The SMB Book thread

Discussion in 'SMB' started by Monty Pigeon, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. Monty Pigeon

    Monty Pigeon Winger

    Heaven Has No Favorites by Erich Maria Remarque 8/10
    Later novel by the author of All Quiet on the Western Front. A racing driver falls for a woman dying of TB. Well told story that also serves as a meditation on the nature of mortality. It was the basis for the Al Pacino film Bobby Deerfield.


    Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James 2/10
    What a load of old cobblers. Billed as the 'African Game of Thrones', it's a tedious slog with very little in the way of narrative drive. Reading it here in Africa was a bizarre experience, because it bears no relation whatsoever to the continent and folklore I've known most of my life. The longest 640 pages I've ever read, with some truly dreadful writing, eg: 'He smelled like the crack of an old man's ass'. (Curiously, if I were to write a book drawing on African folklore I'd be called out for cultural appropriation, even though I grew up here. Marlon James is a Jamaican who lives in Minnesota, and as far as I know his only visit to Africa was a week-long lecture junket to Nigeria.)

  2. bernardbresslaw

    bernardbresslaw Striker

    I'm reading Lily Allens book atm. Not bad, lass has been through a lot :lol:
  3. Lexingtongue

    Lexingtongue Striker

    Started Big Green Tent a few days ago. Will let you know what I think of it.
    Monty Pigeon likes this.
  4. I Stand Alone

    I Stand Alone Midfield

    Finally got round to reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. Fucked-up family saga from the turn of the millennium. Quite a long read but I didn't get bored at any point. Very good. 8/10.
    Curlyteeth and Lexingtongue like this.
  5. Lexingtongue

    Lexingtongue Striker

    Love Franzen. Nothing ever really gets resolved in his writing but it's still very engrossing. Have Purity in my to read pile.
    I Stand Alone likes this.
  6. buckowski

    buckowski Subs Bench

    Just finished Renegade: The lives and times of Mark E Smith.
    Really well written, doesn't half speak his mind... 9/10.
  7. I hated it, as I'm sure I've said many times on this thread.:lol: It's definitely a Marmite book.
    I Stand Alone likes this.
  8. I Stand Alone

    I Stand Alone Midfield

    His writing's great at times. The way he constructs a sentence is canny unique and brilliant
    It's taken me about 5 goes over the last 17 years. Hammered it once I finally got into it.

    I'm having a year of tackling difficult/big books. The Corrections was the first on me list. Currently struggling through Donna Tart's The Goldfinch - it's even more uneventful than The Secret History.
    Ulysses and Gravity's Rainbow next. Urgh.
    RestlessNatives likes this.
  9. You have a chance of being the first person I put on ignore if you read and enjoy Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie.:lol:
    I Stand Alone likes this.
  10. I Stand Alone

    I Stand Alone Midfield

    Tried it a few times. Just seems like pretentious waffle. Never got past 50 pages.
    RestlessNatives likes this.
  11. Arkle

    Arkle Striker Contributor

    Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

    Took me a while to get round to this. Lehane's on good form with a psychological thriller centred around a female character (unusually for him). Difficult to go into detail without giving much way but, after a slowish start, it becomes a cracking read!

  12. Thackeray

    Thackeray Striker

    He smelled like the crack of an old man's ass.

    Having that in my finest Orson Welles voice.
  13. Summer Bee

    Summer Bee Midfield

    Wild swans by Jung Chang. Tells a first hand story of life in China under Mao. Genuinely harrowing read, and at times quite hard to follow with the introduction of numerous acquaintances and friends but well worth a read. Still banned in China as well
    JonnotheMackem likes this.
  14. Harry Angstrom

    Harry Angstrom Striker

    Gave it to the daughter of Chinese friends. I told them she is a bit young but I think it's a fantastic read and she will love it when she is older.
    Summer Bee likes this.
  15. Summer Bee

    Summer Bee Midfield

    Gave one copy to a lad I met in Bangkok who teaches literature in Switzerland, and bought another copy for myself when I got back. More people should read it in my view
  16. jacko100

    jacko100 Winger

    Less - Andrew Sean Greer 8/10

    Really enjoyed this, semi washed up author, desperate to avoid the wedding of a former partner takes on a load of travel invitations he would normally refuse. Semi travel log through Mexico, France, Italy, Morocco, India and Japan its a very well told story of a man getting used to his age and what comes with it. Very funny at times.

  17. JonnotheMackem

    JonnotheMackem Striker

    That's an excellent book. Mrs. theMackem found it very eye opening given that a lot of the Cultural Revolution stuff isn't talked about in China.


    If you like gratuitous violence and characters with just enough depth to make them interesting, or liked the film, read it. If you don't, don't bother.


    This was excellent. Really in-depth look at how ISIS came about from their roots in a Jordanian prison at the turn of the century, but little detail on ISIS post Mosul capture. Still a very interesting book - informative and a captivating read.
    Summer Bee likes this.
  18. Arkle

    Arkle Striker Contributor

    Places in the Darkness by Chris Brookmyre

    Brookmyre in his Chris mode so it's sci-fi leaning. Earth at some point in the near future has built a large space station/city, Ciudad de Cielo, which is being used to build a ship to colonise other planets. There's been a murder (unheard of on CdC) and slightly dodgy copper, Nikki Fixx and Dr Alice Blake, representing the Federation of National Governments, need to get to the bottom of it, in spite of their differences. It's very enjoyable and could, potentially, be spun out into a series. 8/10

    Troll Life by Alan Parkinson

    The author is, of course, of this parish... basically, it starts out with Darren, the internet troll from Idle Threats having to go through training courses and get a job, ironically at the call centre he used to troll. Lots of other characters introduced, potentially one or two who might be carried forward to other books?? It's funny and entertaining and has a good plot. Also features a not so thinly veiled SMB. 8/10
  19. phil

    phil Midfield

    Have to agree. In most of his books he tries to weave his story around historical facts, but recently in this series they are a bit lacking, so much so that I now look forward much more to offerings from CJ Sansum or Conn Iggulden.
    TBH I wish Cornwell would finish off his Starbuck/American Civil War series rather than just taking the easy money with Uhtred.
    Arkle likes this.
  20. Lexingtongue

    Lexingtongue Striker

    @Monty Pigeon It wasn't good, unfortunately...

    Love BR film but the translation of the book copy I had was appalling. I gave up on it and gave the book away.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2019
    JonnotheMackem likes this.

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