Favourite Book?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Jojobobo, Sep 15, 2011.

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  1. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, I assume some or maybe most people around here read, so what's your favourite book and why? Divulge as much detail about why you love it as you like, just try to avoid spoilers in case you get someone interested enough to give it a go. I've got two:

    Christine by Stephen King. I used to read a lot of horror books, lately I've bucked that trend to some extent, but still Christine stands out as one of my favourite books. More so than most Stephen King books I found the character development was done extremely well, getting you more involved in the plot and making you genuinely care about the fates of the characters; I also thought it was less gonzo than some of King's works (topiary coming alive and attacking people in The Shining anyone?). For anyone who hasn't heard of it it's a tumultuous romance story involving two high school friends going after the same girl - then throw a demonic car that can drive itself and murders people in the most brutal ways possible. Certainly an interesting mix.

    1984 by George Orwell, I'm sure most people will have heard of this book. As I said I still like horror - I found 1984's ending more soul destroying and horrifying than the majority of the books actually part of the genre. For anyone who doesn't know it's a distopian future story about a totalitarian government who takes oppression to a phenomenal degree, and also about a guy who tries to fight the system.

    Short story-wise H.P. Lovecraft is great, so is Poe. I love the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - being only around 60 pages I think that classes as a short story too.

    Currently I'm going to read some H.G. Wells, I've got a book with several of his major works in like War of the Worlds and The Time Machine - I don't think you can get more steampunk than scifi written in Victorian times! I'm not a huge reader or a book snob, I'll try anything which is why I'm always interested in hearing what other people are into for ideas.
     
  2. TheDavisChanger

    TheDavisChanger Well-Known Member

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    Mission by Patrick Tilley just might be my favorite book. It is excellent because it fits the second coming of Christ neatly into a relatively modern (1980s or 1990s) setting. Jesus comes to a skeptical Jewish lawyer and sets him straight on some of the more misunderstood and misinterpreted aspects of the Bible and Christianity. Tilley handles the entire adventure with a raw realism that is both entertaining and plausible. The amount of research he had to do to explain Christ and what "really" happened two thousand years ago speaks to his dedication to the novel. Find a copy and read it.

    For steampunk enthusiasts, read Sean McMullen's Greatwinter trilogy.
    The first book takes place in a post-apocalyptic Australia where advanced technological principles are forbidden by religions and an ambitious librarian develops a computer wherein people perform the calculations in parallel. The society in this book is best described as clockpunk.
    The second book takes place after the first book in a post-apocalyptic North America where towns are governed by feudalism. Wars are forbidden due to how wasteful they are so conflicts are resolved by dog fighting pilots in prop-planes. Characters from the first book spin political intrigue in this dieselpunk North America.
    I haven't read the third book.
     
  3. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    Dinotopia: Lost. It's in the Dinotopia series, but unlike the first two books, it has no illustrations and contains something over 300 pages of text. If you're unfamiliar with the series, Dinotopia takes place at some time within the 1800's, on an uncharted island populated by intelligent dinos and shipwrecked humans. Every human that lives there arrived during terrible storms that left their ships unusable, and can't leave because the island is surrounded by rocks and coral reefs that rip the hulls of ships open. Even though they have steampunk technology capable of flight, nothing they could use can carry enough fuel to get them home. Plus, they literally have no idea where they are. Although, on the plus side, they have no reason to leave. Life is good there.
    Lost is the tale of a crew of pirates who shipwreck on the island. I enjoyed the altered perspective of this book's protagonists, as the first two books described a father and son who were very much productive members of society and ascended rapidly to the upper crust of Dinotopian culture.

    I'm also very partial to Douglas Adams' contribution to the literary world, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. I enjoyed the explanation of how the ships worked in regards to actual physics, and the reason why, out in the rest of the universe, nothing had to be produced simply because there was always a planet where particular tools grew, or a population of sentient mattresses and pillows living in an alien swamp.
     
  4. TimothyXL

    TimothyXL New Member

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    Why hasn't Terry Pratchett been mentioned yet? Rectifying that right now, 'specially now I've read Unseen Academicals.

    For some reason I really like Julian May's "Conqueror's Moon" series, despite the fact it can get a little sappy sometimes. "Black Magician" by Trudi Canavan is a decent foil for Twilight, showing us that women CAN write decent romance, only problem is the surprise ending.

    Finally Stan Nichol's "Orcs" series. The world is very Tolkienesque, though the (spoilers) inter-dimensional travelling seems a little goofy to me. Still, I'd reccomend it anyday.

    And to stray from the Fantasy genre for a bit, A.E. Van Vogt's "Voyage of the Space Beagle" and Joan D. Vigne's "Eyes of Amber" are fun reads. And I don't care what some people say, I think of SF and Fantasy as different genres, so there.
     
  5. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Because he's shipping himself to the Dignitas centre like a bitch and abandoning all of us! I've heard there's a new Ankh-Morpork board game coming out soon for anyone who's interested in that sort of thing. Also welcome back TimothyXL, I think it's been a couple of months.
     
  6. Jungle Japes

    Jungle Japes Well-Known Member

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  7. Vendigrothian

    Vendigrothian New Member

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    Perfume by Patrick Süskind. Right next to Frankenstein and Dracula. I like reading classics. Should probably start looking into Jules Verne and Mark Twain some time soon. I liked the way Burgess wrote Clockwork Orange but I didn't really get into it enough to enjoy the whole story.

    I finished that book a while ago with the expectation of it having a happy ending. Big mistake. Definitely one of the best reads by far even if a little depressing.
     
