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Gory Video Games
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« Reply #1305 on: June 29, 2013, 02:11:10 AM »

American Psycho
Probably the most violent book I have ever read!
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JaseSF
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« Reply #1306 on: June 29, 2013, 08:10:57 PM »

Finished reading Darkest Days by Stanley Gallon...a  lot of it is pretty far fetched stuff. Honestly I doubt much of the world would be habitable at all if the events it described unfolded. Still it kind of involves you in the story and keeps you guessing as to how it's all going to play out.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1307 on: July 03, 2013, 02:39:39 PM »

What is it about the English and their need to be complete?

Lizzie Collingham's
The Taste of War :
World War II and the Battle for Food
2 previous non-fiction books

Being English, she not only talks about the U.K. and the U.S., but also . . .

Australia -- Canada -- China -- India -- New Zealand -- Russia

and . . .

Germany -- Italy -- Japan

and the occupied lands in . . .
Asia . . .

Burma -- Dutch East Indies -- French Indo China -- Korea -- Malaya -- New Guinea -- Philippines -- Siam -- Taiwan

Europe . . .

Austria -- Belgium -- Bulgaria -- Czechoslovakia -- Denmark -- France -- Greece -- Holland -- Hungary -- Norway -- Poland -- Romania -- Yugoslavia

and . . .

Africa -- the Caribbean -- Latin America -- the Middle East

Which may be why she makes a strong case for one of the forgotten causes of the War, food or the lack of food or the fear of the lack of food.

She also makes a strong case for the fact that half of the people who died in the War probably died of starvation and diseases associated with starvation, such as . . .

beriberi -- botulism -- bronchopneumonia -- dropsy -- diptheria -- influenza -- jaundice -- gastritis -- malaria -- measles -- neuritis -- ricketts -- scurvy -- spotted fever -- tuberculosis -- typhoid -- typhus -- whooping cough -- and yaws.

And how during the war, when there was no meat, people would eat . . .

acorns -- duckweed -- grass -- leaves -- nettles -- roots -- water lilies -- weeds -- and clay. CLAY? CLAY!

And when there was meat, it might be . . .

bats -- butterflies -- caterpillars -- cats -- centipedes -- crocodiles -- dogs -- foxes -- frogs -- gophers -- grasshoppers -- grubs -- horses -- kangaroos -- leeches -- lizards -- locusts -- maggots -- mice -- moles -- rats -- silkworm cocoons -- snails -- snakes -- songbirds -- and worms.

I don't care what anyone in the past has done. No one deserves to live like that.

She also honest enough to  point out that neither side was immune to . . .

arrogance -- the black market -- corruption -- cruelty -- the double standard -- disorganization -- envy -- exploitation -- greed -- hatred -- hoarding -- incompetency -- inefficiencey -- military expropriation -- mismanagement -- racism -- rationing -- starvation as a weapon -- stupidity -- and vengeance.

How it ran rampant to one degree or another on both sides.

But yet . . . but yet . . . there were differences from place to place and person to person, so sometimes the "other" side came out better than "our" side.

It is this completeness and honesty that gives her words such an impact. An impact that few other writers are able to achieve.

Next time: the Good, the Bad, and the Obtuse


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Trevor
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« Reply #1308 on: July 10, 2013, 12:19:41 AM »

My next purchases will probably be these two:





I can't leave 'Dame' Joan out of the running, can I?  Wink

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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1309 on: July 12, 2013, 04:41:33 PM »

Ye-es!

Normally, I remember the author and the title, then forget what's it about, but this time I remember what it's about and forgot the author and title, which is probably to the good.

Here's the good and the bad.

Tourism is neither bad nor good of itself, but does have good and bad impacts. And that's it.

The rest is an obtuse series of errors of fact and errors of opinion. I'd name all of 'em, but there are 35, and that's just the ones I found, in a book that runs slightly more than 350 pages.

Errors of fact is self-defining, so let me just define how to get to errors of opinion in 14 easy steps.

01. DO compare "apples" with "oranges."

02. And even then, fail to Do a competent critical comparison of the two.

03. DO make what is complex simplistic and simplistic complex for your own critical purposes.

04. DO ignore information that does not support your viewpoint.

05. Or DO just omit necessary information.

06. DO apply a double standard to others. DO NOT criticize those you like, but DO criticize those you dislike. Though, both may be guilty of the same thing.

