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Thread: What's the last book you read?

  1. #2491
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    20% into A Little Life and I'm loving it. It reminds me of the first time I read a John Irving novel. The characters are so well written and intelligently written. The way the characters slowly reveal themselves is really impressive.
    I've read about how many people were moved to tears by this book and I can sense how it will go into heartbreaking territory. The prose just grabs you... I haven't been this engrossed in a novel in a long time...
    post28!

  2. #2492
    Quote Originally Posted by wout View Post
    20% into A Little Life and I'm loving it. It reminds me of the first time I read a John Irving novel. The characters are so well written and intelligently written. The way the characters slowly reveal themselves is really impressive.
    I've read about how many people were moved to tears by this book and I can sense how it will go into heartbreaking territory. The prose just grabs you... I haven't been this engrossed in a novel in a long time...
    Hoo boy. Buckle up for the crying.
    "See everything as an illusion, and enjoy it even though you are not of it."
    ~Alanis Morissette, paraphrased

  3. #2493
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wout View Post
    20% into A Little Life and I'm loving it. It reminds me of the first time I read a John Irving novel. The characters are so well written and intelligently written. The way the characters slowly reveal themselves is really impressive.
    I've read about how many people were moved to tears by this book and I can sense how it will go into heartbreaking territory. The prose just grabs you... I haven't been this engrossed in a novel in a long time...
    Buy lots of Kleenex!!!

  4. #2494
    And in the evening it's. . . Andrea's Avatar
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    I had to put it down and mindlessly shovel ice cream into my mouth at one point to keep from breaking down. It's one of the best books I'll never read again.

  5. #2495
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    Okay, so I'm halfway in... I need to get this of my chest here:

    post28!

  6. #2496
    And in the evening it's. . . Andrea's Avatar
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    That's the point where it almost lost me. It was feeling borderline gratuitous. I had to kind of remind myself that his past abuse made Jude more susceptible to falling into an abusive relationship later.

  7. #2497
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wout View Post
    Okay, so I'm halfway in... I need to get this of my chest here:

    x=x

    (that part of the book fucking ruined me. I was on the floor. Having gone through an abusive childhood [NOTHING LIKE WHAT JUDE WENT THROUGH but as a friend reminded me, abuse is abuse], seeing how this susceptibility manifests itself in your interpersonal relationships over and over and over again unless you deal with your shit just broke my heart)

  8. #2498
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    ^

    I had to put the book down for a spell as well after that. It was just so cruel...
    But of course I picked it up again this morning, and:
    post28!

  9. #2499
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    I recently finished Hot Milk by Deborah Levy, which has just been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It's my first Levy novel - I was drawn to her writing after reading her brilliant essay/memoir Things I Don't Want To Know, which deals with her genesis as a writer and her continuing philosophical questioning of her place in the world. Her novel is about a young woman, Sofia, who has travelled to Almeria in Southern Spain with her mother to visit a local clinic as a last effort to find a cure for her mother's array of mysterious illnesses. Sofia has abandoned a PhD in anthropology (on the subject of memory in culture) in order to care for her mother, and works in a West London artisanal coffee house, where she also sleeps during the week. Her mother professes to be unable to walk, although Sofia remembers her walking ably enough to the local shop to buy some hair-pins just before they left for Spain. Sofia's father is Greek, but he abandoned her mother when she was a child and now lives in Athens with a new young wife and a child Sofia has never met. Consequently Sofia's surname is Papastergiadis, which she considers changing because no-one can pronounce it. In Almeria, Sofia meets a young German woman named Ingrid, who seems to test her with a confusing mixture of lust and hostility. Ingrid's stark observations of Sofia ('the Greek girl') are peppered throughout the book in between chapters. The doctor that Sofia's mother, Rose, has come to see turns out to be something of a shaman. He says that is he is "not concerned with the walking problem" and makes Rose write a list of her enemies and whisper them to a dead insect. He makes Sofia steal a fish from the market, to make her bolder. Jellyfish, or medusas as the Spanish call them, float listlessly out in the surf, and Sofia is stung throughout the book.

    It is an incredibly complex novel about mother and daughter relationships, about what we pass on to others and how it injures us. The medusa metaphor runs through-out; the cursed woman who turns to stone if she looks at herself. Rose's hypochondria could be played for laughs, but novel's humour (and it is a very funny book) comes more from Sofia's anthropological observations of her surroundings - she is constantly peeling everything back to its primitive function. The result is that every relationship in the book counts towards the extreme shifts inside the central character. There is actually surprisingly little action between Sofia and her mother (whom she calls by her first name rather than 'mum'), but the devastation of their lives is charted clearly and succinctly - Sofia is aware what her mother is doing to her but is not bold enough to do anything about it. There are mountains of pain between them. It was a moving read, and one of the clearest portrayals of a parent-child relationship I've read. I really recommend it.

  10. #2500
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea View Post
    That's the point where it almost lost me. It was feeling borderline gratuitous.
    I've been thinking about this... I'll put in under spoilers, just in case;
    post28!

  11. #2501
    :: dutch oven :: wout's Avatar
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    Aaaand I'm done. Even though stylewise some little things bugged me more and more as the story progressed (page-long lists. for instance), this is one of those books that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

    Also, the thing that in the end brought tears to me eyes:
    post28!

  12. #2502
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    yes, basically the last 100 pages of the book was just me sobbing uncontrollably.

  13. #2503
    Requiem For A Dream by Hubert Selby Jr.

  14. #2504
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    Quote Originally Posted by wout View Post
    this is one of those books that will stay with you for the rest of your life. [/spoiler]
    Totally agree.

    I finished Emma Cline's The Girls this week. Quite good. For me it got off to a somewhat slow start, but man did it pick up steam quickly. Pretty damn impressive for a debut novel.

    Now is that exciting time of deciding what to read next

  15. #2505
    Quote Originally Posted by sleeptheclock View Post
    I finished Emma Cline's The Girls this week. Quite good. For me it got off to a somewhat slow start, but man did it pick up steam quickly. Pretty damn impressive for a debut novel.
    I also just finished The Girls last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. My only complaint was that Cline's prose was sometimes spot-on and sometimes WAY overwritten. When she gets it right, though, she gets it so, so right. I am definitely excited to read her future work and watch her development.
    "See everything as an illusion, and enjoy it even though you are not of it."
    ~Alanis Morissette, paraphrased

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