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Blindness, Jose Saramago

Whew, that was exhausting. Saramago loves absurdly lengthy run-on sentences and two or three page paragraphs, and that's what every single of its 326 pages contained. He also seems to despise quotation marks, there wasn't one pair in the whole book. Maybe I'm just old and tired, but I like to at least have the option of a comfortable pausing point somewhat frequently but this book gives them few and very far between so reading it feels like running a marathon. It's the literary equivalent of waterboarding.

Which is a shame, because the premise of a nationwide epidemic of "white" blindness and its consequences could have been riveting. It did manage to transcend its atrocious formatting in points, the account of the first cases of the unusual phenomenon of a man's being struck blind in his car at a stoplight, the degredation and humiliation experienced in quarantine by some of the sufferers, and their escape from confinement after society had broken down to such an extent it couldn't keep the initial cases interred any longer and their exploration of that world outside after escaping.

It amazes me this won the Nobel prize, because for all the power of the story it really is just this side of unreadable.
loosechanj: (Default)
Finally finished Moving Pictures. Definitely my least favorite of the Discworld novels. It's Pratchett, so it can't suck as such, but the amount of shoehorning needed to make most of the plot elements work in the discworld setting was irritating. Felt like...hell, it was Flinstones' techish. This one's dispensable, sad to say.
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I just finished Ham on Rye by Bukowski. I loved it, and I love Bukowski. He's crass, rude, and obnoxious. And he writes hella short chapters. I like that. I don't think it's a short attention span thing, I just like my novels in comfortable bite sizes. You sit down to read Bukowski, and you know even if you only have a minute where you're going to end up, at a nice chapter break. Hell, sometimes there's more than one nice stopping point within a chapter. You don't have to make a huge commitment of time. And if you do wanna sit there for awhile it feels like the chapters just fly by and you're reading really fast and it gives me a nice satisfied feeling.

This is why I fucking hate Pratchett. (Not really hate, but c'mon. Jesus.) One long string of words Bastard.

It's really "Ham on Rye: A Novel". A novel huh? I never would have guessed, it's a good thing they pointed that out! I think all of the books in [livejournal.com profile] docbrite's Liquor series do that too. It's amusing, at least to me, because if you're picking up a book in the first place, you're literate and know what you're dealing with. And if you can't read, it doesn't make much difference anyway.

I should probably read more short stories.

I just got a package from microsoft. Windows Home server, beta 2. Oh boy.

Yayy! #51

Mar. 3rd, 2007 02:48 pm
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The local B&N finally had Moonraker on the shelf so I'm reading that now. Call me silly, but I want to read the Bond books in order. (Whatever order the list in the books is in.) I couldn't get on with them till I found Moonraker. Just a hangup. And I'm way too excited about it I know. But I'm really digging these books, they're just so over the top and campy cool 50'sness.

I also picked up The Ringworld Engineers.

It's sad that my trips to the bookstore are the only thing worth posting about, isn't it?

Books #493

Jan. 28th, 2007 03:30 am
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Finished up Deliverance, took awhile to get started but it was good once it did. Since I am utterly penniless at the moment, I went through my stash for something I hadn't read and found a Pournelle, The Mercenary. A few others too, maybe I'll get to 'em. And my Copy of Cujo, purchased August 23rd, 1983. I'll probably read that next.
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Finished Post Office yesterday, read in under 30 hours. He's really "light". Lately I've started thinking about books and authors in terms of "density". Salinger's Catcher was pretty thick. I mean, packed. Page+ long paragraphs at times. Bukowski, otoh, was bite sized, popcorn. Quickest read for me since Douglas Adams.

The fact that the protagonist in Post Office was a lowlife alcoholic slacker was awesome. I've know quite a few Chinaskis in my time. Lazy as hell, drunk all the time, and still somehow manage to keep going.

Working on Asimov's Foundation now. I'd thought I'd actually somehow never read anything he'd written, but in fact I have. Years ago I read a book he wrote with someone else, that was made into a gawdawful movie. Nightfall. Go read it, 's good.

Sadly, I have nothing on deck. I was thinking about this paperback of Bulfinch's King Arthur stuff, but it's 600 pages long and I'm afraid I'd get bogged down on it.
loosechanj: (Default)
Top Posters! Form a line to the right to collect your prizes! )

Wow, an update! I just finished Catcher in the Rye. Boy, I can understand why [livejournal.com profile] suckswhen couldn't stand Holden. Incredibly negative outlook. I remember being just like that, during most of my life. It's what depression does to you. You could tell he really loved his sister though, and the ending was pretty intense, even if it really was just an arbitrary place to end the story.

Aaaaaaaaand...that's about it. So far almost nothing of note has happened to me. Except I lost another chunk of tooth, and I'm willing to bet my dentist is going to say it needs a crown. (Sad face)

On to Bukowski's "Post Office" now. Hasta.

Edit: Holy shit, lookit all the bantowns. This my friends, is why you screen non-friends.


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