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What'cha Reading?

Noll

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The Brothers Karamazov, I've been looking forward to this.
 

Flâneuse

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I'm reading the section about Mesoamerican and Peruvian art in an old textbook.
 

Mal12345

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Book Review: Empire of Unreason by Greg Keyes

"In the year 1999 and the seventh month -
From the sky will come a great King of Terror.
He will bring back to life the great King of the Mongols,
Before and after Mars [war] to reign by good luck."
Nostradamus: Century 10, Quatrain 72

Except for the date mentioned, this Nostradamus prediction comes true in the "Empire of Unreason," the third novel in the epic Age of Unreason saga, a sci-fi/fantasy series set in the 18th century that blurs the distinction between science and magic, reason and superstition. Sorceress Adrienne Montchevrieux has given birth to the anti-christ, stolen from her as a tiny baby only to emerge years later as the prophet-leader of a mongol horde that travels by means of flying ships invading the American continent from the west. The world's greatest sorcerer, Isaac Newton, has been slain in battle, and now humanity's only hope lies in his young sorcerer's apprentice, Benjamin Franklin.

Meanwhile, a new a vastly greater threat to the survival of the human race emerges in the east...

The chapters of this book are devilishly split into three disparate points of view, leaving the reader to wonder, two chapters later, who some of these characters are, what they are doing, how they got there. It may be wise for the reader to read one character's point-of-view at a time, so in this case I would have to start with chapter 1, then skip two chapters and read chapter 4. Toward the end of the book I would have to jump back to the beginning and read chapters 2, 5, and so on. Keyes makes sure to end every chapter with a cliff-hanger, not that this helps much.

While I do find the reading rather tiresome, there is always the hope for a big pay-off in the end.
 
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Mal12345

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A War of Apes by S.D.B Hawley. The author mailed me his copy and there seems to be only a limited release. My book review will be forthcoming.
 
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Mal12345

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A WAR OF APES by S.D.B Hawley

I'll admit that when I started reading A WAR OF APES by S.D.B Hawley it was with a certain skepticism. The author is not well-known, he has only this one title to his name, and the book itself was not well-treated by its publisher PublishAmerica. The author has had nothing but trouble with this publisher, they have priced this book way out of reason, and even when I tried to purchase a copy of it from Amazon at the ghastly inflated price of $22.46 the purchase never went through or was delayed. (Its Amazon page says it ships in 2 - 3 weeks?) So I canceled my order.

Then, for some strange reason, the author of this work, who is on my Facebook friends list, surprisingly signed and shipped his own copy to me. So I read it. And despite the fact that, these days, getting into entire new worlds and sword & sorcery fantasy landscapes comes difficult to me, eventually I became pleased by what I was reading.

A WAR OF APES is about humans and semi-intelligent, semi-free, talking apes living together; but, written in the style of Robert E. Howard of Conan the Barbarian fame, obviously there has to be a Conan stand-in for a hero. In this case, that hero would be Rungrin the ape, the most powerful ape of all and, like Conan who was not a very intelligent human, Rungrin is not very intelligent even for an ape.

This book consists of a series of disconnected short stories centered around the adventures of Rungrin the ape. The author is highly-imaginative and a skilled writer. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Rungrin does not win out in every story, and there are some bitter endings, so this adds an emotional spin to the novel that makes it all the more interesting to read. And the author is constantly full of surprises, for instance, the endless hallway scene at which I literally burst out laughing. And this:

At length, the thing returned and perched atop the clock tower. Then I saw eyes appear where no eyes should be as it searched for something. Like two great yellow lanterns, the eyes formed. They flickered like flint ghosts in the thick of those tails and tentacles. The hungry, watchful, expression in those eyes filled me with terror and the hopeless feeling that it saw everything and looked for a living being to murder.​

The author who wrote these words does not just write fantasy stories, he lives and breathes fantasy stories. They are his entire raison d'etre. And if I had a million dollars to give, I would give it to him so he could keep on creating.

Hawley promises to publish a sequel to A WAR OF APES, with a different hero and set centuries into the future of that world. I wish him the best of luck with his endeavor.
 

