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what are you reading at the moment? post 1
comment by rowan    Jun 23, 2003
We want to know what books you're reading at the moment.
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what are you reading at the moment? post 2
comment by abstract agenda    Jun 23, 2003
Hmmm - well, I'm reading more Will Self at the moment, I'm not sure why but I seem to be on a bit of a Self jag lately (Dorian Review - A1051291) ... I do harbour a suspicion, though, that too long a course of this medication might induce a bout of "Self Induced Paranoia"

Yes - so I'm reading "Grey Area" which is a collection of Mr Self's short stories. I have just about polished-it-off, and very good it is too, full of Will's usual bleakly surreal imagination.

It's all good, but I was particularly pleased to find that Dr Zac Busner and Simon Dykes (from "Great Apes") appeared in the story "Inclusion". In the story, Zac is living up to his self-styled "renegade psychiatrist" image, and Simon finds himself part of one of Zac's illegal drug trials.

Hmmm - come to think about it, its time for me to stop typing and finish reading the last story.

Goodnight
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what are you reading at the moment? post 3
comment by thesmith    Jun 23, 2003
i've just borrowed 'if chins could kill' the autobiography of Bruce Cambell, the b-movie actor of Evil Dead fame, from Mr T.
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what are you reading at the moment? post 4
comment by David Thair    Jun 23, 2003
"Self Induced Paranoia"...

Superb.

I've just started reading 'Leaving Reality Behind', which is a true account of the battle between two very different internet organisations, eToys and etoy. If the first chapter is anything to go by, it is a very entertaining, informative and well-researched book. Maybe I'll review it when I finish it (that should be more of an 'if' with my track record).
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what are you reading at the moment? post 5
comment by missingthumbs    Jun 24, 2003
i recently struggled my way thtough thomas pynchon's 'the crying of lot 49'.

I really wanted to enjoy this book and parts of it were astounding but for most of it i was completlely lost. One day when i'm older and greyer i'll read it again and maybe everything will click.
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what are you reading at the moment? post 6
comment by missingthumbs    Jun 24, 2003
i recently struggled my way thtough thomas pynchon's 'the crying of lot 49'.

I really wanted to enjoy this book and parts of it were astounding but for most of it i was completlely lost. One day when i'm older and greyer i'll read it again and maybe everything will click.
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what are you reading at the moment? post 7
comment by rowan    Jun 24, 2003
Missing thumbs, I'm reading Thomas Pynchon's V at the moment. I'm really enjoying it, but it's also one of those books which I suspect will benefit from a second (if not a few more) read/s. I'll report back when I'm done as Astro advised me to read it.

An interesting array of books there. I have to admit, I'm intrigued by the Bruce Cambel one as I find him massively entertaining. He's brilliant in his occassional Hercules appearances and did the voice over for the intro to the Spider-Man game and it was brilliant. He strikes me as a funny man, even his voice over on the Evil Dead dvd is fantastic. A true renaissance man... maybe.
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what are you reading at the moment? post 8
comment by SGK    Jun 24, 2003
'One Flew Over The Cockoo's Nest' - love the film, about time I read the book!
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what are you reading at the moment? post 9
comment by rowan    Jun 24, 2003
Fantasitc film - how are you finding the book?
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what are you reading at the moment? post 10
comment by thesmith    Jun 24, 2003
bruce cambell also gets a cameo in the spider man movie as the announcer in the wrestling arena cause, as you find out in the book, him and sam rami are bestest buddies. he's a very interesting person and the book is very entertaining! the intro to the book is worth a read on it's own as it documents how sam and ivan rami robbed the editor of the book blind!
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what are you reading at the moment? post 11
comment by missingthumbs    Jun 24, 2003
one flew over... is a great read, told from the chief's perspective, letting loose on a head full of too many thoughts.

It's also fun to see if you can spot which passages kesey wrote on acid. kesey. kesey. kesey.
Mr Ken kesey. READ MORE ABOUT THIS MAN.

'the electric kool aid acid test' is an inspirational book full of inspired people, ken kesey and his merry pranksters subverting the states and spending many a weird wired hour On The Bus, on the bus.

if you be liking will self curl up in a corner and get your eyes onto 'cock and bull'
very odd.
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what are you reading at the moment? post 12
comment by Harry Chinaski    Jun 24, 2003
The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat (again). It's astonishing and so moving that you can learn about yourself from a book on mental illness and aberration. As Sack's says, these people are travellers to lands we'll never know about; but what they bring back and what Sacks' conveys about their journeys and destinations is mesmerising and infinitely valuable.
And Kesey was the man. Have you read the Electric Kool Aid Acid Test?
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what are you reading at the moment? post 13
comment by abstract agenda    Jun 24, 2003
Oh yes - "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" I wholeheartedly agree with you, it's a fantastic book.

