Comics Creators

What non-comics are you reading these days?


Here’s their Greek one. They’re aimed at young readers and seem like the kind of thing a good school library would have stocked. :slight_smile:

Ruff mentioned that in the back matter, it sounds cool. I have to admit, it was weird that the book’s called Lovecraft Country and includes so little Lovecraft-style horror. The horror it depicts draws much more heavily from witchcraft cliches.


That sounds like a recipe for trouble


Yes. I remember that cover but more from my bookseller days than my time in grade school.


Wha? No Bullfinch’s Mythology? Brothers Grimm? Golden Treasury of Fairy Tales?


To be fair, Lovecraft dealt in witchcraft cliches pretty heavily too, it was just overshadowed by the mythos.


It works quite well actually. In much the same way it does in Lovecraft Country.


Currentlly reading American Phoenix, Jane Hampton Cook’s account of the lives of John Quincy Adams and his wife Louisa during his appointment as the first minister to Russia circa 1810 and into his tenure as US President.


I started recently John Norman Hor noveld. It is not that I am sucker for sword fantasy tales, and top of that, some parts are… I go like:“okaaaay… this is weird”, but the writing is so addictive. I dare to say it’s the case where average writer outruns the better ones. Norman just nailed it.


You’re ok reading the first four books. Then stop. Really, I mean it. for your own mental health, please stop :wink:


Or, preferably, stop right now, and then crack on with some Fafhrd and Gray Mouser.


Why? You mean, the writing deteriorates to poor level?


Let’s say the

“okaaaay… this is weird”

part gets even more weird :slight_smile:

I think, like you say, Norman’s writing is addictive – he writes exciting plots with plenty of good action sequences. But as the series goes on, he really gets more and more wrapped up in explaining his own “unique” philosophy at the expense of the action, and it really starts to get a bit hard to read.


Ah, I see.

I meant weird on “unusual” portrayal of women. Crazy, all that submissing stuff. I mean, I have no problem with that, as long as it is not forced or taking central part of the novel(s).


That’s the problem, in later books it does take the central role in the novels and the action (though still well written) becomes secondary.

If you like his writing style, you’ll still like the later books to some degree. But if you’re like me, you’ll wish he stopped thinking about women and got to the fights :smiley:


During my vacation in India, I read:

  • The Book of Strange New Things. Bought it because it was recommended here ages ago. It’s a sci-fi novel about a priest who goes out to missionise the natives of a planet that a human colony has been established on. The themes of the novel are faith and love (he leaves his wife behind on Earth), and it explores those very well, even if it’s all a bit soft on the sci-fi aspect. I think there’s an amazon series about this now, too.
  • The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga. Won the Man Booker price in 2008, and I have to say, this is a perfect novel. It’s a Dickensian story of growing up in poverty, but it’s told in e-mails the protagonist sends to the Chinese prime minister after he’s “made it” to explain what defines the new Indian “entrepreneur”. The narratorial voice is brilliantly entertaining, while at the same time the society that the novel describes is horrifying. It’s a brilliant book, and you should all read it.
  • Things We Found During the Autopsy. A collection of short stories by Kuzhali Manickavel, a young South Indian writer. Great economical little surreal stories; loved it. The kindle edition is available here. This is what the back of the book says:
    “These stories contain the following: a dragon; angels; Indian culture; one Christmas story for children; no Indian culture whatsoever; men; poor people; voluntarily homeless youths; women; drugs; sex; Indian dads in cold foreign countries; vomit; boys; girl’s hostels; girls; future tense; the Tropicool Icy-Land Urban Indian Slum; ash, and the people who eat ash; authentic village life written from a privileged English-speaking perspective; homosexuals; white people; references to Rajinikanth; non-italicized Tamil words; whores; brain aneurysms; Western dance in South Indian women’s colleges; Pazhani; floods; shapeshifters; men named Kathir; minty-fresh non-cola cola; and wannabe Naxalites.”
  • Capital: The Eruption of Delhi by Rana Dasgupta. This one is a non-fictional book. It’s mainly a series of interviews with all kinds of people who live in Delhi coupled with the author’s reflections. What he tries to explain is, basically, why Delhi (and much of India) is the kind of place that it is - mainly when it comes to the way Indian society, and Delhi in particular, treats its poor (which is the vast majority of the population) and why the rich behave the way they do (massively materialistically, focused entirely on status and consumption and without any ethics whatsoever when it comes to the way they treat society at large). Dasgupta’s deptessing main hypothesis/conclusion is that India is not on a transition state because it has to “catch up” with western societies, but that in its pure form of capitalism, states like India and Russia are actually the future of the world. This book is also the perfect companion piece to The White Tiger - reading those two novels together will help you understand a lot about modern India.
  • Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy. This is an atmospheric novel whose plot takes place over a few days in a small village, and over a decade in one of the characters’ past. The story is told from different perspectives - three old women taking a vacation, a girl coming back to India to try and deal with her past of sexual abuse, a photographer who is working with her and who is unable to cope with his relationship problems, a troubled temple guide. It’s beautifully written, and the common thread is the role of women in Indian society. It is also a very sad.

I also started on The Sellout, but still in the early pages.


I’ve been taking my time with Asimov’s Foundation books. The writing can be infuriatingly difficult to appreciate, on the grounds that Asimov clearly did not make learning how to engage the reader one of his priorities. Everything is basically conversation. The progression from era to era leaves a huge disconnect and often makes it difficult to care about new characters, unless they’re particularly vivid. Fortunately I’ve run across a few vivid characters today and my interest is revitalized. Plus, now that the concept is centuries established, the lived-in quality helps make it more enjoyable, too. He seems increasingly comfortable. I was bored to tears trying to read The Silmarillion, which I gave up on years ago. Tolkien just trying to explain Middle Earth history is like Asimov just trying to explain Foundation history. Clearly it was epidemic among genre writers in these formative days. Clarke similarly had no idea that the most interesting thing about 2001 was the mystery of it, not continued human experiences coming up against it. In the interest of creating something authentic, these guys lost sight of making their work readable, too.


I really need to read this. The God of Small Things is one of my favorite novels. This is her first novel since then, yeah?

EDIT: Whoops, just looked up the book title and realized Sleeping on Jupiter is not by Arundhati Roy! She does have a new novel out, though:


Same happened to me though, I only realised that was a different Roy (with a similar first name!) after I’d bought it :smiley:

I don’t regret it, though, it is a very good novel.


Maybe worth keeping in mind when you read it that it was originally eight (I think) short stories published in magazines over a 10-year period. If you treat each era as its own “standalone” short story and don’t expect it to work like the chapter of a novel, I think you approach it differently and don’t feel the disconnect.


That’s the one from your list that I have read. Let me know what you make of it.