Suggestions For A Good Read

ramonmercado

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Just finished Homeland (sequel to Little Brother) by Cory Doctorow, supposedly Young Adult but as good as any adult near future SF. About the Surveillance State and in particular the work of security contractors, the economic crisis, house repossessions, unemployment and the fightback by grassroots organisations and hackers.
 

uair01

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I'm not partisan with my reading, in fact I've just re-read Knut Hamsun's Hunger; Hamsun, still a reference for many extreme right-wingers who have read a book rather than burned it, ...
Hunger is great. I read it many years ago but still remember the part where he chews on wood to suppress his hunger.
 

GNC

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At last I've finished Scarred for Life: The 1970s! Seemed to take ages, but I did it. Really enjoyed it, but the big surprise came at the end: the FMB is quoted in the Enfield Poltergeist chapter, most specifically @Spookdaddy ! You're famous, man!

Now to watch William Shatner's Ancient Astronauts documentary...
 

Spookdaddy

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...most specifically @Spookdaddy ! You're famous, man!...
That wasn't me - the busdriver hit the breaks suddenly, and I merely grabbed the lady in question in order to prevent myself from falling over. The fact that I had neglected to put on any trousers that morning was merely an oversight on my part.

(But, seriously - I'm intrigued!)

Edit: Ah, hold on - could it be the scaring the shite out of a poltergeist story?
 
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GNC

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That wasn't me - the busdriver hit the breaks suddenly, and I merely grabbed the lady in question in order to prevent myself from falling over. The fact that I had neglected to put on any trousers that morning was merely an oversight on my part.

(But, seriously - I'm intrigued!)

Edit: Ah, hold on - could it be the scaring the shite out of a poltergeist story?
No, in fact I got the wrong chapter last night, you're quoted in the Hexham Heads one, where you related how the Nationwide report terrified you, especially when someone hammered on your front door at the finale. It's not a big quote, but an anonymous poster is quoted too, their name lost to the mists of time...

It's all in the service of pointing out how mad it was this stuff was considered perfect material for a news bulletin in the 1970s. Mind you, The One Show is not averse to the odd bit of Forteana, though that's more a factual entertainment programme.
 

Zeke Newbold

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I'm re-reading Thomas Mann, Death in Venice as a German audiobook. The reading is excellent and enhances the atmosphere.
https://www.audible.de/pd/Der-Tod-in-Venedig-Hoerbuch/B00D7IG5UG

What surprised me is that it can be read as a horror book! I know it's a deeply psychological novella filled with philosophy and melancholy, and that's how I read it many years ago. But in the meantime I've become a fan of horror fiction (Lovecraft, Ligotti, Aickman, MR James etc.) and this book fits the genre like a glove. Especially all the signs of impending doom in the early parts of the novel, The main protagonist ignores them all and I cringe ...

Yes, Horror which is not `Horror` is a rich area of enquiry.

I must check out Death in Venice. Some of Mann's short stories have a horror feel to them (there's one about a malevolent stage magician - forget the name) and The Magic Mountain features a seance and a (sort of) ghost.

Franz Kafka and some of Joseph Conrad are both Horror if approached in the right vein.

What is The Portrait of Dorian Grray (Wilde) if not a Horror novel? (A fact acknowledged by some of the film versions of it).

H.G Wells is pigeonholed as a science fiction writer, but his ghost story The Red Room is one of the creepiest things I've ever read an even some of his science fiction, particularly The War of the Worlds has strong horror elelments in it too.

Nikolai Gogol's short stories have a real Horror streak (A fact belatedly recognised in Russia, where a series of film romps have come out featuring Gogol as a psychic detective involved in stories based on his own tales).

Another classical Russian writer - who has recently been republished in English- Leonid Andreyev - wrote some` horror `shorts and these have recently been collected in `The Abyss` (Alma Books) :

http://weirdfictionreview.com/2013/10/an-introduction-to-leonid-andreyev/

Then there's Ian McEwan (or Ian Macabre as he used to be dubbed). If you want a great non-supernatural Horror-suspense novel do read The Comfort of Strangers.
 

