***Book Club***

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Jul 14, 2009
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A Deadly Wandering by Matt Richtel. The book in my opinion is a must read. It explains so much about 90% of our modern lives. The story itself oscillates between joy and despair, but the science behind what we are doing while trying to process data from life and a digital device (s) is scary to say the least. I can't help speculating how much of this science is involved in current politics both directly and indirectly....?
 
Oct 23, 2011
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I recently read 'Cancer Ward' from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Very profound novel dealing with life in the Soviet Union. It was quite layered featuring a lot of allegory. I reckon it'll be worth reading again some time in the future. :)
 
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
I recently read 'Cancer Ward' from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Very profound novel dealing with life in the Soviet Union. It was quite layered featuring a lot of allegory. I reckon it'll be worth reading again some time in the future. :)
I tried to read One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich which is supposed to be his best book but I was not that impressed. I think because I had read quite a lot previously on the same subject it did not have the impact I expected. Not in the same class as Dostoyevsky's Notes From Underground.
 
Oct 23, 2011
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I borrowed Cancer Ward from a friend and he said he likes Cancer Ward better than One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, but I haven't read it, so I can't say. I did try to read August 1914, but that one didn't work out for me either. Cancer Ward was great though. The book had a somewhat faster pace to it than August 1914, which did help me get into a bit better and Solzhenitsyn played around a lot with writing from the perspective of different characters, which I like. The dynamics of the book were quite interesting, some chapters being more lighthearted, especially in the beginning, almost poking a bit of fun at a character who is a bit of a simple minded loyal party member, noting some of the irony in the conduct of such people, while other chapters were very serious and intense dealing with more philosophical topics.

Notes from the Underground is still on my to read list. I've only started to get into Russian literature since a short while and I don't always have a lot of time to read, but what I've read so far from Dostoyevsky was great (i.e. Crime & Punishment, Brothers Karamozov, The Idiot).
 
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Maaaaaaaarten said:
I borrowed Cancer Ward from a friend and he said he likes Cancer Ward better than One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, but I haven't read it, so I can't say. I did try to read August 1914, but that one didn't work out for me either. Cancer Ward was great though. The book had a somewhat faster pace to it than August 1914, which did help me get into a bit better and Solzhenitsyn played around a lot with writing from the perspective of different characters, which I like. The dynamics of the book were quite interesting, some chapters being more lighthearted, especially in the beginning, almost poking a bit of fun at a character who is a bit of a simple minded loyal party member, noting some of the irony in the conduct of such people, while other chapters were very serious and intense dealing with more philosophical topics.

Notes from the Underground is still on my to read list. I've only started to get into Russian literature since a short while and I don't always have a lot of time to read, but what I've read so far from Dostoyevsky was great (i.e. Crime & Punishment, Brothers Karamozov, The Idiot).
Yes the three Dostoyevsky novels you mention are great. Russian literature is very rich. Keep reading and you will discover more and more treasures. Turgenev, Sologub, Lermontov. Pasternak, Goncharov and the list goes on and on. Bulgakov's Master and Margharita is very good. I recently read Dead Souls by Gogol which was very funny.
 
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movingtarget said:
ferryman said:
Cormac McCarthy, that's all.
All of his books are quality. A great writer but some think he is too pessimistic.
In the book I am currently reading, "War Crimes for the Home" by Liz Jensen there is this joke:

There's an optimist and a pessimist. The pessimist puts his head in his hands and moans, Oh God, things just can't get any worse! And you know what the optimist says, with a big smile on his face? He says, Oh yes they can!
 
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frenchfry said:
movingtarget said:
ferryman said:
Cormac McCarthy, that's all.
All of his books are quality. A great writer but some think he is too pessimistic.
In the book I am currently reading, "War Crimes for the Home" by Liz Jensen there is this joke:

There's an optimist and a pessimist. The pessimist puts his head in his hands and moans, Oh God, things just can't get any worse! And you know what the optimist says, with a big smile on his face? He says, Oh yes they can!
Very good !
 
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Bumping the thread since I finally can reply to Maarten :)

Maaaaaaaarten said:
Notes from the Underground is still on my to read list. I've only started to get into Russian literature since a short while and I don't always have a lot of time to read, but what I've read so far from Dostoyevsky was great (i.e. Crime & Punishment, Brothers Karamozov, The Idiot).
I'm also interested in Russian Litterature though lack the courage to get to the bottom of those epic novels.

