Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Sahrimnir on Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:07 pm

I read them about a year ago. I had already seen the movie and my brother had also mentioned he enjoyed the books (apparently the Hunger Games trilogy are three of the only four books he has ever actually enjoyed).

I also quite enjoyed the books and read through all three of them in a week.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Raya on Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:51 am

Finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy. I've come to the conclusion that Suzanne Collins isn't actually a very good writer. Don't get me wrong, the idea behind the series is brilliant, it's just that she doesn't really have the skill to pull it off.

Her main problem is that she doesn't understand pacing and how to divide up screentime. I really started to notice this in Catching Fire, where several characters get trapped inside part of the arena where they're mentally tortured by jabberjays screaming in the voices of their loved ones. This is a fantastic idea and sure to wring out some psychological torture out of the characters...nope, it lasts for a paragraph and everyone gets over it, aside from once in a while saying 'oh weren't those jabberjays scary'. We literally get more words describing how good Peeta is at frosting cakes. And then the whole deal with District 13. In the first two books 13 is built up to be this mysterious place that may or may not exist...then at the start of the third book it opens with 'yeah, 13 is real and now we're here'. Great, way to just chuck all that buildup out the window.

Mockingjay is absolutely rubbish and I'm pretty pissed off that's how the series ended, mainly because of the above. There is literally a pan-continental civil war going on, something everyone thought was impossible in the first book. Do we get to see it? No, we spend all our time watching Katniss get dosed up on sedatives, hiding in cupboards and complaining about how life is hard. I was expecting to see the war across Panem, the districts rallying and fighting back, the war going back and forth, but instead we get our former action heroine going "BAWW I'M A HORRIBLE PERSON WHERE ARE MY PILLS". Take what's supposed to be the big climax- the storming of President Snow's mansion- all what happens is that Katniss gets knocked flat and wakes up taking painkillers and told that everything got resolved whilst she was unconscious. Fuck this.

And then there are the deaths of important characters. Killing off major characters is a massive thing that should advance the plot in meaningful ways. Do they? No they bloody don't:
Spoiler:
Cinna dies offscreen. Fennick gets his head bitten off and his plotline forgotten about. Prim shows up randomly for the sole purpose of getting blown up 3 lines later. The deaths do absolutely nothing for the plot, the story would have continued the same if they were still alive. All that happened was that Katniss went and sat in a cupboard again.
I have to say I'm hugely disappointing. Hopefully this will all get fixed in the film version since the book is being split into 2 films and I'm doubt it will be 4 hours of Katniss crying in a hospital bed taking sedatives. Maybe we'll actually get to see this whole uprising we were promised...

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  TD260 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:40 pm

Many of the people that have read the series that I know were of the same opinion.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  SnakeInABox on Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:01 pm

SPOILERS:

raya
[3:54:33 PM] Heisenberg: lets talk about mockinjay
[3:54:36 PM] Heisenberg: and the BULLSHIT
[3:54:38 PM] Heisenberg: that was the ending
[3:55:38 PM] Heisenberg: And I am talking about
[3:55:40 PM] Heisenberg: SPOILERS
[3:55:59 PM] Heisenberg: How she tried wrapping up Katniss full development and the Gale sidestory with
[3:56:02 PM] Heisenberg: FUCKING WITH
[3:56:11 PM] Heisenberg: killing her sister who like
[3:56:43 PM] Heisenberg: SOMEHOW RANDOMLY shows up in the middle of the big fucking fight because she can???!!?!?!
[3:57:02 PM] Heisenberg: And it seems like theres a chance that maybe gale had something to do with the things that killed the RANDOM children so??????\
[3:57:57 PM] Heisenberg: Did the capitol KNOW there was going to be a GIANT fight IN the city why were the STREETS of the city thats known for NOT BEING FILLED WITH ENEMIES like masterfully boobytrapped everywhere
[3:59:00 PM] Heisenberg: like stepping on a rock triggers a swarm of super bees BUT ONLY IN CASE OF THE HUNGER GAMES SOMEHOW RANDOMLY GOING WRONG ONE DAY AND A SECRET UNDERGROUND CIVILIZATION  RISING UO OUT OF NOWHERE COMPLETELLY UNEXPECTED
[3:59:23 PM] Heisenberg: Hey lets make all of the streets in the rich person gated community deadly JUST IN CASE SOMETHING LIKE THAT MIGHT RANODMLY HAPPEN
[3:59:39 PM] Heisenberg: rayas not even online Snake
[3:59:44 PM] Heisenberg: .....
[3:59:48 PM] Heisenberg: Oh I see sorry

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Raya on Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:33 pm

I totally agree. With the pods I assumed the Capitol just put them there because they knew the rebels were coming, but it specifically says some have been there since the Dark Days. Which makes no sense as in the first book it says that the rebels never got past the mountains, so why boobytrap the entire place?