  8. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to add Fight Club. It's true; the book is better than the movie.
     
  9. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    Re: Perfume.

    See I watched Perfume and thought it was crap; yet I'm always first to advocate books like Lord of the Rings and 1984 are better than their film adaptations - what can I say I must be a hypocrite. As of yet I've never read Dracula or Frankenstein, some horror aficionado I am! I'll try and give all of what you suggested a look at some point.

    I loved a Clockwork Orange, I read it before I watched the film and both rank highly on the lists of books and films I like but for different reasons. I think the situation with Anthony Burgess and Terry Pratchett shows how some authors take bad news - Burgess only started writing once he was diagnosed with terminal cancer yet Pratchett is willing to give up the ghost when he finds out he has a (somewhat) better form of Alzheimer's Syndrome. Not that I'm judging, it's just interesting when people get and lose their inspiration.

    Thanks for the responses - even if no one else is interested I'm avidly amazon-ing every book people have posted up for reviews.
     
  10. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    I read several of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. My favorite was "The Hound of the Baskervilles", though I also recommend "Sign of the Four". There are four novels in total, and dozens of short stories that Doyle wrote between 1891 and 1927. There are so many of them that the first volume of the collection that I picked up had over 1,000 pages, though it contained a few of his novels as well.
     
  11. Jojobobo

    Jojobobo Well-Known Member

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    The first book I read this summer was the Hound of the Baskervilles actually; and I agree with Gross it's awesome. I kept on wondering why the people in the book were so terrified of the hound yet when I read what it was like by the end I thought, "Yeah if that was chasing me I would cack my pants." I would say I bought Penguin Classics in the UK and the "notes" in each chapter reveals spoilers, particularly when looking at notes attached to chapter titles'. They're like, "This was the illustration in the Strand version [revealing a spoiler of some sort] yet this didn't occur til [later] chapter Z." It hacked me off no end. I'll give "The Sign of Four" a look.

    Both other books I read this summer were A Brave New World - a distopian future book yet with a future not as distopian as you might think; and The City & The City - a book by China Mieville that you can't disagree has a very unique setting. I would reccommend both, but with A Brave New World I found it's ending quite disheartening (but not to the same extent as 1984) and therefore better than Mieville's. The City & The City has vastly more in common with the setting of 1984 than A Brave New World, but I didn't find the "conspiracy" in the book reached the conclusion I desired - not that it was crap and completely lacking but I still thought I may have preferred it otherwise. It's not meant to be his best book, which considering how fascinating the setting was has set me onto some of China Mieville's better books in the future. I feel a bit shame-faced though, I've read 3 but my fiancé has read 9 and almost 10 and a couple of Dickens'. Great Expectations comes reccommended yet Oliver Twist doesn't, though don't take my word for it!

    I know I said "Favourite Books" starting this thread - but bitch about serious authors (i.e. not Stephenie Meyer, etc.) or comment on books you've read recently that didn't quite make you're favourites yet you still want to talk about; whatever. I guess this is more a literary interest/criticism thread crossing any genre you chose. Another favourite book of mine is Of Mice and Men; yet Mr. Shivers which I had heard was a fusion between "King and Steinbeck" was shit - don't ever read it even if you like the style, which I did, you'll find the story wholly lacking.
     
  12. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    Odd, I thought Brad Pitt was right up your alley.
     
  13. wobbler

    wobbler Well-Known Member

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    "As angels die" by Andreas Roman is a personal favorite of mine.

    "tuesdays with morris" is another one.

    Painpills kicking in, so I'm leaving it at this right now.
     
  14. Zanza

    Zanza Well-Known Member

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    I don't get to read many novels, I have to read too many history books and other academic journals for Uni to count reading as a hobby. It is very similar to people who have to work in front of a computer all day to only go home and play on their PC at night.
     
  15. Arthgon

    Arthgon Well-Known Member

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    I recommend to read the short stories of Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard (esp. The Black Stone), Reginald Hill (Dalziel and Pascoe), Weis and Hickman, J.R.R. Tolkien, Agatha Christie and definely The King In Yellow by Robert W. Chambers.
     
  16. Smuelissim0

    Smuelissim0 New Member

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    My favourite book is probably Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes. Not that there's really anything special about it, but I read it when I was 15 and it taught me loads of stuff about psychology just when I was at the point where I was ready to absorb it all.

    Though if I read it now, it's still a good book, but I expect I'd find it far less enlightening.

    Yeah, actually, don't read it, it's probably not that good at all.
     
  17. Dark Elf

    Dark Elf Administrator Staff Member

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    Tough question to answer, but Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett always had a special place in my heart.
     
  18. Grossenschwamm

    Grossenschwamm Well-Known Member

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    I read The Giver when I was in 7th grade. At the time I thought the book was pretty interesting. Haven't read it since. It's science fiction, but there aren't mile-high cities or laser fights or anything like that. Just what seems to be a utopian society. It won a Newbury medal, despite people not thinking it appropriate for children.
     
  19. Sjael

    Sjael New Member

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    To continue the Terry Pratchett theme, I'd say Thief Of Time combined with Night Watch.

    I also rather enjoyed Steven Erikson's Toll The Hounds, although it gets bogged down in describing how shit the world is every dozen pages or something. And it happens to be the eighth in a series of rather long novels. And got terrible reviews from every quarter for being that one novel in a series that describes how shit the world is every dozen or so pages.

    Is it biased if I recommend one of my own novels?
     
  20. Transparent Painting

    Transparent Painting Well-Known Member

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    FUCK YES! Night Watch probably has one of the best covers (The one made by Paul Kidby).
     
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