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Author Topic: Probably the best book I've never read
lyra
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Oh God. I'm never going to do it am I.

I would say that anyone worried that If This Is A Man is going to be too upsetting - don't be. It's too great not to read, and it's not depressing.

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Lardinho
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I think from the previous two comments I may never pick up Vineland. It may just sit there on the shelf permanently unread.
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Well, my cheesemonger liked it a lot, so what does Harold Bloom know?
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lyra
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Is this your lady friend? In any case yeah, isn't Bloom a bit old school type thing?*

Would it be daft of me to attempt Mason and Dixon then? I'm sure I remember Spangles' mum saying it was fantastic and gripping. But I read the first page about 50 times and still didn't understand a word.

*very vague idea that possibly is completely mistaken

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Not me
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I'm with the cheese guy: Vineland's great fun, easily Pynchon's easiest read. I've read it twice, wherease I lost the will to live not far into The Crying of Lot 49 and Gravity's Rainbow.
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Lardinho
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Mason & Dixon was very chewy and took me a couple of months to get through. Admittedly it's not exactly standard commuting material (and I can't imagine how many "what a pretentious wanker" looks I got), so my timescale might not be normal.

But I really, really enjoyed it, particularly once I'd got past the difficulty with him using faux-18th century language. Bizarre things happened and it wasn't always easy to keep track, but I felt it was a thoroughly worthwhile read, and well worth the effort.

And I'm a pathetic intellectual lightweight so I can't imagine anyone else on OTF finding it impossible. Unless being a lightweight helped as I wasn't trying to get more out of it other than a fun read and a decent story.

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hobbes
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I loved Vineland. But then I ploughed through "Lot 49" in an afternoon and was totally blown away by it. I did my GSCE extended essay on the two.
Since then I've tried and failed 2 or 3 times to read Mason and Dixon, Gravity's Rainbow and V.

We did a thread on Pynchon here.
I still stand by what I said on that.

quote:
The problem with Pynchon is that he'll start a sentence about one thing, which with then mosey off into a clause then a sub-clause, then a whole different subject before returning to the original sentence 4 or 5 pages later, by which time you've forgotten what it was about to start with. That's fine once or twice but if you took out all the meandering in V for example, the book would be about 12 pages long
God, quoting myself. How very...
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Fitter Happier
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You did a GCSE essay on Pynchon? Blimey.

And going back a couple of pages (and years), I would like to say that

quote:
Christy Malry's Own Double Entry by BS Johnson

is absolutely brilliant. Where I make a bit of a cock of myself by expressing my empathy with Chigurh in the 'No Coutry for Old Men' thread on OTF film, I think people would perhaps look a bit more kindly on my saying Christe Malry gains my sympathy too.
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Not me
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Yeah, I love [i]Christie Malry[i/]. I can't see any reason to avoid reading it: it's a strange book, certainly, but by no means a "difficult" one. Very short, too.
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Lardinho
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I've still not read it, by the way, but only because I keep buying other books, not any other reason.
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lyra
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Just never try to watch the film. It's one of the worst films I've ever seen.
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smallweed
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Surely it's the worst film you've ever ever seen (until you've seen the next one), lyra? You're forgetting yourself.

Doing Pynchon for GCSE is impressive, yes. Maybe at that age I'd have had a greater earnestness to help me concentrate and get through it, but I doubt I'd have got very much from it.

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hobbes
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I was much cleverer when I was young (not to mention more smug) before sleep apnoea and recreational drugs robbed me of my faculties.
I actually randomly chose "Lot 49" off a trolley full of books our teacher gave us to chose from if we didn't have our own idea. It appealed to my sense of the ridiculous. He had just written Vineland after like, 20 years of not writing so my teacher suggested I did a comparison.
I'd never heard of Pynchon then, so perhaps there weren't any feelings of being intimidated by his reputation.

[ 27.02.2008, 11:28: Message edited by: hobbes ]

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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quote:
Is this your lady friend?
Was, sort of. Is now my close friend who is a lady. It's complicated.

quote:
I'm with the cheese guy
Not that complicated...

[ 27.02.2008, 14:55: Message edited by: The peak of El Toro-quino ]

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lyra
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Complicated can be great. I like complicated.

OK so I just read the first couple of pages of Mason and Dixon again, and it's perfectly comprehensible so I was being silly; also there is a Cat called Whiskers stalking around with "eyes finely reflexive to anything suggesting Food" which is great, because that's exactly what my cat is doing right now. So maybe I'll try it again.

But I really really want to read Clarissa, so maybe I should get on with that instead.

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