What are you reading?

Almost finished with the third and last book in the Prince of Nothing trilogy by Scott Bakker, which title I will not say since its author described it as "spoiler" (:shrug:).
It features the greyest of protagonists, a truly terrifying man named Kellhus, whose only ability is knowing "what comes before", and therefore, can determine "what comes after". Using that philosophy he manages through the course of the story to influence a lot of people's minds and actions, bang other men's women and even having those men accept that fate, push a personal and political agenda which almost everyone ignores, and more... Way more. Bakker shines in the psychological depth of his characters more than anything else.
I must admit, Kellhus reminds me a lot of Griffith. You never really know when his emotions are genuine, when does he ever stop influencing his environment... Reading in text the psychological descriptions of such a man leaves me breathless, because there's no magic involved in his personal power, and therefore, nothing stops such a person from actually existing in this world. A sociopath who, for some reason, does good, or at least avoids evil, but without clearly differentiating the two.
 
Am 5% into Toll the Hounds. Started strong, but hit a bit of a snag that I will get through eventually.
That book is unique in the series. Erikson goes full philosopher in some scenes for some reason, but overall, I think you'll enjoy what you see... A very little image of the grand plot is finally revealed at some point.
 

XionHorsey

Hi! Hi!
I'm pretty slow with it since I've been caught up on other things. I'm 10 percent in. Some parts are beautifully written, I have to say.
 
Thoughts? I particularly liked reading his takes on each arc.
It was fascinating, but the translation felt awkward. I can’t tell if that was on Dark Horse or me. I enjoyed it a lot, though. I haven’t read every interview he’s done, but it felt like he covered a lot of new topics.
 

Johnstantine

Skibbidy Boo Bop
Picking up Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I really enjoyed the second half of The Way of Kings, so I'm looking forward to this.

I'm reading it concurrently with Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe, as well as Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson and Dune. I've put off reading all of these for so long, so now time has forced my hand.
 
Currently reading:

Fullmetal Alchemist Fullmetal Edition Volume 6
Saga of Tanya the Evil light novel vol 6
Dragonlance The Second Generation (it's been kind of fun rereading these after forgetting about them forever).
 
Just finished the light novel Tokyo Ghoul: Past. A very speedy and simple read, but has some cool stories about some characters backgrounds. The one that really caught me off guard was Nishiki's girlfriends story. Sad as hell.

Currently reading Brave New World. It's uh, interesting hah. I dig it so far though.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
I probably read a half-dozen books or so over the summer, including the two most recent LoGH books, the Imperial Radtch trilogy, and finished up the first two books in the Book of the New Sun series (might not finish it based on the amazing start, but lackluster second book).

But I mostly wanted to post here because Susanna Clarke, who wrote one of my favorite books — Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — just announced her first new book since 2004. It's called Piranesi, out in Sept 2020, and it doesn't appear to be a sequel to JS & Mr. N, at least that's not how they're promoting it right now.
 
I probably read a half-dozen books or so over the summer, including the two most recent LoGH books, the Imperial Radtch trilogy, and finished up the first two books in the Book of the New Sun series (might not finish it based on the amazing start, but lackluster second book).

But I mostly wanted to post here because Susanna Clarke, who wrote one of my favorite books — Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell — just announced her first new book since 2004. It's called Piranesi, out in Sept 2020, and it doesn't appear to be a sequel to JS & Mr. N, at least that's not how they're promoting it right now.
@Walter have you watched the TV series for Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell as well? I was curious how it compares to the book, which I have unfortunately not yet read.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
@Walter have you watched the TV series for Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell as well? I was curious how it compares to the book, which I have unfortunately not yet read.
Yes, and I hated it. I'm not normally predisposed to adaptations, particularly of books I love. But this is a special case. Almost nothing that's great about the book survived the adaptation process. The largest loss is the sense of humor, which is on almost every page through either character reflections, descriptions, footnotes, etc. All of that was lopped off, characters are played straight and earnestly instead of with the nuance in the book, so only the dry A to B plot progression is retained, but that was never what made that book special at all.
 
I finished the 6th and final volume of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood today. I enjoyed almost all of his short stories, but The Midnight Meat Train; In the Hills, the Cities; Hell’s Event; The Skins of the Fathers; Rawhead Rex; The Inhuman Condition; Down, Satan!; How Spoilers Bleed; and The Last Illusion were my favorites.

