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Recommended fiction.

 
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 393

Post Post subject: Recommended fiction. Reply with quote

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell - Just how it's going to be? Takes a bit of time to get there but his nightmare vision of the future seems unfortunately too plausible.
Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:53 am
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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Come on don't be shy. Someone, somewhere must have read something I might enjoy.

How about Margeret Atwood Oryx and Crake - Prediction of a future ruined by corporate rule, psycopathy and genetic engineering.

Or even The Handmaid's Tale by the same author - More and more prescient prediction of a near future US ruled by Christian right wing funda-mentalists


Last edited by toastkid on Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:45 pm
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RobB



Joined: 24 Sep 2005
Posts: 15

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The Constant Gardener John le Carre An easy to read thriller exposing the amoral and racist activities of the Pharmacitical companies.

The Brethren John Grisham A light entertaining read I found it interesting because the plot is about a fairly unacceptional senator who is offered the post of President of the US by the leader of the CIA and all he has to do is campaign to double the defense budget. Meanwhile the CIA though not actually commiting terrorist acts against americans allow them to happen so making americans believe that they all in danger and need extra military protection.
I read it just before the twin towers disaster and it made me wonder that if fiction is to be successful does it has to be believable . I think it does( except fantasy fiction). If so then does that not tend to support the view that although people can well believe that our politicians and leaders are corrupt and amoral, at the same time they prefer not to think about it and accept the version of the (ir)reality that they are given providing it does not seem to change their life drastically.
Sat Mar 04, 2006 6:14 pm
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dereklane



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 248
Location: UK

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Are you looking for just fiction with a political slant?

If not (and you haven't already read them) I would recommend Tortilla Flat and 'the log from the sea of cortez' - by Steinbeck. Both books are worth it (the latter from a scientific and social/political perspective, but the former has a lot of the social and political in it - funny as it is).

Writers like Steinbeck and Twain are a good reminder of the kinds of minds that America can produce - if only they were the rule rather than the exception...

Well, there's my two bob's worth:)

derek
Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:23 pm
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 393

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social/political commentary fine.

I don't mind. It's an open forum.

Whatever people think is concious raising as opposed to sedative.
Sun Mar 05, 2006 6:33 pm
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jock



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 14

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toastkid, have you read Alistair Beaton's "A Planet for the President"?

Written in 2004 it is eerily accurate regards the then yet to happen Hurricane Katrina. It is dark humour dealing with a bird flu type virus which you find yourself hoping he is wildly innacurate about.

Good fun though putting neocon faces to the characters.
Thu Apr 06, 2006 6:00 pm
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 393

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Thanks. Will look it out.

I work in the health service and have been involved in a very minor way in pandemic disaster planning.
If bird flu crosses the species barrier and causes even a moderate number of deaths to infections in healthy adults it is going to be very bad.

http://www.dh.gov.uk/PolicyAndGuidance/EmergencyPlanning/PandemicFlu/fs/en
Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:35 pm
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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George Bush recommends - The Stranger - by Camus.

Danielmaz recommends Caligula by the same author as his best work/play.

One theme being humanity's inability to rationalise our own mortality.
Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:36 am
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Neolmas
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I highly recommend Aldous Huxley's last novel, Island. If you haven't read Brave New World, I would do that first though. Island is the only true "utopian" novel I've come across, it gives an enlightening view about what culture could actually be. Not really what I'd call a traditional novel, although there is a story to it, it's more of a thesis.
Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:52 pm
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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Thanks, I used to love Huxley, his writing is so clear and concise.

I enjoyed The Devils of Loudon
Haven't read Island though.
Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:01 pm
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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Recommended by Robert Fisk here


"I have just finished reading Irène Némirovsky's brilliant - no, let me speak frankly - transformative account of the Fall of France, Suite Française, a novel which was intended by its young Jewish author to be her modern-day version of Tolstoy's War and Peace. Suite Française is one of those rare books that you can put down at night and wake up dreaming about, desperate to discover if the revolting Monsieur Corbin reaches his bank in Tours after the flight from Paris, whether the courageous Michaud couple will survive the Nazi onslaught, or if the beautiful Cécile - her unfaithful, unloved husband a French prisoner-of-war - will succumb to the educated, sometimes childlike, sometimes desperately loving German officer billeted in her home.

Némirovsky was born in Kiev in 1903, the daughter of a prominent banker, a refugee from the Russian Revolution, then a refugee from Paris in 1940 whose earlier novels were wildly successful but who could no longer be published under Nazi decrees. She fled Paris with her Jewish husband Michel Epstein to the village of Issy l'Evêque in the German-occupied zone, both marked out for extermination, but all the while writing in tiny, spider-like handwriting in small notebooks her epic of betrayal and heroism and the steady, sad slippage into collaboration which all occupied people must suffer. Her bank account is blocked. "You must know that if this money must be held in a blocked bank account," she pleads with her French publisher, "it would be of no use to me whatsoever."

