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davidg

Reading Fiction

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Ok, it's embarrassing but I have to admit, that apart from reading bedtime books to my son, I've hardly read any fiction for at least 20 years.

So has anyone got any suggestions for good books? I look at the best sellers lists now and again but nothing really appeals to me.

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Ok, it's embarrassing but I have to admit, that apart from reading bedtime books to my son, I've hardly read any fiction for at least 20 years.

So has anyone got any suggestions for good books? I look at the best sellers lists now and again but nothing really appeals to me.

If you swashbuckling, yet broadly accurate, historical fiction these are great: The Saxon Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell

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Genre?

Crime fiction - my wife is into Jo Nesbo, we both enjoyed Steig Larsson (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo)

Sci-fi/fantasy - I enjoyed Garth Nix's "Abhorsen" trilogy, some of Iain M Banks "Culture" novels, and discworld for light, fun yet often quite perceptive entertainment. Patrick Rothfuss "The name of the wind" and the sequel "The wise man's fear" (be warned it is a trilogy in progress...). I never really got into Game of Thrones (books or TV)

The time traveller's wife was a really good read (though probably marred slightly if you've seen the film). It is chick lit, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

"Adrian Mole and the weapons of mass desctruction" was a good laugh, or if you want a bit more highbrow, you could try "A thousand splendid suns" "Salmon fishing in the Yemen" "The kite runner"

Or try John O'Farrell (providing his liberal lefty world view doesn't put you off), Nick Hornby, or Julian Barnes.

That should keep you going for a while...

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Cornwell, yes I was thinking of him too. Thanks for the suggestion.


The time traveller's wife was a really good read (though probably marred slightly if you've seen the film). It is chick lit, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I did see the film. Isn't that the one the Americans were ranting about claiming it was pro-paedophilia?

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Cormac McCarthy for me, especially Blood Meridian (amazing but not for the faint hearted), the Border Trilogy and Suttree. He infuriates some because he writes without much punctuation (you quickly get used to it) and includes some significant passages of Spanish dialogue in his Border Trilogy books (adds realism for me, and you can work out the gist of it), but his prose is outstanding.

Also see the recent book recommendation thread here:

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/198260-book-recommendations/?hl=book

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The time traveller's wife was a really good read (though probably marred slightly if you've seen the film). It is chick lit, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Yes, I also enjoyed this very much, without having heard anything about it or seen the film. Very clever and when reading it it didn't seem nearly as ludicrous as it sounds when trying to describe it to someone. Chick-lit, sure, but not just for chicks!

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Cornwell, yes I was thinking of him too. Thanks for the suggestion.

I did see the film. Isn't that the one the Americans were ranting about claiming it was pro-paedophilia?

Stupid Americans. But, on a very literal level, he does frequently expose himself to a little girl, albeit unintentionally. He also gets caught having sex with himself, but it's all done in the best possible taste!

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I always recommend Peter James Host as sci-fi.

I read far too little as well, Before I Go To Sleep was okay I thought for thriller (film due out soon).

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If you swashbuckling, yet broadly accurate, historical fiction these are great: The Saxon Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell

Yes, read these and they are awesome.

Would make a great series of films, I thought.

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Yes, read these and they are awesome.

Would make a great series of films, I thought.

I'm not sure they could make it without re-inventing the lead characters with a more modern ethical code. In the latest one, Uhtred forces a 10 year old boy to hack a traitor to death. That would be a tough scene to get past the censors, yet if you change the character to have a "new man" morality you would destroy the elements that give the books their edge.

In many ways that is what is good about books, they don't have to be the exact same regurgitated sh*t re-skinned, which is the only way you can get an action movie made.

Edit: Although Game of Thrones has pushed the envelope on that somewhat. So on reflection I'd love to see HBO make a series based on them.

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I'm not sure they could make it without re-inventing the lead characters with a more modern ethical code. In the latest one, Uhtred forces a 10 year old boy to hack a traitor to death. That would be a tough scene to get past the censors, yet if you change the character to have a "new man" morality you would destroy the elements that give the books their edge.

In many ways that is what is good about books, they don't have to be the exact same regurgitated sh*t re-skinned, which is the only way you can get an action movie made.

Edit: Although Game of Thrones has pushed the envelope on that somewhat. So on reflection I'd love to see HBO make a series based on them.

Was just about to mention that, although as you say HBO so not really at the mercy of the sensors or anybody else. Don't think a film of Games of Thrones would have worked for that reason.

To add to the discussion, I'd say work yourself through some of the classics, they are classics for a reason.

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I feel your pain, as I don`t seem to have much time for fiction these days as I always seem to be reading text books :wacko:

Having said that, over the years I`ve ploughed through quite a lot so my suggestions would be

Fantasy/ Science Fiction........Ray Bradbury ( Something Wicked This Way Comes, Illustrated Man, etc ) also maybe Sussana Clarke...Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell

Historical................Nicholas Monsarrat ( The Master Mariner )

Classics..................Orwell ( obviously just about anything ) I also enjoyed Under The Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy

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IMO a lot of the great stuff was written before the 1970`s, and due to the wonder of the internet I find references to great writers all the time. Of modern writers I like Stephen King, and if you like this genre two non-fiction books that he has written - Danse Macabre and On Writing are full of references to writers and novels that you may enjoy.

Three, no four novels off the top of my head that are great reads if you like thrillers - Eye of the Needle, I am Legend, The Drowned World, Marathon Man (scene set in Edinburgh in the novel shifted to Paris in the movie)

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@Limpet - "Orwell" - really? I've long moaned about Orwell being the epitome of dull. He really is. Most recently I gave up on Keep the Aspidistra Flying. I might let him off for Down and Out and, possibly, Homage - but I have a strong suspicion that I'd be bored rigid if I re-read after all these years.

Anyway, a random couple of books from me : Umberto Eco (anything really), JG Ballard (Empire of the Sun), Greg Egan (sci-fi), Robert Harris (easy thrillers).

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Greg Egan (sci-fi)

I've liked a couple of his short stories but have found the couple of his novels I've read to be too much like hard work. Too much focus on minutiae rather than the story.

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To add to the discussion, I'd say work yourself through some of the classics, they are classics for a reason.

They are also mostly 0p on amazon if you've got a kindle. I use my kindle almost exclusively for classics.

I would say to the OP, join the library, if you've still got one. That way at least you won't spend money on books you find you can't get into. IMO life's too short to bother with anything that hasn't grabbed you by about page 3, though in the past I've ploughed through a lot of stuff I felt I 'ought' to read.

If you like crime, Ian Rankin might be a good start.

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I have been recommended the "Flashman" series, by a Scottish bloke I got stuck on an oil platform with.

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