Dark Avengers Hardcover. I've read the issues before, but collected in the oversized hardcover format they seem even better! I usualy enjoy Bendis' work, and often like it, but I don't enjoy everything he does (Avengers Prime was a big disapointment). But writing psychopaths and evil-doers seems right up his alley! And being a Sentry fan, and even though Jenkins writes the true Sentry, I love the relationship between Osborn and Sentry and how Bob is manipulated into letting out more and more of the Void. It prob could have been done better, the whole manipulation thing, but generally speaking Bendis does a good job in my opinion. And it all comes together in Siege when Sentry finaly looses it completely. But it's not just Sentry based, my love for the Dark Avengers, no no. As I say, Bendis does seem to write evil-types well, and I very much enjoy the relationships between the Dark Avengers, and Osborn himself is a fascinating character. But as good as the writing and stories are, Deodato's art is magnificent, absolutely magnificent. His Osborn and Sentry in particular are perfect. The whole series is top notch, shame it had to end. The entire Dark Reign in Marvel was fab.
I was the one who let you know, I was your sorry ever after, '84, '85. Give me new toys and I'll decide, but I'm really only after, '84, '85.
Just finished Raymond Chandler's "Farewell, my lovely". Always a pleasure to read Chandler. His use of language is distinctive and absorbing, I think that is the reason why his work has aged so well and remains the gold standard to this day. The plot is twisted and labyrinthine on the surface but - once it plays out - rooted in basic, if dark, parts of human nature which makes it ring very true. He has a peculiar talent for making characters really come alive from what should be very thin characterisation too.
It is interesting that, for all the reputation of Philip Marlowe as a tough guy, he is at heart a character who doesn't seem that fond of violence. He carries a gun and is not afraid to use it, isn't afraid of using his fists if he has to but all told he would rather talk to people civilly than get into a fight. Whilst our modern heroes are often judged by how many people they layout it is very noticeable just how often Marlowe is laid out, held at gunpoint or otherwise disadvantaged. A well crafted piece of work, well worth it if you have even a passing interest in detective fiction.
'The Official The Saturdays Annual 2012'. A soul-searing mindblowing odyssey into the intricate behind-the-scenes epic voyage of pain, suffering, sweat, tears and more (!) of the story of mankind's greatest pop strumpets. Truly a tour-de-force of literature in which the girls tell us how it really is to gyrate about the many sweaty stages of the world in front of 'The Kids', drooling gentlemen and the odd idiot savant 'in their own words'. And such words they are!
Sometimes, the words even interrupt the fabulously staged photographs. Never before has the written word and the art of the photographer been merged to form a tableau of Wagnerian juxtaposition of what is not only life...but also death! And all that lies between, beyond and outside!!!
Hard to believe this was in Poundland.
Last Edit: Dec 26, 2011 22:45:51 GMT by The Doctor
I can't really follow that... I fear that I am completely outclassed.
I spent the Christmas period reading my way through The Odyssey - it carried me through some of the train journey down to Surrey, and some of the evening time when I was down at my mothers. For a story that is, arguably, part of the foundations of Western literature it was much more readable than I expected. You can see its heritage as an after-dinner entertainment in the way it is structured - packed full of incident, heroes (in the protagionist sense at the very least), villians, monsters and adventures mark Odysseus' journey home and do give it a real feeling of pace. It is interesting that what marks out Odysseus is not the mighty power of his muscles (although he has that) but the sharpness of his wits and his ability both to plan ahead and to think on his feet. A great warrior he may be, but he is tactician and strategist as well which makes him a more interesting character.
It genuinely holds up rather well as something to be read even such a long time after it was first written down. (I must try an experiment at some point and, as suggested by the foreword to the edition I have, actually read some of it out performance style and see how it works that way.). I'm going to take a bit of a break from the classical Greek whilst I pluck up the courage to tackle the Iliad - long-form poetry and me do not entirely get on.
Time to go back to "Good Luck, Yukikaze" and finish off the remaining novella-length section before plunging into the war for Troy/Helen.
Which edition of the Odyssey did you read? I read the Robert Fagles Iliad, Odyssey and Aeneid a couple of years ago and loved them, and am almost finished reading Alexander Pope's Iliad - it's also very good, I expected to find it hard-going and a little odd reading it rhyming after the blank Fagles version but it works very well. I've occasionally been reading it aloud and it results in me rolling my Rs for a few hours after which the girlfriend finds hilarious.
I haven't started any reading for 2012 yet, but top of the pile are those the other half got me for Christmas: Simon Armitage's Death of Arthur (I really liked his Gawain and the Green Knight) and Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics (loved The Baron in the Trees).
Picked up couple of missing 2000AD issues from a car boot sale this morning. With them I have a full run from somewhere before 200 through 600 a few missing there and then everything upto about 800. About time to start reading from issue 1. Might alternate an issue of AD and an issue of TFUK.
Finished The Death of Arthur; didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Gawain, it's a bit simplistic - the opposing armies are all rubbish and ultimately cowards (in stark contrast to something like The Iliad which is remarkably even-handed). I also struggled a bit with the alliterative style. The introduction is probably the most interesting part of the book, giving a good overview of Arthurian legend. Still, it's a handsome edition that will look good next to Gawain on the bookshelf!
Next up (well, already started) is Cosmicomics. I also picked up Mega City Undercover in the 2000AD online sale and will keep that handy.
Just finished Cosmicomics, good stuff overall. Quite a bit of variation, but not much left me cold. Starts off very quirky and whimsical before getting a bit darker later on. Some of the mid-to-later ones read a bit like Paul Auster (the sort of meta-car-chase in a traffic jam springs to mind) and some oddly like Philip K Dick.
