What are you reading?

Griffith

My posts are better.
I finished The Silence of the Lambs last week
So, did you empathize with Buffalo Bill? =)

and started on Hannibal. I know people were disappointed with the book and the movie (I’m one of the rare folks who liked it), but I’m enjoying it so far.
Yeah, as one sympathetic to the devil I liked the book and thought it would have made for a more congruent, if not worthy, sequel to Lambs had the original production team been involved. I mean, they made changes anyway so it's not like Tally, Demme and Foster couldn't have done so as well (won't discuss specifically since you're in the middle of reading it). Anyway, you can't do much better than the top notch mercenaries De Laurentiis brought in to replace them but it's still jarring, though certainly cements the film's different identity and completes a sort of incredible, though uneven trilogy starting with Manhunter. I just always wonder how a Demme/Foster version more in the vein of their Lambs might have turned out.

I don’t think I’ll read Hannibal Rising when I’m finished, though. Harris wrote it under pressure from the studio that owned the rights to Lecter, and I’ve heard it’s pretty bad.
Yeah, it basically became franchise IP at that point, they just happened to have the original author on the hook. It's tough to demand assembly line pulp out of a guy that would otherwise write a novel once a decade.
 
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So, did you empathize with Buffalo Bill? =)
Yeahhhhhhh, but not as much. Plus, all I could hear in my head was Ted Levine, which didn’t help. I’ve been going around the house, rubbing my wife’s back and croaking, “Goooooood. Goooooooood,” though, so that’s been fun.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Yeahhhhhhh, but not as much. Plus, all I could hear in my head was Ted Levine, which didn’t help. I’ve been going around the house, rubbing my wife’s back and croaking, “Goooooood. Goooooooood,” though, so that’s been fun.
Lol, under that scenario in my household I'd go with, "Would you fuck me? I'd fuck me. I'd fuck me so hard." It would go delightfully unwell!

I think my favorite Levine delivery is when he pulls his shirt out and does that caricature of a screaming woman. It's effectively weird, funny, and disturbing given what you know of his pathology. Like he's mocking her of course, but also... genuinely engaged.
 
Lol, under that scenario in my household I'd go with, "Would you fuck me? I'd fuck me. I'd fuck me so hard." It would go delightfully unwell!
:ganishka:

I think my favorite Levine delivery is when he pulls his shirt out and does that caricature of a screaming woman. It's effectively weird, funny, and disturbing given what you know of his pathology. Like he's mocking her of course, but also... genuinely engaged.
That’s my favorite moment of his, too. So good!
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
I started re-re-reading Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear, otherwise known as books 1 and 2 of the Kingkiller Chronicle. That's a pretty ostentatious title considering that even after ~1800 pages, there's still no dead king :guts:.

Every few years, usually if I'm bedridden, I'll turn back to this series. It's my third time through, now. It's a bit ridiculous at this point that the third and final book still isn't out, but I'm finding a lot to enjoy despite knowing pretty much all the nooks and crannies of the series at this point. Highly recommended, particularly for Berserk fans, as it's got a handful of broad similarities.
 
Restarting my re-reading of Berserk at 14th volume to 25th volume in Polish, I've bought 25 one today. Also planning to re-read The Raven Rings and then look into some topics that are interesting for me, shamanism, Slavic paganism, I need some good books within such subject.
 
Yeah, as one sympathetic to the devil I liked the book and thought it would have made for a more congruent, if not worthy, sequel to Lambs had the original production team been involved. I mean, they made changes anyway so it's not like Tally, Demme and Foster couldn't have done so as well
To be fair, the Silence of the Lambs movie is very faithful to the original novel (I'd say about 95%). The only real deviations I noticed were the absence of Clarice Starling's childhood scenes in Montana, where she witnessed the fateful mass slaughter of baby lambs at her uncle's farm. Also, the movie contains virtually no references to the events from Red Dragon (probably because Dino de Laurentis owned the rights to that).
The funny thing is, Jonathan Demme was signed on to do Hannibal. Thomas Harris started writing it even before the Lambs movie was released. In his 1994 interview, Demme said that the sequel to the Lambs was gonna be taking place in Europe and South America. You ever watched the end credits of Silence of the Lambs? At the very end, there's a phrase that says "a luta continua", the Portuguese for "the struggle continues." Not only did that Easter egg indicated a sequel, but (by virtue of being in Portuguese language) even hinted at its Brazilian setting. In the Hannibal novel, it's revealed that Dr. Lecter indeed lived in Brazil for a while after his escape and had plastic surgery done there, to alter his appearance. This quirky little end credits phrase plus Demme dropping out of directing Hannibal even before the novel was released shows just how closely he kept in touch with Harris.


