Book thread 2018 📚


Anyone read Sleeping Giants: Themis? I’m listening to the audiobook and good god it’s bad. Can’t believe anyone who has read a book before would think it’s good.


Most of the way through Daisy Johnson’s collection of short stories Fen - finding it by turns extremely compelling and quite irritating. It doesn’t feel very carefully written in a way which is occasionally great, feels very organic/physical/direct/something, but a couple of stories feel very much like half-formed ideas.

To be fair, I’m probably just annoyed to learn she’s only a year older than me and is a writer with much hype.


I’ve read it! The one about the buried giant robot, right?

It’s really bad


I’d read about this a while ago and was really intrigued by it. It’s torture looking up the ages of hyped up creative people / what age people were when they did stuff I really liked.


Really enjoying Bleeding Edge, moreso this time round (seems to be the way with Pynchon novels that maybe left me a bit cold first time through). Pynchon was in his late seventies or whatever when he wrote that as well


I’m about to reread Bleeding Edge!
Just as soon as I get done with The Unwomanly Face of War, anyway…


a book should never be written in the present tense


how do we feel abut stories written in the 2nd person?


How do you feel about them?


It can be ok, bit weird tho. Only one I found readable and enjoyable was 5th season


It works for ‘If On a Winter’s Night A Traveller’. But that’s not like any other book ever written so…

There’s an Iain Banks one too ‘Song of Stone’ that IIRC is 2nd person and works well.

Wasn’t convinced it added much in ‘5th Season’ to be honest.


I think its use in the title story of Adichie’s ‘The thing around your neck’ is a move of pure genius that adds a surrounding layer that lifts and twists the entire story to new levels of meaning

But can imagine that over the length of a whole novel could get pretty tiring or feel gimmicky


how do you feel about future tense? there must be some examples


Yeah that’s the one. I made it to the end. Didn’t get any better.


I liked Bright Lights, Big City a lot and that’s short enough to get away with it. But it is a pretty showy technique


How will you be feeling about the future tense?


not sure I’ve come across a case yet, but my suspicion would be that it would be used for annoying purposes - some stupid reveal at the end like ‘There will be a person who [rest of story in future tense]… and that person is you!!!’

With respect to present tense - unfortunately, some more research reveals that William Gass (whose work, the little I’ve read of it anyway, seems irritating and smug) associated the use of present tense with women writers, so now I feel like making idiotic and overly general pronouncements of that kind puts me in with a bad crowd. I take it back, not having this guilt by association


would probably read this. can’t get enough irritating smug gimmicks

I don’t think I really even register present tense most of the time now. yeah linking it with women seems like a pretty dubious association on multiple levels. don’t people think omensetter’s luck and the tunnel are great? I’ve never read anything by him

too late for that - you’ve already outed yourself!


I’d better get on with it then


Debating whether to re-read A Visit From The Goon Squad (cause the weather seems right for it), or The Big Sleep (cause I’m on a noir fix, dammit) after Bleeding Edge.


also re: Bleeding Edge, I’m grinning at the Psyduck quote and I haven’t even gotten to it yet