
    I might check this out it sounds great, thank you. I just finished watching Anthony Bourdains parts unknown and this sounds like it might be a good follow up
  • MrFlay 21 Feb 2021 12:22:22 4,652 posts
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    @Steifybobbins

    First book of his I have read and I love it. I ordered about 6 more after reading 4 chapters of this one.

    Travel books and documentaries are essential right now.
  • boo 21 Feb 2021 12:24:20 13,796 posts
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    @Steifybobbins

    If you haven'tread 'Kitchen Confidential' by Bourdain, just stop what you're doing and get a copy, right now!
  • Steifybobbins 21 Feb 2021 16:50:24 797 posts
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    @MrFlay try parts unknown if you haven't seen it, it's 2/3 travel 1/3 food it's a great show (Netflix)
  • Steifybobbins 21 Feb 2021 16:50:55 797 posts
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    boo wrote:
    @Steifybobbins

    If you haven'tread 'Kitchen Confidential' by Bourdain, just stop what you're doing and get a copy, right now!
    Awesome thank you!
  • MrFlay 21 Feb 2021 17:11:12 4,652 posts
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    Steifybobbins wrote:
    @MrFlay try parts unknown if you haven't seen it, it's 2/3 travel 1/3 food it's a great show (Netflix)
    I will. Thanks.
  • Nazo 21 Feb 2021 19:19:58 1,780 posts
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    Infinite: Brian Freeman

    Fairly run-of-the-mill thriller despite its slightly silly premise. A man who lost his wife in a car accident is threatened by a doppelganger of himself then meets a psychologist who claims he's been undergoing an experimental parallel worlds treatment.
    Starts of well and the end ending ties it up quite nicely though it could have done with a bit more foreshadowing but the middle section is a bit of a slog.

    2/5
  • Tonka 22 Feb 2021 08:37:20 31,781 posts
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    The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple

    As the title might hin at this is a history book about the East India Company. It's mostly focused on what's going on in India, so things like the deregulation etc, and what effects those had are mentioned but not really explored.

    It's mostly a book about war. Many many battles and campaigns, both EIC against factions in India, and infighting among those faction (often with the EIC on one side).

    My main take away is how random history is. Nothing about the EIC was written in stone. There are plenty of times where a small thing leads to a cascade of events that leave us with the world we're living in today.

    It's an easy read , and it features lot's of "Holy shit I can't believe this actually happened" moments. Three's a gruesome chapter where a captive prince exacts revenge on the king that held him hostage, and it made me see why Gerorge RR goes on about how history is full of horror.

    Still, the subject matter, whilst important and among the most influential ever, makes this hard to recommend. But if you're somewhat interested in Indian history, the EIC, or colonialism this is a must read.
  • dmj 22 Feb 2021 08:37:34 1,081 posts
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    Slough House - Mick Herron 8/10

    Number seven in the Jackson Lamb/Slow Horses series, so definitely not the place to start. Excellent (and quite angry), though not quite at the level of the previous two.


    The Night Manager - John le Carré 7/10

    Enjoyable, beautifully written as always, but it just kinda ends with nothing being resolved. I mean, le Carré never really went in for tying up every loose plot thread, which is fine, but nothing had really changed at the end of this. Perhaps that was the point he was making, I dunno.


    Dialogues of the Dead - Reginald Hill 9/10

    Re-read. Not the best Dalziel and Pascoe (that's On Beulah Height), but right up there. As fictional detectives go Dalziel is one of the best - right behind Sam Vimes on my favourites list - and he's on top form here. He's one of those characters where the anticipation of his appearance is almost as enjoyable as the actual thing. Mick Herron has mentioned a few times in interviews that he based Jackson Lamb more than a little on Dalziel, which you can absolutely see.

    You can read the series in any order without missing anything but this is the only one with a direct sequel (Death's Jest-Book), so don't read that first unless you want to know the identity of the murderer in this.

    Edited by dmj at 09:19:29 22-02-2021
  • Tonka 22 Feb 2021 12:45:50 31,781 posts
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    dmj wrote:


    The Night Manager - John le Carré 7/10

    Enjoyable, beautifully written as always, but it just kinda ends with nothing being resolved. I mean, le Carré never really went in for tying up every loose plot thread, which is fine, but nothing had really changed at the end of this. Perhaps that was the point he was making, I dunno.

