what are you reading right now?

Health insurance rip off lying FDA big bankers buying
Fake computer crashes dining
Cloning while they're multiplying
Fashion shoots with Beck and Hanson
Courtney Love, and Marilyn Manson
You're all fakes
Run to your mansions
Come around
We'll kick your ass in

Postby lefthandshake » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:10 pm

i'm only about two pages into satantango, but i see similarities with old rendering plant's style in addition to the setting. dense, beautiful sentences that require some effort to unpack, anyway.

correction features a suicided subject character that's based on wittgenstein and is so much better than wittgenstein's nephew
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Postby cooly » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:24 pm

noted. i'll go with correction over WN. thanks both of you
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Postby bongo » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:27 pm

rereading mcelroy’s Plus right now which is one of the most remarkable sci-fi books i’ve ever read

also reading book 2 in the gormenghast series (i loved titus groan) and peter o’leary’s earth is best
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Postby saranclaps » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:30 pm

also tried to read less by Andrew Sean Greer but i think i'm burned out on books about writers.
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Postby Riverchrist » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:07 pm

I started re-reading Titus Groan (a tremendous decision) and two randos have already chatted me up about it. That seems like quite a coincidence unless the series gained new popularity in the last decade.

Anyway it's like playing a classic RPG for only the second time. Lots of favorite parts you're eager to re-experience but still lots of other bits you forgot. Leveling up in a Gormenghast RPG would suck a lot though.
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Postby Riverchrist » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:08 pm

is Swelter basically Cartman
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Postby bongo » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:23 pm

it’s Well Regarded in my circles. titus groan is so good, the rooftop shit and the sisters tree thing. just really cool locations. so far book 2 is just as good


swelter is amazing
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Postby mudd » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:21 pm

I never managed to read Titus alone because my college library copy had gone missing. I’m afraid I’d have to reread the first two to get to it and that’s too imposing.

Also I really need to reread plus. I read it a long time ago and understood nearly nothing. I am hopefully better equipped now.

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Postby mancubz » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:12 pm

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just finished it and oh man that ending really fuckin surprised meToggle Spoiler
i'm so sad now!
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Postby Kenny » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:23 am

I read Baron Corvo's book Hadrian The Seventh after reading his biography The Quest for Corvo (which was amazing)

The book is basically the fever dream of somebody with a persecution complex and about how great he is and how stupid everybody else is. He (the main character is exactly him) becomes pope and then he goes on long diatribes about what the Truth is and the book finishes with a long 20 page diatribe against a real life exposing article about how Baron Corvo would move to a place and abuse kindness tillt hey kicked him out. The style of writing is very distinctive and odd, parts of it were really pretty and interesting but the whole time you're reading the document of a kind of crazy and very lonely person

I wonder what I would have thought of it if I had read it before the biography and didn't know he was a grifter, maybe I would have been inclined to believe him as a better person than he was. Still he wasn't a monster, just a person with problems in a heavy world. Not a really FUN read but a definite interesting one
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Postby mudd » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:29 am

mancubz wrote:just finished it and oh man that ending really fuckin surprised meToggle Spoiler
i'm so sad now!


That that was a knife blow. Really good book.

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Postby bongo » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:33 am

mudd wrote:Also I really need to reread plus. I read it a long time ago and understood nearly nothing. I am hopefully better equipped now.


you def should. if you decide to and would like, i can scan some of the pieces in the mcelroy edition of TROCF from spring ‘90. there are some really insightful analyses in there for all his novels (besides cannonball)
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Postby mancubz » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:24 pm

I got Samantha hunts “the seas” yesterday and I’m halfway through it
I love this weird cold longing aqueous shit
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Postby cooly » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:51 pm

read this last night / this morning

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it has more of an agenda than you'd expect from the publisher / title. it's guided by the idea that shiki was partly responsible for misrepresenting the haiku tradition, leading to the popular rigid conception of 5/7/5 poems that focus on particular images / moments, tending to concern nature and perhaps being guided by a zen philosophy. the book links haiku to earlier japanese traditions where poems were composed as a playful social activity, with poets writing poems in response to one another (sometimes such that the second poem changes the interpretation / meaning of the first poem) in linked chains. the book engages with that tradition by presenting poems as engaging with one another. it also undermines the popular conception of haiku by presenting poems concerning more vulgar subject matters.

interesting book, and i enjoyed it, though i still find haiku-as-image really beautiful and interesting
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Postby mudd » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:56 pm

mancubz wrote:I got Samantha hunts “the seas” yesterday and I’m halfway through it
I love this weird cold longing aqueous shit


Oh man I loved this book, really took me by surprise. I followed up with a book of her stories which was also really good, in the same sort of small town slipstream way. Looking forward to reading her next couple novels.

I picked it up because Maggie Nelson wrote the intro and will do so again for anything she suggests.

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Postby mudd » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:59 pm

bongo wrote:
mudd wrote:Also I really need to reread plus. I read it a long time ago and understood nearly nothing. I am hopefully better equipped now.


you def should. if you decide to and would like, i can scan some of the pieces in the mcelroy edition of TROCF from spring ‘90. there are some really insightful analyses in there for all his novels (besides cannonball)


Oh that would be pretty helpful! If you do I’m sure it will motivate me to follow through on the read, but take your time.

I actually own a copy of trocf, but not that issue. Richard Powers/ Rikki Duccornet, for some odd reason.

