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October 01, 2022, 09:31:34 PM
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Author Topic: New! Reading Anything Thread 2.0  (Read 33421 times)
pennywise37
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« Reply #135 on: July 04, 2022, 04:03:12 AM »

i'm currently reading The Bad Place By Dean Koontz (1990) and i'm only i think about #150 pages into it thus far and it's a slow start for those who haven't read it before it starts out with plenty of action and and i know i said a slow start but hear me out,  it starts out with s**t happening various things but it really feels like  Koontz starts you midway through the novel instead of explaining anything to you. so it took me a really long time to get into the novel.

and it still hasn't explained all that much, i do like the fact that one of the characters in it is a kid with Down syndrome i wonder since it came out what kind of reaction did koontz get? i mean he doesn't treat the character badly either.  has anyone read this one before? and if so what did they think of it?
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« Reply #136 on: July 04, 2022, 08:42:58 AM »

i'm currently reading The Bad Place By Dean Koontz (1990) and i'm only i think about #150 pages into it thus far and it's a slow start for those who haven't read it before it starts out with plenty of action and and i know i said a slow start but hear me out,  it starts out with s**t happening various things but it really feels like  Koontz starts you midway through the novel instead of explaining anything to you. so it took me a really long time to get into the novel.

and it still hasn't explained all that much, i do like the fact that one of the characters in it is a kid with Down syndrome i wonder since it came out what kind of reaction did koontz get? i mean he doesn't treat the character badly either.  has anyone read this one before? and if so what did they think of it?

He's someone I've never read, but I've been told he is a deft storyteller.
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Neville
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« Reply #137 on: July 04, 2022, 12:30:16 PM »

I read Koontz's "The bad place" years ago. I have to say that "Odd Thomas" apart I'm not a big fan of his work. His books have interesting concepts, but the prose is nothing to write home about, and his characters lack depth. I remember "The bad place" being more disgusting than scary, but having some interesting ideas thrown here and there. I can't say I liked it, but it kept me interested.

"Odd Thomas" is so different from his usual books that I kept wondering if he really wrote it.
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pennywise37
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« Reply #138 on: July 04, 2022, 10:01:33 PM »

i've read 1. the house of thunder (1982) that was really good until the end than it fell apart. 2. Strangers (1986) i loved this one and have read it a few times.
3. The Mask (1981) that one was f... awful it just stopped at the ending. i think he ran out of ideas my own opinion of course.  5. sole survivor (1997) i loved this one so much so that when it came out i gave to my mom to read and she loved it. and Cold Fire (1991) all i remember was that it had an awful ending.

i do think he's a good writer but not everything of his is good much like any author really with over #150 books there's bound to be plenty of bad ones in there at some point. so far i'm enjoying The Bad Place but though i'm only #180 pages into it and it is a lot i think better than "The Mask" to be fair
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indianasmith
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« Reply #139 on: July 05, 2022, 06:50:09 PM »

Just finished THE OCTOBER HORSE, Colleen McCullough's masterful account of the last years of Julius Caesar and the beginning of the power struggle between Octavian (Augustus) and Mark Antony.  Brilliantly told and compelling, the titans of the dying Republic stand tall in this book - Cicero, whose love of the Republic was never matched by an equal portion of courage or decisiveness, the incorruptible, stubborn, and self-righteous Cato, who would rather see the Republic destroyed than give Caesar anything at all, and Gaius Julius Caesar himself, standing taller than any of the petty little men who destroyed him, the greatest Roman who ever lived, ultimately killed by his own clemency and willingness to pardon those who made war on him.  Young Octavian emerges in these pages as Caesar's crafty, iron-willed young heir, a man who would build on Caesar's successes, capitalize on his name, and avoid his mistakes; and of course, Cleopatra, who loved Caesar as a foreign god-man worthy of siring an heir on the living goddess of Egypt she believed herself to be.   I don't know how many times I've read this series, but I enjoy the books each time I pick them up.  5/5
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Jim H
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« Reply #140 on: July 05, 2022, 10:08:49 PM »

I started reading Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.  It's quite good so far.  If you've not read it, I'm finding it interesting as an OBVIOUS influence on The Expanse.  Worth tracking down I think.

i'm currently reading The Bad Place By Dean Koontz (1990) and i'm only i think about #150 pages into it thus far and it's a slow start for those who haven't read it before it starts out with plenty of action and and i know i said a slow start but hear me out,  it starts out with s**t happening various things but it really feels like  Koontz starts you midway through the novel instead of explaining anything to you. so it took me a really long time to get into the novel.

and it still hasn't explained all that much, i do like the fact that one of the characters in it is a kid with Down syndrome i wonder since it came out what kind of reaction did koontz get? i mean he doesn't treat the character badly either.  has anyone read this one before? and if so what did they think of it?

