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  • 00-Agent00-Agent CaliforniaPosts: 451MI6 Agent
    This past weekend I finished reading Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond by Andrew Lycett. I really enjoyed it. It was written well so that it was easy to read and held my interest the whole way through. I have read quite a few biographies and sometimes an author can make even the most interesting life seem boring. I am also reading a Churchill biography and some of the stuff about his early political career is hard to get through.
    "A blunt instrument wielded by a Government department. Hard, ruthless, sardonic, fatalistic. He likes gambling, golf, fast motor cars. All his movements are relaxed and economical". Ian Fleming
  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,146MI6 Agent
    Alex wrote:
    Home Theater For Dummies. Good book!

    Alex, how deeply does this book go into television calibration? I just bought myself a new LCD TV and I'm looking at different sources for getting an optimal picture. Thanks in advance.
  • Barry NelsonBarry Nelson ChicagoPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent
    Lazenby880 wrote:
    I, The Jury by Mickey Spillane B-)

    The prototypical hard-boiled 1940s private detective novel, featuring the tough-as-nails Mike Hammer (not to be confused with the embarrassing Stacy Keach vehicle on TV in the '80's).

    This is deliciously non-politically correct, an era when dames were dames, guys were men, and dames were glad of it :v Sex and violence. Great stuff.

    I once met Spillane at a Chicago Comicon in the early '90's; a very gracious fellow (with a firm handshake) who signed all autographs and happily talked at length about Hammer and his other work. At the time, his house in the Carolinas had recently been wiped out by Hurricane Andrew (I think). He even signed an autograph for my dad, who wouldn't be caught dead at a comic book convention: "To Tom - A Long-Distance Hello! Best Wishes, Mickey Spillane."

    I heartily recommend the Mike Hammer novels (Spillane wrote 13 of them) to anyone who likes red meat. -{
    I've got an old copy of Kiss Me, Deadly waiting to be read, and this appraisal suggests that I might enjoy it. What I admire about Spillane is that he was an unabashed writer of *thrillers*, and he was never interested in pretending to be anything different. Personally I thoroughly enjoy the thrillers of his era, both British and American, be they written by Ian Fleming, Donald Hamilton, Edward S. Aarons and other supposedly 'disposable' thriller writers. I also enjoy other thrillers, ostensibly more significant works, by the likes of Eric Ambler from that era, however I am a great fan of that era of thriller writing mroe generally.

    I have heard, from others, that Spillane's jingoism, black-and-white morality and 'reds-under-every-bed' angle can be off-putting, however it may be the case that this adds to the charm. I know the contemporary critics loathed his writing, but I do rather like Spillane's attitude: "My work may be garbage but it's good garbage," and "I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends". Brilliant.

    I have just finished re-reading Ambler's The Levanter, and plan to start re-reading Thunderball (or, in fact, Kiss Me, Deadly). Then I hope to go for another Matt Helm. :)

    Kiss Me, Deadly is in the next three-book Spillane collection I'll be picking up (right now I'm in the middle of My Gun Is Quick). Fun stuff.

    He was, indeed, widely reviled by the critics and intellectuals of his time. As Max Allan Collins writes, in the Introduction to the edition I own:

    "If you have never read a Mike Hammer novel before, how I envy you. You are about to take the definitive wild ride of American mystery fiction, and will meet the most famous tough private eye of them all---Mike Hammer---not in a watered-down movie or TV show rendition, but via the gritty, mind-boggling real thing: the unmistakable, electrifying prose of Mickey Spillane...The new level of violence and sex found in Spillane's fiction influenced not only other mystery writers, but virtually every branch of popular story-telling. His detective Mike Hammer provided the template for James Bond, Dirty Harry, Billy Jack, Rambo, John Shaft, and countless other fictional tough guys."

    An astute observation that Spillane's mysteries were written to be thrillers...

    It's a fair cop as far as the jingoism, black-and-white morality, et al., goes---and I'd have to agree that, as a result, they're probably not for everyone. These books, like Fleming's, were very much of their era, and not at all apologetic in their approach. You might say that Spillane wasn't big on the notion of 'tolerance'---in any form---but I view this sort of thing as a snapshot in time. They probably wouldn't/couldn't/shouldn't be written that way today; something I'm keeping in mind as I prepare my own next project, which will be set in the early '40s...

