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Thread: Pit Book/Discussion Thread

  1. #281
    Quote Originally Posted by TopHat View Post
    Well it is just like Netflix in the sense that there are a lot books available in nearly every category. Also like Netflix it won't have a ton of brand new books or a lot of recently popular titles like The Hunger Games, or John Grisham books. It does have a ton of classics and a lot of books mentioned on here (Barbarians at the Gate, Tolstoy, Vonnegut, Hubert Selby, etc.)

    I really like it, it helps me test different writers out before I invest a lot of time or money into their stuff. A good example of this, for me, is Chabon. I don't think invest would have read his stuff if it wasn't for having this access.
    Thanks. I'll keep it in mind if I move away from my beloved ZSR.

    How's the poetry selection on there?
    semi-aquatic like otters be.

  2. #282
    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    As regards Chabon, I feel like I only really enjoyed Kavalier and Clay. I didn't like Yiddish Policeman's Union or Manhood for Amateurs all that much. Guess I should read Wonder Boys since that's probably his most famous.
    Quote Originally Posted by TopHat View Post
    Wonderboys was the first one I read, and loved it. I think you would really like it. I haven't read the ones you've named but I did read Mysteries of Pittsburgh, and Maps and Legends. I really need to read Kavalier and Clay.
    Did y'all like _Telegraph Avenue_ ?? It has been sitting on my shelf for a year and a half, and I haven't touched it yet.

  3. #283
    Catch-22 was the funniest book I've ever read. Also, one of the most poignantly tragic at times.

  4. #284
    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    As regards Chabon, I feel like I only really enjoyed Kavalier and Clay. I didn't like Yiddish Policeman's Union or Manhood for Amateurs all that much. Guess I should read Wonder Boys since that's probably his most famous.
    I thought K&C was his most well-regarded and famous. The first half of that book is one of the best pieces of literature I've read. Second half dragged a bit.

    Wonder Boys was the Quad Book Club book. I read it then; K&C is better.

  5. #285
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCityDeac View Post
    Catch-22 was the funniest book I've ever read. Also, one of the most poignantly tragic at times.
    Top 15 book of all-time for me.
    semi-aquatic like otters be.

  6. #286
    Quote Originally Posted by JuiceCrewAllStar View Post
    I thought K&C was his most well-regarded and famous. The first half of that book is one of the best pieces of literature I've read. Second half dragged a bit.

    Wonder Boys was the Quad Book Club book. I read it then; K&C is better.
    Wow. Looks like I know what I'll be starting next.
    I believe in a thing called Scheier.

  7. #287
    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCityDeac View Post
    Catch-22 was the funniest book I've ever read. Also, one of the most poignantly tragic at times.
    I actually didn't think it was that funny, probably because I started out thinking it would be a WWII version of M*A*S*H, only to get into it and find people dying left and right. The line that stuck with me more than any other came from the Preface, rather than the novel itself. "Sooner or later, I must concede, Yossarian, now seventy, will have to pass away too. But it won't be by my hand." Love that bit, and the sentiment that's within it.

  8. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCityDeac View Post
    Catch-22 was the funniest book I've ever read. Also, one of the most poignantly tragic at times.
    My entry for most poignantly tragic piece of writing is the Benjy chapter of The Sound and the Fury (I definitely didn't appreciate it when I first attempted to read it in high school, but very glad I revisited it after college). Homo Faber (Max Frisch) stands out too.

    And yeah, Catch-22 is also in my top 10 or 15 favorites ever. Strong contender for if I were to name one book to read before you die.

  9. #289
    Quote Originally Posted by KickballDeac View Post
    My entry for most poignantly tragic piece of writing is the Benjy chapter of The Sound and the Fury (I definitely didn't appreciate it when I first attempted to read it in high school, but very glad I revisited it after college). Homo Faber (Max Frisch) stands out too.
    The ending of Lolita, hands down, by far, nothing else comes close.

     
    Nabokov does such a good job of getting you to fixate on the horror/repulsiveness of their physical relationship that you (or at least I) don't even notice the tragedy of her losing her childhood in the process. I cried my freaking eyes out when I hit this part, “One could hear now and then, as if released, an almost articulate spurt of vivid laughter, or the crack of a bat, or the clatter of a toy wagon, but it was all really too far for the eye to distinguish any movement in the lightly etched streets. I stood listening to that musical vibration from my lofty slope, to those flashes of separate cries with a kind of demure murmur for background, and then I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita’s absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that concord.”

  10. #290
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGoldBeard View Post
    The ending of Lolita, hands down, by far, nothing else comes close.
    (I'm a third of the way through it!)

  11. #291
    Quote Originally Posted by OldGoldBeard View Post
    I actually didn't think it was that funny, probably because I started out thinking it would be a WWII version of M*A*S*H, only to get into it and find people dying left and right. The line that stuck with me more than any other came from the Preface, rather than the novel itself. "Sooner or later, I must concede, Yossarian, now seventy, will have to pass away too. But it won't be by my hand." Love that bit, and the sentiment that's within it.
    This question may be philosophically impossible to answer, but do you think it is an objectively funny book? Or does the interjection of deaths distract too much? I thought the spectrum between the two was brilliantly transversed.

  12. #292
    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    Slaughterhouse Five and Catch 22 are two books where you laugh and cry the hardest in the shortest span I think.
    Agreed! I also admit that I was a huge sucker for the Hitchhiker series (returning to the discussion of comedy).

  13. #293
    I feel like there are more, but interesting read.
    semi-aquatic like otters be.

  14. #294
    I disagree with you
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    i can't say anyone ever uses "dogs of war" unless they're quoting the bard

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  16. #296
    I disagree with you
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    hit a speed bump at Moby Dick, stopped at The Silmarillion

    tough for 11th graders

  17. #297
    Quote Originally Posted by TenaciousKory View Post
    Interesting list. There are, however, definitely several significantly more challenging selections from authors on the list -- just off of the top of my head: e.g. "To the Lighthouse" selected over "The Waves"; "Alphabetical Africa" over "Agape Agape"; "Heart of Darkness" over "Nostromo" (though I've never read it); "Canterbury Tales" over "Troilus and Criseyde".

  18. #298
    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    Naked Lunch is one of the easier Burroughs. Pet Sematary isn't challenging in any regard. You could pick a handful of DeLillo books.

    I can't imagine reading Faerie Queen without annotation or as a layperson, or rather, someone born in the 20th century, but that could be said of Chaucer or plenty of medievalists, no?

    And there are far more challenging books than these 50, but these are the more accessible of the extreme reads, I'd imagine.
    Spenser is an Elizabethan, not a product of the Middle Ages; you're right, though, his poetics are purposefully archaic (for lack of a better word).

    Thing is, Chaucer is easy stuff compared to his contemporaries -- it is in verse and it rhymes and his Middle English is not that dissimilar from Early Modern English (keeping in mind that all Shakespeare editions significantly modernize the language). The Pearl-poet, for instance, is a much more difficult read.

    So, I buy your argument about accessibility.

  19. #299
    Quote Originally Posted by TownieDeac View Post
    I wasn't referring to Spenser or even Chaucer when I was talking about medievalists, just suggesting that authors writing in pre-modern English are inaccessible to most of us today. And I was trying to make your second point, but you said it far better.
    Gotcha; I read it on tapatalk on the bus, so I'd missed your point. Yeah, I can't imagine even a determined reader trying to decipher early-Middle English prose. Or, perhaps, read even the most popular surviving poem of the Middle Ages -- the _Prik of Conscience_ -- which, by the way, has been finally printed in a teaching text for the first time in 600 years!

  20. #300

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