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Postby alaska » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:32 pm

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:ryan:
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Postby Smerdyakov » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:59 pm

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Also read some sci-fi. It was pretty engrossing.
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Postby saranclaps » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:25 am

Tried robin Sloan mr penumbra too twee

Reading fortune smiles by Adam johnson. Only one story in but so far very good
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Postby jenmichaeljarre » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:47 am

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Postby water, sunbeams » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:29 am

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Was like a dream. Highly recc'd.

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Currently reading, and is more like a nightmare. Frantic, almost schizophrenic. reminds me of amiri Baraka's writing. Happy for Darius Jones to be able to get this reprinted through nyrb as he's had a rough go of things.
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Postby garbiel » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:35 pm

j-ol wrote:
rushedbehind wrote:I just bought Ducks, Newburyport this afternoon. Looks really good.


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i bought this over the weekend on the strength of bingo's goodreads review. it's so good i need to share it here (w/o permission)

I tore through this Brick over the course of 4 days lazing about a man-made beach at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean (my first - and almost certainly final - resort experience). I read surrounded by people ignoring their kids and wearing shirts that said DAY DRINKING in big black letters. I read alongside a man who was shouting at his drone which had just hit a palm tree and spiraled down into the brush below. This setting was ideal.

Ducks… is unique in many ways, chief among them being that it very definitely could not exist before 2019. More importantly, it is a novel that actually feels like a new permutation of the form. The last time I felt this way was after finishing The Lost Scrapbook- but Ellmann’s prose is even more reactionary and, indeed, revolutionary. It is a two-pronged affront to conservatism, dealing with both political and literary dimensions in one fell swoop.

Perhaps we might think of it as the first (?) metamodern literary masterpiece. Or maybe as a JR for the post-Buzzfeed set (I believe, counter to the press blurbs which consistently reference Ulysses as a touchstone, that Ellmann’s novel is very definitely a spiritual successor to Gaddis’ crowning achievement). Or perhaps it’s a new canon entry for the "Fuck the Canon" generation.

In general I’m hyper-suspicious of contemporary fiction that gets marketed as literary or groundbreaking. I’m talking about clever, snarky, “Yes I’m very educated and have done a lot of Important Workshops” fiction that I often label "MFA-core" or “n+1 type beats.” I’ll confess that initially I was tempted to write off Ducks… because of the “the fact that” conceit and because, I’d read, it is “one long sentence” (it’s not, really). Typically, stuff like this is precisely the kind of artifice that has me deleting .mobi files before I hit “2% read.” So if you’re like me and a fear of gimmick is your blocker, get over it- there’s so much to love here.

Ellmann has constructed a book that engages with our horrifying and ever-increasing attention illiteracy in a remarkable way. It is a massive novel of tiny, digestible, even glossable moments. You can zone out a little bit and not be punished (but you'll be duly rewarded for staying alert). “The fact that” functions like a sort memespeak, a TFW or Drakepost mapped onto the consciousness of a constantly ruminating, neurotic as hell, absolutely hilarious protagonist. But really it's a canny device that allows Ellmann to move through ideas, people, mountains of cultural detritus, and everything PLUS the kitchen sink with tremendous alacrity and poise. The tone she concocts here is just incredible, suffusing the absurdity, urbanity, and breeziness of a novel like JR with a sort of charming, rustic coziness (pies! cinnamon rolls!) and a deeply felt terror at what we've let the world become.

I love this book and I don’t like many/any new books (and am admittedly a bit of a shit in this regard). Read it now, I bet you’ll love it.


I done finished this and it's pretty good.
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Postby ahungbunny » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:48 pm

i vastly prefer your review garbiel
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Postby the upland trout » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:11 am

Finished this earlier:

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I mostly enjoyed it. The anti-government pro-market shit was kinda obnoxious. Though I do want to re-read Fire Upon The Deep.

Started these today:

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I've read very little, have done very little, these past few months. Other than move in with my girlfriend, which involved packing, moving, and unpacking over 6,000 books. Hoping that I'm finally getting back to normal.
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Postby guy forget » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:17 am

Man I totally loved Deepness I wanna reread that book

I don’t remember the anti gov pro market stuff? Remind me?
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Postby mudd » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:13 am

moving with books is the worst. Next time I’m gonna make the far off lands come to me instead.

Texas: the great theft had a great set-up, but it’s a little lecturery sometimes.

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Postby dvr » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:34 am

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Postby garbiel » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:37 am

Will never forget reading A Fire Upon the Deep and coming to a full stop when encountering the term "combat programmer"
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Postby the upland trout » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:12 pm

guy forget wrote:Man I totally loved Deepness I wanna reread that book

I don’t remember the anti gov pro market stuff? Remind me?


It's all over the book once you start to notice it. For example, there are a couple points in the novel in which it is revealed that a civilization has failed because of attempts to centralize control under a government. These central authorities do not have the capacity to manage the systems they govern, and thus they collapse. It is suggested that the solution to these problems that government can't manage are private enterprise and the free market.

Ideologically the book is quite libertarian and to a certain extent I think it harms Vinge's world building (and character building). At least with regards to the social aspects of worldbuilding, Vinge's got nothing on someone like Le Guin, who I think is much more insightful on these matters and creates more interesting cultures and societies as a result.

Which is not to say that other parts of Vinge's worldbuilding aren't really great. I'm a bit disappointed that there is only one other novel set in this universe that I've not read. It's a really cool setting.
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Postby guy forget » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:42 pm

I’ll def be rereading Fire and Deepness at some point so I’ll be on the lookout, thanks for responding UT
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