07. DO apply the double standard to yourself. Deny others what you have had or have.

08. DO believe that everyone who does not agree with you is wrong.

09. DO assume, but DO NOT explain your assumptions.

10. DO lack an understanding of economics.

11. DO define words to fit your definition of them.

12. DO have trouble with the concept of math. 1 + 1 = 3.

13. DO lack an empathy for others, even those for whom you espouse an empathy.

14. And faulty logic + illogical thinking = errors of opinion.

Next time: Arthur Waybourne or a blast from the past or the illogic continues or maybe not.
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« Reply #1310 on: July 14, 2013, 09:28:54 AM »

Normally books are better than movies made of them, but sometimes it's a disillusioning experience to read the source material of a film you love (LA Confidential being an example; Friday the 13th being another), but Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It, while different in many ways from the wonderful movie version, held up well on its own without diminishing the regard I have always had for the onscreen version. (I really think the 1992 film is one of the 100 best of all time.) I'm glad I read it.
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ER
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« Reply #1311 on: July 17, 2013, 03:56:27 PM »

Re-read a childhood favorite of mine, Lizard Music, by Daniel Pinkwater. Possibly the uber-weirdest children's book ever written, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone.
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indianasmith
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« Reply #1312 on: July 18, 2013, 12:41:49 AM »

Just finished re-reading CAESAR'S WOMEN, the fourth volume in Colleen McCullough's MASTERS OF ROME series.  I cannot put these books down when I pick them up, and they are so massive - but I do love them! So cool to just immerse yourself in another time and place, when titans strode the earth in human form!
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« Reply #1313 on: July 18, 2013, 04:58:53 PM »

American Psycho
Probably the most violent book I have ever read!

Ah, American Psycho! How into this novel I was back in spring 2000.

It is violent, you're right, almost to the point of overkill, so that by about the fifth slaying the body count begins to seem secondary to other aspects of the jumbled plot. Did you notice, though, that Bateman kills exactly as many men as women in this so-called misogynistic book?

That's assuming he ever really kills anyone at all, which he may not. If you read Rules of Attraction, probably B.E.E.'s best book, Patrick Bateman's brother Sean drops some big hints that Patrick really isn't all that in the grand scheme of things, and except for a couple reasons I really WOULD think the big secret to American Psycho is that much of what Patrick Bateman describes takes place between his ears. (He describes dumping his fiancée, but other Yuppies are heard gossiping about how she dumped him; Bateman has a drawn-out description of murdering a rival with an ax and then taking over his apartment and using the dead man's name, but at least one witness tells of meeting the same man alive and well in London. He tells us he has this massive shoot-out with police that surely could never have taken place. Even the detective who comes and harasses Bateman at Pierce & Pierce---even that name's an inside joke---was, if you notice, the exact same age as Bateman, which may indicate it's his conscience or at least his sense of worry chasing him.)

I say I WOULD conclude the book is a low-ranking Yuppie's empowering revenge fantasy except in other books Bateman shows up in front of new characters with blood on his clothes and is described as a creepy dude obsessed with serial killers. And then of course in Lunar Park, the final verdict seems to be that he is exactly what he told us he was in American Psycho: namely a murderous American Psycho!

You know the whole book probably works best as a morbid satire, and at times it's really pretty funny. I should re-read it one of these days.

And by the way, don't know if you've seen it but at the time of the movie Ellis authorized a twenty-ish page short story that shows us Bateman a decade after the conclusion of American Psycho, divorced and with a son, whom he describes as "instinctively" knowing for his own survival which fabrics, which stocks of paper, etc. are of the finest quality. As Bateman tells it, it's his paternal approval of the boy's appreciation of quality that has stayed his hand.

A twisted little tale indeed!
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1314 on: July 19, 2013, 03:19:24 PM »

Ye-es!

Anne Perry's
Bluegate Fields
5th or 6th in the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series
Reprint edition

You always remember your first one. I had picked up a book at random and was reading it, when I came upon a character, and I said: "Wow! That's me." Or, more likely, I said: "Wow! That's just like me." And over 40 years and almost 80 characters later, I'm still looking for 'em and still finding 'em. Characters for whom I have an EXTREME empathy. Characters for whom I know what they'll say. What they'll do. Almost even before the author or authoress does. But, especially I know what drives 'em:  their weaknesses.

the cowardice -- the envy -- the fear -- the greed -- the hatred -- the jealousy -- the lust -- the pride -- the rage -- the slyness -- the stupidity -- the wrath.