Next up is Odds On by Michael Crichton.
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Against my better judgment, around Christmas I picked up the big new X-men thing: House of X / Powers of X. This is a 12-part book that kicks off a new paradigm for all of the X-men titles, sending everything into a fresh trajectory. The premise, told across 1,000 years, is essentially exemplifying how mutants could only survive by accepting that Xavier's "dream" of peaceful coexistence with humanity wasn't going to happen because humans are assholes and won't tolerate their existence. The path forward is to collectively say enough is enough, band together, let bygones be bygones (Apocalypse shoulder to shoulder with Professor X, for example), and officially draw a line in the sand between the two. It's full on Malcolm X, seeya King Jr. And it's not a miniseries, this is touted as the new normal for the whole franchise. That's exciting on its own, for me.


Now, I've said a lot of shitty things about US comics over the years here. They are more brands for merchandising opportunities than they are a collection of stories. They're too big to change, and the torch will inevitably be passed from writer to writer every few years, because the brand is more important than the story they're telling.

So why would I suddenly be open minded and take a bite out of this? Well, that's because I always want to believe people can do better; dig themselves out of a hole, etc. But also, Twitter has been on fire for this thing ever since it launched, and recommendations were coming in strong for months, saying it was reaching beyond the traditional superhero cliches and incorporating classic scifi concepts, doing cool, fresh things with X-men. Surprise: All of that turns out to be true. The 12-part prologue (house/powers) is good, and it promises more to come. X-men fans should read that.

When my wife saw the book, it was as if she found a stash of porn. She was like: "US comics now? What about all that shit you-" and I said, "hold it, hold it. This is actually good!" But then the full series began in earnest back in October. And they predictably shit the fucking bed. I just didn't know it until I finished Powers and dipped my toe into the first few issues of a few of the titles.

This might sound a bit confusing for people not familiar with US comics, but basically the House/Powers book kicked off a new line of serialized X-men comics, rebranded to suit the new trajectory of the story, character pairings, and settings per group. So it's X-Men #1, X-Force #1, Excalibur #1, etc. but they're branching out from where House/Powers ended. This also naturally means that the author-artist duo from House/Powers turned over the keys to the kingdom over to 5 or 6 different teams of writers, who are expected to take the fertile ground that's been tilled and cultivate it into sustainable, good concepts for each book. No surprise: It's all complete shit. It's everything that makes US comics bad. The only difference is this set started from a bold premise. I get the distinct impression each writer basically just projected their monthly grind onto the new direction, regardless of whether it was a good fit or not.

I was truly prepared to be proven wrong that they could do something sustainable and special with this, but ... well, I definitely should have seen it coming.
 
Sorry, Walter. That’s a bummer. The only US comic I read these days is The Walking Dead (and only when the omnibus editions come out). Ever since I discovered manga (Berserk and Vagabond, especially), US comics haven’t been the same.

I finished Odds On, the first book Michael Crichton got published. It was...interesting, to say the least. Full of sex, heist planning, sex, sex, more heist planning, more sex (seriously?), even more heist planning, sex (again?!), a boring heist (oh, come on! After all that planning?), and sex. It read like it was written by an adolescent man-child, which makes sense; Crichton was 24 when it was published. Oh, well.

Now I’m reading 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Red Dragon.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Sorry to hear that, duder. Your description and the apparent mission kind of reminded me of Morrison's "New X-Men" run back in the day. I guess on the bright side there was that good setup story before it all came apart. To your point, that's about the best you can expect out of comics or really any corporate media these days (*cough*Star Wars*cough*), some diamonds in the rough along the way, "Ok, here's the finely honed good one with integrity before we try just turning the money hose on again."

Somewhat related to all this, I've resumed the Star Wars: Darth Vader run of comics, which were pretty good light entertainment and remain so. Certainly better than the content you'll get out of the new films, first bridging the gap of Vader's search for Luke after the Battle of Yavin until Empire, then flashing back to him starting out as a Sith Lord post-Episode III and finding his place in the Imperial hierarchy where he is feared but not necessarily respected, and it recently had a potentially striking revelation that could impact the entire franchise (I refuse to use the term "saga," let alone in conjunction with the name "Skywalker" =).

Now I’m reading 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Red Dragon.
Red Dragon is excellent, and Manhunter a cool adaptation by Michael Mann no less. The film sharing its namesake... not so much (by Brett Ratner, much less =); it does have a killer cast, including Phillip Seymor Hoffman, though sometimes miscast. Edward Norton is ok but plays Graham like he's a gender-swapped Clarice Starling, and Ralph Feines; good actor, not at all physically right for the role! Anyway, if you like the book check out Manhunter if you haven't seen it already.
 