GNC

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Then there's Ian McEwan (or Ian Macabre as he used to be dubbed). If you want a great non-supernatural Horror-suspense novel do read The Comfort of Strangers.
I've seen the film, which is an uneasy watch. His Enduring Love is basically a stalker psychothriller dressed up in literary style, also recommended.
 

Yithian

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When I was a teenager I really did read indiscriminately (oh, for that free-time today...), consuming whatever floated by from relative's shelves, boot-fairs, charity shops and bargain bins. One phase I went through, around the time that I also discovered Dennis Wheatley and Wodehouse, was reading random old penguin editions of 'Golden Age of Detective Fiction'--lots of short story compilations.

I'm fairly up on the Agatha Christie catalogue (just ordering a copy of the Murder of Roger Ackroyd--can't remember a blind thing about it!), but is anybody qualified to recommend starting points and highlights from the bibliographies of Margery Allingham (Campion etc), Dorothy L. Sayers (Peter Wimsey etc) and others of their ilk?

Novels are fine, but short stories are often my cup of tea.

Hoping to recapture the old spirit this summer.

I even have a striped blazer that might get an outing in the park!
 

Ogdred Weary

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Collections of short stories are my thing, too.
I like short stories but tend to be drawn to supernatural/Weird ones.

That said, Borges and Saki are two of my favourite authors- they occasionally ventured in that direction but mostly wrote outside of that genre/idiom.
 

Zeke Newbold

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When I was a teenager I really did read indiscriminately (oh, for that free-time today...), consuming whatever floated by from relative's shelves, boot-fairs, charity shops and bargain bins. One phase I went through, around the time that I also discovered Dennis Wheatley and Wodehouse, was reading random old penguin editions of 'Golden Age of Detective Fiction'--lots of short story compilations.

I'm fairly up on the Agatha Christie catalogue (just ordering a copy of the Murder of Roger Ackroyd--can't remember a blind thing about it!), but is anybody qualified to recommend starting points...
Not a fan myself, but Wordsworth have issued three volumes of The Charlie Chan Omnibus by Earl Biggers. Each volume contains about three tales. Plenty to be getting on with there!

You have probably read what Orwell had to say about `the Golden Age` of detective fiction - in his essay`The Detective Story` (1943). In that he was quite critical of his crime novelist contemporaries - ironically not seeing them as quite up to scratch in relation to Conan-Doyle, et al. So so much for the Golden Age! Anyway, this essay acts as a good primer for the detective novels of that period. (It appears in `Seeing Things as They Are` published by Penguin).

I believe that Reginald Hill issued some short story compilations featuring Dalziel and Pascoe.

But if you ask me - if you want a really good modern detective yarn - you need to turn to Mark Billingham and his DC Thorne stories or Jonathan Kellerman and his (often quite Fortean) Alex Delaware tales.

I fear that this is not the answer you were looking for, however!
 

uair01

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dr wu

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One of my favorite weird novels is The Investigation by Stanislaw Lem. I have read it 3 times over the last 30 years.
Anyone know of a similar themed paranormal book along the lines of that one? I am already familiar with the Dresden Files, Repairman Jack series , the various Simon R Green series, Bryant and May, Sandman Slim, and others of that genre...but they don't have the same eerie feel as that Lem novel.
Any ideas...?
 

Tempest63

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After several readings I am still unable to read Tom Sharpe’s “The Throwback” on the tube without turning into a snorting, giggling girly. As I know what’s coming (sheep dreams, tripping dogs) I start guffawing like an idiot even before I get there...
Most embarrassing!
 

ramonmercado

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The Fourth Reich

The Specter of Nazism from World War II to the Present

By Gavriel D. Rosenfeld

Published 03.14.2019 Cambridge University Press 408 Pages HB. £22. 9781108497497.

