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What are you reading?

At the moment, I'm working on the earlier books in the Sword of Truth series, occasionally taking detours into sword and sorcery short stories. I'm a big fan of Conan, but I've read the original Howard works (and several pastiches), so I'm trying to find others along the same lines. The Kothar stories were decent, and I'm about halfway through (and quite liking) the Jirel of Joiry stories.
I'm on chapter 217/220 for Rot3K.

This has been an absolutely phenomenal read and I've just eaten up all of these military tactics and mindgames; so awesome!

Its too bad events in the novel turned out the way they did, but after all, this is how it happened in real life; in that sense, I find Rot3K to be very Sopranos-esque, in that reality hits HARD and is not kind to everyone.
A Dirty Job, by Christopher Moore. I am likin it a lot.

I finished It, by Stephen King, and I loved it, so much better than both the TV Movie and the Movies... He is fucking genius in character development
I'm on chapter 217/220 for Rot3K.

This has been an absolutely phenomenal read and I've just eaten up all of these military tactics and mindgames; so awesome!

Its too bad events in the novel turned out the way they did, but after all, this is how it happened in real life; in that sense, I find Rot3K to be very Sopranos-esque, in that reality hits HARD and is not kind to everyone.
I really loved Rot3K! I went from Dynasty Warriors to the strategy games to the books and was just blown away with each step. It's definitely dark, and it's definitely a heavy read, but totally worth it.

I should consider rereading it... it's been a good decade or so since my last reading!
Do it!

I now am on 218 (I left it at work over the weekend, at my other office :() so I'll finish it either tomorrow or Wednesday.

I must say, it's sad how everything turns out; Liu Bei is clearly the protagonist, but
his wish does not get fulfilled in the end (goddamn Eunuchs). Cao Cao is a clear anti-villain (and I rooted for him from the beginning, except when up against the Riverlands), but his family is squashed by the friggin' Simas. Assholes. The south is so middling and unimportant, I couldn't care less about them. Then Kongming... I know he's surrounded by lore and all that to death, but he truly seemed like a formidable human being, well-ahead of his time and supremely intelligent, for the historical things I've read about him.

Military strategy is incredible.
I've been in quite the reading mood lately. Haven't been playing much of anything but just sitting back listening to vinyl and reading instead.


Remina -- Hellstar Remina as told through the eyes of Junji Ito. Very, very good!


Venus in the Blindspot -- Another collection of short Manga stories from the horror master Junji Ito. Some wonderfully disturbed imagery throughout. His take on Ranpo Edogawa's classic story The Human Chair is a stand out. As too is The Enigma of Amigara Fault. A claustrophobic and creepy story about people becoming obsessed with manholes. Some duds in here too, but mostly a winner throughout.


Domestic Girlfriend -- I have read about 120 chapters of this long manga. It's a long one. I hate to say it but I have become stupidly addicted to this dumpster fire of a manga. But not for the main characters. I actually find the main character serviceable at best. I'm actually way more into the side characters that pop up throughout. The premise is pretty trash. The premise is that of a love triangle of a guy stuck between two girls, those two girls just happen to be his step sisters (not related by blood). It could have been trashy, but it's actually not too bad and like I said, the side characters are kind of more compelling and a big part of what keeps me reading it. There is something of a coming of age story underneath the sibling love triangle that keeps me interested.


Jurassic Park --
You know what? In all my years on this planet, I have seen the film countless times but never once read the novel. So I finally resolved that and slammed through 450 odd pages or so. The differences are interesting to say the least and it's funny to see so many elements in this book pop up in later Jurassic Park movies. I think the original film does some things better than the book. Most notably the treatment of Hammond. I much prefer the eccentric but short sighted billionaire that the film version portrays whereas book Hammond is a little too much of an elitist bastard to even care for.

The gore was certainly interesting. Some of the death scenes as described in the book made me crave for an R-rated Jurassic Park. The river raft scene was pretty thrilling, although understandable as to why they cut it from the film version as it would have drove the budget up.

