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I've been trying to access this page at home for two weeks, but every time I try it gives me an "Invalid Argument" warning. (Howdya like that? Even the computer's making comments on the validity of our subjective opinions...! LOL)

I too think Misery is one of King's better books (alongside Carrie and The Shining) - its free of many of the indulgences and unrestricted eccentricities that have come to overwhelm much of his work nowadays. Quite refined and disciplined by his standards.

You hit it--"disiplined" is the best word, especially for Mssr. King. I've grown a little tired of endless pages devoted to unimportant characters (have I mentioned that before?). The situation in Misery didn't allow for a ton of backstory or exposition about other people. He had to stick to the story, and it did him some good.

Your praise of Ed Greenwood interests me. Spellfire is another one of the ten-odd Forgotten Realms novels that I accumulated in my youth but never actually got around to reading, although admittedly that one tempted me more than the others. Lately I've been reading a lot of unread books in my possession, so maybe I'll get around to it afterall. When it comes to pulp fantasy (especially of the TSR variety), I was always a DragonLance boy through and through. I must own about 40 of those books... I'm surprised at how many Forgotten Realms readers there are here (you, Morlock, Ocelot, HPFAN re: R.A. Salvatore)! Am I the only one who ever envisioned a great rivalry between DragonLance and Forgotten Realms? Why are you all looking at me like that?  LOL

I tried--honestly, I tried--to get into the Dragonlance books, but the first one was just too much of a chore. I was reading the Annotated version; early on, they say one of the first lessons they learned was that "adventures are fun to play, but boring to read." I'm glad they learned their lesson, but I could wish they'd learned it sooner. One of these days I'm sure I'll have to bite the bullet and slog my way through it, one way or another. I have no doubt the series improves as it goes.

As for a rivalry between FR and DL....the Realms would have to win, hands down. There's just so much more detail to the Realms, so much more to do and see and experience. Spellfire touches on just a handful of the potential heroes and villains to be found in just one small corner of the world (the Dalelands). However, this opinion is obviously biased--and uneducated, since I've already tipped my hand on my ignorance of Dragonlance, so I know I'll be handily overruled in the end....

Speaking of fantasy novels, have you or anyone else out there read Shadow Moon by George Lucas and Chris Claremont? It's the start of a trilogy set after the events in the film Willow and it's also another book I own that I have yet to read (I'm terrible I know! But all that extravagent expenditure is behind me I assure you!  :mrgreen: ). So if anyone knows what I'm talking about then let me know what you thought amd if you think it's worth reading. Cheers.

I've heard about it, thought about reading it, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I didn't go as far as to buy it....but then, I've got the same trouble you have with buying books more for the thought of reading them than out of real interest in actually doing it. They all look great, though, filling all that space on the shelf. ;)

Several non-fic duties have slowed down my HP reading, so I'm still not even halfway through it. (Is it just me, or is this one taking its time getting anywhere...?)

- Uni

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You're entitled to your opinion, of course, but you'll not likely find a whole lot of people to share your camp.  I find it telling that Mr. Potter so captured your attention; there's no debating they're great stories (well, I guess you could debate it), but the prose reads like water.  It allows it to appeal to all ages--and there's a lot to be said for that, certainly--but if that's all there was to read, most of us would pull our hair out for something more substantial.  Reading Rowling or other authors on that level is like eating candy: it's a wonderful experience, but you can't live on it.  I've read LOTR more than ten times, and have yet to experience the fatigue that seemed to plague you so quickly.  If anything, there's not enough of that around.... :mrgreen:  

Do more convoluted grammar,long phrases,or complicated descriptions that are harder to make a sense of necessarely mean it's better,deeper,or more substantial?

boring=no good,even if it's "well written".

K.M.

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I'm almost done with John Jakes' "Heaven and Hell" (it's only taken me like three years with school'n'at!), then I'm either going to reread TLOTR, or start the Jack Ryan series of novels by Tom Clancy by rereading THFRO. I might also just pick up "Dune" instead, I've never read that.

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A book called Rich, a story about a very rich and powerfull family spanning across a century. PLus i'm reading two other books, The Oxford Book Of Detective Stories and Murderous Schemes. Both are books with a collection of detective stories.

