Reading Books in 2021

it pretty much was!

Much speculation has surrounded Mishima’s suicide. At the time of his death he had just completed the final book in his Sea of Fertility tetralogy.[112]

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Just finished Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagen. Odd experience. Started off feeling like it was going to be an engaging coming of age novel, but with slightly thinly drawn characters. But it changes direction halfway through and I was crying by the end of it. Still felt a bit thinly sketched out, but it had a hefty emotional punch. Suppose it got me thinking quite hard about friendship and death.

Going to read the new Haruki Murakami short stories that came out this week next.

having finally finished Gravity’s Rainbow after a real slog for 3 and a half months, I’ve been racing through books - by my standards anyway. Managed to do Lady in the Lake by Chandler, the final part of NK Jemisin’s trilogy, and basically finish Out of Sight (my DiSmas gift) in the last couple of weeks

Lady wasn’t the very best Chandler but I love his work regardless. Stone Sky was really engaging and a proper sci-fi page turner, but the ending felt like a bit of a let down; I guess that’s pretty common/inevitable with sprawling stories where they either have to tie a lot of strands together or leave them unfinished. Out of Sight isn’t my ideal type of crime novel but I had a lot of fun with it, very snappy, and will be fun to rewatch the film after this with a new perspective on the story.

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Enjoyable whodunnit that straddles the line between intellectual and trashy, and written in a Bernhardian way with winding sentences. There’s a Bolano recommendation on the front cover, and you can see there is a bit of kinship in the focus on Latin American crime and corruption.

Have now started on the Magus and enjoying it so far.

definitely intrigued, but this from one of the GR reviews puts me right off …

related entirely by a single female character (and without dialogue or paragraph breaks)

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tbh this is pretty much the way Bernhard writes

it’s a little tricky to get used to at first but as soon as you get used to it you just fly through it

I read this one in less than 2 days

Reading this at the moment, about half way through. Think I’m getting more out of it than you but finding it hard to read in long stretches of time as its a “bit much”.

I did a reread a few years ago alongside the other five I have and I think it stands up better than quite a few of the others.

I’m currently rereading The Maltease Falcon.

reading Dominicana by Angie Cruz
i am enjoying it but falls short of being really good so far imo, characters are a bit two dimensional

Once I’ve read them all I’m sure I’ll want to do a reread of them all in a row soon enough

Think Long Goodbye is my favourite of all, probably Farewell My Lovely second

Farewell… has some of the best writing but I really hate the plot.

TLG is very good. Probably top two.

the regular appearance of gimlets puts it over the top for me

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If nobody speaks of remarkable things is 99p on Kindle/ebook whatever today.

Very much worth it.

I’ll give that a punt. Cheers, slicks

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Going to go to the library on Monday. Unreasonably excited.


What’s the history if film music called?

Googling I’m guessing it’s Mervyn Cooke’s A History of Film Music?

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As someone who’s never read any Bernhard, what would you recommend?

Thinking of borrowing Old Masters the next time I go to my local library.

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actually most of his novels are fairly similar tbh, but Old Masters is a good a place to start as any

Wittgenstein’s Nephew and The Loser are excellent

probably the first writer I’ve read in the last few years where I’ve thought “wow, they’re actually doing something quite different with the novel”

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Finished First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami. Really enjoyed it in parts, particularly when a talking monkey was involved. Wasn’t sure about the flat depiction of some of the women in the book. The Guardian review made an interesting point that the last line of the book might be seen as addressing that and apply to all of the (male) narrators in the collection (it ends with a character being told he should be ashamed of himself).

Reading a Becky Chambers next - To Be Taught, if Fortunate.