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Author Topic: "dystopian" literature  (Read 12802 times)

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Brian Wolf

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2006, 03:38:38 AM »

Snow Crash is actually another book I had a really hard time reading (I gave up after about 50 pages).  Basically the writing seems really pedestrian and like he felt he had to jazz every single sentence up with some outrageous simile/metaphor/hyperbole and choose words that make it sound like he was a lexical genius, when really they were out of place, were used incorrectly, and a much simpler word would have gotten the job done just as well.

These reviews pretty much sum up my feelings on it:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2Y4B35TQ955CW/
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2W55FWVNL9QNL/

That having been said, the concept of the book is great, and he definitely has a vivid imagination.  And from what I hear his later books are much, much more mature in writing style.  I just can't get through this one.

I too, had a hard time getting into it. Like you, I set it down after 50 pages or so.
But after a couple of weeks, I picked it back up and soldiered on, and I am really glad I did.

I think that Alec Graham is way too harsh. Perhaps as a writer, he is jealous that someone who isn't a by-the-book author is way more rich and famous than he is? I don't know.

I am sure its not for everyone, but if you can make it through the slow start, it really picks up and goes to some interesting places.
I though it ended rather abruptly, but other than that, and his 'interesting' writing style, I had few complaints about it.
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Cable

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2006, 04:19:03 AM »

I might give it another chance eventually.  I still own it, and I was kinda planning on trying to force myself through it sometime so I could move on to other works llike Cryptonomicon (the first book of his to catch my interest, mostly because of the title and the faux-worn look of the pages).  However, I still have 6 Philip K. Dick novels left to read that my ex-roommate left me, and those in general are much more interesting (even though they're more sci-fi reality mindfucks than dystopian).  The PKD novels I've liked the best so far are Ubik, Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, and We Can Build You.  Solar Lottery is actually somewhat dystopian, in as much that the world is run by a dictator who is chosen at random out of all the people in the country (might be world in this one) by a computer, and can legally be challenged and killed by rivals, or he can be ousted of at any time when the computer decides to chose someone new, but it focuses more on the story of the previous guy doing whatever he can to get back into power than on the nature of a society run in this way.

And I'm a writer also (not published yet, except for some old high school essay on water conservation in some local journal), but I'm not jealous of the guy.  I can see why the book is popular (it's a geek's wet dream, basically), I just couldn't get into it.

The only write I could say I'm jealous of is Dan Brown, and only because I can't believe such a crappy writer could be a bestseller.
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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2006, 04:23:02 AM »

Snow Crash is not required reading for Cryptonomicon. :)
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Cable

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2006, 04:28:54 AM »

I know it's not, but I like to go through an author's works more or less chronologically so I can compare and contrast how he or she has grown as an author more easily than just reading the books scattershot.
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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2006, 04:31:44 AM »

Makes sense. I don't generally read things chronologically like that unless they're intended to be, such as a series, or Terry Pratchett.
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Cable

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2006, 04:59:05 PM »

Terry Pratchett.

One of the best authors of all time.  I would have been such a sad, sad little boy if I had been born more than a couple generations ago and could never experience Pratchett's consistent brilliance and entertainment.  Although I didn't even discover the guy until I was 22 years old, but still :P.

See, I fancy myself a writer also, and unpublished, so its better for me so I can relate, and I'm much more interested in an author's earlier works than later works.  I was unaware of The Big U, however.  Guess I gotta read that first :/.
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Taors

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2006, 05:04:01 PM »

Terry Pratchett.

One of the best authors of all time.  I would have been such a sad, sad little boy if I had been born more than a couple generations ago and could never experience Pratchett's consistent brilliance and entertainment.  Although I didn't even discover the guy until I was 22 years old, but still :P.

See, I fancy myself a writer also, and unpublished, so its better for me so I can relate, and I'm much more interested in an author's earlier works than later works.  I was unaware of The Big U, however.  Guess I gotta read that first :/.

What book would you recommend for a first time reader of Pratchett?
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Cable

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2006, 05:22:22 PM »

Just start at the beginning of the Discworld series (The Colour of Magic) and while that should be entertaining enough, it takes him a few books to build some really memorable characters and for him to start caring more about plot structure and get into his indirect commentary on the human condition utilizing his fantasy world.  Regardless, his later books assume you've read the earlier books and characters will pop in without introduction and refer to things that happened in the books before, so its best if you've read the others.

I read like 30 books of his in the span of about 2 months.  Once I started, I couldn't stop.

DON'T read Good Omens first, because while it's a decent book, it's nowhere near as funny as his other books and it actually prevented me from checking out his Discworld series for like 6 years afterwards.  I think it was all Gaiman's influence in the story, as Gaiman is really a hit-or-miss author.  But anything Pratchett has written solo is a great read.
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mrapplecastle

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2010, 03:39:55 PM »

I finished reading "under the dome" a couple days ago, it was the first stephen king book I've read, I liked it even though I didnt care for how "the problem" was solved.
I was wondering if anyone might have some good horror suggestions?
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hellbilly

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2010, 07:04:19 PM »

Angel Dust Apocalypse
- Jeremy Johnson



Hard to say just what sort of writing these short stories are, but the cover does not represent them well.

Not dystopian, not horror.. but creepy, surreal, funny, violent, and a good amount of people tweaking on drugs.

Didn't like the first story at all but the rest were good.
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Bill Brasky

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2010, 09:34:45 PM »

Try The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
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hellbilly

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2010, 10:44:27 PM »

Try The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Definitely.
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Give me Liberty or give me Meth!

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Bill Brasky

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2010, 11:23:08 PM »

Try The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

Definitely.

I know you were into it from previous convo, and I personally liked it a lot.  His style is unique, and I admire that.  It was dry, but a page-turner nonetheless. 

Since I'm pretty fresh off having just read it in the past few months, it lept to mind.  But I think it stuck on my permanent list.  I'd probably suggest it years from now. 

For a little background, Cormac McCarthy also wrote No Country For Old Men, which I keep meaning to get.  Hes a Pulitzer Prize winner, who also wrote a well-received book called Blood Meridian, which is listed in Time Magazines poll of 100 greatest books of the 20th century.  I know nothing abut Blood Meridian, other than that.

He's a very private, secretive man, who almost never gives interviews, and has a pretty harsh view of society. 

 
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hellbilly

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2010, 06:27:13 PM »

In his 60's he also fathered a son. I think that kid was the inspiration for the character "The Boy" in The Road. I ended up seeing the movie after reading the book, never seen people look so affected from a movie, everyone was just on the verge of tears I reckon.

I did tell you about the "Judge" character in Blood Meridian ( <- also to be a movie pretty soon). You'll dig that book.

And while we're at it, I'll remind you and recommend to everyone else to get a copy of The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake. There are links to a few of his stories there.

Also.. I'm noticing that a lotta authors are using snips of reviews from Chuck Palahniuk to boost their books. No idea how, but I totally had that guy mixed up with J.G. Ballard who wrote Crash (which I didn't like).. so now I need to read some Chuck I guess.
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mrapplecastle

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Re: "dystopian" literature
« Reply #44 on: August 30, 2010, 06:29:02 PM »

"the boy" in the movie totally pissed me off
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