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Old 09-22-2017   #921
Ibrahim
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Re: Recent Reading

Some current reading: misc. prose poems and short fiction by Dutch authors Van Schendel & Couperus, with the definitive intention of translating them into English.

Found some real early Ron Weighell in the 1988 first isssue of Aklo, and enjoyed it a great deal.

Finally, cowardly, lazily, gave in to reading Huysmans Là-Bas in translation, with having once read À Rebours in the original as the only mitigating factor.

Plus delving into the Wordsworth edition of Aleister Crowley's The Drug and other stories. What i've read so far seems as tiresomely preoccupied with status & upward mobility as the great beast himself; The Testament of Magdalen Blair reads like Poe's Valdemar ( extended 12" remix ), while The Wake World is The White People fan fic.
If anyone could direct me to the real gems ( if there are any ) in that collection i should be right glad.

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Old 09-27-2017   #922
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Re: Recent Reading

Just finished Scott Thomas’ The Sea of Ash, this was an outstanding novel, one of the finest works of weird fiction I have come across in some time. Some wonderful and truly outré moments here, very atmospheric and original. Highly recommended if you haven’t read it yet.

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Old 09-27-2017   #923
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Re: Recent Reading

This summer I read:

Night Film by Marisha Pessl: I have to say I was disappointed with this book. I think Pessl wanted to approach the horror genre with this one—it's a journalist investigating a reclusive filmmaker with possible occult dealings—but she never makes the full commitment. And though the characters get into some hairy situations, the stakes still just never seemed that high.

Black Company by Glen Cook: The first of a series of fantasy novels that are gritty but not to the extent that it's a gimmick, I really enjoyed this book. Look forward to continuing the series.

Agents of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan: I feel like a lot of really interesting ideas were planted here, but this novella didn't really have the length to develop them all. So it feels kinda rushed.

I also listened to these audiobooks:

On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder: Non-fiction. I highly recommend this to anyone in this day and age. It's cheap and only takes an hour or so.

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell: If you're a fan, like I am, of The Room, the worst film ever made, then you owe it to yourself to get this audiobook. It's essentially about the making of that film. And only the audiobook will do—it's read by Greg Sestero, and he PERFECTLY captures the idiosyncrasies of Tommy Wiseau's speaking style. And the stories are hilarious.

The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost: This was fun. It's an epistolary novel, and several of the Twin Peaks cast members perform. The whole thing is well-written, but I'm glad this is not necessarily canon. Frost flirts with sci-fi way more than I feel is appropriate to the Twin Peaks mythology. But I recommend it if you're a Twin Peaks fan.

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff: I can't say enough good things about this book. It's sort of an anthology/novel hybrid, with all the individual stories tying together. I love Ruff's turn of phrase, and his characters are all three-dimensional. And he's done his homework as far as the Jim Crow-era experience of black Americans.

...

I'm currently reading Stephen King's IT for the first time. King's folksy writing style is not my favorite, and it's really folksy here. And I'll be damned if he doesn't know how to develop characters, even ones we'll probably never read about beyond the chapter they're introduced...
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Old 09-28-2017   #924
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Re: Recent Reading

Needed to read something shorter before going bonkers on horror and weird fiction for October, so I Started reading Berit Ellingsen's Vessel and Solsvart.

"For he who passes the gateways always wins a shadow, and never again can he be alone."
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Old 09-28-2017   #925
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Re: Recent Reading

Quote Originally Posted by Trau View Post
This summer I read:

Night Film by Marisha Pessl: I have to say I was disappointed with this book. I think Pessl wanted to approach the horror genre with this one—it's a journalist investigating a reclusive filmmaker with possible occult dealings—but she never makes the full commitment. And though the characters get into some hairy situations, the stakes still just never seemed that high.
It was a kind of a page turner but I felt that the gimmicks (inclusion of screenshots etc.) were there for their own sake (i.e. to make the novel more interesting/original etc. than it actually was). For me a major flaw was that the description of the director's films never really managed to illustrate the dread that these films allegedly evoked. A novel that is much more effective in that respect is Theodore Roszak's Flicker - which may have served as an inspiration for Pressl (even though she denies it).
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Old 09-28-2017   #926
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Re: Recent Reading

Quote Originally Posted by Masonwire View Post
It was a kind of a page turner but I felt that the gimmicks (inclusion of screenshots etc.) were there for their own sake (i.e. to make the novel more interesting/original etc. than it actually was). For me a major flaw was that the description of the director's films never really managed to illustrate the dread that these films allegedly evoked. A novel that is much more effective in that respect is Theodore Roszak's Flicker - which may have served as an inspiration for Pressl (even though she denies it).
I'll have to check Flicker out.

I pretty much agree with everything you've said here. If I remember correctly, the screenshots, etc. didn't provide any unique development of plot or character.

The film descriptions definitely got in the way of this novel's dread. Another thing that got in the way for me was a sort of underlying goofiness. A lack of seriousness, in other words. I never got over the fact that the protag ends up hanging out with and cooperating with those two young characters. It felt a little Scooby Doo at times.

There were definitely some page-turning moments, but the payoffs never satisfied me. The ending was way different than I had expected, and sort of interesting, but seemed out of place.
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Old 10-01-2017   #927
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Re: Recent Reading

I'd recommend Little Sister Death by William Gay.
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Old 10-02-2017   #928
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Re: Recent Reading

enjoyed Evensons short recently very much No Matter Which Way We Turned • Brian Evenson People Holding...

"suckers for posterity" aren't we all
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Old 10-02-2017   #929
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Re: Recent Reading

Just started reading The October Country by Ray Bradbury to get in the autumn mood. I have only read Something Wicked This Way Comes by him earlier, so this is quite a treat.

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Old 10-04-2017   #930
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Re: Recent Reading

Giving Henry James another go. Started The Portrait of a Lady. I love The Turn of the Screw, but have so far found his novels impenetrable. Hoping this time he clicks for me.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
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