Anyway, you can't do much better than the top notch mercenaries De Laurentiis brought in to replace them but it's still jarring, though certainly cements the film's different identity and completes a sort of incredible, though uneven trilogy starting with Manhunter. I just always wonder how a Demme/Foster version more in the vein of their Lambs might have turned out.
Don't forget Howard Shore. Silence of the Lambs wouldn't have been the same without Shore's sad and delicate, yet dramatic and emotionally intense orchestral score. You ever notice how that movie's main theme bears a striking resemblance to Rolling Stone's Paint it Black? Had the Lambs' cast and crew returned, we would've gotten a far better Hannibal movie than we did. It's too bad Demme and Foster didn't like Clarice getting brainwashed by Dr. Lecter and becoming his accomplice.

It's tough to demand assembly line pulp out of a guy that would otherwise write a novel once a decade.
Ironic, because Dr.Hannibal Lecter has all the characteristics of a typical early 20th century pulp villain - the Eastern European nobility background, genius intellect, being raised by a sexpot Japanese aunt, cannibalism and refined tastes in art. In some ways, he is not unlike Dr. Fu Manchu or Fantômas. Only Thomas Harris' meticulous research and writing talent could elevate Dr. Lecter into a high-brow literary character.
 

Lawliet

Awkward Artist
Re-read the Iliad recently, which was my first time ever re-reading a book, but it was worth it. Going to re-read the Odyssey next. I'm as awestruck by these two books as I was when I first read them. Little surprise they survived almost 3000 years.

After that I'm thinking of starting the Witcher books, or reading the Poppy War by R. F. Kuang (I've been hearing good things).

I started re-re-reading Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear, otherwise known as books 1 and 2 of the Kingkiller Chronicle. That's a pretty ostentatious title considering that even after ~1800 pages, there's still no dead king :guts:.

Every few years, usually if I'm bedridden, I'll turn back to this series. It's my third time through, now. It's a bit ridiculous at this point that the third and final book still isn't out, but I'm finding a lot to enjoy despite knowing pretty much all the nooks and crannies of the series at this point. Highly recommended, particularly for Berserk fans, as it's got a handful of broad similarities.
Kingkiller's probably my favorite fantasy novel series (if we can even call it that--it's been almost a decade since book 2's release and no sign of book 3). I have some issues with it though, such as the slow pacing which you aptly described in your post.

Interesting how you compare it with Berserk though. I've never felt a close similarity between the two works. Though I suppose the idea of the protagonist going after a group of supernatural beings for revenge could be reminiscent of Berserk.

Out of curiosity, which of the two books so far do you prefer? I've seen fans pretty divided on this issue.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
I've never felt a close similarity between the two works. Though I suppose the idea of the protagonist going after a group of supernatural beings for revenge could be reminiscent of Berserk.
Yep, well... both series are “low” fantasy, but I was mostly referring to the revenge story paired with the fact that The Chandrian may as well be the God Hand. Certainly other than their insane quest, Kvothe and Guts don’t have anything in common.

As for Book 3, it’ll happen eventually. I just have very little faith the author can cash in all the checks he’s been writing. There is a ton to wrap up for one book.
 

Lawliet

Awkward Artist
Yep, well... both series are “low” fantasy, but I was mostly referring to the revenge story paired with the fact that The Chandrian may as well be the God Hand. Certainly other than their insane quest, Kvothe and Guts don’t have anything in common.
Fair enough.

For me, the series is more reminiscent of Harry Potter, with the magic and academic setting and all that. Except the protagonist also has to worry about student loans. :ganishka:

But yeah, it speaks to the richness of Kingkiller that it can at once be compared with Berserk, Harry Potter, the Arabian Nights, and so on without being a complete, incoherent mess.

As for Book 3, it’ll happen eventually. I just have very little faith the author can cash in all the checks he’s been writing. There is a ton to wrap up for one book.
I was about to mention just that. Especially when you consider the slow, sometimes self-indulgent, pacing of the author's writing (my main problem with book 2 in particular). If Rothfuss can pull off a satisfying ending to most or all the plot threads we've got so far, I would be very impressed. With his style though, even a very long book may not be enough. We'll see...