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I've been trying to access this page at home for two weeks, but every time I try it gives me an "Invalid Argument" warning. (Howdya like that? Even the computer's making comments on the validity of our subjective opinions...! LOL)

Yeah, I had a similar problem opening the second page of this thread Uni. I think it was just getting too big for its boots. Now that we've 'laterally expanded' to a third page, things are a lot more comfortable around here ROTFLMAO.

I tried--honestly, I tried--to get into the Dragonlance books, but the first one was just too much of a chore... One of these days I'm sure I'll have to bite the bullet and slog my way through it, one way or another. I have no doubt the series improves as it goes.

Actually mate, I reckon the original two trilogies are the best so if the first book isn't doing anything for you now, then chances are you might want to give the series a miss :fouetaa:. But as you say, you can always try later. My appreciation of these novels stems from the fact that I started reading them at an ideal age, when I was around 10 or 11 and whenever I've subsequently revisited them my rose-tinted appraisal of them has been infused with a satisfying dose of nostalgia. Ahhh... :mrgreen:

As of this week, I've just finished reading Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury and I was incredibly impressed with it. In fact at times I was simply bowled over by how good it was. It took me a little while to really get into the style of the book, but once I'd crossed that point and truly immersed myself in Bradbury's amazing storytelling technique I was as happy as a bug snug in a rug. The sheer brilliance of Bradbury's imagination was astounding and it was evident throughout the entire book, not just in the story and the characters themselves, but the very way in which they were communicated to the reader. :pukeface:

In fact Bradbury's style is almost the opposite of that used by Ursula LeGuin in her Earthsea stories. Whereas LeGuin's style is notably concise and sparse (yet remarkably evocative as well), Bradbury's has a wonderful freedom about it and an incredibly expressive texture, full of tantilising details to stimulate all the senses. And yet both writers display a masterly control over language and the short-story medium :) .

CYPHER

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Now I'm reading Dune. I swear, in the first twenty pages or so, I ran across more unfamiliar and slightly confusing terms and histories that had me flipping back to the book's glossary, than I ran across in the entire Lord of the Rings saga. But it's good so far. I'm not afraid, I will let my fear pass through me.

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Actually mate, I reckon the original two trilogies are the best so if the first book isn't doing anything for you now, then chances are you might want to give the series a miss :). But as you say, you can always try later. My appreciation of these novels stems from the fact that I started reading them at an ideal age, when I was around 10 or 11 and whenever I've subsequently revisited them my rose-tinted appraisal of them has been infused with a satisfying dose of nostalgia. Ahhh...  :sigh:

My wife and I have been talking about that recently....there are so many movies and books we experience at a young age that will always carry a certain magic with them, no matter how ridiculous they might really be. This comes up when one of us will show the other a movie we've always loved, only to receive either gales of laughter or stunned, half-amazed stares for the effort, since they're viewing it for the first time through the objective (read, "jaded") eyes of an adult. But for the one who grew up with it, nothing's changed; it's still the great movie we remember from our happier childhood years.

(Not that I'm saying Dragonlance is ridiculous, of course, but....oh, you get the point. :))

As of this week, I've just finished reading Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury and I was incredibly impressed with it. In fact at times I was simply bowled over by how good it was. It took me a little while to really get into the style of the book, but once I'd crossed that point and truly immersed myself in Bradbury's amazing storytelling technique I was as happy as a bug snug in a rug. The sheer brilliance of Bradbury's imagination was astounding and it was evident throughout the entire book, not just in the story and the characters themselves, but the very way in which they were communicated to the reader.  :spiny:  

In fact Bradbury's style is almost the opposite of that used by Ursula LeGuin in her Earthsea stories. Whereas LeGuin's style is notably concise and sparse (yet remarkably evocative as well), Bradbury's has a wonderful freedom about it and an incredibly expressive texture, full of tantilising details to stimulate all the senses. And yet both writers display a masterly control over language and the short-story medium  ROTFLMAO

Bradbury's an astonishing writer for that very reason. It's become something of an industry standard to economize words on the printed page; I sometimes fear we might be losing a future Bradbury to that sort of overefficiency. He definitely doesn't waste words--on the contrary, he puts every one to good use, proving that it doesn't matter how many are on the page, so long as each one's pulling its weight.

LeGuin was almost too sparse. I liked the stories, but the effect was more like a journal than an epic tale. I could've hoped for more of a connection, I guess.