What got me was the street that flips up and dumps everyone inside. Who the fuck thought THAT was a good idea? And it's been nearly a century, are you telling me people were maintaining the street flipper? All the Avoxes were down there for years oiling the gears of this cartoon trap just in case the Districts manage to rebel and actually get inside the previously unassailable Capitol?

It's just...this series had so much potential. It was a blatant Battle Royale ripoff, but I still liked it. But Mockingjay was just a mess, really. It's a shame.

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King Avalanche:
Spoiler:

FUCK YOU RAYA.

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

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FUUUUUUCKKKKK YOOOOOUUUUU

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  TheTJ on Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:10 am

Sooooo...

Dresden Files is a thing that exists and is also great. It's one of the few systems of magic that makes complete sense to me. At one point Harry (The main character) makes an Ice Bridge on water by taking all the heat out of the water and channeling it into a fire spell to ward off a vampire chasing him.

Oh yeah, and Harry's a Wizard/Detective.

Fun times.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  JGH27 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:10 pm

Currently halfway through Stephen King's Needful Things. As usual his character and plot development are magnificent and I'm not sure where its heading but am enjoying the ride!

Before that was King's 'Joyland' which was a short thriller that had a hard hitting finish.

I recommend both!

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  TD260 on Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:05 pm

TheTJ wrote:Sooooo...

Dresden Files is a thing that exists and is also great. It's one of the few systems of magic that makes complete sense to me. At one point Harry (The main character) makes an Ice Bridge on water by taking all the heat out of the water and channeling it into a fire spell to ward off a vampire chasing him.

Oh yeah, and Harry's a Wizard/Detective.

Fun times.

I've recommended that series a number of times in this thread. Since 2011.

But yeah, it's a really spectacular series. Razz

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Raya on Fri Jan 17, 2014 12:40 pm

TheTJ wrote:Sooooo...

Dresden Files is a thing that exists and is also great. It's one of the few systems of magic that makes complete sense to me. At one point Harry (The main character) makes an Ice Bridge on water by taking all the heat out of the water and channeling it into a fire spell to ward off a vampire chasing him.

Oh yeah, and Harry's a Wizard/Detective.

Fun times.

If you like the Dresden Files TJ you might want to check out the Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch (retitled as Midnight Riot in the US for some reason). The main character is a London policeman, Peter Grant, who is investigating a murder and discovers that what he thought was a witness is in fact a ghost. After this revelation he’s transferred to London Metropolitan Police’s magical department (population: 1) and apprenticed to the last wizard in the UK. Now he’s investigating crimes of a more supernatural nature and discovering that London is a lot stranger than he ever thought; there’s river gods and goddess having turf wars, shapeshifters, faefolk, magic-wielding serial killers and he’s now their community support liaison. Fun times indeed.

It’s a very good series and has been praised for how realistic to the policing side is; though Peter can now fling fireballs and conjure up shields he still does actual police work like investigate leads, interview witnesses and dealing with bureaucracy/senior officers who think his department is insane. The characters are interesting, the magic system realistic(!) and Peter has a dry sense of humour that’s pretty hilarious. Go check it out, I think you’ll enjoy it.

JGH27 wrote:Currently halfway through Stephen King's Needful Things. As usual his character and plot development are magnificent and I'm not sure where its heading but am enjoying the ride!

Before that was King's 'Joyland' which was a short thriller that had a hard hitting finish.

I recommend both!

I'll be honest J, I think Stephen King is an absolutely terrible writer. He just recycles the same characters over and over and his plot points are ridiculous (children having a gangbang in the sewer to calm themselves down? Mobile phones making everyone psychic hivemind zombies? Eesh). In fact, he owes me several hours of my life back for the garbage that was Cujo. I actually starting skipping the 'horror' bits of the dumb whore crying about a dog because the cereal mascot subplot was more interesting (which never got resolved either). I just can't get into his books, he just seems to constantly have a good idea for a story then ruin it with bullshit and nonsense. Please feel free to suggest one where that isn't the case.