I think I've already talked with you about Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago which I've read after watching David Lean's film and obviously the book is as always more complete than the film, though I rather enjoyed the film. A really detailed and uncompromising depiction of the Bolshevik Revolution but without any support for the opposite Capitalistic ideology either. Pasternak is very critical of the NEP, for example.

I have a copy of The Idiot on my window sill. Someday I'll have to read it. But I've watched the film adaptation b Kurosawa instead. Probably it won't be as good as the book because a film can never be as complete as a book but I think Kurosawa was pretty faithful to the book except for the fact that he transferred the story to contemporary Japan. So Kameda (corresponding to Myshkin) is a WWII veteran who got "idiotic" after a post-War trauma. That's different from Dostoevsky's novel.

But I quite like the idea that if you wish to be kind and generous, you look naive and idiotic. While clearly in the Kurosawa film, Kameda is not as idiotic as he's said to be. :)
 
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Echoes said:
Bumping the thread since I finally can reply to Maarten :)

Maaaaaaaarten said:
Notes from the Underground is still on my to read list. I've only started to get into Russian literature since a short while and I don't always have a lot of time to read, but what I've read so far from Dostoyevsky was great (i.e. Crime & Punishment, Brothers Karamozov, The Idiot).
I'm also interested in Russian Litterature though lack the courage to get to the bottom of those epic novels.

I think I've already talked with you about Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago which I've read after watching David Lean's film and obviously the book is as always more complete than the film, though I rather enjoyed the film. A really detailed and uncompromising depiction of the Bolshevik Revolution but without any support for the opposite Capitalistic ideology either. Pasternak is very critical of the NEP, for example.

I have a copy of The Idiot on my window sill. Someday I'll have to read it. But I've watched the film adaptation b Kurosawa instead. Probably it won't be as good as the book because a film can never be as complete as a book but I think Kurosawa was pretty faithful to the book except for the fact that he transferred the story to contemporary Japan. So Kameda (corresponding to Myshkin) is a WWII veteran who got "idiotic" after a post-War trauma. That's different from Dostoevsky's novel.

But I quite like the idea that if you wish to be kind and generous, you look naive and idiotic. While clearly in the Kurosawa film, Kameda is not as idiotic as he's said to be. :)
Yes I Iiked Doctor Zhivago the book and the film but they were quite different. The Idiot was a great read but I have not seen the movie. Kurosawa's version of Shakespeare's Macbeth called Throne of Blood was excellent. All of Pasternak's literary friends were persecuted by Stalin and many died. The famous quote by Stalin was something like "no one touches the cloud dweller." Stalin was an admirer of Pasternak's poetry but some of Stalin's subordinates wanted to arrest him. He played the game and lived while his friends who were outspoken were not so lucky so Pasternak became a polarizing figure in Russia after Stalin died. Most critics seem to think he was a better poet than a prose writer.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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Re: Re:

movingtarget said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
I borrowed Cancer Ward from a friend and he said he likes Cancer Ward better than One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, but I haven't read it, so I can't say. I did try to read August 1914, but that one didn't work out for me either. Cancer Ward was great though. The book had a somewhat faster pace to it than August 1914, which did help me get into a bit better and Solzhenitsyn played around a lot with writing from the perspective of different characters, which I like. The dynamics of the book were quite interesting, some chapters being more lighthearted, especially in the beginning, almost poking a bit of fun at a character who is a bit of a simple minded loyal party member, noting some of the irony in the conduct of such people, while other chapters were very serious and intense dealing with more philosophical topics.

Notes from the Underground is still on my to read list. I've only started to get into Russian literature since a short while and I don't always have a lot of time to read, but what I've read so far from Dostoyevsky was great (i.e. Crime & Punishment, Brothers Karamozov, The Idiot).
Yes the three Dostoyevsky novels you mention are great. Russian literature is very rich. Keep reading and you will discover more and more treasures. Turgenev, Sologub, Lermontov. Pasternak, Goncharov and the list goes on and on. Bulgakov's Master and Margharita is very good. I recently read Dead Souls by Gogol which was very funny.
Dead Souls Part One is a masterpiece. Master and Margarita is one of my favourite books ever; beautiful, funny, haunting... I read it in the Burgin/Tiernan O'Connor translation, which I thought was brilliant and has extensive notes; the Peavar/Volokhonsky is incredibly hyped, but most Russian literature experts don't seem to think it's much cop. Just a warning to anyone thinking of buying the book (which you all should, it's unbelievable.)
 
