a new fiction discussion?
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Author:  MadArchitect [ Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  a new fiction discussion?

Our discussion of "The Road" was interesting, but has obviously come to the end of its shelf life, so it's time to fish around for ideas about our next read. Any ideas?

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:17 am ]
Post subject:  a new fiction discussion?

Let me know when and what to do and I'll help however I can.

Author:  Niall001 [ Sat Jun 23, 2007 5:52 pm ]
Post subject:  a new fiction discussion?

Hmm, I'd certainly be interested in another novel on fiction.

But I'm stuck for ideas on something that few of us would have read already.

I'm just about to start The Sirens of Titan by Vonnegut if anybody is interested.

Full of Porn*

Author:  Mr. Pessimistic [ Sun Jun 24, 2007 7:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: a new fiction discussion?

I read that a year or so ago. I loved it. If a few others want to read it, I will read through it again perhaps...

Mr. P.

But atheism is no more a religion than not playing chess is a hobby. - Robert Sawyer - Sci Fi Author

I'm not saying it's usual for people to do those things but I(with the permission of God) have raised a dog from the dead and healed many people from all sorts of ailments. - Asana Boditharta (former booktalk troll)

"The Sentient may percieve and love the universe, but the universe cannot percieve and love the sentient. The universe sees no distinction between the multitude of creatures and elements which comprise it. All are equal. None is favored...It cannot control what it creates and it cannot, it seems, be controlled by its creations (though a few might decieve themselves otherwise). Those who curse the workings of the universe curse that which is deaf. Those who strike out at those workings fight that which is inviolate. Those who shake their fists, shake their fists at blind stars." - Michael Moorcock in the "Queen of the Swords"

Author:  MadArchitect [ Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: a new fiction discussion?

We talked about reading a Vonnegut book before, and I'd be up for it, but I'd prefer to read one that I haven't already read before. "Galapogos", maybe, or "Mother Night"? Any other suggestions?

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: a new fiction discussion?

If and when we switch to a different forum software we might want to have a fiction section again. In the meantime any of you can create a poll and stir up some interest in a new fiction discussion. I'll help by advertising it on our Home page and in other ways...which I can't think of right now.

Author:  Niall001 [ Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: a new fiction discussion?

Not a bad idea. I'd be interested in reading anything by Vonnegut, but I'm also open to any other suggestions. There's got to be a book that a lot of members would like to read. We'd need a few suggestions before starting a poll.

And not Harry Potter.

Full of Porn*

Author:  MadArchitect [ Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: a new fiction discussion?

I and, I think, the other participants were pretty pleased with the last discussion, and we settled on a book by informal agreement rather than polling the whole community. In fact, we had more participants in the discussion of "The Road", which was chosen informally, than we had for either of the last two "official" fiction readings. So I suggest that we just keep tossing out suggestions until 3 or 4 of us agree on something, and to hell with getting the rest of the community involved.

Here's another suggestion (if Vonnegut doesn't take off -- sometimes, the time just isn't right), which I ran across in something I was reading about witch craft:
All Hallows Eve, by Charles Williams.

I have to admit that the first peer review makes it sound like pretty straightforward fantasy fiction (what with all the comparisons to Tolkien), but the buzz I've been getting her and there makes me interested all the same.

Author:  JulianTheApostate [ Tue Jul 31, 2007 7:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: a new fiction discussion?

This book caught my eye at the book store.

Terrorist: A Novel
Ripped from the headlines doesn't begin to describe Updike's latest, a by-the-numbers novelization of the last five years' news reports on the dangers of home-grown terror that packs a gut punch. Ahmad Mulloy Ashmawy is 18 and attends Central High School in the New York metro area working class city of New Prospect, N.J. He is the son of an Egyptian exchange student who married a working-class Irish-American girl and then disappeared when Ahmad was three. Ahmad, disgusted by his mother's inability to get it together, is in the thrall of Shaikh Rashid, who runs a storefront mosque and preaches divine retribution for "devils," including the "Zionist dominated federal government." The list of devils is long: it includes Joryleen Grant, the wayward African-American girl with a heart of gold; Tylenol Jones, a black tough guy with whom Ahmad obliquely competes for Joryleen's attentions (which Ahmad eventually pays for); Jack Levy, a Central High guidance counselor who at 63 has seen enough failure, including his own, to last him a lifetime (and whose Jewishness plays a part in a manner unthinkable before 9/11); Jack's wife, Beth, as ineffectual and overweight (Updike is merciless on this) as she is oblivious; and Teresa Mulloy, a nurse's aide and Sunday painter as desperate for Jack's attention, when he takes on Ahmad's case, as Jack is for hers. Updike has distilled all their flaws to a caustic, crystalline essence; he dwells on their poor bodies and the debased world in which they move unrelentingly, and with a dispassionate cruelty that verges on shocking. Ahmad's revulsion for American culture doesn't seem to displease Updike one iota. But Updike has also thoroughly digested all of the discursive pap surrounding the post-9/11 threat of terrorism, and that is the real story here. Mullahs, botched CIA gambits, race and class shame (that leads to poor self-worth that leads to vulnerability that leads to extremism), half-baked plots that just might work-all are here, and dispatched with an elegance that highlights their banality and how very real they may be. So smooth is Updike in putting his grotesques through their paces-effortlessly putting them in each others' orbits-that his contempt for them enhances rather than spoils the novel.

It's sitting on my bookshelf, but I haven't started it yet. It ties in to our Interventions discussion.

Edited by: JulianTheApostate at: 7/31/07 8:39 am

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