And to push back the veil, to pull back the curtain, to reveal something of myself, here is an example of what I mean from the story above.

Name:
Arthur William Waybourne

To be continued below . . .
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« Reply #1315 on: July 19, 2013, 03:30:37 PM »

Nickname:
the Human MacGuffin

As an intellectual exercise, I like to give nicknames to the characters to which I i.d. Here are some more of the nicknames.

Brain Trust -- Crosscut -- Deadmeat -- Deep Closet -- the Gold Dust twins -- Kid Irony -- The Little Marquis -- Mr. Unlonely -- the Oh, Yeah Kid -- Poster Boy -- Smiley -- Squid Bait -- the Virgin Stud

Hero or villain or neither:
Neither

Overall:
"Every man's hand raised against 'em." I i.d. more with the villain than the hero Maybe, because the unloved and unlovable need love, too.

Adult or juvenile
Juvenile. Age 16

Overall:
An adult: 20 and older
A juvenile: 19 and younger

I i'd. more with adults than juveniles, but I have not forgotten my childhood, so I still i.d. with juveniles as in this case. Youngest character i.d.: 12

To be continued below . . .
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« Reply #1316 on: July 19, 2013, 03:39:47 PM »

If you want a strong male character, then read something written by a man. They have a better understanding of other males than most female writers, and that applies to both adult and juvenile characters. I will say that when women do write about a male character, they are better with sons and younger brothers than fathers and husbands.

Nationality
English

Overall:
Americans 1st
English 2nd
Germans 3rd

Maybe because I came out of a stolid German-American family on my father's side. Plus a half dozen other European nationalities. No problem there. Though, not surprising, I've never i.d. with a female character. And perhaps more surprisingly, I've never i.d.  with a racial minority for some reason.

To be continued below . . .
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1317 on: July 19, 2013, 04:06:03 PM »

Crine victim, criminal, or both

Both:
Crime victim: murder
Criminal: Prostitution

Heroes are just as likely to be criminals as villains. Oddly enough, or maybe not, criminals are also often victims of a crime. And other crimes committed . . .

Assault 'n' battery -- Attempted murder -- Bank robbery -- Blackmail -- Breaking 'n' entering -- Cheating at cards -- Embezzlement -- Kidnapping -- Murder -- Prostitution -- Receiving stolen goods -- Sexual assault -- Theft -- Treason

The one that bothers me the most is the sexual assault, but it only happened twice, and both were dead before the end of the book "I ain't foolin' 'round!" Actually, it is simpler to name those that do not get an automatic death penalty, then those that do.

Assault 'n' battery -- Breaking 'n' entering -- Cheating at cards -- Receiving stolen goods

To be continued below . . .

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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1318 on: July 19, 2013, 04:14:27 PM »

Deceased, injured, or both
Deceased: drowned in a bathtub

There is no truer test of a character's character than to watch 'em as they die. Which is probably why the death rate is over 50%. Then for those who are not killed off somehow, the injury rate is another 33%. Making a casualty rate of over 80%.

Other deaths come by . . .

Asphyxiation -- Animal attack -- Beheading -- Burning -- Drowning -- Explosion -- Falling or jumping -- Fever -- Hanging -- Heart failure -- Impalement -- Landslide -- Old age -- Plane crash -- Shooting -- Stabbing -- Vehicular accident

Sexual Orientation
Bisexual

But also asexuals, heterosexuals, and homosexuals. No problem there.

To be contined below . . .


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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1319 on: July 19, 2013, 04:22:05 PM »

Past, present, or future:

Past:
1886

Past: 1949 and before
Present: 1950 to 2013
Future: 2014 and after

Overall:
I i.d. with characters more from the past than anyother time. Which I like to think puts me one up on most people.

A book set in the past, like this one, can also serve as a mirror projection of our progression or regression over time.

Anyway . . . HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. And maybe one will find one's own characters, if not in this book than in another book or TV show or film.

Next time: Something must shorter. "They are so wrong, but they sound so good, or, what do you expect from the English?" And thank-you for listening.
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