    I saw the mini series based on this book not long ago. Really good. And it had pretty good closure. Wonder how much they'd changed
  • dmj 22 Feb 2021 13:45:29 1,081 posts
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    I haven’t seen the adaptation but, looking at the plot synopsis online, it appears to be quite a lot. The ending is very different.
  • TechnoHippy 27 Feb 2021 15:27:55 18,993 posts
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    Legend by David Gemmel

    I do enjoy Gemmel's brand of heroic fantasy, and Druss is my favourite character. He describes sieges very well and this is a classic example. I've read this several times now and it's always a fantastic read.

    10/10
  • JoelStinty 27 Feb 2021 15:48:02 9,414 posts
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    Random question. When do you guys read? I’m having a really hard time reading at the moment, mainly from tiredness. My reading slot used to be half hour - 45 minutes as i went to bed. But I can’t keep my eyes open behind a couple of pages. So thought i give lunch break a go and same thing. Also find I do the same thing at weekends in the afternoon. End up having a nap before I read. It’s getting really frustrating and meant I have read hardly anything recently.
  • TechnoHippy 27 Feb 2021 17:14:52 18,993 posts
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    I read before going to bed for an hour or so. I also have a book on my desk and snatch a few minutes if I have any downtime in working hours. I also read while in the pub - when they're open!
  • Mark1412 27 Feb 2021 18:00:21 2,148 posts
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    I read more now working from home because I'm not so tired all the time. Half an hour or so before bed but also in the evening for a little while instead of watching TV. I've gained two hours from not commuting and not having to get up at 6am so put that to use but back to working normally from Thursday so falling asleep while reading will become the norm again. It also helps that there's nothing to play at the moment so any time I'd normally spend playing games I read. Been on a real graphic novels thing recently with Saga and Y the Last Man, which quickly became some of my favourite science fiction stories.
  • Drakesmoke 27 Feb 2021 18:42:51 786 posts
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    Does a novella as part of a collection count?

    Just read Stephen King's 'The Body' (AKA in film terms, 'Stand By Me'. Superb and a 10/10. Conveyed a sadness and a commentary on the effects of peer pressure and socio-economic background that the more feel good film didn't.

    Late to the party but I wouldn't place Dean Koontz in the same league as any period of Stephen King, regardless of genre I found his prose terrible and amateurish.

    Reading time - have on occasion recently got a good session in bed but on like a Saturday morning. Otherwise at bed time or occasionally I'll stick a record on in the evening whilst my other half watches something I don't like. Like any past time basically you have to sacrifice another activity for it though sometimes.
  • LegendaryApe 27 Feb 2021 18:45:16 2,414 posts
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    TechnoHippy wrote:
    Legend by David Gemmel

    I do enjoy Gemmel's brand of heroic fantasy, and Druss is my favourite character. He describes sieges very well and this is a classic example. I've read this several times now and it's always a fantastic read.

    10/10
    Been working my way through the Drenai series in chronological order and I have to agree, Druss is amazing. Just started Legend yesterday (my first introduction to David Gemmell, first read many moons ago) and looking forward to reading the rest of the Drenai series.
  • PazJohnMitch 28 Feb 2021 08:17:43 16,904 posts
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    @JoelStinty

    I tend to only read about 10 pages every night before sleep.

    Given that I usually read giant fantasy novels I only get through about 5 books a year.

    (Read a third of WoT book 2, so far this year).

    Edited by PazJohnMitch at 08:19:27 28-02-2021
  • Dougs 28 Feb 2021 08:26:09 99,019 posts
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    I have so many books in my backlog. I go through spells really. Generally read before bed, but that's if I can put the phone down. Used to read much more before have a mini-computer in my hands! Rarely find the time to read during the day though. Always something else going on/to do.
  • Drakesmoke 28 Feb 2021 09:08:57 786 posts
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    There was a question on The Chase the other day and I learned that the Japanese call the act of hoarding books you never read tsundoku. Now I have a term that explains what I do.
  • effinjamie 28 Feb 2021 09:19:21 998 posts
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    @dmj The BBC dramatizations of the Smiley books are great.
    https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Complete-George-Smiley-Radio-Dramas-Audiobook/B01DE1N04O?qid=1614503922&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=c6e316b8-14da-418d-8f91-b3cad83c5183&pf_rd_r=WY3HFDCWM416F753CZ7P
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