Gogol's short stories are truly glorious and among my absolute favourite pieces of literature. Dostoyevsky has some good short stories as well, but obviously he's more known for his epic realist tomes.

I've been mainly on a Borges tip recently though.
 
Re: Re:

Cannibal72 said:
movingtarget said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
I borrowed Cancer Ward from a friend and he said he likes Cancer Ward better than One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, but I haven't read it, so I can't say. I did try to read August 1914, but that one didn't work out for me either. Cancer Ward was great though. The book had a somewhat faster pace to it than August 1914, which did help me get into a bit better and Solzhenitsyn played around a lot with writing from the perspective of different characters, which I like. The dynamics of the book were quite interesting, some chapters being more lighthearted, especially in the beginning, almost poking a bit of fun at a character who is a bit of a simple minded loyal party member, noting some of the irony in the conduct of such people, while other chapters were very serious and intense dealing with more philosophical topics.

Notes from the Underground is still on my to read list. I've only started to get into Russian literature since a short while and I don't always have a lot of time to read, but what I've read so far from Dostoyevsky was great (i.e. Crime & Punishment, Brothers Karamozov, The Idiot).
Yes the three Dostoyevsky novels you mention are great. Russian literature is very rich. Keep reading and you will discover more and more treasures. Turgenev, Sologub, Lermontov. Pasternak, Goncharov and the list goes on and on. Bulgakov's Master and Margharita is very good. I recently read Dead Souls by Gogol which was very funny.
Dead Souls Part One is a masterpiece. Master and Margarita is one of my favourite books ever; beautiful, funny, haunting... I read it in the Burgin/Tiernan O'Connor translation, which I thought was brilliant and has extensive notes; the Peavar/Volokhonsky is incredibly hyped, but most Russian literature experts don't seem to think it's much cop. Just a warning to anyone thinking of buying the book (which you all should, it's unbelievable.)
Was handed this by an old Russian lady one day as I perused a market stall. Absolutely amazing read. I returned to that market several times to try and thank her again, but she and her book stall were never there again.
It's still on my bookshelf over 10 years later, so I'll definitely second your recommendation for it
 
Re: Re:

Cannibal72 said:
movingtarget said:
Maaaaaaaarten said:
I borrowed Cancer Ward from a friend and he said he likes Cancer Ward better than One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, but I haven't read it, so I can't say. I did try to read August 1914, but that one didn't work out for me either. Cancer Ward was great though. The book had a somewhat faster pace to it than August 1914, which did help me get into a bit better and Solzhenitsyn played around a lot with writing from the perspective of different characters, which I like. The dynamics of the book were quite interesting, some chapters being more lighthearted, especially in the beginning, almost poking a bit of fun at a character who is a bit of a simple minded loyal party member, noting some of the irony in the conduct of such people, while other chapters were very serious and intense dealing with more philosophical topics.

Notes from the Underground is still on my to read list. I've only started to get into Russian literature since a short while and I don't always have a lot of time to read, but what I've read so far from Dostoyevsky was great (i.e. Crime & Punishment, Brothers Karamozov, The Idiot).
Yes the three Dostoyevsky novels you mention are great. Russian literature is very rich. Keep reading and you will discover more and more treasures. Turgenev, Sologub, Lermontov. Pasternak, Goncharov and the list goes on and on. Bulgakov's Master and Margharita is very good. I recently read Dead Souls by Gogol which was very funny.
Dead Souls Part One is a masterpiece. Master and Margarita is one of my favourite books ever; beautiful, funny, haunting... I read it in the Burgin/Tiernan O'Connor translation, which I thought was brilliant and has extensive notes; the Peavar/Volokhonsky is incredibly hyped, but most Russian literature experts don't seem to think it's much cop. Just a warning to anyone thinking of buying the book (which you all should, it's unbelievable.)
I think it was Martin Amis who once said "you can't go wrong with the 19th century Russian novel and 18th century English Poetry !"
 
Aug 4, 2010
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I recently went thru Ayn Rand novels, which is very interesting read tbh

I can see there are lot of fans of russian realism, so to speak, the best literature every written imo
Now reading Holy bible, I dont know if Im gonna read all of it but surely its interesitng from different pov's
 

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