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  • Originally posted by eine View Post
    Blimey. Tough stuff. I read a book about atrocity in Sierra Leone once and it's still with me.
    It's not as bad as you might imagine as it is about why and how not what. Not as harrowing as a book like "Nothing to Envy" about North Korea which is all about the perspective of ordinary people who survived and got out, and who obviously had reason to do so. On the other hand watching the broad sweep of a nation's fate caught up in dead-eyed cold war realpolitik and power hungry machinations is not pretty. Once the Vietnamese invaded and kicked Pol Pot out a weird alliance of the US, Thailand and China supported him. As Vietnam was allied to Russia it suited them all to drain Soviet via a proxy war. And this is the 80s so everyone knew what the khmer rouge had been up to when in power.

    I have Viv Albertine's book but its the large paperback so not ideal to take on holiday.

    I've been tempted by Inherent Vice but haven't fared well with Pynchon before.
    Enthusiastic vagueness passes for scholarship in the twilight world of the disc-jockey.

    John Peel

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    • Originally posted by giantchicken View Post
      Pynchon: It's a strange one this. When I first picked up 'The Crying Of Lot 49' I was compelled to read the whole thing cover to cover over one sleepless night. My next one was 'V' which took me several attempts over 15 years to get through. Just before Christmas I came to a stop on my first attempt at 'Gravity's Rainbow' and if I don't resume it soon, I'll have to start again...strange because I know I'm going to end up as flummoxed as I was by the others and yet there's this compulsion to persevere with them isn't there? Why is this?....
      Originally posted by emperor tomato ketchup View Post
      I've been tempted by Inherent Vice but haven't fared well with Pynchon before.
      I would personally stay away from Inherent Vice. My experience chimes with Giant Chicken. Crying of Lot 49 is the introduction to Pynchon. Don't bother with V, it's too stodgy and lacks any drive, although there are amazing passages. Perservere with Gravity's Rainbow, there's a very difficult section near the beginning which can be a little alienating. After that it soon becomes the best book ever written (I mean that!). Mason & Dixon is amazing but is tricky too, but you will want to read it after tackling GR. The only one I haven't read/given a go is Vineland - that and the new one, Bleeding Edge, which the last two (Against The Day and Inherent Vice) have put me off trying. I am sure I am getting lazy.
      Spirit Duplicator—collectable, charming, affordable... and also socially networked on FB / Twitter / Instagram.

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      • I've been working through Reaktion Books animal series. Fantastic monograph style books about the history, mythology and reality of animals. The ones about Eels and Gorillas have been my favourites so far, but I've read eight so far and enjoyed every one. Currently on Giraffe.

        ANIMAL
        SPIRIT DUPLICATOR Est 2015.

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        • Is it true that giraffe's were used as a proof for the existence of God, ie who else would have made something to eat the tall trees (or something like that).

          I have been licked by a giraffe, btw. They produce a huge amount of saliva.
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          • I haven't got to that bit yet, but it sounds plausible. Wasn't the giraffe also used as an example of natural selection?

            I was in a giraffe enclosure last year. They have a very strong odour, and they feel bizarre. No licking, unfortunately. I find that almost any close contact with an exotic creature makes you start to ponder creation.
            SPIRIT DUPLICATOR Est 2015.

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            • Originally posted by eine View Post
              Perservere with Gravity's Rainbow, there's a very difficult section near the beginning which can be a little alienating. After that it soon becomes the best book ever written...
              I have that same experience of tackling it on and off several times before 'cracking' it. I can't agree with the claim for best book ever, but it is like a very majestic spotted dick, a stodge load of weird dotted with sultanas of brilliance that stick in the mind forever. The plot is the custard.

              I have William T Volmann's 'You Bright And Risen Angels' in my inpile which I think may be a similar affair.

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              • Originally posted by ginghamkitchen View Post
                Wasn't the giraffe also used as an example of natural selection?
                It was used by Lamarck to illustrate his theory of evolution, abandoned in the wake of Darwin and Wallace and Mendelian genetics.

                Lamarckism
                You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.

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                • Originally posted by Rich Hero View Post
                  It was used by Lamarck to illustrate his theory of evolution, abandoned in the wake of Darwin and Wallace and Mendelian genetics.

                  Lamarckism
                  Thanks, Rich, that's the...giraffe.

                  There is a book on the badger in the series. Inexplicably, haven't got to that one yet.
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                  • Originally posted by ginghamkitchen View Post
                    I've been working through Reaktion Books animal series. ANIMAL
                    Thanks for the reminder GK, I've got one of these waiting in the erm, 'wings'...... I think you can probably guess which one!
                    you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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                    • As I don't currently own a copy of Inherent Vice, or any other Pynchon, it'll probably remain a vague aspiration untill I read some of the large frightening books I do own.
                      Enthusiastic vagueness passes for scholarship in the twilight world of the disc-jockey.

                      John Peel

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by emperor tomato ketchup View Post
                        As I don't currently own a copy of Inherent Vice, or any other Pynchon, it'll probably remain a vague aspiration untill I read some of the large frightening books I do own.
                        Don't let us put you off, Emperor - you should at least sample 'The Crying Of Lot 49' which manages to condense all the hallmark Pynchon chops into a relatively light and easy read. Then take a holiday for a couple of years and consider your next move.....Btw, why is Pynchon so bloody mysterious? How is it possible that such a famous novelist can remain so far under the social radar for so long? I'm beginning to think he's not a real person but some kind of front for a secret cabal of uber-literaries...WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?...WHAT DO THESE BOOKS MEAN?...WHY AM I ASKING ALL THESE RHETORICAL QUESTIONS?...
                        you can hear colours when they rhyme...

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                        • Originally posted by jahshabby View Post

                          I'm reading the first volume of Danny Baker's autobiography. I like him anyway, I find him a strangely attractive personality and his writing style is, as you would expect, entertaining, forthright and unapologetically upbeat.
                          I like him a lot but also in a Twitter sense he's probably the person I most unfollow/follow but that might be as I find him difficult to take as a gobshite Millwall supporter. However I found the book sort of likeable but also like one continuous crap brag.

                          We need to talk about our book btw. I would like to make it still.
                          http://www.matpringle.co.uk

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                          • Originally posted by amidar View Post
                            The woman on the cover is Victoria Domalgoski who did a couple of folk albums in the early 70's. I only know as I came across her debut last year and read about her association with Brautigan. Wasn't too enamoured with the first album as her voice is a bit of an acquired taste although the second apparently features Herbie Hancock doing some session work. No one seems to know what became of her.
                            What was their association? Nice to think it's not a contrived shot with a beautiful model like what I thought it was.
                            http://www.matpringle.co.uk

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                            • From what I can gather from scant info is they were friends. He wrote the liner notes on her second album where he talks about his friendship with her and how good a cook she is. 2 albums and an appearance on 'Herbie Hancock - Crossings' and she disappears.



                              Originally posted by Mr Naga View Post
                              What was their association? Nice to think it's not a contrived shot with a beautiful model like what I thought it was.
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                              • "As I don't currently own a copy of Inherent Vice, or any other Pynchon, it'll probably remain a vague aspiration untill I read some of the large frightening books I do own."
                                Watched the film of Inherent Vice the other day and I was somewhat underwhelmed. I mean, I enjoyed the film but I was expecting more somehow, possibly unreasonably cos I haven't read the book. I am a fan of Pynchon generally though and I suspect he may just be hard to adapt.

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