Whatcha reading?

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

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diane bartels
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby diane bartels » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:34 pm

I would submit that our Harlan is a writer of that caliber. Not all the stories, but some are so haunting, sometimes poetic, sometimes epic. Does anyone agree with me? If not, why?

diane bartels
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby diane bartels » Fri Aug 02, 2013 5:34 pm

I would submit that our Harlan is a writer of that caliber. Not all the stories, but some are so haunting, sometimes poetic, sometimes epic. Does anyone agree with me? If not, why?

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Steve Evil
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Steve Evil » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:04 pm

I agree: that's why I'm here. I'd rather read Unca Harlan than just about anyone else. Writers with better reputations and better sales have moved me far less. . .

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:22 am

Diane if you're asking what I think of the literary quality of HE's work well I regard him as one of the finest short story writers alive. His best stuff is as good as anybody.

If you're asking me if I think he's as good as Shakespeare well, no, but that's because each civilization seems to only get one artist of that caliber and then the Muses move on to the next. I doubt if HE would be insulted to be compared unfavorably to Shakespar*.


*I follow the tradition, started by Shakespear himself, of never spelling his name the same way twice in the same text.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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FrankChurch
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Aug 03, 2013 11:57 am

Harlan's one of the top hundred of all time but no Shakespeare. He'd agree. Twain is better, nabokov is, Bradbury is, but Harlan is up there.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Moderator » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:57 pm

I think I would put Harlan on a standing similar to Hemingway. Much of Hemingway's notoriety came from his public persona, as does Harlan's. Both excel at short stories, and as with any writer the quality of their pieces could be a bit of a roller coaster. (Hell, there are Bradbury and Twain stories I find aren't quite up to the rest of their body of work). To Hemingway and Ellison writing was/is a craft, not an art.

Hemingway had the advantage of living in more literary times, when writers of that sort of quality were more readily exposed to the general public through publications like Colliers, The Saturday Evening Post, and Esquire. By the time Harlan was publishing the general fiction markets had dried up for the most part.

But though the average output might have been all over the board, writers tend to be remembered for their best work, and when Harlan is good it rips your insides to shreds.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Sun Aug 04, 2013 12:33 pm

A Boy and his Dog certainly ripped me up. Mephisto as well. That may be the best thing he has done.

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Ezra Lb.
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sun Aug 04, 2013 8:42 pm

Well whatever the intention, Jeffty Is Five is art, one of the finest short stories ever written. Never fails to make me want to cry.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

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FrankChurch
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:59 am

The Holy Ghost was pulling your forlocks.


:)

diane bartels
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby diane bartels » Fri Aug 16, 2013 4:12 pm

Interesting. Harlan is not Shakespeare,no, but then noone else is either. Some writers I admire, Hemingway for example, but I do not personally thrill to their works. Harlan I have actually always enjoyed most of his stuff. I think a couple of the stories in Angry Candy were among his very best. But I had to grow older to appreciate them.

I read Laurel K. Hamilton's new one, and then reread a couple of the old ones in the series. She seems to be repeating herself and in a sense imitating herself, if you know what I mean. Was trying to reaqd some Aristotle, cause that is where one of my gaping holes of knowledge lie, but I have left off of the heavy stuff as the end of summer flies by.

Wed was my nephew Joe's birthday. He turned ten. His party is Sun. The other nephew, Vinnie, aka the Red Menace, goes back to college next week. Proud of him. And Rachel, my only niece, turned 13 in June. That beautiful baby princess is entering 8th grade this year. Where the heck does time go?

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby reddragon70 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:18 pm

I am currently reading Cloud Atlas, mostly because I seem to be one of the few people out there who really enjoyed the movie. So I decided that as books are always better then film adaptations I should give it a go. It is most definitely a decision I have no regrets about. It is a delight.

Next on the reading list, The Hydrogen Sonatta by Iain M Banks. I've been putting it off. I guess I am still sad and upset about his passing and I know its the last ever Culture novel. So I want to look forward to it, I want to savour it. I want it to really mean something when I do read it. Iain M Banks was a wonderful writer, a man I looked up to, and met on a couple of occasions but was too in awe to ask the burning question I wanted to ask. Now I never can.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:49 pm

I found Cloud Atlas enormously enjoyable. Haven't seen the movie yet.

I still have two Culture novels untouched on my shelf. Surface Detail and Hydrogen Sonata. I'm thinking of going back and rereading Consider Phlebas before I tackle those two. I remember hearing about Banks from, of all people, Damon Knight, who recommended in as one of the best SF novels ever written.

reddragon70
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby reddragon70 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:15 am

Mark, one thing I do know, Surface Details is wonderful. I loved it. There is also a rather nice little epilogue that if you have read the other Culture novels will hit a chord. Definitely well worth reading in my opinion.

As for the Cloud atlas movie, I loved it. I know it divided a lot of people, but I really enjoyed it. It is a bold attempt to film a novel many classed as unfilmable.

Also just as an interesting side note.... Look out for the section that was filmed in Glasgow. When Bill Smoke side swipes a car, that is Glasgow doubling for San Francisco or wherever. That made me smile.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby FrankChurch » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:25 am

Jackie Brown is based on Elmore Leonard's Rum Punch. Look for both.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:49 am

Well, I broke down and finally decided to read Hitchens' God Is Not Great. Mostly, it's preaching to the choir, but his examples are pointed and ample. I'm also finding him far more tolerant in certain ways than the Dawkins book. I wonder if his loudest critics even bothered to read past the prologue.

Yesterday on the way to work I listened to a bit of Speaking Of Faith with Christa Tippet and she had some aging guru type on who was raving about what a wonderful, amazing woman Mother Theresa was, and I couldn't listen anymore. I view her like the philanthropist who builds a new animal shelter and everyone thinks he's great but he goes home at night and butchered puppies for fun.

I seem to be on a kick with religious type books. Next up is Jon Meachem's American Gospel.


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