    I'm also a big fan of Donald Hamilton, and would love to see Death of a Citizen get a proper treatment on film...

    Loeffs, I have read all the Spillane novels and I have to say I loved them. Actually took a class in college called The Role of Gangsters and Detectives in Media, which is where I read my first Spillane novel. It was required reading and I couldn't put it down. My love of film noir also was developed in that class. Who says you don't learn anything in college. :))
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,864Quartermasters
    I've become a big fan as well, Barry---and I marvel at what the guy was able to get away with---not just in terms of political incorrectness, but also in terms of overcoming plot 'issues'...it pays to be the first B-)
    "Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • AlexAlex The Eastern SeaboardPosts: 2,695MI6 Agent
    TonyDP wrote:
    Alex wrote:
    Home Theater For Dummies. Good book!

    Alex, how deeply does this book go into television calibration? I just bought myself a new LCD TV and I'm looking at different sources for getting an optimal picture. Thanks in advance.
    I'd recommend the sister book, "HDTV For Dummies", Tony. I've heard it's more intricate.

    The one I own is really only for the novices, I'm afraid. (Basic setup designs and such)

    You can get them both pretty darn cheap at amazon!
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,196MI6 Agent
    Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (Bond link= the author Daniel Craig snooged...)

    Having reseen the film again, this was an interesting read. At 150 pages only, I thought it would be an easy read, I was wrong. It's only 100 pages - the rest of the book from the library was given over to two other Capote short stories.

    There are differences to the film. It's set in the early 1940s, wartime. It's all written as a flashback, so it's clear the narrator didn't hitch up with Holly Golightly as in the film. She doesn't settle down, she's a Ruby Tuesday.

    The Chinese neighbour played so ahem amusedly by Mickey Rooney has only a one-off showing. The George Peppard character is not a failed writer living as a kept man or gigilo, he's an aspiring writer who does go on to success. The pair have less in common really than in the film, and go months without speaking to one another.

    Other details are about right, but you learn more about Holly's past life.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,864Quartermasters
    My Gun Is Quick and Vengeance is Mine! by Mickey Spillane

    :o Wow...

    By the time he wrote Vengeance (the third Mike Hammer novel), he had really hit his stride. The plotting was tighter, the unlikely plot twists made more sense...and the ending is a classic B-)

    Small wonder he redefined the mystery novel...

    Next up: a book by Dashiell Hammett...something about a black bird...
    "Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,146MI6 Agent
    Alex wrote:
    TonyDP wrote:
    Alex wrote:
    Home Theater For Dummies. Good book!

    Alex, how deeply does this book go into television calibration? I just bought myself a new LCD TV and I'm looking at different sources for getting an optimal picture. Thanks in advance.
    I'd recommend the sister book, "HDTV For Dummies", Tony. I've heard it's more intricate.

    The one I own is really only for the novices, I'm afraid. (Basic setup designs and such)

    You can get them both pretty darn cheap at amazon!

    Thanks for the tip Alex; I just picked up a new LCD TV and I've quickly discovered that getting the best picture out of LCD requires a lot more work than with a plasma. I've found some calibration settings for the TV online but I'd like to learn a bit more about what all the settings really do (the owners' manuals to these things are absolutely terrible).

    I'll definitely check out the HDTV for Dummies book next time I'm at Barnes & Noble.
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,864Quartermasters
    edited July 2007
    The Maltese Falcon, by Dashiell Hammett

    I don't care how many times you've seen John Huston's seminal film noir classic adaptation, or enjoyed the performances of one of the quirkiest ensemble casts in movie history, headed up by the great Humphrey Bogart---if you haven't read the book, you're missing out...

    Hammett's prose is crisp, and brilliantly economical; less really is more. It's told in the third person (rather rare for this sub-genre), but although we experience the action from Sam Spade's point of view (in the sense that we don't experience anything he doesn't), we are utterly denied any of the character's internal ruminations---in fact we only ever hear his half of all telephone conversations---and because of this, the protagonist remains detached and magnetically enigmatic throughout.

    The plot, which comes off as more byzantine on film, is somehow more engaging in print. Many of the key bits of dialogue remain intact, and the ending remains a grabber:
    We even get to experience a brief coda back in Spade's office, and see the effect that Brigid O'Shaughnessy's being sent up the river has on Spade's secretary, the fresh-faced Effie Perine...