I've not read this one, but I've noticed Koontz seems to have a soft spot for people with disabilities.  Several times they figure prominently in his stories and are usually morally virtuous, in comparison to "beautiful" people who are repulsive in a moral sense.  Sometimes it's a bit too much actually, with them being overly idealized if anything.  Some examples I can remember - From the Corner of His Eye, One Door Away From Heaven, and the Moonlight Bay books for instance.  One of the Moonlight Bay books in fact has a minor character with Downs syndrome. 

Some other trends from other Koontz books you see repeated - a house pet (usually a dog) that's considerably smarter than normal, conservative views about sexuality and negative depictions of those diverging from this (out of wedlock sex is often depicted negatively, I notice, though not always), weird religious/spiritual themes that are hard to specifically pin down, a character with a tragic, self-hating past that is redeemed by love in some manner. 

I should add - I've had very mixed opinions on his books.  Watchers is one of my all-time favorite books and I've read it multiple times, and I also quite enjoy both Moonlight Bay books (and still hold out hope he'll finish it, as it was supposed to be a trilogy), Intensity has one of the best written serial killers I can remember...  But I thought From the Corner of His eye and The Taking were just..  Bad.  Trite, really. 
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #141 on: July 05, 2022, 11:00:03 PM »

reading a book called "When Christians were Jews" about the early Christians. It is mostly an excuse to cross examine the gospel authors re: their storyline, which is fine with me.

One point she makes is about Jesus turning over tables at the temple. His own parents sacrificed animals there and both he and Paul spoke well of it. Also, why if Jesus was so popular did the people in the gospels hate him and choose some random criminal to be freed instead of him? and why did they even have a trial?

as you may know, I'm a big fan of this sort of stuff.

note: The author does believe that Jesus turned over tables in the temple but not because they were changing currency and so forth. Instead she thinks it was related to his belief that the temple would be destroyed, which it was 40 years later

« Last Edit: July 05, 2022, 11:02:18 PM by lester1/2jr » Logged

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« Reply #142 on: July 06, 2022, 09:51:44 AM »

reading a book called "When Christians were Jews" about the early Christians. It is mostly an excuse to cross examine the gospel authors re: their storyline, which is fine with me.

One point she makes is about Jesus turning over tables at the temple. His own parents sacrificed animals there and both he and Paul spoke well of it. Also, why if Jesus was so popular did the people in the gospels hate him and choose some random criminal to be freed instead of him? and why did they even have a trial?

as you may know, I'm a big fan of this sort of stuff.

note: The author does believe that Jesus turned over tables in the temple but not because they were changing currency and so forth. Instead she thinks it was related to his belief that the temple would be destroyed, which it was 40 years later



She probably wouldn't sell many books if she just said: "Hey, these documents we have, many written by eyewitnesses, all within living memory of the events described, by men who gave their lives out of certainty that what they saw was true, are to be trusted."
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #143 on: July 06, 2022, 01:22:35 PM »

she would be lying if she did that. gospels are all written 40+ years later by people living no where near the events that transpire.
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Jim H
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« Reply #144 on: July 06, 2022, 08:44:54 PM »

reading a book called "When Christians were Jews" about the early Christians. It is mostly an excuse to cross examine the gospel authors re: their storyline, which is fine with me.

One point she makes is about Jesus turning over tables at the temple. His own parents sacrificed animals there and both he and Paul spoke well of it. Also, why if Jesus was so popular did the people in the gospels hate him and choose some random criminal to be freed instead of him? and why did they even have a trial?

as you may know, I'm a big fan of this sort of stuff.

note: The author does believe that Jesus turned over tables in the temple but not because they were changing currency and so forth. Instead she thinks it was related to his belief that the temple would be destroyed, which it was 40 years later



She probably wouldn't sell many books if she just said: "Hey, these documents we have, many written by eyewitnesses, all within living memory of the events described, by men who gave their lives out of certainty that what they saw was true, are to be trusted."