Malcolm's death was unexpected, although I do know he is alive in Crichton's 2nd book so it didn't have too much of an effect. On that note, I think I like film version Malcolm better because at least the film version keeps his "I told you so" speeches to a minimum. Whereas I felt Crichton overplayed his hand with Malcolm a bit too much in the book and those speeches got a little repetitive.

What I found interesting though is that for all of Hammond's "spared no expense" talk in the film, the book actually portrays someone who was cutting costs and screwing people over at every turn. The book actually gave Nedry some reason to be angry at Hammond as he was simply overworked and underpaid. Whereas the film kind of portrays him as just a greedy slob who assumedly had money issues. At least the book kind of gave explanation to his reason and it turns out Hammond really is overworking him and underpaying.

Dr. Wu clearly has issue with Hammond because Hammond is no longer listening to him. The upgraded versions of dinosaurs was interesting btw and that Hammond's near enough is good enough approach really is his downfall. That was all kind of interesting and something the film never really touched upon. I still prefer film Hammond, but book Hammond straight up got what he deserved in the end. In fact, book Hammond reminded me a little of Masarani from Jurassic World. So it was interesting to see little things that they've clearly taken in other Jurassic films from this book.

Yeah, I quite enjoyed it. I have The Lost World on order from Book Depository so I'll probably rip into that when it arrives.


In the Miso Soup -- Best read in one sit to really soak in the sordid Kabukicho Atmosphere. The story of an adults night life tour guide who finds himself under the employee of a strange, overweight foreigner who has almost plastic skin. Over the course of three nights, the tour guide is led down a path of hell thanks to this new client. Very brutal. The murder scenes are pretty graphic to say the least. But what really disturbed me was the last quarter of the novel. After the big centrepiece massacre, the novel slows down and gives us an almost 40 page long conversation that leads us into the mind of this guy and why he does what he does. And it's thoroughly disturbing. Really is a book you should read in one sit just to soak in that demented atmosphere. Having been around Kabukicho many times, Ryu Murakami does a pretty bang up job describing the place. Like I said, not for the easily squeamish but if you're willing to go to some dark places, this one is for you!


I Always Find You -- I am a huge, huge fan of John Ajvide Lindqvist. I have read almost everything he has done ever since I read and fell in love with Let the Right One In a few years back. This book is somewhere between autobiographical and straight up horror fiction as it weaves the two together to make a compelling tale of yearning to belong. The story follows a young John Ajvide Lindqvist as he finds his place in the world. After moving into a run down apartment complex, he discovers that there is something weird about his neighbors as they gather in the shared wash room. Eventually he finds out their secret. There is black ooze in a bathtub that opens a portal to another place when offered human blood. John and his neighbours initially find blissful peace on the other side, but eventually become consumed by it. And that's when the horror sets in as the other place consumes them. It is the 2nd part of his "places" trilogy and it raises more questions than answers. Which hopefully will be answered in the third novel "I Am The Tiger" coming later this year.

But I really enjoyed this none the less. There was something engaging about the blend of autobiographical with fiction that was utterly compelling to me. Most of the horror is left until the final third, but it is earned once it comes.

I mean the obvious metaphor is that of drug addiction. You can't deny it. This small community becomes so consumed in that need to escape their dull, dreary lives and become engulfed by the other which promises them something better but at a cost. It's that yearning for a sense of belonging that I feel John does best with his writing and this one is no exception.

But yeah, I really enjoyed this. Especially that final part. It's somewhere between horror and autobiographical memoir, but all together it was a fascinating read that moved at a solid pace. Really enjoyed my time with this one.
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I mean, I've read so much ABOUT the book and its differences, I already know what I'm in for, but I too got the novel in 2016 and haven't read it yet.

I think I will, now lol.
after watching every episode of rick and morty on netflix about 5 or 6 times, ive moved onto the graphic novels. just like the show they are really good. i highly recommend them if your a fan of the show.
I mean, I've read so much ABOUT the book and its differences, I already know what I'm in for, but I too got the novel in 2016 and haven't read it yet.

I think I will, now lol.
Should have put spoiler tags around it. Oh well, rectified now. :D It was fascinating to read and see the differences though.

