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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Problem with Reading (Page 2)

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Author Topic: The Problem with Reading
advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by Amilia:
I adore Connie Willis. My brother and I were listening to the audiobook of To Say Nothing of the Dog recently. We had both read the book previously multiple times. It was really fun to listen and see how very meticulously all the clues were laid out, and how all the threads were gathered up together at the end. (Also, Steven Crossley, the reader, is excellent. If you are into audiobooks, I recommend this one.)

I like Connie Willis too, but I can only take so much of her. Her books feel like those dreams where you never can quite get where you want to go. Everything her characters want seems to be perpetually just out of reach, sometimes for no other reason than the author's whim.
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kmbboots
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I read her Doomsday Book and hesitate to try another lest I slit my wrists. Are the others as grim?
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AchillesHeel
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How horrible is it that I now have a strong urge to read Doomsday Book?
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Stephan
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Coincidentally Lifehacker just pointed me to this web site today, idreambooks.com. Rotten tomatoes for books.
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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
I read her Doomsday Book and hesitate to try another lest I slit my wrists. Are the others as grim?

Hmm. Blackout and All Clear were pretty depressing in some parts, but had a fairly happy, somewhat bittersweet ending.

Passage was maddening and pretty spooky.

Bellwether was probably the most depressing I've read from her, and it was meant to be funny.

I haven't read Doomsday Book yet precisely because I don't think I can take more Connie Willis for a while.

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Amilia
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To Say Nothing of the Dog is in the same time travel universe as Doomsday Book, but is nothing like it in tone. She's referencing Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, and gets the tone and feel of it exactly right. It does have that dreamlike feel to it that afr was talking about, especially at the beginning. It is first person, and when the book starts, our viewpoint character is timelagged from too many trips to the past and is experiencing Difficulty Distinguishing Sounds, Disorientation, and a Tendency to Wax Poetic. Anyway, that's my first recommendation for Happy Connie Willis.

I agree with afr's assessment of Blackout, All Clear, and Passage. I did find Bellwether funny, though.

Uncharted Territory is good fun.

Lincoln's Dreams is haunting--but you may want to steer clear if you are avoiding depressing. Ditto Remake.

She's also got a lot of really good short stories. Some of them are hilarious, and some of them are gut wrenching. I can give you a run down of which is which (in my opinion, of course), but I've probably already gone overboard on my fangirlling Willis at this point.

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Dr Strangelove
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In case anyone is interested, the Kindle Daily Deal is Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut for only $2. I love most things Vonnegut, but especially that book. "Long Walk to Forever" might be my favorite romance story.

Interestingly, in terms of his novels, I prefer Player Piano to Slaughterhouse Five or Cat's Cradle.

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kmbboots
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I was fine with the tone and style of Doomsday but

SPOILER
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Had she saved even one person it would have saved the book for me.

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[ July 13, 2012, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Amilia
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In that case, no, none of her other books are that grim.
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Dr Strangelove
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Kate, for the record, your spoiler warning is a wee bit useless. There's not enough space after the post to keep it from being visible. Though based on that spoiler, I'm thinking I might check this book out. I have a weakness for books where everyone dies.
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kmbboots
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Better?

To be clear, I don't mind a healthy does of tragedy but, for it to be tragedy, there (for me) has to be some redemption - or at least a silver lining.

(Plenty of folks die in Tigana.)

[ July 13, 2012, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Dr Strangelove
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Haha, no, the problem is that the last line is still right above the next post, so anyone looking at Amilia's post is hard pressed not to also see the spoiler. It's not that big of a deal, especially since now there a few more posts covering it up, but since it does kind of seem like a big spoiler I thought I'd mention it.

I agree for the most part about tragedy. I think the way I would phrase it is that it is more potent if someone is left alive to feel the pain of loss. But if done the right way, everyone dying can be very very potent.

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