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» One Touch Football - Archive » Books » Mission Impossible: educate me in 6 weeks (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Mission Impossible: educate me in 6 weeks
lyra
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I couldn't be doing with the Perec at all, but others do love it. Bit like the Master and Margarita - I didn't get it.

Oh what about Jose Saramago? Blindness or The Gospel According to Jesus Christ.

My actual *favourite* recentish novel is of course Nordic and is The Seducer by Jan Kjaerstad. Or maybe Independent People by Laxness?

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ooh aah
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cheers guys, lots of suggestions. Should keep me busy for a few weeks
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Pants
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ooh aah, if I was breaking down all the suggestions on here to the bare essentials, I'd go...

Philip Roth: 'American Pastoral'
Milan Kundera: 'Unbearable Lightness of Being' or 'Book of Laughter and Forgetting'
Amis: 'Money'
Primo Levi: 'If This Is A Man'
Kurt Vonnegut: 'Slaughterhouse Five'
David Mitchell: 'Ghostwritten'
Gabreil Garcia Marquez: 'Love In The Time Of Cholera'

And I'd throw in JM Coetzee's 'Disgrace'.

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Heston Bee
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Kundera's Immortality is brilliant, Life is Elsewhere is also recommended.

Rushdie - Midnight's Children
Garcia Marquez - Love in the Time of Cholera - much better than 100 years of solitude.
Michael Herr - Dispatches: tremendous account by an embedded journalist in Vietnam

Is Vonnegut some sort of OTF poster boy? I don't get it, I read one of his books, I can't even remember what it was called, and found it simple and uninspiring. I haven't read much non-fiction recently, and can't call to mind much that I have read.

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Gangster Octopus
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quote:
post-war, you probably don't need to bother with anything that isn't American.
Is no-one better read than myself going to question this statement?
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Heston Bee
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I thought it was a provocation or joke so just left it, not that I'm particularly well-read.

Sartre's Nausea is excellent, more so if you liked The Outsider.
Achebe's Things Fall Apart
Not exactly worldly classics, but definitely worth reading:
Hornby's Fever Pitch
Something by De Bernieres - I preferred his earlier books, The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Regions or Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord
Something by Italo Calvino - If on a Winter's night a Traveller perhaps.

Nonfiction:
For a brief history of the 20th century it's hard to do much better than Hobsbawm's Age of Extremes.
JK Galbraith's The Affluent Society

[ 15.03.2008, 15:18: Message edited by: Heston Bee ]

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Amor de Cosmos
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As Lyra requested A couple of excellent books by women: Elizabeth Smart's By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, an amazing piece of prose poetry. And some short stories by Alice Munro, either The Lives of Girls and Women, Open Secrets, or pretty much any other collection really.
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Croute au fromage et oeuf au plat
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I remember reading an Italian translation of a Chinese erotic novel set in what would be the early middle-ages for us, about some wondering chap fucking his way in noble houses. Very graphic, ideal stuff for a bored teenager during a hot summer by the sea.
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Pants
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quote:
post-war, you probably don't need to bother with anything that isn't American.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is no-one better read than myself going to question this statement

Well, I did respond by mentioning Amis. Also, I think Coetzee is pretty much essential as is David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. But actually, the statement's not worth questioning: it's just nonsense.

Good call on the Elizabeth Smart poem, Amor. I love it (as does a certain Steven Morrissey - who loved it so much, he sprinkled many Smiths songs with direct lifts from it.)

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lyra
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I think Ghostwritten is a pretty crap Murakami copy. There, I said it!

I think one should not discount genre fiction and therefore I could add

Iain M Banks The Player of Games
Anything by James Lee Burke
Anything by KJ Parker

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Wyatt Earp
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You must read The Great Gatsby. You have to.

You won't get through it in time, but take Crime and Punishment with you.

Fuck Vonnegut.

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lyra
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I don't like the Great Gatsby. There, I said that too!
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Pants
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Wyatt, you hold lyra while I punch him/her in the stomach.
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Etienne
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For Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five is essential, the rest of his stuff is very variable.

The Great Gatsby is beautifully, magnificently in fact, written; but the shallowness of the characters prevented me from fully enjoying it.

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lyra
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She's a girl. She just didn't 'get' it.
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