I'm still trying to get past Potter. It's getting better, but I'm afraid I'm losing a lot of the effect by taking so long to finish it. It's still trying to compete with the non-fiction--which, I suppose, counts for this list, too (we didn't specify fiction only, did we...?). I've been making my way through several "research" books at once, pulling out good bits of wisdom as I go. For anyone who has interest in writing for either personal reasons or as a potential career, may I suggest:

- The First Five Pages, by Noah Lukeman. This book is unique in that it takes a look at writing from the editor's perspective instead of the author's--an invaluable tool, since it helps make the importance of solid writing rules that much more relevant and clear.

- Getting Into Character, by Branilyn Collins (a friend of mine!). This one's brilliant; it uses Stanislavski's seven steps of Method Acting to help you mold believable characters.

- Dare to Be a Great Writer, by Leonard Bishop. Particularly useful, since you don't have to read it front-to-back--it's a compilation of a couple hundred gems of wisdom culled from years and years of writing classes.

- Advice to Writers, compiled by Jon Winokur. I cannot, cannot, recommend this book highly enough. It's just a collection of quotes from the world's most famous writers of the past few centuries, but it has more insight into the craft than any ten books on writing I've seen.

Anyway, that's my current library. On with the thread....

- Uni

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I'm just done with the second trilogy in the forgotten realms, Icewindale trilogy. Do I got to Legacy of the Drow, or Harry Potter, or Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, or a Jasper Fforde novel......... So much choice

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I cut my teeth on Poe. Got a collection of his shorts at a garage sale when I was like nine or so. I was hooked overnight. I must have read The Pit and the Pendulum eighty times before I was twelve. I don't care if they were drug induced, those stories rocked.

- Uni

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Oh, I loved reading Poe when I was in 7th and 8th grade, even when some of the vocabulary words he used weren't exactly at my level. (Reading the "easy reader" versions were often too watered down for my tastes, since it toned down the context.) My favorite is still "The Cask of Amontillado," as I always thought that was the perfect revenge story. Back then, there were plenty of jerks and bullies I wanted to see chained up and put into a cask, while they scream and helplessly try to escape. :devil:

But I'm not much of a bookworm. I rarely read anything, particularly fiction. It usually has to hold my interest or be of interest to me. So most of my books are film or filmmusic related, or related to pop culture. I'm currently re-reading "A Heart at Fire's Center," the Herrmann biography for the third time. It's really great stuff.

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No, I haven't read much Poe. It sounds like stuff that would disturb me, I have quite a vivid imagination that probably wouldn't let me forget anything I'd read in the dark of night. Especially now, as I lie quivering in my dorm room. LOL

Ray Barnsbury

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All right....now that I'm FINALLY finished with Herr Potter, I'm moving on to....

....A Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin. It's time to try out a new author (and judging by his early chapters, he's worth at least the initial effort).

- Uni

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My very first taste of Edgar Allan Poe came earlier this year in fact when I read a couple of his short stories: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", "The Oval Portrait" and "The Tell-Tale Heart". I found them very enjoyable and very satisfying. It's always nice to read something so masterfully constructed and yet at the same time so incredibly accessible.

My original impetus for finally getting around to reading some Poe was as a bit of "preparation" for a Clive Barker short story, amazingly enough entitled "New Murders in the Rue Morgue" from Books of Blood: Volume 2. It shares the same setting as the Poe story that inspired it and a certain simian character, but its rank sexuality and preoccupation with physical transformation and taboo transgression is all Barker. It's brilliantly imaginative but not very pleasant ...

CYPHER - reading "Dragonfly" by Ursula Le Guin ;).

PS -

There are so many movies and books we experience at a young age that will always carry a certain magic with them, no matter how ridiculous they might really be. This comes up when one of us will show the other a movie we've always loved, only to receive either gales of laughter or stunned, half-amazed stares for the effort, since they're viewing it for the first time through the objective (read, "jaded") eyes of an adult. But for the one who grew up with it, nothing's changed; it's still the great movie we remember from our happier childhood years.  

(Not that I'm saying Dragonlance is ridiculous, of course, but....oh, you get the point. )

LOL

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Just finished Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd..... Fantastic read and so clever. i mean the last chapter my heart was going 60 miles per hour when i was realizing that the person I thought could no way have done it, must have done it.... How does she do that???????????????? AAAAGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!