    Do yourself a favour, if you like this sort of story: Read this one.

    Next up: "The Deep Blue Good-By," the first of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee novels...
    "Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • scaramanga1scaramanga1 The English RivieraPosts: 840Chief of Staff
    edited July 2007
    I'm currently reading "His Dark Materials" by Phillip Pullman The first book "Northern Lights" or "The Golden Compass" across the pond is coming out in December as a movie -which no doubt many of you know already and stars Daniel Craig and Eva Green.

    I've also just read "The Soul Stylists" written by Paulo Hewitt which has a foreword by Paul Weller. This an interesting look at the links between fashion and soul music -primarily from the late 50s until the 90s and encompassing the original Mods, Skinheads, Northern Soulers and football casuals. An interesting and informative read indeed.
  • 00-Agent00-Agent CaliforniaPosts: 451MI6 Agent
    I finished reading my copy of Octopussy & The Living Daylights and enjoyed both short stories. My copy of the book also included the stories Property of A Lady and 007 in New York. There was not much to these last two stories.

    I read all the novels in order and am a little sad that I have no more Fleming to read, unless I can get my hands on a copy of the Diamond Smugglers.:( Oh well, I still have all the continuation novels to read, next up Colonel Sun. It’s been fun scouring the local used bookshops in search of the continuation novels. I have almost all of them now.
    "A blunt instrument wielded by a Government department. Hard, ruthless, sardonic, fatalistic. He likes gambling, golf, fast motor cars. All his movements are relaxed and economical". Ian Fleming
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,864Quartermasters
    The Deep Blue Good-By by John D. MacDonald

    The first of the Travis McGee series, and the first book I've read by MacDonald---but it won't be the last B-) He was an outstanding writer with a keen wit; the Travis McGee stories are classic 'first-person' narrative, dealing with a P.I.-type who lives on a houseboat in Ft. Lauderdale, and basically lives job-to-job. The hook is that McGee helps people recover things they've lost---with the proviso that he gets to keep half as a finder's fee...

    The characterization is outstanding, the violence (when it happens) is explosive and compelling. MacDonald had a great way of working social commentary into his stuff, and I'm an instant fan.
    "Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
    "I am not an entrant in the Shakespeare Stakes." - Ian Fleming
    "Screw 'em." - Daniel Craig, The Best James Bond EverTM
  • darenhatdarenhat The Old PuebloPosts: 2,029Quartermasters
    The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios

    Fascinating and funnily written book on the correct applications of physics in comic books, as well as some places they get it dreadfully wrong. Not only did I learn a few things about quantum physics, but I also gained some interesting insights into the history of comics! Four stars!
  • Dan SameDan Same Victoria, AustraliaPosts: 6,057MI6 Agent
    darenhat wrote:
    The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios

    Fascinating and funnily written book on the correct applications of physics in comic books, as well as some places they get it dreadfully wrong.
    You mean that the idea of Superman flying defies the laws of physics? :o :))
    "He’s a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back—that’s an earthquake. and then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you’re finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory." Death of a Salesman
  • darenhatdarenhat The Old PuebloPosts: 2,029Quartermasters
    Dan Same wrote:
    darenhat wrote:
    The Physics of Superheroes by James Kakalios

    Fascinating and funnily written book on the correct applications of physics in comic books, as well as some places they get it dreadfully wrong.
    You mean that the idea of Superman flying defies the laws of physics? :o :))

    Actually...the original Superman didn't fly - he merely 'leapt tall buildings in a single bound' primarily due to the fact that his home planet Krypton was incredibly denser (and thus a stronger gravitational pull) than Earth's. Through a thorough examination of Superman's physical abilities, the author was able to give a convincing theory as to the nature of Superman's homeworld, and also explain why it suffered the fate that it did.

    Superman was only one of the heroes he dissected. The Flash, Spiderman, Electro...The author lends them all a bit of verisimilitude.
  • SolarisSolaris Blackpool, UKPosts: 308MI6 Agent
    Honeymoon By James Patterson & Howard Roughan
    (So not really Patterson, he just supplied the storyline and the characters, the rest was ghost written by Roughan)

    Basically a succsessful interior designer is marrying rich men, transferring the contents of their back accounts and then poisoning their ommlets. an FBI agent called John O'hara gets assigned to the case but ends up getting infatuated with her aswell.

