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Old 11-27-2017   #981
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Re: Recent Reading

currently reading deprived but just finished “Homo Deus” -faint Shelley connection -recommended to Isis if he/they haven’t read it – but if time poor you could just read the last few chapters.

Also reading “The Brains of Rats” Wiater list - ping – its good, it’s gamy (in the food sense) - it may not be readable in a few years, post CRISPR chromosome shredders, but my edition is remarkably fine (it also strangely smells of strawberries in a clinical way ) and unexpectedly signed which may sway my opinion...

and “The Dark Reign of Gothic Rock” beautifully, passionately and poorly written and informative....also dipping in to “Great Dynasties” and “Lost Paradise – Symbolist Europe”




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Old 11-28-2017   #982
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Re: Recent Reading

I must highly recommend Caitlin R. Kiernan's The Red Tree. The "Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane" type of horror & weird fiction is possibly my favorite, and Kiernan pulls it off spectacularly in this novel.

It's up there with Dan Simmons' Song of Kali, though it is a very different sort of story.

“Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course or that a man should tell a lie? We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course. But we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time. It is therefore at least millions to one that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.” – Thomas Paine
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Old 12-01-2017   #983
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Re: Recent Reading

I've just finished Damage by Rosalie Parker. Like her previous collection The Old Knowledge the stories have a haunting, enigmatic quality and might appeal to those who like Robert Aickman.
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Old 12-01-2017   #984
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Re: Recent Reading

Still reading The Spirit of the Place And Other Strange Tales: The Complete Short Stories of Elizabeth Walter. Still enjoying it very much.

Lucian pigeon-holed the letter solemnly in the receptacle lettered 'Barbarians.' ~ The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen

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Old 12-10-2017   #985
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Re: Recent Reading

I read The Silence by Jens Bjørneboe this week. It's the third book of "The History of Bestiality" and shows Bjørneboe at his best and worst. The first part focuses on the New World discoverer Columbus and the mass pillaging, raping, razing done to the Aztec and Inca by Cortez and Pizarro. I speed through this part since it's repetitive of the same message "Paradise was a desert. In thirty years nineteen million had been slaughtered. It isn't given to everyone to destroy a culture." Then there is a brief account of the torture methods the US used against Indochina population, including: bamboo splitting, waterboarding, the modern drawn and quartered, tucker telephone, German chair. To this I might add the use of Agent Orange.

The second half of the book is more about Bjørneboe's childhood, how he couldn't stand his swinish classmates and teachers at school and began drinking at 10, how he drowns in alcohol to forget the "executioner" and "devil" following him around, and his worldviews. Bjørneboe believes in Revolution and Justice. There are 14 pages of an incredibly dull interview with Maximilien where the latter's speech on black's rights and capital punishment are inserted word-for-word. Then a shift of tone in "Chapter 5", Bjørneboe recalls a tale he wrote as a young man. I have to say it moves me the same way "The Grand Inquisitor" did, this tale of a young man in search for the greatest pain in the world.

"Now came the day when he no longer wished to go out into the desert. He understood that he could no longer leave what he saw, but that he was bound to it, and that he had no eyes for anything save suffering and guilt. All else appeared to him like a dream or a mirage. If he saw a child play and laugh, at the same time he saw within himself all the suffering he had seen in his life; then he no longer saw the child smiling in play, he saw it bowed with tears over pain to come. Then he understood that the wish of his youth was accomplished; he knew that he had seen all the world's pain and that he would never forget it. Now he himself belonged to that which he had seen."

The ending...once again Bjørneboe believes in Revolution, so it doesn't surprise me that he says:

"I don't believe that humanity is evil, nor that humanity is good-I believe that a human being is partly evil and partly good. Which side shall be permitted to grow and develop depends on ourselves. On a planet where people have freely chosen to let themselves be burned alive for the sake of truth, the good must have great possibilities. The court sat, the charges were read, the witnesses heard, the evidence presented; humanity was found guilty. I kept the trial records. But I miss one voice in the courtroom: that of the defense.
His plea will be a song of praise--of man the incomprehensible--endlessly evil, endlessly good--all-renewing, all-destroying. "

When I read the last paragraph, I wonder what Bjørneboe thought toward the end of his life. He committed suicide by hanging in 1976. Did he find light in the blue ocean of suffering after all? Or nothingness?

"Tell me how you want to die, and I'll tell you who you are. In other words, how do you fill out an empty life? With women, books, or worldly ambitions? No matter what you do, the starting point is boredom, and the end self-destruction. The emblem of our fate: the sky teeming with worms. Baudelaire taught me that life is the ecstasy of worms in the sun, and happiness the dance of worms."
---Tears and Saints, E. M. Cioran
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Old 12-13-2017   #986
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Re: Recent Reading

I am halfway done with Basil Copper's The House of The Wolf, a gothic thriller with a large castle surrounded by snowy woods, troubled family secrets, a congress on folklore and the occult and maybe even a werewolf or two. An absolutely delightful read now during the winter season!

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Old 12-13-2017   #987
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Re: Recent Reading

I recently re-read Mr. Bump by Roger Hargreaves (of the Mr. Men series). Was feeling nostalgic... I loved the Mr. Men books when I was a kid.

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Old 12-13-2017   #988
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Re: Recent Reading

Quote Originally Posted by Patrick G.P View Post
I am halfway done with Basil Copper's The House of The Wolf, a gothic thriller with a large castle surrounded by snowy woods, troubled family secrets, a congress on folklore and the occult and maybe even a werewolf or two. An absolutely delightful read now during the winter season!
I read that a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It retains its presence within my book case.
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Old 12-13-2017   #989
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Re: Recent Reading

Quote Originally Posted by Patrick G.P View Post
I am halfway done with Basil Copper's The House of The Wolf, a gothic thriller with a large castle surrounded by snowy woods, troubled family secrets, a congress on folklore and the occult and maybe even a werewolf or two. An absolutely delightful read now during the winter season!
I admit - i don't think i'd ever heard of Basil Copper before; but it sounds like i might want to give his work a try - if & where i find it available at a suitable price...
prose any good?

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Old 12-13-2017   #990
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Re: Recent Reading

Ibrahim wrote, "I admit - i don't think i'd ever heard of Basil Copper before; but it sounds like i might want to give his work a try - if & where i find it available at a suitable price... prose any good?"

There is a lot of variety in his work based on the different storylines, from sci-fi to werewolves to detective fiction. If you enjoy Lovecraftian cosmic themes, "The Great White Space" is considered pretty good, I enjoyed it.



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