Last edited:
Sorry to hear that, duder. Your description and the apparent mission kind of reminded me of Morrison's "New X-Men" run back in the day. I guess on the bright side there was that good setup story before it all came apart. To your point, that's about the best you can expect out of comics or really any corporate media these days (*cough*Star Wars*cough*), some diamonds in the rough along the way, "Ok, here's the finely honed good one with integrity before we try just turning the money hose on again."

Somewhat related to all this, I've resumed the Star Wars: Darth Vader run of comics, which were pretty good light entertainment and remain so. Certainly better than the content you'll get out of the new films, first bridging the gap of Vader's search for Luke after the Battle of Yavin until Empire, then flashing back to him starting out as a Sith Lord post-Episode III and finding his place in the Imperial hierarchy where he is feared but not necessarily respected, and it recently had a potentially striking revelation that could impact the entire franchise (I refuse to use the term "saga," let alone in conjunction with the name "Skywalker" =).



Red Dragon is excellent, and Manhunter a cool adaptation by Michael Mann no less. The film sharing its namesake... not so much (by Brett Ratner, much less =); it does have a killer cast, including Phillip Seymor Hoffman, though sometimes miscast. Edward Norton is ok but plays Graham like he's a gender-swapped Clarice Starling, and Ralph Feines; good actor, not at all physically right for the role! Anyway, if you like the book check out Manhunter if you haven't seen it already.
I loved Manhunter, although I thought Brian Cox (as much as I love him) was wrong for Lector. I enjoyed Red Dragon, but it wasn’t as good. Hopkins was great (as always), but Norton wasn’t a great Graham. I didn’t mind Feines as Dolarhyde, though. To each his own. Great stuff, though. I’m really enjoying the book so far.
 
I have been reading this manga called "Chainsaw Man" which is written/drawn by Fujimoto Tatsuki (Who also did Fire Punch) and published by Weekly Shonen Jump.
Now, before you stop reading because you saw the word "Shonen", even though Chainsaw Man IS indeed a shonen manga, it certainly doesn't feel like one. Neither the characters nor the story feel generic/cliché , and it has so much gore and blood (and sometimes even nudity) that people have NO idea how they got WSJ to agree on publishing it.
The Story is pretty simple, but as I said before, not generic. It's set in a world where Devils exist and to get rid of them, "Devil Hunters" exterminate them for money. The protagonist, "Denji" is a young boy that with the help of a little chainsaw devil he met called "Pochita", he kills other devils for money in order to pay off the money that his father owes to the Yakuza...
The Artstyle is definitely not amazing, but it grows on you, Fujimoto is amazing at paneling and fight scenes. I have been reading this manga ever since chapter 6 came out (January of 2019) and it didn't have a big following then, but now, with 54 Chapters and 5 Volumes out, it's selling very well for a new manga.



I just hope people won't avoid it because they think it's "Just another shonen" because it really isn't. Chainsaw Man has a bright future ahead of it and I'll most likely be reading it until the end.
Hopefully it'll last longer than Fujimoto's previous work and it'll get a decent/good anime adaptation to attract more people. Also english tranlsated volumes, like, come on it's been more than a year since it started and other shonen mangas that started after it already have english translated volumes...
And by the way, if anyone decides to read this manga after reading my little "review", just keep in mind that the author is not afraid to kill characters a few chapters after you meet them so... just keep that in mind and don't get too attached to anyone :griffnotevil:


P.S. Sorry if that was painful to read, my grammar isn't the best :farnese:
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
I never moved on to Dark Force Rising after my re-read of Heir to the Empire, so now that Star Wars is in the news and on my brain again I have. It's not as engrossing or novel as I remember, but it's fun to return to an era concerned with "Dark Jedi" and Grand Admirals rather than all the less compelling BS that would eventually be canonized.
 

TheAshenOne

Married to the Win.
Koontz is amazing just to state the obvious. I just finished reading Velocity by him, but I am currently rereading Chariots of the Gods by Erich Von Daniken. I'm shamed to admit it but I'm also finally getting around to finishing The Return of the King for the first time. I'm also a huge fan of mostly any sci-fi and fantasy novels.
 
Top Bottom