Mal12345

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THE SHADOWS OF GOD

Book Four of The Age of Unreason, by
J. GREGORY KEYES
 

Flâneuse

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The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka. So far, I'm blown away by the depth and imagination of this writer's work.
 

st-t-toat

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What book are you reading now?

Well dear Mole, since you ask ... "The Collected Writings of Robert Motherwell".
 

st-t-toat

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my dear Mole, i suspect friend Motherwell may enlighten you far more directly when you stand before his works, some of which are currently on display ...
 

st-t-toat

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my dear Mole, some automaton (or close facsimile of) has seen fit to "housekeep" our conversation to some oblivion, where our correspondence "will be lost in time, like tears ... in ... rain". How tedious.
 

st-t-toat

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my dear Mole, motherwell continues, interleved with somewhat lighter moments from galapagos (vonnegut), the dying animal (roth), the unnatural history of the sea (roberts), oxford figures (fauvel), the last ape standing (walter) ... and you?
 

Mole

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my dear Mole, some automaton (or close facsimile of) has seen fit to "housekeep" our conversation to some oblivion, where our correspondence "will be lost in time, like tears ... in ... rain". How tedious.

Yes, Mr St-t-toat, I have been approached by a founder and moderator of Typology Central, named Jennifer, who has asking me if you are a dupe of me. In other words am I egregiously breaking the rules by having two accounts on Typology Central?

I have denied the imputation and given Jennifer some small information about you, and suggested Jennifer contact you for confirmation.
 

Mole

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my dear Mole, i suspect friend Motherwell may enlighten you far more directly when you stand before his works, some of which are currently on display ...

Yes, I spent a little time in our beautiful National Gallery by the lake and noticed that Motherwell is on display. So I have made a date with myself to go back and see Motherwell's work in the flesh, so to speak.
 

Mole

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my dear Mole, motherwell continues, interleved with somewhat lighter moments from galapagos (vonnegut), the dying animal (roth), the unnatural history of the sea (roberts), oxford figures (fauvel), the last ape standing (walter) ... and you?

As you are a prodigious reader, Mr St-t-toat, I feel you have much to offer us.

You might guide our reading into interesting byways. You might even give us your opinion of certain books. And indeed, having read so much, you might give us a comparative opinion of literature. At your discretion of course.
 

st-t-toat

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... asking me if you are a dupe of me. ...

a dupe?

a ... DUPE!

enlighten me my dear Mole ...

a st-t-oat a dupe OF a ... Mole, as in ... duplicate? or ...

a st-t-oat FOR a ... Mole, as in, well, ... a sucker, a stooge, a sitting duck, a fall guy, perhaps even ... a pigeon, a patsy, or even a ...a schlemiel?

either way, one's mind quite simply ... boggles!


... I have denied the imputation ...

as you should my dear Mole, as you ... SHOULD!


... given Jennifer some small information about you ...

oh dear, oh dear! i do hope, dear Mole, you have been conservative? i do have the rebellion to consider, you know!


... and suggested Jennifer contact you for confirmation.

of course, of course, my dear Mole, do send the dear young thing to me, at once!
 

st-t-toat

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So I have made a date with myself to go back and see Motherwell's work in the flesh, so to speak.


splendid, my dear Mole, absolutely ... splendid! you will enjoy it immensely, i am quite sure; i had a private viewing, so i am unable to aprise you of ... crowds?
 

st-t-toat

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As you are a prodigious reader, Mr St-t-toat, I feel you have much to offer us. You might guide our reading into interesting byways. You might even give us your opinion of certain books. And indeed, having read so much, you might give us a comparative opinion of literature. At your discretion of course.

i shall try my dear Mole but i fear you should be disappointed; most comes from curiosity and a love of books than from scholarship; and you understand, dear Mole, st-t-toats abhor comparisons - we suffer them so very often!
 

st-t-toat

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galapagos (vonnegut) - the ultimate genetic bottleneck and the book darwin wished he had written and in some v close parallel universe may well have done so?
 
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