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Thread: About to go on a major book binge...

  1. #16
    Elite Member calcifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Lane View Post
    I just looked up "Kafka on the Shore" and John Updike gave it a good review.. so if that's indicative of how good it is, it's probably superb. Funnily enough, I was looking at "The Wind Up Bird Chronicle" for a long time last night, debating on whether to add it to my cart or not. Thanks!
    'the wind up bird chronicle' is less accessible than 'kafka on the shore'. and not easy to describe, it's like a trail of mundane passages intermingled with metaphysical immersions into the darkness. or a labyrinthine tale filled with eccentric characters, seeped with images from japan's gruesome past. but above all, a cascade of emotions. and it all slowly unwinds and then softly shuts down in the end. a book to marvel at, with hauntingly beautiful prose.

    go with 'kafka on the shore'. it'll give you a taste of murakami's narrating style and the recurring themes in his work. it's a special book, one that i tremendously enjoyed reading and with a great cast of characters. definitely not one to overlook.

  2. #17
    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeadDwarf View Post
    I like Beatnik stuff. One of my favorites is On The Road by Jack Kerouac. Its based on his life and is about two guys going across the country in the 1950's. I guess you could call them the predecessors of hippies.
    i love on the road. it's so good.
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


  3. #18
    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Murakami is overrated, IMHO.
    Hello mother fucker! when you ask a question read also the answer instead of asking another question on an answer who already contain the answer of your next question!
    -Bugdoll-



  4. #19
    Elite Member calcifer's Avatar
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    ah no, i disagree. the only book i would deem overrated (overhyped?) would be 'norwegian wood'. i felt it was inconsistent and didn't live up to my expectations. but on the whole, i consider murakami a brilliant novelist.

  5. #20
    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Lol, of course Norwegian Wood is the book I had in mind.

    But I read Kafka On The Shore, too, and wasn't all that impressed.

    Not saying he isn't a good novelist, but I don't understand why so many people make him out as this uber talent. It's just because he's fashionable.
    Hello mother fucker! when you ask a question read also the answer instead of asking another question on an answer who already contain the answer of your next question!
    -Bugdoll-



  6. #21
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calcifer View Post
    maybe a murakami? i don't know if you have read anything by him yet but i'd suggest 'kafka on the shore'. it's the book that introduced me to japanese lit, really loved it.
    great book. my first introduction to murakami was 'the wind-up bird chronicle' and it's still my favourite. i didn't find it any less accessible than his others. that or 'a wild sheep chase'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post


    One book, I know for sure you'd enjoy is "The Ground Beneath Her Feet". It's by Salman Rushdie, but an easy read (lol), takes place in the good old Hippie days and is basically about Rock music and celebrity culture. The Ground Beneath Her Feet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    i love that book. and knowing penny, i think she will love it too. i also recommend 'the moor's last sigh', i think it is my favourite rushdie. and of course 'the satanic verses'.

    these are some of the best books i've read in the past few years:

    'cloud atlas' - david mitchell. fucking amazing and just brilliant. i recommend it 100%.

    'what i loved' - siri hustvedt

    'on beauty' - zadie smith (and if you haven't read it yet, 'white teeth' is also great)

    also, i heartily recommend the other murakami, murakami ryu (i think in english he's mostly known as ryu murakami). his most famous books are probably 'coin locker babies', 'audition' (was made into a movie by the same name, you might have seen it), 'kyoko', 'in the miso soup'.

    anything by julian barnes. maybe start with 'metroland' or 'history of the world in 10-and-a-half chapters'.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  7. #22
    Elite Member calcifer's Avatar
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    @ chilly : really? 'kafka' blew me out of this world, figuratively speaking. thought it was terrific. did you read the 'wind up bird'?

    i get what you're saying, i felt the same way when i looked online at other people's reviews of 'norwegian wood'. but it is his debut novel after all so i can understand why there weren't a lot of critical reviews and why people might have been more favourable in their opinions.

    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    great book. my first introduction to murakami was 'the wind-up bird chronicle' and it's still my favourite. i didn't find it any less accessible than his others. that or 'a wild sheep chase'.
    my favourite too. haven't read 'a wild sheep chase' yet.

  8. #23
    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    The Rushdie book seems right up my alley! I'm giddy with excitement.. is that weird? I love books.. thank you all for your helpful recommendations... I'm going to give my cart the once-over with your books in mind and see what I come up with. I already have 14 in my cart!

  9. #24
    Elite Member LaFolie's Avatar
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    I'd try Madame Bovary, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, whole Kafka, and post-colonial lit such as the works of Wole Soyinka. Oh, and also some Pirandello for metafiction.
    I don't want to perish like a fading horse - best lyric ever

  10. #25
    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    ^^ I read 'Madame Bovary' before... and 'Anna Karenina'... it's worth reading again, though.. I don't own a copy so it might be good to invest in one. "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" looks interesting... Which Kafka books do you recommend? I greatly enjoyed Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" and I've heard that Kafka's "The Trial" is similar to that.

    Recommend any Sartre stuff? Existentialism-heavy stuff kind of intimidates me. "Waiting For Godot" was extremely boring to me.... but I'm willing to give Sartre and Camus a try since I've heard good things about them.

    Also.. anyone read "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius"?

  11. #26
    Elite Member LaFolie's Avatar
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    You absolutely must read Camus!! The Plague, The Fall, The Stranger... As to Kafka, I'd recommend the Trial and The Metamorphosis (a novella). Oh, and Coetzee's Life and Times of Michael K, inspired by Kafka's work. I have never read any fiction by Sartre.
    I don't want to perish like a fading horse - best lyric ever

  12. #27
    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Lane View Post

    Recommend any Sartre stuff? Existentialism-heavy stuff kind of intimidates me. "Waiting For Godot" was extremely boring to me.... but I'm willing to give Sartre and Camus a try since I've heard good things about them.

    Also.. anyone read "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius"?

    a good place to start with sartre is 'le mur' (the wall), a collection of short stories. great stuff.

    i read 'a hearbreaking work of staggering genius'. what can i say? it's not that it's badly written, and some parts ring incredibly true especially if you've gone through the death of a parent (or parents). but there were times when i wanted to smack dave eggers. he just sort of comes across as a total wanker.

    another suggestion i have is 'jimmy corrigan, the smartest kid on earth'. it's a graphic novel, but a long one. it's a great story, and the book itself is a work of art.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

  13. #28
    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Thank you, guys!!

  14. #29
    Elite Member Penny Lane's Avatar
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    Mmkay, here's what I ordered:

    "Slaughterhouse Five," Kurt Vonnegut
    "Naked Lunch," William S. Burroughs
    "Cloud Atlas: A Novel," David Mitchell
    "The God of Small Things," Arundhati Roy
    "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," Salman Rushdie
    "Midnight's Children," Salman Rushdie
    "Shantaram," Gregory David Roberts
    "A Density of Souls," Christopher Rice
    "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," Milan Kundera
    "The Trial," Franz Kafta
    "The Stranger," Albert Camus
    "Written In Blood," Diane Fanning
    "Kafka On The Shore," Haruki Murakami
    "On The Road," Jack Kerouac
    "Brideshead Revisisted," Evelyn Waugh
    "Blindness," Jose Saramago
    "Seeing," Jose Saramago
    "Lolita," Vladimir Nabokov
    "Saturday," Ian McEwan
    "The Lazarus Project," Aleksander Hemon
    "Along Came A Spider," James Patterson

    That was my 20th birthday present to myself. I can't wait to tear into them! Thanks for all your help.

  15. #30
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    aw, i love vonnegut. great choices.



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


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