Discussion in 'SMB' started by Monty Pigeon, Jan 25, 2015.
Way ahead of you. The second half in particular is tremendous.
Superb account of the British expedition to conquer Everest.
James Morris's Coronation Everest would take some beating; firsthand account by a Times journalist. That was before he had a sex-change and became Jan Morris, probably greatest British travel writer.
Read two in the last two weeks:
Viv Albertine - To Throw Away Unopened - A good read, not as good as Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys. I love her style of writing and as a man in my fifties it made me think about relationships and the complications. 8/10
Don Winslow - A Cool Breeze on The Underground - I loved The Power of The Dog so thought that I would try one of his earlier books, not as good. Interesting idea but felt that it lacked something. 6.5 /10
The taking of Annie Thorne.
CJ Tudor. Kind of a horror mystery,, set in Nottinghamshire pit area and much of it struck a chord with references to working class upbringing.
Was surprised it was a woman author when I found out..
@RestlessNatives, I think you would very much like the style. Have to admit I listened on audio book and it was well and atmospherically narrated so I don't know how it will come across in print..
Cheers, I'll have a look.
Withdrawn Traces - Searching For The Truth About Richey Manic by Sara Hawys and Leon Noakes with Richey's Personal Archive.
It's written with the full consent of Richey's sister Rachel Edwards as she opened his diaries, school work and other personal items in his diary.
It's aimed at getting behind the "real" Richey during his lifetime and the lead up to his disappearance in February 1995. According to Rachel herself that timeline and a lot of the "facts" leading up to his disappearance are not infact true.
The first 100 pages have flown by and it's been a cracking read so far.
The author's have also interviewed many friends and people who knew him well, who previously had kept quiet on the topic, as well as Rachel herself to come up with this page turner.
I saw the Manics live in Amsterdam in late '94 at the Paradiso, they were on your with Suede and it was a blistering show...it was during their camouflage/army fatigues/JEB balaclava period, and it was one of the last live shows, if not the last to feature Richey before his disappearance.
A must read for any early incarnation Manics fan, or for music historians who want to find out more about the myth of Richey and his eventual disappearance.
Always intrigued me that. Might give it a go.
Dead Man's Trousers by Irvine Welsh
It's taken me a year since it came out to getting round to reading this, the fifth (and possibly last?) of Welsh's books involving the Trainspotting crew. Since Trainspotting, the follow ups and prequel have tended to focus on one of the original quartet, with the others as support, but this goes back to all of them having equal billing and, at times, being the narrator. That means the narrative lacks a little focus and there's a fair bit of loose end tying off to be done. Still enjoyable enough as a read and both funny and gripping in parts. 7.6/10
Also subsequently debunked as a fantasy.
Try The Real Bravo Two Zero by Michael Asher.
Picks apart a lot of the McNab narrative, his book should be kept in the fiction section along with his other tall stories.
Currently reading the first Bourne book. Christ, it's hard work
The Tattooist of Auschwitz- 7/10
Also- started A song of ice and fire, but gave up. Might go back to it later, as might I go back to homo deus some day
I might be wrong, but isn’t that one of the few (relatively) agreed movie series that are better then the books
In the last couple of weeks:
Flann O'Brien: The Poor Mouth. Trying to be completist with an author's works can mean that as you come towards the end of the oeuvre you read some lesser works, as is the case here (for me). In truth a fairly insubstantial and inconsequential offering (although Wiki reckons it's one of the greatest Irish language novels of the 20th Century and it has a healthy rating of Goodreads). Positive bits I guess are that it's a pretty stark view of extreme poverty in Western Ireland in the early 20th Century and the whole stuff about the Gaeltacht (which is a real thing protected by the Irish government nowadays). Not my favourite of his, but so it goes.
E.L. Doctorow: The Book Of Daniel. A fictionalised account of the lives of the Rosenbergs, and that of their children, whose executions by the US state for charges of spying under McCarthyism made them a cause celebre for the left worldwide, amongst whom they were largely thought to have been right royally stitched up. It's a great read with an interesting narrative structure that woozes in and out of focus and perspective. As it happens, documents which were later declassified by the KGB suggested that the Rosenbergs had indeed been spies - not that Doctorow comes down off the fence about their actual guilt one way or the other.
T.C. Boyle: Water Music. I've been enjoying a lot more historical fiction recently, and this is a gripping account of Mungo Park's journeys as first Westerner to travel to the source of the Niger. Mungo Park was from Selkirk and also spent some time in Peebles - my missus is from Peebs where he is well known as a historical figure of significance, so it was interesting contrasting that existence with that of his travels to the wilds of Africa. Other characters - an equal mix of real historical people like the dandy Beau Brummel and minor characters whose existences are widely embellished - have equally fascinating stories. Mebbeees a bit racist like.
Currently 400 pages into J.G. Farrell's The Singapore Grip, which will complete his Empire Trilogy (cheers @Monty Pigeon), then got T. C. Boyle's Drop City staring at me.
What's the author's name again? He's fucking rank. I was travelling and had nothing left to read and still gave up on one of his. Dreadful. Love the Bourne films, though.
Stamped from the Beginning, The definitive history of racist ideas in America, by Ibram X Kendi.
I sort of know TC Boyle (may have mentioned it on here before), and we've chatted about my own travels on the Niger - he's never been, and wrote the book entirely from his imagination. He imagined a river flowing through jungle; the reality is it flows through semi-desert. But it's probably my favourite of his books, written with remarkable freedom.
It'll be interesting to see the forthcoming TV series of The Singapore Grip, out later this year.
Robert lundlum. I've binned it. Only the 3rd book I've ever not finished. Absolute shite.
i've heard this a few times from different people, makes you wonder whoever the first person was that read it and thought it would make such a good (better) movie...
Agreed the Bourne books are fkn cack. I have GoT to start but not sure I’m ready to tackle the enormity of them.
Separate names with a comma.