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I am a Geek who Reads Books


chrisakachris
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Listen:

Breakfast of Champions was much less impressive the second time I read it.

And so on.

 

 

But the first eighty-odd pages of Tom Robbins' Skinny Legs and All are fantastically written. I believe some people should not be allowed to write, since they're just ruining it for the rest of us. I am even ashamed to post this modest, unimportant thread in light of Robbins' word wizardry.

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I think I've last read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. It was suggested in a LucasForum and I can recommend it. The ending wasn't all I had hoped for, but I can live with that.

 

Some time ago I've read the comic Squee! which is excellent!

 

Other than that I've been pretty lazy with the reading.

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  • 7 months later...

While we're talking about extremely challenging, gorgeous, thought-provoking, and explicit reading (no, wait, we were talking about His Dark Materials), I am currently reading Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delaney. It's allegedly the one work of sci-fi that can hold its own with the great literature of our time.

 

Really fucking difficult in the beginning, but I like reading something challenging again (haven't done that since I failed out of Reading Pynchon 101; haven't succeeded since Catch-22). Quite good, I recommend it. Naw, screw that, awesome, and I have no idea who I'd recommend it to. Not For EveryOne.

 

The near-ending of Skinny Legs is one of Robbins' finest moments, right next to the entirety of Jitterbug Perfume.

 

Heading to Nebraska in 5 minutes, gone for 5 days. May finish the book on the plane, not sure what to read next. Waaah!

 

personal note: I wish my ex would grow up so I could ask out her totally awesome co-worker. But, never mind, that's irrelevant.

 

chris, buddy, what's you're e-mail? I've lost it, and now I've changed mine around so many times... drop me a line at Erleichda42@hotmail.com or idanskin@cca.edu.

 

Do it!

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Well, I know someone who will get a lot of offers for fake Rolex' and \/|iagra, Cia|is, Xanax, \/a|lium, \/ic|odin...

 

I have last read Picknick am Wegesrand which is the German translation of ПИКНИК НА ОБОЧИНЕ by Arkadi and Boris Strugatzki. It's a nice little sci-fi book that some elements of the upcoming computer game Stalker are based on.

 

I just can't find the time to read a big book lately. So I mainly skim through movie / gaming mags.

 

When I find the time, I guess the next book will be Stiff.

edit: Or it may actually be the graphic novel Fray by you-know-who.

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A friend who loves all my favorite books spoke highly of Stiff. So it must, ipso facto, be good.

 

Finished Dhalgren last night. Good. Kinda sad about the ending, though I wouldn't really call it a sad ending.

 

Now I'm actually going to read the His Dark Materials trilogy because my sister told me to a year ago and I still haven't. They'd better be good, I don't want to slog through three whole books out of obligation.

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Yes.

 

"Id" because I prefer it over the Ego and Superego.

 

"Ansk" because it sounds so pleasently German.

 

And "In" 'cuz, y'know, I'm with the in-crowd.

 

Speaking of being in the in-crowd, I was at a party hosted by my Time & Media teacher last night. First party I've been invited to in all of college; definitely more socializing than I've done in the past three years combined.

 

Whoa, I may have actually made some friends last night. I was the driver (the designated driver, in fact), since I have a van to drive multitudes of people in and am reliable to stay a sober driver. People from my class loved Maude, loved my mix tape I put on, laughed at my jokes, talked to me about, like, stuff.

 

I rule. Maybe I'll actually, like, talk to these people on campus now. That'd be a change of scene.

 

Anyhoo, books: Top of my list right now is Craig Thompson's graphic novel Blankets. I saw it on a Staff Recommendations shelf at the book store (I was, in fact, trying to look like I came in the store for a reason other than simply leafing through the Suicide Girls book, again). I think it's way up my alley.

 

It's, like, totally 30 bucks at that store, though. Only 20 on Amazon. Christmas list now has two whole items (this coupled with the DVD of another thread's titular movie).

 

I am a simple man who needs little. I'm, for once, not asking for any video games, 'cuz I know I'll just play 'em.

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My Torg Dream Fighters shirt started fading super fast. It would appear Shirt Guy Tom's method is to use basic Walgreen's T-shirt iron-ons, or else his considerably more sophisticated method blows ass.

 

The Yankee Jews celebrate Hannukah very much like Christmas; one present every night for eight days. And then, if I know my Atom and His Package, they plot to take over the world and are responsible for the death of Princess Diana and the existence of El Nino.

 

"You're still mad about what we did to your old pal Jesus?

Well y'know if he hadn't died for your sins you'd be going to hell with the rest of us."

-Atom & His Package, What We Do On Christmas

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Originally posted by Doubleplus GC

"Id" because I prefer it over the Ego and Superego.

 

"Ansk" because it sounds so pleasently German.

 

And "In" 'cuz, y'know, I'm with the in-crowd.

I thought idanskin@cca.edu meant "I dance 'kay in California College of the Arts".

 

Yep, Stiff is a good read. The first chapter or so is a little jolty, but it turns out to be as great as it promises.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm gonna have to get one of you guys to come up with a list of mandatory books that I have to read.

 

I love reading, but have done jack-all reading of late. In fact, the last books I actually have read were the Lord of the Rings, and the Harry Potter books.

 

Lord of the Rings was just bloody fantastic. Enough said.

 

Now, don't laugh at me just because I have read the Harry Potter books. They belong to my younger brother, and for a younger person's book, they are very well written.

 

My secret passion is to one day, try my hand at writing. I haven't done any form of creative writing since I was about twelve. But I used to love doing it. Of course, I probably suck, but no matter.

 

I have even had dreams about ideas for books, and I'm sure they are all quite clever, and what-not, but I usually forget them when I wake up.

