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  1. #31
    . Blank's Avatar
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    I'll go ahead and nominate Brave New World by Aldous Huxley as my favorite piece of literature. I reread it recently (and I'm currently reading Island, its spiritual successor) and while I'd say it's not very well written, the ideas contained in the book are so provocative, I couldn't help but be fascinated by it.

    I was in high school the first time I read it and it was the first book I read that managed to capture the ideal I had of a society made into a utopia by using science and technology. It solved the problems inherent in communism by introducing classism--something I regard as intrinsic to human social structures, and it sought to resolve every other part of man's problems via conditioning. Of course the book isn't perfect, but one thought that strikes me still to this day is exactly how much would one be willing to give up to attain happiness? Is the price of attaining happiness the elimination of struggling and conflict--two things which are at the core of the human experience?

    That aside, I absolutely love how for Huxley's dystopian novel entertainment was the opiate of the masses.
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    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand
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  2. #32
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    If I had to pick, it'd be Number of the Beast by Robert A. Heinlein. Not because it's a great book, or even a good book. It was exactly what I needed in a certain part of my life and it influenced a lot of big decisions I made at the time.

    Wikipedia:
    Sue K. Hurwitz said in her review for the School Library Journal that it is "a catalog of Heinlein's sins as an author; it is sophomoric, sexist, militantly right wing, and excessively verbose", and comments that the book's ending was "a devastating parody of SF conventions—will have genre addicts rolling on the floor. It's garbage, but right from the top of the heap".[2]
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  3. #33
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    If I had to pick, it'd be Number of the Beast by Robert A. Heinlein. Not because it's a great book, or even a good book. It was exactly what I needed in a certain part of my life and it influenced a lot of big decisions I made at the time.
    That's faint praise for a book that changed your life. Not that I'm critical of Heinlein criticism -- never read him -- but I'm curious why you kept reading and what about it you needed at that point in your life?

    Last edited by Passacaglia; 02-18-2015 at 05:58 PM.

  4. #34
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passacaglia View Post
    That's faint praise for a book that changed your life. Not that I'm critical of Heinlein criticism -- never read him -- but I'm curious why you kept reading and what about it you needed at that point in your life?

    [spoiler]I used to read books from beginning to end, just for the sake of completion. Then I read a two-book series so godawful, so insipidly written that I swore I'd never read a bad or even a mediocre book past the first chapter ever again.
    Just as a correction to the bad review that I quoted for the book I want to mention that Heinlein is not a right winger, he is a Libertarian. And he is an excellent writer, he has a similar voice to Twain, so even his dreck is readable and entertaining to a degree.

    At the time I was a young teen, voraciously consuming Science Fiction in an attempt to widen my world; I could easily slip it under my parents' radar. I was very sheltered and due to religion, learning about the greater world, especially of ideas and even more especially of alternate mores was forbidden. This book was fun, taboo, even by regular societal standards, and it had a Libertarian agenda. It provided all the perspective I needed to free my mind and to empower myself. It wasn't a year later that I dropped out of high school and left my parent's home to do my own thing.
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  5. #35
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    Unlike a lot of people I know, I seriously enjoyed Catcher in the Rye when I read it.

    A lot of people hate Holden Caulfield because he whines about everything. Yet, he offers possible solutions for the things he criticizes and thoroughly analyzes the problems he perceives in the world. He can take any random object and rant into the clouds forever about how much it sucks. I respect that--I've often found myself doing the same.



    Asimov books. I read I, Robot and Foundation and Empire, and Foundation was exactly like Star Wars all over again for me. Really high-quality old space books like that can really get you into your zone that way.



    The Giver. Anyone who didn't want to seriously kill something halfway through reading this book is a subhuman sociopath and needs a good long restraining order from everyone. If that book didn't move you, you fail the Turing Test of humanity.



    Call of the Wild. How the dog just wanted its freedom, despite being just another basic animal with animal needs.



    Pride of Carthage. Yes, half the book is bullshit about penises. The other half is an epic. Glad I stumbled upon it.

  6. #36
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Catch-22. Read this in high school, and I've read many since then, but it would still be my favorite.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


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  7. #37
    . Blank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    Catch-22. Read this in high school, and I've read many since then, but it would still be my favorite.
    One thing that surprised me about Catch-22 was how well it was written. I'd recommend this book to a friend.
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    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand
    Likes Julius_Van_Der_Beak liked this post

  8. #38
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blank View Post
    I'll go ahead and nominate Brave New World by Aldous Huxley as my favorite piece of literature. I reread it recently (and I'm currently reading Island, its spiritual successor) and while I'd say it's not very well written, the ideas contained in the book are so provocative, I couldn't help but be fascinated by it.

    I was in high school the first time I read it and it was the first book I read that managed to capture the ideal I had of a society made into a utopia by using science and technology. It solved the problems inherent in communism by introducing classism--something I regard as intrinsic to human social structures, and it sought to resolve every other part of man's problems via conditioning. Of course the book isn't perfect, but one thought that strikes me still to this day is exactly how much would one be willing to give up to attain happiness? Is the price of attaining happiness the elimination of struggling and conflict--two things which are at the core of the human experience?

    That aside, I absolutely love how for Huxley's dystopian novel entertainment was the opiate of the masses.
    Ugh, I found it terribly didactic. The characters lacked depth, and it felt like I was being schooled.

  9. #39
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Don Quixote.

    No mistake about it.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    I find it incredibly hard to pick just one book, because different books are important to me in different ways, possessing different strengths and weaknesses. I will omit works of philosophy and poetry that have enriched my thinking in various ways at various stages of my life and just mention the one work of fiction which has most deeply resonated with my literary desires:

    The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blank View Post
    One thing that surprised me about Catch-22 was how well it was written. I'd recommend this book to a friend.
    Being well written is one of the more common aspects among literary classics.
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