Suite Française was to be composed of five books. Némirovsky completed only two - Storm in June (the 1940 flight from Paris) and Dolce, the first year of occupation in a small French village. Incredibly, the German soldiers living there are treated with a sensitivity bordering on gentleness, although with great cynicism. "Since the Germans (in the village) mistrusted their tendency to be tactless," Némirovsky writes, "they were particularly careful of what they said to the locals; they were therefore accused of being hypocrites."

There is a wonderful scene in which Lucille and her would-be German lover are viewed through the eyes of a little girl: "The German and the lady were talking quietly. He had turned white as a sheet too. Now and again, she could hear him holding back his loud voice, as if he wanted to shout or cry but didn't dare ... She vaguely thought he might be talking about his wife and the lady's husband. She heard him say several times: 'If you were happy...'"

After Hitler's invasion of Russia, the German unit in Némirovsky's village leaves for the Eastern front. "The men began singing, a grave, slow song that drifted away into the night. Soon the road was empty. All that remained of the German regiment was a little cloud of dust." This is Borodino-like in its magnificence, Tolstoyan indeed.

But Némirovsky did not complete her epic; three books are still unwritten although we have her notes for them. (Their titles were to be Captivity, Battles, Peace.) She was arrested and sent to Auschwitz, where she died in the atrocious Birkenau infirmary on 17 August 1942. Believing her still alive, her brave husband Michel appealed to her publishers for help, to the Red Cross, to the German ambassador to Paris, to Pétain himself. The direct result of his letter to the old man was his own arrest and dispatch to Auschwitz. He was sent straight to the gas chamber."
Sat Dec 02, 2006 2:20 pm
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 393

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On holiday. I have just finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy - in a day - couldn't put it down.

A post apocalyptic, horror, father and son, road trip novel.

It's miserable and horrific and sad.
The story of the nuclear desert they move through sucks you in and is such a focus that as the ending reveals that it's been about the relationship between the two all along it's a bit of a shock.

Excellent and I think it will leave you a bit harrowed.
Thu Jul 26, 2007 7:33 pm
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 393

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Pasted from message board

Re: your most inspiring books

Posted by The Editors on December 4, 2007, 3:03 pm, in reply to "your most inspiring books"
User logged in as: Editor

Inspiring works of fiction include 'In dubious battle' by John Steinbeck, 'You have to be careful in the land of the free' by James Kelman, 'The monkey wrench gang' by Edward Abbey and pretty much everything by Alasdair Gray, especially 'Lanark'. Loads of other books I could mention but I'd better stop here.

DC
Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:05 pm
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
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Copied and pasted from message board

Re: Response to latest Cogitation [On thinking and feeling]
Posted by Michael Hardiman on October 14, 2010, 2:20 pm, in reply to "Re: Response to latest Cogitation"

David,
I would also like to recommend a book. The Irish writer John McGahern's last work was a novel called That They May Face The Rising Sun (in the USA it was released as By The Lake). It is the story of a couple who leave London and go to live on a farm in the west of Ireland, the book charts the course of one year in the lives of their neighbours, family members and also the changing seasons in this part of the world.

There is one segment of the novel which sums up what it is about. The main character, Ruttledge, has spent the afternoon in the home of a friend and has had a few whiskeys, he walks home and as he is about to enter his house he pauses and listens for a moment to a conversation between his wife and an uncle. As he listens to the voices of these two people who he deeply loves, sated after an afternoon in the company of a good friend, he thinks that it may be happiness that he is feeling but immediately "chases the notion from his mind" "blames it on the glow of the alcohol" and reflects that happiness, as with sadness, cannot be willed into being, it must be felt but allowed to pass almost unnoticed.

I remembered the book while reading the cogitation because you seem to be trying to put your finger on what the desire to have a good weekend was? To be happy? To appear to others to have been so? And the girl with the t-shirt? To have a want satisfied? Swamped by such desire those around us can become almost superfluous bit players.

The book does not deal with the desires of the characters but with their loves, worries and their emotional needs insofar as those things are important to their relationships with other people. It succeeds in stripping away much that is material and it's message, in my view, is related to paying close attention to people, to having patience and allowing love and joy to happen rather than searching for them which is what most films, songs, tv shows that I see impel us to do.
For anyone who has not read McGahern I recommend him and this book in particular is certainly one of the most woderful works of art that I have come across in my lifetime.
Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:24 pm
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 393

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Copied from the message board.
Recommended by Anton in an exchange with Derek Lane who was arguing for pacifism rather than violent resistance.