In this volume Professor Rosenfeld surveys the concept of a Fourth Reich not just from 1945, rising phoenix like from the ashes but how it has Biblical roots and is tied to German Folklore and the way it arose during the existence of the Third Reich. Rosenfeld has previously written on alternates Histories of the Third Reich but here he uses academic Counterfactuals to examine how in particular events in the period 1945 - 49 might have affected the development of German Democracy.

In popular culture the idea of a Fourth Reich has cropped up in The Boys From Brazil, The Odessa File, Marvel and DC comics, even in Mission Impossible and The Man From UNCLE. The Dead Kennedys have written songs about it and films like Iron Sky have exploited the fear of a resurgent Reich (albeit ironically). In the immediate postwar era, films such as The Stranger (1946) by Orson Welles showed nazis embedded in US society: “Who would think to look for the notorious Franz Kindler amongst America’s first families?”. In Counterblast (1948), nazi scientists intend to wage bacteriological warfare against their enemies and in Hitchcock’s Notorious (1946) the Brazil based nazis weapon of choice is an atom bomb.

Writing in 1932 at the cusp of Hitler’s rise to power, Kurt van Emsen outlined the Fourth Reich which he believed would replace nazi power. There would be a universalism in State, Church and Economy. Hitler was merely “the drummer of the German revolution”. A new “Communistic-Christian brotherhood” would emerge. After building a new empire in Central Asia it would join with Hindu cultural circles in the spiritual homeland of the Aryans, creating an Armanist-Atlantic Reich. Other opponents of the nazis hoped for a more prosaic, democratic Germany in their conceptions of a Fourth Reich.

During the Allied Occupation there were several serious attempts at nazi uprisings and mass infiltration of emerging government bodies and civil society. Using counterfactual methodology Rosenfeld considers to what extent these plots might have succeeded given slight changes in variables. But Allied soldiers, administrators and German public servants were killed in attacks. Readers will also be interested in an actual plot to wage Germ Warfare and incidents of cannibalism during post-war famine in Germany.

A wide ranging survey with many What Ifs covering the idea of a Fourth Reich through history, the fear of a nazi revival , the reawakening of fascist parties in Europe and even how the European Union is portrayed as the Fourth Reich.

Not just of interest to WW2 or nazi history buffs, there is also plenty here to provide Forteans with stimulating mind candy. Four Stars out of Five.
 

Tempest63

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The Kindle version of Ghosts in the Garden of England: True tales of the paranormal in Kent by Alan Tigwell is free on Amazon Kindle for the next day or two
 

GNC

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I'm sure there was a reference to Abslom Daak in the actual TV series not too long ago... so he's canon. And probably has a cannon.
 

packshaud

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Just finished this 1990 Marvel graphic novel.View attachment 18596
You know, I do not like this.

Horrible memories from the past are coming back. Many moons ago, a movie called Alien was made, with a terrible monster on it. "In space no one can hear you scream."

Fast forward to some years later, and scores of the terrible monsters are being mowed down by the protagonists, ruining them. This comic is the same as Star Trek Voyager is to the Borgs. Only seeing this cover makes my skin crawl.

STOP RUINING MY VILLAINS
 

Floyd1

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No, in fact I got the wrong chapter last night, you're quoted in the Hexham Heads one, where you related how the Nationwide report terrified you, especially when someone hammered on your front door at the finale. It's not a big quote, but an anonymous poster is quoted too, their name lost to the mists of time...

It's all in the service of pointing out how mad it was this stuff was considered perfect material for a news bulletin in the 1970s. Mind you, The One Show is not averse to the odd bit of Forteana, though that's more a factual entertainment programme.
Nationwide always terrified me in the '70s. Especially Richard Stilgoe.
 

INT21

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Reading 'Turn of the Screw' Henry James.

Mostly to see if 'Infant Kiss' really is based on it.

A good read, but you need to concentrate. He really loves his commas.

I would also recommend 'The Lovers of Gudrun'. (The Earthly Paradise).

" "The Lovers of Gudrun," derived from the Laxdaela Saga, is an Icelandic tragedy of desire and kinship destroyed by an "ethic" of revenge. "

INT21.
 
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