OK, What next.......... what what what............?????????? Still can't get myself to read potter since the ending was ruined..... maybe after the next book....... what to read next.....????????

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Wael, have you read Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair yet? If not why don't you read that next? I've heard it's really enjoyable (and good for a laugh as well).

CYPHER - who has just finished Tales from Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin and is currently stuffing around with another Clive Barker short story before picking up The Other Wind.

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Well, after I got back from my holiday I reread the entire Astérix series in about 9 or 10 days. And surprise, surprise, I'm now reading The Lord of the Rings for the third time in three years. Now I know why there are so many people who read this book each year. It's not an obsession, it's just something that happens. The book's that good!

- Marc

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And surprise, surprise, I'm now reading The Lord of the Rings for the third time in three years. Now I know why there are so many people who read this book each year. It's not an obsession, it's just something that happens. The book's that good!

It's more than that. I'm pretty sure I've used a portion of this excerpt here before, but it bears repeating in light of what you said. This is Peter S. Beagle, in his excellent "introductory" essay, Tolkien's Magic Ring:

"....Middle Earth lives, not only in The Lord of the Rings but around it and back and forth from it. I have read the complete work five or six times (not counting browsing, for which this essay is, in part, an excuse), and each time my pleasure in the texture of it deepens. It will bear the mind's handling, and it is a book that acquires an individual patina in each mind that takes it up, like a much-caressed pocket stone or piece of wood. At times, always knowing I didn't write it, I feel that I did." (Emphasis mine.)

I can't think of anyone who's ever described the experience of multireading Tolkien so accurately and succinctly. The phrase I emphasized says it best. Most books couldn't stand more than two or three readings; the familiarity with the story, style, and resolution inevitably results in the fatigue of the material. But that just isn't so with Rings. Quite the opposite, in fact; in truth, you cannot--cannot--realize the full effect of the tale in one reading. I'm not exagerrating when I say that, on my tenth foray through that magnificent journey, I encountered passages I'd never seen (or at least, never really tasted) before. Most of these were minor bits of description or narration, but they brought new perspective and deepened the depths even deeper.

That's why I'll never tire of the story (and why, for all their passion and effort, the filmmakers will never be able to get it quite right). So enjoy your third time, Marc. Watch for those gems that pop up occasionally, the stuff you missed your first two times through....and notice just how close to the mark Beagle struck. It's an oddity, but after a few readings you really do begin to feel like it's yours, something you've always had in the back of your mind that just needed a nudge to reawaken it.

- Uni

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I know what you mean, Uni. Especially because in the beginning a lot of stuff never went into the film (and I'm a BIG fan of the films), seems new to me, even though I've already read it twice (once in English, once in Dutch).

And I remember finishing it the first time. When I read that last line, at the very end of the tail, after going through so many feelings, not just in the story, but about the book itself too (I stopped for a while reading halfway through TTT, as things were getting dull), after reading over 1000 pages... I wanted to read it again. And that's something very rare, for a book that long.

- Marc, who knows of a hilarious reference to The Hobbit in the third draft of Star Wars (1977).

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Crap, all the LotR posts are gone.

Anyhoo, I just read the first chapter of The Two Towers this morning, and I'm also reading a book by some Swedish guy for school. I thought it was by Per Olov Enquist, but I don't know the original or English title.

- Marc

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Well I just finished reading the Chronicles of the Shadow War (the sequels to Willow) and i must say that i hope they are made into movies someday. Very good story and characters and amazing plot twists. Sometimes it was a little puzzling (at least for me, not-english parlor). I hope John Williams could be asked for the score...

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I'm currently rereading the Hornblower novels by C.S. Forester in preparation for the new set of movies to be shown on A&E in December and have just started Avalon by Stephen Lawhead.

Kathy

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I'm currently rereading the Hornblower novels by C.S. Forester in preparation for the new set of movies to be shown on A&E in December and have just started Avalon by Stephen Lawhead.

You're actually going to advance past me in the series, Kathy. For some reason, I've never gotten around to Avalon (yes, it's something of an afterthought to the Pendragon series; it's about Arthur, but it takes place in modern times). Maybe I'm just not that excited about removing the story from its intrinsic Celtic roots. I'm sure I'll bite the bullet someday, though....

(BTW....sorry I still haven't gotten back to you. This is my first real time I've had online in weeks. We'll talk soon....:()

- Uni

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