"Katherine Burdekin's 'Swastika Night' is a really good, yet utterly depressing dystopian novel. I recommend you read it."
Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:29 pm
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toastkid



Joined: 30 Jul 2005
Posts: 393

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Exchange copied from the message board

Can anyone recommend novels and drama

Posted by Neil on January 29, 2012, 2:19 am

That are outside the mainstream. I know there are lots but it is difficult to find anything




Re: Can anyone recommend novels and drama

Posted by emersberger on January 29, 2012, 2:38 am, in reply to "Can anyone recommend novels and drama"

Check out Tony Cristini's work - available on line at his "a practical polity" blog. His novel "Homefront" (related to Iraq war) is superb in my opinion.

Liberation lit also has stuff - including some of mine.

One of the best partisan political novel's I've ever read is "The Wizard of the Crow" by Ngugi Wa Thiongo - over 700 pages long and I never struggled to pick it up - quite the contrary.

I also loved Resurrection by Tolstoy - not exactly an unknown - but wonderful and overtly political. He is - hands down - my favorite novelist. In fact even Hadji Murat or Cossacks would be very relevant today.



Re: Can anyone recommend novels and drama

Posted by Hidari on January 29, 2012, 9:50 am, in reply to "Re: Can anyone recommend novels and drama"

Brecht!
http://killingsometimebeforetimekillsyou.blogspot.com/




Re: Can anyone recommend novels and drama

Posted by smash on January 29, 2012, 3:25 am, in reply to "Can anyone recommend novels and drama"

I get the same problem when i walk into a library. Its so difficult to find anything that will meet my predjudice.

Having said that though, I do like Dostoyevsky, Hesse, Sartre, Kafka, Camus. But thats all for six formers. I like the American naturalists Jack London, Theorore Dreiser and Nelson Algren. Also realists like Charles Bukowski and John Fante, also a mention for Harry Crews. I love autobiographies of lunatics and a massive fan of J G Ballard. As for crime novels i dig the master James Ellroy, of course Eddy Bunker and other hardcore real-life criminals like Ice Berg Slim. But generally speaking agree with you...its sooo hard.



Re: Can anyone recommend novels and drama

Posted by Keith-264 on January 29, 2012, 6:44 am, in reply to "Re: Can anyone recommend novels and drama"

Nabokov's Lolita is a good satire on mainstream dullardry.

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison might amuse, since we are being turned into wraiths qua the state.

264, the last working class hero in England.




Women in Love - D.H.Lawrence (nm)

Posted by Darren Allen on January 29, 2012, 9:52 am, in reply to "Can anyone recommend novels and drama"

(nm)
www.gentleapocalypse.com




Re: Women in Love - D.H.Lawrence (nm)

Posted by Anton on January 29, 2012, 10:25 am, in reply to "Women in Love - D.H.Lawrence (nm)"

Hi Darren, is your book online? I'm been trying to access it for some time now via http://www.gentleapocalypse.com/p/book.html , but I can't for some reason (it's just a black space) even though I have adobe reader and can normally access pdf without any problems

x


Re: Women in Love - D.H.Lawrence (nm)

Posted by Darren Allen on January 29, 2012, 2:07 pm, in reply to "Re: Women in Love - D.H.Lawrence (nm)"

Hi Anton,

I'm in the middle of updating my book (have been this last year or so). Its turned into something - surprising. Should be finished soon. Drop me an email through my site if you like and I'll let you know when it appears. Either way - thanks for the interest.

Da


for what age group/audience? nm

Posted by thiskneelingfool on January 29, 2012, 10:54 am, in reply to "Can anyone recommend novels and drama"



Re: for what age group/audience? nm

Posted by Neil on January 29, 2012, 12:55 pm, in reply to "for what age group/audience? nm"

Adult



Stranger in a Strange Land...

Posted by thiskneelingfool on January 29, 2012, 4:16 pm, in reply to "Re: for what age group/audience? nm"

by Robert Heinlein I very much enjoyed, but Alduous Huxley's The Island and even Brave New World are both excellent commentary type stories about society and in some ways more poignant.(bearing in mind when they were written)

with nothing to go on that's the best I can think of for the moment.




ragged trousered philanthropist - robert tressell

Posted by ajohnstone on January 29, 2012, 4:56 pm, in reply to "Stranger in a Strange Land..."



Dispossessed Ursula le Guin

Woman on the edge of time Marge Piercy

News from Nowhere william morris
Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:28 pm
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