So next up will be one of the Philip K Dicks I have on the pile, just got to choose between A Scanner Darkly and Time Out of Joint.
Post by Grand Moff Martin on Feb 2, 2012 6:52:01 GMT
Just read The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. Very short, very lovely. You can read it all by clicking the above link. (Though of course I read it as a proper book and would recommend that as a more tranquil medium.)
I give you words such as
And in the twelfth year, on the seventh day of Ielool, the month of reaping, he climbed the hill without the city walls and looked seaward; and he beheld the ship coming with the mist.
Then the gates of his heart were flung open, and his joy flew far over the sea. And he closed his eyes and prayed in the silences of his soul.
And then a scholar said, "Speak of Talking."
And he answered, saying:
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.
And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.
For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words many indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.
There are those among you who seek the talkative through fear of being alone.
The silence of aloneness reveals to their eyes their naked selves and they would escape.
And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand.
And there are those who have the truth within them, but they tell it not in words.
In the bosom of such as these the spirit dwells in rhythmic silence.
When you meet your friend on the roadside or in the market place, let the spirit in you move your lips and direct your tongue.
Let the voice within your voice speak to the ear of his ear;
For his soul will keep the truth of your heart as the taste of the wine is remembered
When the color is forgotten and the vessel is no more.
You can read the whole thing in an hour or so, and it's an hour well spent.
Been diving into more of the 24th Century Star Trek relaunch novels, between the library and a pile I picked up cheap a while ago. While these are not great works of literature and also lack the skillful writing of David Mack's Destiny series, on the whole I am generally enjoying them. There is a sense that anyone can die at any time (there are no safe characters, whether they were stars on telly or not), political aspects are played up pleasingly and characters move from ship to ship and galactic events actually affect the galaxy.
The cover might say 'The Next Generation' or 'Voyager' on the front, but the casts are generally quite moveable, which adds spice and variety, and they've given up trying to imitate a TV style story. In short, the books have realised that they can do stories that couldn't be done on TV due to the way long-form TV shows work and that with proper Star Trek dead as a dodo on screen they can pretty much do what they like. Hooray.
Pleasing to hear that they picked up the baton from Mack's surprisingly good chunk of work, and nice to hear that they have taken advantage of the freedom of being the only continuing narrative to go off and do other things, instead of being forever stuck in the cracks. (They seem to have had more freedom in terms of adding to the established casts than the Star Wars novels did, which can only help in terms of longevity).
For my part I have been indulging in a re-read of C J Cherryh's "Rimrunners", one of her works of reasonably gritty science-fiction. I go back and re-read most of her "Alliance/Union" millieu novels ever few years, but this time I think that my reaction to the book has underlined a bit of a change in my perspective. My previous readings have dwelt more on the themes of loneliness and isolation that permeate the book, but this time I found myself more strongly affected by the strand about the way that people heal, adapt and find their feet in new communities. (I think I am quite looking forward to a re-read of Cyteen in this regard, because I suspect that my relationship to that book will probably have shifted a bit as well). This says more about my current perspective than it does about the book because these themes have always been there, I just think that it is interesting how the lens that we view a work through can change over time. Anyone else had that sort of experience?
Absolutely, it makes me think I should re-read more. Even reading the Iliad twice, just 18 months apart, enough had changed in my life that my sympathies with characters had shifted so much that even those I didn't like or even "get" before made much more sense.
I've found the same thing with television - I started watching some old TNG and DS9 on my commute not long after becoming a father, and it surprised me how some episodes took on a whole new life for me - The Defector was always good, but it turns into a punch to the gut when you know what Jarok is talking about when he describes seeing your child smile for the first time.
Finished Time Out of Joint. Very, very good. It reminded me just how much I enjoy getting into one of his books for the first time, the creeping paranoia and sense that things aren't quite right. Must read more this year. This edition (SF masterworks before they changed their trade dress recently) has a pretty good afterword, too, putting it in context as the first of his "better", less pulpy later novels.
Not sure what to read next. T'other half just finished "The Philosophical Baby" by Alison Gopnik, which prompted her to ask me "You read Philip K Dick, don't you?" and "Who's Jadzia Dax?". Sounds like my kind of baby book! Could be the one.
Just read The Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik. I recommend it, it's not a "baby book", more general psychology / philosophy with a scientific bent. I found the parts on consciousness particularly interesting. She's also a total geek, most of her examples are from (admittedly popular) science fiction. Though she does get Dax's first name wrong.
In tandem I have been reading the Panini Pocketbook Captain America: Blood on the Moors, some classic Stern / Byrne work there. Next prose book will be Magnus Mills' Screwtop Thomson.
Finished Screwtop Thompson by Magnus Mills - an easy and pleasant read, but at the same time it feels like it has a lot of depth. Lots of well-drawn and distinctly English characters and/or situations and some dry, often dark, humour. Some of the stories left me a bit cold to start with, but I found myself warming to them when thinking back. This is one to keep and re-read.
Also finished Blood on the Moors last week; I feel almost embarrassed not to have read stuff this sooner. Top-notch early 80s Marvel. Falters a bit with the last (title) story - did Stern and Byrne really think that in 1980 in England a mob of villagers would march on the local doctor's house with torches and burn it down thinking him a vampire? And that pubs and barmaids looked like that? But even then it's entertaining enough to get a pass from me. I have bought the premier classics HC now as this is Good Comics and the pocketbook is a bit battered from being in my rucksack.
Next up is Star Wars: Specter of the Past by Timothy Zahn (I haven't read a SW tie-in novel since, oh, before you were born).