    Before that it was Sharpe's Enemy By Bernard Cornwell

    I have been reading Sharpe books out of order for the past year now after picking one out to read whilst on holiday. not long after that Sharpe's Challenge was on TV with Sean "006" Bean so I ended up buying a lot more Sharpe Books and the TV series aswell

    and before that it was

    The Last King of ScotlandBy Giles Foden
    For those who havent seen the film or read the book it tells the sotry of Idi Admin from his seizing of power to the Israli hostage crisis through the eyes of scottish doctor Nicholas Garrigan who becomes his personal physician and closest advisor before finding out what Admin was really doing. Garrigan is a emagumation of several real life characters and doctors that worked with Admin during his dictatorship. it also differs from the film in several aspects for example in the novel it is not Garrigan who is having the affiar with one of Admin's wives.

    if your wondering why I posted three books in one post its cause I'm a very quick reader. I'm going on holiday for six weeks soon and I had to go into the library and get six books and then reserve another 16 to arrive just before I go away (OHMSS TB YOLT and TMWTGG are in those reserved.) As well as that I plan to take any other book I haven't yet read in my house and some others I wouldn't mind reading again ( More Bond Books, The Long Way Round by Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy)
  • PendragonPendragon ColoradoPosts: 2,640MI6 Agent
    currently reading three books at once.

    1. The First Casualty by Ben Elton
    a WWI who-done-it...imensely good read. reccomended highly.

    2. Desperation by Stephan King
    Creepy Cop story currently set in Nevada. Strange story...also highly reccomended

    3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - JK Rowling
    re-read in preperation for Saturday's book seven release party :x

    ~Pen -{
    Hey! Observer! You trying to get yourself Killed?

    mountainburdphotography.wordpress.com
  • SolarisSolaris Blackpool, UKPosts: 308MI6 Agent
    Pendragon wrote:

    3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - JK Rowling
    re-read in preperation for Saturday's book seven release party :x

    ~Pen -{

    I have them all of CD, I find it easier to remember what is going on that way.
  • SB_DiamondSB_Diamond North Miami Beach, FLPosts: 126MI6 Agent
    Currently finishing off "If Chins Could Kill" the Bruce Campbell autobiography. It is an excellent read for anyone who wants to get into the business and is also very funny and even has photos throughout the book. I had read "Make Love: The Bruce Campbell Way" before that and it was a really great story about the troubles of being a B actor in an A list film and the "B Movie Virus". Both are great reads, and if you are as geeky of a fan as I am, you can hear Bruce's voice in your head while you read it since he wrote it in a very colloquial kind of way.
    *~Orbis Non Sufficit~*
  • John DrakeJohn Drake On assignmentPosts: 2,564MI6 Agent
    SB_Diamond wrote:
    Currently finishing off "If Chins Could Kill" the Bruce Campbell autobiography. It is an excellent read for anyone who wants to get into the business and is also very funny and even has photos throughout the book. I had read "Make Love: The Bruce Campbell Way" before that and it was a really great story about the troubles of being a B actor in an A list film and the "B Movie Virus". Both are great reads, and if you are as geeky of a fan as I am, you can hear Bruce's voice in your head while you read it since he wrote it in a very colloquial kind of way.

    'If Chins Could Kill' is excellent. A great read. I haven't read Bruce's other book. Interesting title though!

    I just finished 'Afterglow: A Last Conversation with Pauline Kael.' It's an account and transcription of the last interview Kael gave to the writer Francis Davis. Kael was one of the great film writers and a former critic for the New Yorker in the 60's, 70's and 80's. I didn't agree with some of Kael's opinions, Last Tango in Paris for instance, I've always thought to be utterly ridiculous, but I loved her writing and she was a bit of a Bond fan. One of her collections of reviews was entitled, 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.'
  • asioasio Melbourne, AustraliaPosts: 545MI6 Agent
    The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde
    It's interesting, as the author has blended characters of classic fairy tales into a modern day police investigation. I found it a little bit childish, and a touch repetitive, but if fancy a mixture of make believe and everyday police work, then this novel might just be for you.
    Drawn Out Dad.
    Independent, one-shot comic books from the outskirts of Melbourne, Australia.
    twitter.com/DrawnOutDad
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,314Chief of Staff
    Flashman's Lady by George MacDonald Fraser - another great instalment in the life of Harry Flashman. And a big thanks to our own Willie Garvin for recommending these fine novels to me -{
    YNWA 97
  • Lazenby880Lazenby880 LondonPosts: 525MI6 Agent
    edited September 2007
    John Ramsden - Don't Mention the War: The British and the Germans since 1890.