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King Avalanche:
Spoiler:

FUCK YOU RAYA.

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

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AND

FUUUUUUCKKKKK YOOOOOUUUUU

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Catterick on Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:00 am

Well I recently finished The Boat to Redemption by Su Tong. It's about the son of a disgraced Communist Party member who is forced to live as a riverboat worker after his claim to being the child of a Revolutionary martyr is overturned by the authorities. The son joins him on the barge and the novel is written from his perspective.

It's not quite as bleak as the other book I've read by Su Tong, Rice (which was almost like Scarface set in 1930s China), but it is very pessimistic while at the same time being quite funny. It's also realistic, the father and the son don't go off on adventures or anything, in fact they spend most of the novel hating each other, which seems appropriate given their temperaments and situation.

I found it not as gripping as Rice but more light-hearted, I would recommend it but don't go in expecting any kind of happy ending.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Spontaneous Combustion on Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:56 am

Thanks, Raya. John Dies at the End and This Book is Full of Spiders were both goddamn amazing. If they were just side-splittingly funny horror tales I'd really love them, but they're also filled with some really intelligent and thought-provoking discussion on the human mind and the nature of fear.

Heartily recommended.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Sahrimnir on Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:08 pm

I agree with Spont and Raya. Both of those books are wonderful. Also, Dr. Tennet is one of my favourite characters in any book ever.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Raya on Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:37 pm

Glad you guys loved it. Spont hit the nail on the head why they're such a good read.

There's a film version of JDATE which...is alright. Probably better if you haven't read the books first.

From a good series to a bad one, I picked up the Divergent series after having it recommended to me. What a load of tosh. It's yet another dystopian-future-post-war-society-narrated-by-first person-teenage-girl story set in Chicago of all places. After an unspecified collapse of civilisation Chicago has become a walled metropolis where society has been divided into five factions based on your predominant personality type: intelligence, honesty, selflessness, peacefulness and jumping off trains bravery. Our heroine discovers she doesn't fit into just one category and is the secret sixth faction, Divergent. Then one faction tries to seize control and war breaks out and blah blah.

It sounds good on paper, but the whole thing is just bad. It reads like it's written by a 14 year old girl. Tris is a useless heroine who can't do anything. Literally most of the books have her accomplishing nothing whilst everyone else is advancing the plot. Her romantic relationship with her instructor is toe-curlingly awkward, and I don't even know why he's still with her as she backstabs him constantly. The pacing is bad (one character forgives Tris for killing her boyfriend literally a few hours later) and the characters are undistinguishable or stereotypes. The only interesting thing is the mystery of what lies outside the city, which isn't much touched upon as Tris needs to complain about her relationship more. I'm not even going to get in the bad tasting subtext, which is the devout Christian author painting all scientists as selfish evil overlords and that a society where people are treated as individuals is a terrible thing, urgh.

Yeah, Divergent is garbage, avoid. No idea about the film though, maybe that sorted out a lot of the problems of the book...

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"We'll be going about our business one day and then someone will be like "hm, where's Barda" and Raya will all suspiciously be like "WELL DON'T LOOK AT ME"..." - Rocket Admin Camilla
King Avalanche:
Spoiler:

FUCK YOU RAYA.

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

AND

FUUUUUUCKKKKK YOOOOOUUUUU

the one time I trust you with my back and you plant a dagger in it.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Spontaneous Combustion on Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:08 pm

Raya wrote:
There's a film version of JDATE which...is alright. Probably better if you haven't read the books first.

It was exceptionally disappointing because it's almost really really good! The actors are all great, the editing is tight and the crumminess of the effects actually fits the mood really well. But then it went and cut off like a third of the story but still had mostly the same ending as the novel, and it didn't really work.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Raya on Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:56 pm

Spontaneous Combustion wrote:
It was exceptionally disappointing because it's almost really really good! The actors are all great, the editing is tight and the crumminess of the effects actually fits the mood really well. But then it went and cut off like a third of the story but still had mostly the same ending as the novel, and it didn't really work.

I didn't think the film was bad per se, but there was just so much lost from it. I know you couldn't have an entirely faithful translation, but the fact it followed the first bit of the book closely then suddenly jumped to the end was really jarring. There was so lost as well- I mean, why the hell did they cut out the scene of Marconi's show at Las Vegas, or the part where Dave and Amy are being chased by monsters whilst driving? Both absolutely scream for the big screen treatment. And the whole thing with monster Dave. Plus I wasn't very happy that my favourite character (Molly) got a gender swap and her role completely changed.

