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Old 09-19-2011, 04:38 PM
 
Location: New York City
74 posts, read 70,352 times
Reputation: 101

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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
I am reading the weirdest book I have ever read - Flashback by Dan Simmons. I don't know what to say about this book - I have read Dan Simmons' books before and he is a pretty good writer. What I didn't know was that his protests regarding this book on his website notwithstanding, he is totally off his rocker, and as cuckoo as a cuckoo clock, and I would hate to be his head.

What was he on when he was writing this book?

He has crammed into this dystopian tale, every single paranoid right-wing thought anyone in America has ever had regarding Mexicans, the Chinese, Japanese and the Muslims. In this book they are all taking over the US.

I don't think anyone can write such loony scenarios without a single character to moderate and present a different point of view, without those beliefs being part of the writer himself.

So my problem with this book as fiction is that I'm detached from it because it is so bizarre and he's got all the favourite enemies of the right-wing. I can't suspend my disbelief.




On the other hand his characters are well-drawn - but every single one of his characters shares the same POV.

So if you are paranoid and are sure everyone is out to get you and that Obama is a Muslim, you will love this book. If not, while it drags in the middle, and then rushes to a conclusion as Simmons tries to wrap up all his loose ends, if you want to read something for the pure craziness of it all, then I recommend this book.

I have never read such a crazy book in my life. I have a headache.
I think Dan Simmons is a great writer, true, but he can definitely veer toward loco. I loved Drood - very eerie and cool, but then I started to read Ilium, and though I thought it was amazing and very humorous on some level, I just couldn't plow through the three separate stories long enough to see if they tied together, so I gave up. Flashback sounds even weirder.

By the way, I suddenly stopped getting email updates from this thread, and I miss the discussions. Hopefully now that I've jumped back in I'll start getting them. Gonna check my settings.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Canada
7,155 posts, read 9,002,255 times
Reputation: 9728
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Time Baroness View Post
I think Dan Simmons is a great writer, true, but he can definitely veer toward loco. I loved Drood - very eerie and cool, but then I started to read Ilium, and though I thought it was amazing and very humorous on some level, I just couldn't plow through the three separate stories long enough to see if they tied together, so I gave up. Flashback sounds even weirder.

By the way, I suddenly stopped getting email updates from this thread, and I miss the discussions. Hopefully now that I've jumped back in I'll start getting them. Gonna check my settings.
I think I read all his early books and then stopped when he went into science fiction. Then I read The Terror, which was scary in a muted and implied way, and liked him all over again. That led me to buying Drood and Black Hills, but I haven't actually read those books yet.

I was having a hard time getting into a book because it was all start-and-stop reading since I was so busy, so I forced myself to start this one and stick to it a couple of nights ago. Aside from the strangely one dimensional politics, he is a good writer, and there was enough in the beginning to capture me. But his characters have discourses with other characters, wanting to hammer home anti-Muslim POVs in particular. It's just not balanced, which is a pity, because he is a better writer than this book indicates.

At some point it is a kind of parody of every paranoid idea anyone has ever had. I kept reading because I thought a balanced character would pop up and that I would surely come across something that would make the strange politics make sense. I just can't buy the ideas he's selling but since I'm so far along, with only pages to go, I simply decided to jump into his demented ideas. They gave me some very crazy dreams last night too .
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Somewhere.
10,481 posts, read 24,987,469 times
Reputation: 9096
I am currently reading "Fit not fat at 40 plus" a Prevention health book. And "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill. (my second time reading this) Will be starting "Sleepless nights" by Andrew Bergman.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Coastal North Carolina
220 posts, read 276,592 times
Reputation: 321
Quote:
Originally Posted by janetvj View Post
Just started reading The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. It's a nonfiction book about the great migration of African Americans who fled from the south to northern cities in the 20th century in search of a better life.
I'm interested in hearing your opinion when you finish it. I plan to read this one in the future.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Canada
7,155 posts, read 9,002,255 times
Reputation: 9728
I'm rereading Gilgamesh, the translation by Stephen Mitchell. My brain needed a reprieve after it's abuse by Flashback.
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:42 PM
 
Location: Baltimore
1,802 posts, read 8,098,863 times
Reputation: 1968
Quote:
Originally Posted by midge1021 View Post
I'm interested in hearing your opinion when you finish it. I plan to read this one in the future.
I just started it and haven't had a whole lot of time to read over the past couple of days but so far I'm finding it to be a gripping read, although at times quite painful. It's very difficult to comprehend how horribly people of color were treated in the early and middle part of the 20th century even though it's not that I haven't heard it before. Normal and otherwise decent people can be so mean when it's socially acceptable to be that way. Scary really. But at the same time, I'm fascinated by the abillity of human beings to prevail when all the odds are stacked against them. I will check back in once I've finished it, but even at this stage I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in history and sociology.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
17,013 posts, read 56,031,677 times
Reputation: 18156
Finished Master and Margarita in the original Russian and now on to The Life of Arsenev by Bunin. Having finished the difficult to translate, on to the nearly impossible...
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Old 09-20-2011, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Wherever I want to be... ;)
2,536 posts, read 9,843,637 times
Reputation: 1993
Just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns.


Wow. Just, wow.
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:03 AM
 
Location: A Hot, Serious Place.
107 posts, read 66,583 times
Reputation: 119
A little light, summer reading:
Plato's 'Protagorus', 'Les Misérables' by Victor Hugo
& The CIA World Factbook 2011.
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Old 09-21-2011, 02:14 AM
 
Location: Texas
15,895 posts, read 18,000,942 times
Reputation: 62758
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepinksquid View Post
Just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns.


Wow. Just, wow.
I read that one a few years ago. It broke my heart. It's a good book.

You might enjoy The Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra. The story is along the same lines of A Thousand Splendid Suns.
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