    A fascinating and brilliantly researched book charting relations between the two nations since the tail-end of the 19th Century and the rise of Germany as a great power. Ramsden deftly moves between personal anecdote, analysis of cultural attitudes, political problems and bonds, social differences and press coverage. A very readable book and cultural history at its very best; the work has a compelling narrative which Ramsden tells expertly.

    Insights into the author abound, and this can be an amusing as well as an informative read. The book, though, does have something of a downbeat end for British readers. It is difficult to leave with a good view of the British tabloid (and sometimes quality) press: a great many British people, unfortunately, cannot help but be 'beastly to the Germans'.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,517Chief of Staff
    Lazenby880 wrote:
    John Ramsden - Don't Mention the War: The British and the Germans since 1890.

    A fascinating and brilliantly researched book

    Insights into the author abound, and this can be an amusing as well as an informative read. The book does have something of a downbeat end. It is difficult to leave with a good view of the British tabloid (and sometimes quality) press: a great many British people, unfortunately, cannot help but be 'beastly to the Germans'.

    Hm, going to have to read that one, being a Brit married to a German. The last sentence above is sadly true not that I had a good view of the British tabloid anyway- I've been involved with them several times (no, not as in wanted for murder etc) and their, er, liberal (small 'l') attitude to such unimportant matters as facts and accuracy left a sour taste in my mouth.
  • Lazenby880Lazenby880 LondonPosts: 525MI6 Agent
    Barbel wrote:
    Hm, going to have to read that one, being a Brit married to a German. The last sentence above is sadly true not that I had a good view of the British tabloid anyway- I've been involved with them several times (no, not as in wanted for murder etc) and their, er, liberal (small 'l') attitude to such unimportant matters as facts and accuracy left a sour taste in my mouth.
    I'm with you on that: I am not exactly the British tabloid press' biggest fan. Regarding the liberal attitude you identified I agree too, although that must be about the only liberal attitude tabloid newpapers hold. :)

    Regarding Don't Mention the War I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have read books on a similar theme but this one was far more readable, with plenty of new information for me.
  • RogueAgentRogueAgent Speeding in the Tumbler...Posts: 3,676MI6 Agent
    Just finished reading CELL by Stephen King.


    Zombies in Boston pretty much. I really liked the storytelling and King fleshed out the immediate characters very well although the book left alot of questions unexplained. The climax was less than stellar as well.

    On a whole, it felt as if the author was trying to hurry up and meet a deadline instead of tying up loose ends. I hope that the upcoming movie diverts somewhat from this novel for a more satisfying conclusion.
    Mrs. Man Face: "You wouldn't hit a lady? Would you?"

    Batman: "The Hammer Of Justice is UNISEX!"
    -Batman: The Brave & The Bold -
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,517Chief of Staff
    RogueAgent wrote:
    Just finished reading CELL by Stephen King.


    Zombies in Boston pretty much. I really liked the storytelling and King fleshed out the immediate characters very well although the book left alot of questions unexplained. The climax was less than stellar as well.

    On a whole, it felt as if the author was trying to hurry up and meet a deadline instead of tying up loose ends. I hope that the upcoming movie diverts somewhat from this novel for a more satisfying conclusion.

    Not his best, I agree, and it felt a little like a re-run of the much better The Stand. Am currently working through his Lisey's Story which frankly isn't grabbing me at all (flashbacks every ten pages or so, and sometimes flashbacks within flashbacks). I'm more than halfway through though, so I'll persist. He seems a bit off-form recently.
  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,146MI6 Agent
    edited October 2007
    Barbel wrote:
    RogueAgent wrote:
    Just finished reading CELL by Stephen King.


    Zombies in Boston pretty much. I really liked the storytelling and King fleshed out the immediate characters very well although the book left alot of questions unexplained. The climax was less than stellar as well.