 

Then I spend the rest of the day, trying desperately hard to remember said ideas.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I'm finally getting farther in Italo Calvino's If on a winter's night a traveller than the first three chapters. I commented before about my interest in books that could not be movies. This is one of them. It is a book about the experience of reading, not just one of those "yay, books are great," The Pagemaster type of books, but one that actually explored, quite exuberantly, the relationships between text and reader, and reader and other reader, while remaining very playful at all times. Quite a happy whirligig.

 

I think I'm going to read Calvino's Cosmicomics soon, as the main characters are mostly mathematical principles that play marbles with hydrogen atoms. Confederacy of Dunces is getting put on the shelf at the moment.

 

The His Dark Materials trilogy I'm reading to make my sister happy is stalled again. They're entertaining, to be sure, but I put them down for a few days and it's just not important to me to pick them back up. I'm only involved if I let myself get so wrapped up that I'm reading 80 pages a day.

 

Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing and Aristotle's Poetics are sitting their waiting to be read. Then I can read Lew Hunter's Screenwriting 434 and finallyw rite that script, because, of course, he'll have all the answers (and I don't think he'll let me attend the Screenwriting Colony next year if I still haven't read his book).

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Twice now in my video class people have noticed my Calvino and commented on it. Today a girl saw it nd said "hey, I like him. He's Cuban." The relevance of him being Cuban was, I believe, because this, how do you say, girl, was, it would seem, Cu, you know... ban.

 

"I thought he was Italian," I responded.

 

"What? No, he's Cuban," she responded, now confused.

 

"He writes in Italian," I said, smiling, not at all as prattish as this intonationless text may leave me appearing.

 

"No... he's Cuban," she said, her faith seemingly shaken. I checked the back of the book.

 

"Born in Cuba, raised in Italy."

 

We were both right, our faiths were reaffirmed. She left, I packed up and headed here, to this library, and now I relate this story as a way of putting off burning the fuck out of my collage that needs to be well-burninated by tomorrow at noon. It also needs to ba flattened. Oh, and it needs to be good, and there's the rub.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have recently discovered that it is very difficult for me to go from one fiction novel to another. Don't ask me why. I think this is a new occurance. Having finished If on a winter's night a traveler... I wanted to crack right into Infinite Jest. Now, maybe it's because Infinite Jest is 1,088 pages long that I couldn't seem to handle going farther forward than the quotes at the beginning talking about how awesome and funny it is. But I had this trouble after Dhalgren, which is why I banged out Bruce Campbell's autobiography, If Chins Could Kill. It actually proved useful to an aspiring filmmaker, as it tells you how to make a "dolly" out of two-by-fours, duct tape, and vaseline.

 

So I'm reading Monty Python Speaks as a breather from one fiction world before entering the next, which will either be IJ or perhaps Calvino's Cosmicomics.

 

I noticed when I was watching Secret Window (which, as should be expected from any David Koepp script as well as any Stephen King plot, sucked slurpy ass through a twisty straw.) that one shot of a bookshelf contained a copy of Villa Incognito. Somehow I had trouble believing that Johnny Depp's character would read Tom Robbins.

 

Villa, I think, is the farthest I ever got in a book that I eventually abandoned. I don't think any book I make it past the halfway mark with is likely to be left for dead. Hell, I finished Insect Dreams just for the sake of conclusion; I stopped liking it long before the overdrawn ending that rendered the entire book meaningless. Bit Villa Incognito, man, just wasn't doing it for me. Part 1 sets a bunch of stuff in motion. Parts 2 and 3 do not progress the plot at all. By Part 4, the stuff that started in Part 1 is only now rolling at all. I just didn't care anymore.

 

Humph. More on the suckage of Secret Window later, perhaps.

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Finished Monty Python Speaks yesterday and sat scribbling in my notebook with both Cosmicomics and The Glass Bead Game sitting on the table (Calvino, Hesse, respectively and respectfully). I have learned that upon finishing a good novel, I often need to read a collection of interviews or Bruce Campbell's autobio, something to let my brain cool before entering another fictional world, and about halfway through I'll get this terrible urge to put it down and start reading a novel, and then it becomes very important to read the nonfic as fast as possible and crack open the fiction.

 

I find I like writing with an unopened novel sitting next to me. If on a winter's night a traveller... taught me many things, foremost the infinity of possibilities in a beginning. Having something sitting there, loaded with a million pounds of potential, not yet mapped out into a single linear progression, is very inspiring. It takes a fabutastic author to go in a direction with their story that is superior to the thousand conjectured directions that flitted through my mind before I started reading it.

 

I think that anxious, impatient, excited, energetic need to see a story through that hits halfway through the nonfiction "fluffer" book is the exact moment I need to begin writing. I can't write when I'm reading something, and I can't write when I haven't read in months. I think I can take this need to see a story to its end and choose to follow my own story instead of Hesse's or Calvino's or Vonnegut's or Foster Wallace's (I'm going to read Infinite Jest soon, scout's honor).

 

I'm on a mission. I will read Cosmicomics (I'm three stories into it and simultaneously in love with it). Following this I will read The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse. I will then read Infinite Jest. Then, in no particular order, I will read Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon, Ulysses, by James Joyce, and A Remembrance of Things Past, all six volumes, by Marcel Proust. In all likelihood I will introduce myself to Pynchon by reading the much slimmer Crying of Lot 49, and then finish V. I will probably give up on Ulysses. And I will probably take many breaks and spend 2-20 years reading Remembrance. Interrupting this flow will be several nonfic fluffers as well as Galapagos (the only alleged Vonnegut classic I've not read). But that's the game plan.

 

And when it's all done, I will finally be literate, and intelligent, and forty. Then I'll stop reading and maybe get a girlfriend, finish college, be somebody. Get a job...

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