Apparently, book 3 has been complete for a long time (before the publication of the first book), and the author is taking all this time just editing. Normally, I would consider it absurd for an author to spend nearly 10 years just editing a book, but with what he has to deliver, I can see why.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
For me, the series is more reminiscent of Harry Potter, with the magic and academic setting and all that. Except the protagonist also has to worry about student loans. :ganishka:
I don't think JK Rowling should be able to lay claim to all magic school story settings, but I agree that there is way too much University stuff, considering everything else that should probably be a priority before he finishes the series. Most of the second book feels like an attempt to correct that aspect of book 1. Becoming mired in that formulaic approach to me reveals how despite a handful of moments of brilliance, the books are pretty uneven. Waylaying any details about the core namesake of the series until the final book feels quite lazy to me, and also potentially catastrophic. What keeps me coming back to them though isn't the craft in which they were written, but how layered it is, and how much it rewards second and third readings, stands up to theory scrutiny, etc.

But yeah, it speaks to the richness of Kingkiller that it can at once be compared with Berserk, Harry Potter, the Arabian Nights, and so on without being a complete, incoherent mess.
I'd say that while it's not a profound series, it is a fun one.

Apparently, book 3 has been complete for a long time (before the publication of the first book), and the author is taking all this time just editing. Normally, I would consider it absurd for an author to spend nearly 10 years just editing a book, but with what he has to deliver, I can see why
Yeah I remember reading that, too. But as the years have passed, I believe it less and less. Like, sure, maybe he had a broad outline of what he intended Book 3 to be. But that structure likely changed as he cemented the ideas in Books 1-2. Sometimes when my boss asks me if I have finished an article, I'll say: "Yep, putting the finishing touches on it now," while adding a new "to do" item in my daily notes. :carcus:
 

Lawliet

Awkward Artist
I don't think JK Rowling should be able to lay claim to all magic school story settings, but I agree that there is way too much University stuff, considering everything else that should probably be a priority before he finishes the series. Most of the second book feels like an attempt to correct that aspect of book 1. Becoming mired in that formulaic approach to me reveals how despite a handful of moments of brilliance, the books are pretty uneven. Waylaying any details about the core namesake of the series until the final book feels quite lazy to me, and also potentially catastrophic. What keeps me coming back to them though isn't the craft in which they were written, but how layered it is, and how much it rewards second and third readings, stands up to theory scrutiny, etc.
I always thought the unevenness was part of the design actually, in that it is meant to mimic a "real life". As in, this is meant to be the autobiography of one man, and since real life is not neatly paced and plotted out, the same would apply to his journey. Hence all the seemingly pointless digressions and meanderings. I think that's what the author was going for.

Though I suppose there's a point where this becomes less a justification and more an excuse. I could certainly do away with some chunks of the story (again, mainly in book 2, like the bandit hunt section) and the author could have made more progress regarding the "Kingkiller" plot line. It's ironic that my favorite parts are those set in the University as opposed to Kvothe's adventures outside. This series is weird.

And yeah, the fan theories this series generates is something (just check out the Kingkiller facebook page), to the point of ridiculousness. The community looks way too deeply into these books sometimes.

I'd say that while it's not a profound series, it is a fun one.
Well it's certainly not an epic about a struggler, which explores human nature :guts:

Yeah I remember reading that, too. But as the years have passed, I believe it less and less. Like, sure, maybe he had a broad outline of what he intended Book 3 to be. But that structure likely changed as he cemented the ideas in Books 1-2. Sometimes when my boss asks me if I have finished an article, I'll say: "Yep, putting the finishing touches on it now," while adding a new "to do" item in my daily notes. :carcus:
I sometimes do that too, while developing software. Truly a universal experience :ganishka:

Pfff, come on.
:ganishka: To surprise you even more (or not?), my previous favorite was A Song of Ice and Fire (books 1-3).

Admittedly, most of the books I've read in my life are non-fantasy, so me having a favorite fantasy novel series isn't saying much.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
I always thought the unevenness was part of the design actually, in that it is meant to mimic a "real life".
Then it’s a bad design, and Chronicler truly needs to step in and edit the fuck out of the book before he prints it.
 

Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
:ganishka: To surprise you even more (or not?), my previous favorite was A Song of Ice and Fire (books 1-3).
Would you believe me if I said I had predicted this? :slan:

Admittedly, most of the books I've read in my life are non-fantasy, so me having a favorite fantasy novel series isn't saying much.
Don't worry, I'm just teasing you a bit. To be honest I don't have super strong feelings about it. I thought it was alright back then, and some parts are genuinely good, but I agree with Walter it would have benefited from a stricter editor. And less cringey teenage shit.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Hey, NERDS, instead of debating your nerd books why don't you let us get back to what this thread was really intended for: talkin' about MOVIES! Read any good movies, lately!?

To be fair, the Silence of the Lambs movie is very faithful to the original novel (I'd say about 95%). The only real deviations I noticed were the absence of Clarice Starling's childhood scenes in Montana, where she witnessed the fateful mass slaughter of baby lambs at her uncle's farm. Also, the movie contains virtually no references to the events from Red Dragon (probably because Dino de Laurentis owned the rights to that).
They even managed to get the more subtextual and thematic elements across like the sexualization of women's bodies permeating everything, including Clarice's workplace. Like, it was simple and direct without them having to wave their arms around going, "Look at THIS, it's IMPORTANT!" Imagine trying to carry that over into Hannibal. =)

The funny thing is, Jonathan Demme was signed on to do Hannibal. Thomas Harris started writing it even before the Lambs movie was released. In his 1994 interview, Demme said that the sequel to the Lambs was gonna be taking place in Europe and South America. You ever watched the end credits of Silence of the Lambs? At the very end, there's a phrase that says "a luta continua", the Portuguese for "the struggle continues." Not only did that Easter egg indicated a sequel, but (by virtue of being in Portuguese language) even hinted at its Brazilian setting. In the Hannibal novel, it's revealed that Dr. Lecter indeed lived in Brazil for a while after his escape and had plastic surgery done there, to alter his appearance. This quirky little end credits phrase plus Demme dropping out of directing Hannibal even before the novel was released shows just how closely he kept in touch with Harris.
I'm old enough to remember all this going down and thinking it wasn't right. I read the book before the film came out and yeah, it was way more pulpy and comicbook-like because Lector was made into some sort of unstoppable superhero (hey, we got an evil rich chomo Bond villain to make Lector look good by comparison!), but the problem with that is it's his story so he gets his way in the end, but at the expense, and total assassination really, of Clarice Starling's character.

Had the Lambs' cast and crew returned, we would've gotten a far better Hannibal movie than we did. It's too bad Demme and Foster didn't like Clarice getting brainwashed by Dr. Lecter and becoming his accomplice.
It was a bewildering turn at the time, you could argue it's actually a more daring, original and appropriately dark and self-aware ending (Hannibal is charismatic and seductive monster, duh) than the more traditional anti-hero reversal the film opts for (the cannibal serial killer with a heart of gold!), but that still doesn't mean it sold on the page. I'm glad the film largely excised a lot of his childhood stuff though, I preferred not having some lame excuses for why Lector was the way he was. But it's too bad Demme and Foster didn't come in and put their own spin on it. The ideal scenario would be to let Harris help adapt his own book with them and make the tweaks for film himself, "For chrissakes Tommy, we can't have Tony Hopkins suckin' Jodie's fuckin' titty onscreen!"

Ironic, because Dr.Hannibal Lecter has all the characteristics of a typical early 20th century pulp villain - the Eastern European nobility background, genius intellect, being raised by a sexpot Japanese aunt, cannibalism and refined tastes in art. In some ways, he is not unlike Dr. Fu Manchu or Fantômas. Only Thomas Harris' meticulous research and writing talent could elevate Dr. Lecter into a high-brow literary character.
Well, I think it's more like he started as a high brow literary elevation of an archetype that eventually devolved with every iteration into Dr. Fu Manchu. Lector got less and less interesting the more prominent his role became until all his mystique and menace was replaced with gory cliches.
 
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I finished Hannibal yesterday, and I’m not ashamed to say I liked it a lot. Is it better than The Silence of the Lambs? No. Is it as bad as the critics say? Absolutely not.

There were a couple of hokey parts I thought were unnecessary (for example, Mason Verger having his martinis mixed with the tears of children), but overall I thought it was very entertaining and well written. I just wish there was a decent follow up. Oh, well. Maybe in another ten years?

Next up is Red Shadows by Robert E. Howard.
 
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Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Since I finished up Kingkiller Chronicle again, I've finished The Road, Agency (new Gibson novel, sequel to Peripheral), and I'm on to the final book in the Book of the New Sun series. After that, I'd like to go back to a few of Cormac McCarthy's books, which I'm finding I like a lot more as I've gotten a bit older.
 
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