I still liked it, but it was a bit like eating only half a dinner. Enjoyable, but you still feel a bit empty afterwards.

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King Avalanche:
Spoiler:

FUCK YOU RAYA.

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

AND

FUUUUUUCKKKKK YOOOOOUUUUU

the one time I trust you with my back and you plant a dagger in it.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Catterick on Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:27 am

To get in the mood for the game, I don't have any Lovecraft lying around so I found the closest thing, a short story in my collected works of Borges, the Argentine writer, which was intended as a homage to our friend H.P.. It's called "There Are More Things" presumably after the quote from Hamlet, and it's only six pages long.

It's not one of his best I admit (Borges is a writer I adore) but it was still kind of neat. I heard Lovecraft is kind of subtle with his horror, this is extra subtle. Like, the scariest things in it are strangely shaped furniture, which the narrator speculates were made for the weird creature that inhabits the house in the story. We never see the creature but it ends with the narrator coming face to face with it, which is very hackneyed for a writer of Borges' calibre, but overall it's still worth reading.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  TheTJ on Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:10 pm

Reading "Words of Radiance" the second book in the Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson.

Is good. You read now, yes?

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Requiem on Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:23 pm

That's out now? Yes. Must read. Must read immediately.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  TD260 on Mon May 25, 2015 4:40 pm

This is directed mainly at Raya, but it's a fantastic book and I feel everyone should read it.

Anyway, the book is titled "A Madness of Angels", by Kate Griffin. It's an urban fantasy title set in modern-day London, and I find it utterly fantastic. (Though, due to the fact that I'm American, I'm certain I'm missing out on a few nuances the book has, hence why I asked Raya in the first place.) It has a fantastically unique magic "system" (if it can be called that) and is incredibly well written (if confusing at first try, due to the steam-of-consciousness style of writing).

In this world, there is magic. Magic is everywhere, in everything, it is found and dwells within all things living. There are warlocks who pledge themselves to higher powers for magic, there are magicians who rely on their incantations and gestures to provide form and substance to the magic they use, and then there are sorcerers, who shape the magic around them with their will and find magic in places that nobody else can see. Matthew Swift, the protagonist, is a Sorcerer.


"For Matthew Swift, today is not like any other day. It is the day on which he returns to life.

Two years after his untimely death, Matthew Swift finds himself breathing once again, lying in bed in his London home.

Except that it's no longer his bed, or his home. And the last time this sorcerer was seen alive, an unknown assailant had gouged a hole so deep in his chest that his death was irrefutable...despite his body never being found.

He doesn't have long to mull over his resurrection though, or the changes that have been wrought upon him. His only concern now is vengeance. Vengeance upon his monstrous killer and vengeance upon the one who brought him back. "

Seriously, check it out if you can, it's a fantastic read.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  Raya on Thu May 28, 2015 1:19 pm

My surname is Swift. Wasn't aware we had any wizards in the family Razz

Sounds pretty interesting though, will have to check it out!

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"We'll be going about our business one day and then someone will be like "hm, where's Barda" and Raya will all suspiciously be like "WELL DON'T LOOK AT ME"..." - Rocket Admin Camilla
King Avalanche:
Spoiler:

FUCK YOU RAYA.

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

FUCK YOU

AND

FUUUUUUCKKKKK YOOOOOUUUUU

the one time I trust you with my back and you plant a dagger in it.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  SnakeInABox on Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:24 pm

I just finished Ready Player One, and I was extremely satisfied with the whole experience. It's been awhile since I got lost in a book, but I got to a point reading this one where I just couldn't put the book down. Ended up staying up until 5 reading the entire second half of it. I think I'm going to try The Martian next

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  TheTJ on Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:28 pm

I 100% agree with Snake on Ready Player One.

It's a future dystopia chock-full of 80s references, and they even give an in-universe reason for the references. I'm pretty much forced to love it.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

Post  SnakeInABox on Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:07 pm

Stephen Speilberg, who was referenced in the book, is going to be directing the upcoming movie. Rumor has it Gene Wilder will come out of retirement to play Anorak.

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Re: Oprah Winfrey's Book Club (The Book Thread)

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