    On a whole, it felt as if the author was trying to hurry up and meet a deadline instead of tying up loose ends. I hope that the upcoming movie diverts somewhat from this novel for a more satisfying conclusion.

    Not his best, I agree, and it felt a little like a re-run of the much better The Stand. Am currently working through his Lisey's Story which frankly isn't grabbing me at all (flashbacks every ten pages or so, and sometimes flashbacks within flashbacks). I'm more than halfway through though, so I'll persist. He seems a bit off-form recently.

    I kind of liked Cell, I'm always passing thru those sections of Boston and the North Shore that burned to the ground in the first part of the book (even though King took some liberties with their exact location and placement) so it had a little more impact with me.

    That said, his style of writing really has changed since his almost fatal accident. Many have called his work since then "Stephen King Lite" and I can understand that. Even the last three volumes to his Dark Tower opus had a rushed and sometimes incomplete feeling to them; with important and long established characters being written out in sometimes implausible ways (or not being explained at all) - Flagg being probably the most extreme example.

    He's still a good read, but my expectations are different these days. Gone are the days when I was afraid to go down into my basement after reading Salem's Lot (probably my favorite King novel).
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,517Chief of Staff
    TonyDP wrote:
    That said, his style of writing really has changed since his almost fatal accident. Many have called his work since then "Stephen King Lite" and I can understand that. Even the last three volumes to his Dark Tower opus had a rushed and sometimes incomplete feeling to them; with important and long established characters being written out in sometimes implausible ways (or not being explained at all) - Flagg being probably the most extreme example.

    He's still a good read, but my expectations are different these days. Gone are the days when I was afraid to go down into my basement after reading Salem's Lot (probably my favorite King novel).

    Couldn't agree more, especially re later Dark Tower. Not actually bad, but the first few volumes (I'm borderline whether Wolves is great or just good) held so much promise that the latter parts didn't fulfil.
    I've still to read his recent Bachman efforts.
  • RogueAgentRogueAgent Speeding in the Tumbler...Posts: 3,676MI6 Agent
    edited October 2007
    TonyDP wrote:
    Barbel wrote:
    RogueAgent wrote:
    Just finished reading CELL by Stephen King.


    Zombies in Boston pretty much. I really liked the storytelling and King fleshed out the immediate characters very well although the book left alot of questions unexplained. The climax was less than stellar as well.

    On a whole, it felt as if the author was trying to hurry up and meet a deadline instead of tying up loose ends. I hope that the upcoming movie diverts somewhat from this novel for a more satisfying conclusion.

    Not his best, I agree, and it felt a little like a re-run of the much better The Stand. Am currently working through his Lisey's Story which frankly isn't grabbing me at all (flashbacks every ten pages or so, and sometimes flashbacks within flashbacks). I'm more than halfway through though, so I'll persist. He seems a bit off-form recently.

    I kind of liked Cell, I'm always passing thru those sections of Boston and the North Shore that burned to the ground in the first part of the book (even though King took some liberties with their exact location and placement) so it had a little more impact with me.

    That said, his style of writing really has changed since his almost fatal accident. Many have called his work since then "Stephen King Lite" and I can understand that. Even the last three volumes to his Dark Tower opus had a rushed and sometimes incomplete feeling to them; with important and long established characters being written out in sometimes implausible ways (or not being explained at all) - Flagg being probably the most extreme example.

    He's still a good read, but my expectations are different these days. Gone are the days when I was afraid to go down into my basement after reading Salem's Lot (probably my favorite King novel).


    Yes, Salem's Lot-the book & movie are my favorite as well, T. B-)

    But back to CELL, I just felt that he didn't utilize The Raggedy Man in a more threatening manner. I just expected more. There was no ultimate showdown. :#

    My favorite character wasn't the artist Clay (who I have alot in common with) but Tom who was alot stronger than his exterior was described.
    Jordan was cool too.


    Lite is a good way to describe King lately; I noticed though long before his accident that his books were getting less abrasive when I read ROSE MADDER & BAG O' BONES some years back.

    Are the Dark Tower series leaning more towards fantasy than horror? Even though I'm a huge fan of the latter, if it's good fantasy literature, I've made the exception from time to time...
    Mrs. Man Face: "You wouldn't hit a lady? Would you?"

    Batman: "The Hammer Of Justice is UNISEX!"
    -Batman: The Brave & The Bold -
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