Not at all. Pop Christian apologetics like you're describing are a MUCH, MUCH easier sell than a historical piece about Jews.  The built in audiences are slavering for more material, and are thus uncritical of the quality, just like with Christian films.  The Case For books have SIXTEEN entries and a feature film adaptation to date, for instance, they're raking in cash. 
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indianasmith
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« Reply #145 on: July 06, 2022, 09:25:50 PM »

she would be lying if she did that. gospels are all written 40+ years later by people living no where near the events that transpire.

I know you believe that, but it doesn't make it true.  The evidence for early dating of the Synoptic Gospels is FAR more convincing than the modern scholarly evidence that places them after 80 AD; while John was written later, in the 90's, the universal testimony of the early church is that John lived to an incredible old age (he even refers to this in the Gospel) and wrote his Gospel and epistles near the end of his life.

I will take the early attestation of men who were much closer to the events and in a far better position to know the truth over the speculations of 21st century "scholars" trying to sell books ANY day.
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #146 on: July 06, 2022, 11:49:06 PM »

well, the gospels are very short and the writers , whoever they were, aren't around anymore so what do you do if you have a question about something?

Most people know that John, for example, has a different chain of events than the other 3 to some extent so how do you decide which is right?

This is what leads to these sort of books and ideas.

Quote
The evidence for early dating of the Synoptic Gospels is FAR more convincing

earlier dating is still long after 33 AD though

70 AD is often given as the date for Mark, the earliest one, because it seems to be shaped by the destruction of the temple of that era

"Because of the reference to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE (Mark 13:2), most scholars believe that the Gospel of Mark was written sometime during the war between Rome and the Jews (66-74). Most early dates fall around 65 CE and most late dates fall around 75 CE. "

https://www.learnreligions.com/gospel-according-to-mark-248660

« Last Edit: July 07, 2022, 10:13:33 PM by lester1/2jr » Logged

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« Reply #147 on: July 08, 2022, 08:20:24 AM »

If you'd be interested to know why I believe the books of the new testament were written closer to an earlier time frame than a later one, I guess I could explain someday, but suffice to say that having read arguments for both viewpoints, I've found the case for the early dates has more to back it up. There was a time I roundly enjoyed reading authors who set out to undermine Christianity----not saying the writer you mentioned is trying to do that but many I used to like were----but the more I examined challenges to their scholarship, the more flawed I tended to find their arguments. I also resisted for a long while giving fair thought to those who wrote of evidence in support of conservative dating of the Gospels, yet to my annoyance I finally conceded to myself that these held water better than the humanists whose books I cheered on. I obviously don't know how much you've read by those who'd disagree with your conclusions but well-rounded study is often rewarding. Another thing I've noticed is historians seem to love to introduce new thought to old subjects, even when the past is by its nature unchangeable.
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #148 on: July 08, 2022, 03:00:15 PM »

The stories themselves, of course, date back to the time when they happened, before and immediately after Jesus' death. Mark, for example, is said to be written by a traveling companion of Peter recording that apostle's memory of the events.

The stories existed and we assume were told before they were written down in the forms we know. There wouldn't have been much to the Christian faith from Jesus' time to decades later if no one had ever heard anything about Jesus' life or the things he said. Matthew didn't write a gospel in 80 ad and people were like "we've never heard these things before"


https://biblehub.com/luke/1-1.htm

"Many have undertaken to compose an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by the initial eyewitnesses and servants of the word.…"

The dating of the gospels is historians best guess with the clues they have. I reject the idea of "humanist vs conservative" dates





« Last Edit: July 09, 2022, 03:26:24 PM by lester1/2jr » Logged

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« Reply #149 on: August 22, 2022, 11:52:54 AM »

The Spoon River Anthology, one of my favorite works, which I try to read at least once a year. I think this might be my favorite narrator in the collection:

Margaret Fuller Slack

I would have been as great as George Eliot
But for an untoward fate.
For look at the photograph of me made by Penniwit,
Chin resting on hand, and deep-set eyes--
Gray, too, and far-searching.
But there was the old, old problem:
Should it be celibacy, matrimony or unchastity?
Then John Slack, the rich druggist, wooed me,
Luring me with the promise of leisure for my novel,
And I married him, giving birth to eight children,
And had no time to write.
It was all over with me, anyway,
When I ran the needle in my hand
While washing the baby's things,
And died from lock--jaw, an ironical death.
Hear me, ambitious souls,
Sex is the curse of life.


When I recited it to Daisy I told her to pay close attention to that last line. (I've found "Do as I say not as I did" is a great parental policy.)
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