Oh one other note while I think of it. FUCK BOOK LEX! Good god, that character is nothing but a whiny little privileged shit in that book. Timmy was about as likable as he was in the film version, but Book Lex? Dear god, what a perfect poster child for the benefit of condoms and anti-conception pills.

Another change for the better as Spielberg at least toned her down in the film version and made her somewhat likable, but god damn, I just wanted to see the T-Rex butcher book Lex at so many points.
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She was younger and useless in the book; IIRC, I read that
Tim is the older one, the one into Dinos AND the one that is the, "computer hacker," basically rendering Lex completely useless. Spielberg decided to make her older and the hacker, in order to give her character more to do.

Even without reading it, I think Spielberg worked wonders with the film, to make it as magical as it was.
Really got back into reading last summer and going to the bookstore and spending some money has been a therapeutic pandemic activity. Anyone else use Goodreads? It's a great tracker for books you've read, want to read, and you can set yearly goals. Here are my 2021 finished reads so far.


Hmm. Remains of the Day was very good. I liked the unique Merchant Ivory film too. A girl I used to know from Beijing became obsessed with it.
Hmm. Remains of the Day was very good. I liked the unique Merchant Ivory film too. A girl I used to know from Beijing became obsessed with it.

Remains of the Day's whimsical nature had me thinking it would be enjoyable but not necessarily leave a very lasting impact, but I definitely shed a few tears reading the last few pages. Really heartbreaking yet heartwarming at the same time. Plus its nice to read a really short one once in awhile. My first of his and I'll be interested to try another.
At night, I'm finding my self with little to nothing to do so I've decided to have another go at Lord of the Flies. Started it years ago but stopped soon after. Nothing wrong, just not a big reading fan and it never grabbed me instantly.

Best book I've read was probably the original 3 Mass Effect books. I was completely lost in them and couldn't stop reading.

I Am The Tiger -- The final instalment in John Ajvide Lindqvist's 'locations' trilogy. I read this over two days straight and loved every last page of it.

A thoroughly satisfying conclusion to his 'locations' trilogy. Most of the questions I had from the previous two books were finally answered...although not all as there are still some lingering questions to be had. But for the most part, the puzzle pieces of the previous two novels finally come together. It's a well crafted Nordic crime thriller meets the typical paranormal world of its Author. In typical JAL fashion, he has crafted another equally fascinating, sad and horrific tale of what happens when the ordinary comes into contact with the other. Might just be my personal favourite of the trilogy.

I was captivated by the tale of Tommy T and his wayward nephew Linus. Especially the somewhat tragic tale of Linus and his sordid adventures into drug dealing. But even more horrifying is the eventual reveal of the elusive X and their role in all of this.

All in all, this was a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to a trilogy that often left me mystified and puzzled. Finally the pieces all came together and I have to say that for me, it was well worth the ride.


Audition - I have seen Takashi Miike's film version many times over and easily consider it one of my favourite horror films of all time. But I had actually never read the book it was based on until now. For the most part, Miike's film is pretty faithful to the text, although I was kind of surprised to see that the torture scene in the book is actually a little more tame in comparison to the film version.

For instance, there are no acupuncture needles in the books version of the torture scene. But the books version of that scene does play up the suspense factor a little more in that scene. I was a bit surprised, especially having read Murakami's In the Miso Soup and knowing how twisted that book got. I was really expecting the book version of Audition to be just as twisted if not more twisted than the film but yeah, it's surprisingly tame in comparison.

Still, it's a good book none the less and it captured me as much as the film version did. I probably prefer the film version as I think the film versions build to the torture scene is far more surreal and horrifying. There is something about the film that is just a little creepier in the way it builds tension. Oh well, I'm happy to have finally read the book and I think it's a good piece of lurid pulp fiction none the less.
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Recently finished The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula Le Guin - wow! Packed a punch at 175 pages. The premise surrounds the question of what would happen a human was given the power to play God - with an interesting twist as to how.


And I just started How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino - this is a popular Japanese children's novel from the 1930s, translated into English for the first time - also, the next Ghibli film will be an adaptation of this book. I only just started but can tell I'm going to love it.