Have you read "An Anthropologist on Mars"? it's basically more casenotes from Dr Sacks' records, all with the same level of empathy and humanity for his patients that is shown in "TMWMHWFAH" (Catchy acronym!) I still haven't got around to reading "Awakenings" yet though...

I would also recommend VS Ramanchandaran, who recently gave this year's Reith lectures, which broadcast on Radio 4. Fascinating.
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what are you reading at the moment? post 14
comment by missingthumbs    Jun 24, 2003
i was told to read catcher in the rye by a friend at work who says i AM holden caulfield.

After reading it, i wasn't sure if i should take that as a compliment.
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what are you reading at the moment? post 15
comment by Harry Chinaski    Jun 24, 2003
I haven't yet read Anthropologist on Mars but I'll be sure too. Awakenings is more of the same although I found it almost unbearably moving. imagine waking from a 40 year coma only to see yourself slowly slip back into it. That Sack's was able to continue practising after this is amazing.

Are the Reith lectures still on the site anywhere? I've always meant to read Phantoms in the Brain but, well, so little time...

As for Pynchon I agree about The Crying of Lot 49, he achieves more in that slim volume than most seem to in a career. I always think that with Pynchon there's the veil of meaning, and that round the corner there's an answer but it never quite materialises; so you think you've missed something. I'm not so sure: he is deliberately obtuse and obscure, and hints at meaning precisely becuase there isnt any.
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what are you reading at the moment? post 16
comment by missingthumbs    Jun 24, 2003
Thats exactly what i would've thought if i was more clever!
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what are you reading at the moment? post 17
comment by rowan    Jun 24, 2003
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2003/reith2003_le... - reith lectures, the emerging mind. Is that what you were after?

That's an interesting comment about Pynchon. It feels as though, as Astro said in his V review (A1074944), that every word has meaning. But half way through the book there are definite streams of implication, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that I've really identified themes. In some ways it's a intimidating as you feel as though you're sort of gropping in the dark but should be happily skipping along. In another way though, it's nice to sit back and just read it for what it is safe in the confidence that it'll become more cohesive at some time in the future, maybe. I'm only half way though though...
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what are you reading at the moment? post 18
comment by Harry Chinaski    Jun 24, 2003
Thanks Rowan, looks like ther'll be some interesting reading there.

What a cracking review of V! I havent actually read that book but I've attempted Gravity's Rainbow a couple of times and just never had the stamina. What is apparent in that glossolalia/review is that meaning is central to Pynchon, both its presence and lack; and I think it's the same for readers of him. If you're actively seeking out levels of meaning then Pynchon is the man because he promises so much. Yet there's that curously empty feeling you get, like you've missed something, or not understood. So you folow threads and themes, read more and more and end up...where? And I think that's the point. There was so much of this style of writing in the middle to later half of the last century, all this self-reflexivity, mirrors, labyrinths, esoteric knowledge etc and I think it's indicative of that and our period. As G.K. Chesterton said: "When people stop believing in God, it's not that they believe in nothing; it's that they'll believe in anything."
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what are you reading at the moment? post 19
comment by rowan    Jun 24, 2003
Hmmm, interesting - do you think that that time in our history relates to the time we find ourselves in now? After WW2 there seems to have been a time of questioning and pushing boundaries, perhaps induced by a changing world - perhaps their literature resonates with us because we too are in a time when the world seems more fractured and lots of things are changing.

reading my first Pynchon it does seem as though there's lots of meaning carmmed into it, insinuated, hinted at, walked passed but never directly alluded to.
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what are you reading at the moment? post 20
comment by Harry Chinaski    Jun 24, 2003
It's definitely relevant to us now, anything that promises an answer is relevant, or anything that questions or opens doors; that's why we still bother with Shakespeare.
After the second world war there was definitely a shift in consciousness. I guess nothing was ever going to be the same after Auschwitz and Hiroshima, and the literature of the time reflected that, both the crazed worlds of Borges and Pynchon, mirrored in Escher, and in the rise of science fiction: literally, what the hell do we do now?
There's an amazing book by Victor Frankl, a holocaust survivor, called Man's Search for Meaning. In that he describes patients coming to see him (he became a psychologist) and being in what he called "an existential vacuum". How do we find any meaning? And I think that's absolutely relevant and is where Pynchon and the like are coming from: how do we fill that void?
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