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  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,288Chief of Staff
    RogueAgent wrote:
    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...

    They lean more towards fantasy for sure, though King being King there are one or three horrific interludes. The series becomes more self-conscious as it progresses, not always in a beneficial way.

    Bag is a favourite of mine (read it three times now, may read it again), Rose slightly less so (only read that twice!).
  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,145MI6 Agent
    RogueAgent wrote:
    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...

    The Dark Tower books have plenty of everything - horror, fantasy, sci-fi, even a very strong western motif at times. They also incorporate characters and tie together plot threads from many of King's other books. Randall Flagg from The Stand, for example, plays a major role in the saga and Ted Brautigan from Hearts in Atlantis makes a major appearance in the last volume. There are other characters from his works that pop up here and there throughout the seven books and even Stephen King himself appears in and contributes to the story's resolution in the last couple of volumes (that may sound hackneyed but it actually works pretty well within the context of the story).

    As to what the Dark Tower is, minor spoiler here ...
    The Dark Tower is basically the nexus at which all realities intersect; Roland is on a quest to discover the Tower before it is destroyed by dark forces. Our world is on one of the levels of the Tower, and many of King's stories take place in other planes or dimensions. The Stand for example took place on one of these parallel dimensions and characters from the book even take a detour thru that mostly dead world in one of the books.

    It's a very long saga, and parts of it can be laborious to get thru. The ending and Roland's final fate was a bit controversial as many readers were left feeling cheated. I thought it was somewhat unsatisfying but still an appropriate conclusion given the character's motivations.
  • RogueAgentRogueAgent Speeding in the Tumbler...Posts: 3,676MI6 Agent
    Thanks for the advice, guys. I just might pick up the first in the series this week. Especially if I can find another scarefest to go along with it as well. Any suggestions are welcome. :D

    One thing I will give King full credit for, no one tells a short story better than him. THE SKELETON CREW is also one of my favorite books from S.K. B-)
    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: 31,288Chief of Staff
    I didn't want to go into that much detail! :)

    I've always pictured a young (well, younger anyway) Clint Eastwood as Roland for obvious reasons, but Don Callahan also struck me as a part for Eastwood- only older, of course, though Clint would only have been 45 or so when King thought Callahan up. Probably due to the name (perhaps King mooted over "Harry Siegel" as an alternative?) :D.

    Very few of the illustrations seemed interesting to me. Susannah (or whatever name she's using at that point) never seemed drawn correctly, for example.
  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,492MI6 Agent
    Ive recently discovered Jilly Cooper ... Yes,I know she's been around forever but I'm a late developer :) ... and recently finished Wicked.

    Loved it.The only annoying thing is I didn't realise its the last book in a whole series so now I've got to start at the beginning knowing what happens to all the characters X-(
  • RogueAgentRogueAgent Speeding in the Tumbler...Posts: 3,676MI6 Agent
    edited October 2007
    Lady Rose wrote:
    Ive recently discovered Jilly Cooper ... Yes,I know she's been around forever but I'm a late developer :) ... and recently finished Wicked.

    Loved it.The only annoying thing is I didn't realise its the last book in a whole series so now I've got to start at the beginning knowing what happens to all the characters X-(


    Please tell me, Lady, with a title like that...is it...horror?

    *Dr. Evil impression* :D
    Mrs. Man Face: "You wouldn't hit a lady? Would you?"

    Batman: "The Hammer Of Justice is UNISEX!"
    -Batman: The Brave & The Bold -
  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,145MI6 Agent
    edited October 2007
    RogueAgent wrote:
    Thanks for the advice, guys. I just might pick up the first in the series this week. Especially if I can find another scarefest to go along with it as well. Any suggestions are welcome. :D

    One thing I will give King full credit for, no one tells a short story better than him. THE SKELETON CREW is also one of my favorite books from S.K. B-)

    Just one more thing about Dark Tower, which should put you over the top, minor spoiler so read at your own discretion:
    remember what I said about how other Kings books tie into the story? Well, events and one very significant character from Salem's Lot tie into the latter part of the Dark Tower saga in a very big way
    Barbel wrote:
    I didn't want to go into that much detail! :)

    I've always pictured a young (well, younger anyway) Clint Eastwood as Roland for obvious reasons, but Don Callahan also struck me as a part for Eastwood- only older, of course, though Clint would only have been 45 or so when King thought Callahan up. Probably due to the name (perhaps King mooted over "Harry Siegel" as an alternative?) :D.

    Very few of the illustrations seemed interesting to me. Susannah (or whatever name she's using at that point) never seemed drawn correctly, for example.

    Yeah, maybe I went a little overboard. :))

    Writing about the saga has gotten me stoked though; so now I'm probably going to want to go back and revisit some passages.

    Eastwood always struck me as a model for Roland; I think King even writes about this at a few points in the books.

    I'm curious Barbel, what did you think of the ending - especially what happens to Susannah? Truthfully, her ending bothered me even more than Roland's as I thought it was a bit of a cop out and robbed the book of some of its poignancy.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,288Chief of Staff
    Well, to avoid spoilers I'll PM you.
  • RogueAgentRogueAgent Speeding in the Tumbler...Posts: 3,676MI6 Agent
    edited October 2007
    TonyDP wrote:
    RogueAgent wrote:
    Thanks for the advice, guys. I just might pick up the first in the series this week. Especially if I can find another scarefest to go along with it as well. Any suggestions are welcome. :D

    One thing I will give King full credit for, no one tells a short story better than him. THE SKELETON CREW is also one of my favorite books from S.K. B-)

    Just one more thing about Dark Tower, which should put you over the top, minor spoiler so read at your own discretion:
    remember what I said about how other Kings books tie into the story? Well, events and one very significant character from Salem's Lot tie into the latter part of the Dark Tower saga in a very big way

    Good enough incentive for me. Thanks! ;)
    Mrs. Man Face: "You wouldn't hit a lady? Would you?"

    Batman: "The Hammer Of Justice is UNISEX!"
    -Batman: The Brave & The Bold -
  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,145MI6 Agent
    RogueAgent wrote:
    Good enough incentive for me. Thanks! ;)

    I thought that might do the trick.

    As to other horror writers, I love the genre but most contemporary authors just don't do it for me, King being one of the few exceptions.

    I'd suggest some HP Lovecraft; he wrote some very good short fiction (Pickman's Model is an unheralded masterpiece IMHO) although his longer stuff is hit or miss and something of an acquired taste.
  • RogueAgentRogueAgent Speeding in the Tumbler...Posts: 3,676MI6 Agent
    edited October 2007
    TonyDP wrote:
    As to other horror writers, I love the genre but most contemporary authors just don't do it for me, King being one of the few exceptions.


    Might I suggest to you:

    SUMMER OF NIGHT by Dan Simmons

    If this book doesn't do it for you, Tony, I'll personally refund your money on it. I've recommended this novel to about 20 other people and they all loved it.

    One of the best horror books I've ever read. All 600 pages. B-)

    A WINTER HAUNTING is the sequel to this; it's not as good as S.O.N. but it is a very decent follow-up. B-)
    Mrs. Man Face: "You wouldn't hit a lady? Would you?"

    Batman: "The Hammer Of Justice is UNISEX!"
    -Batman: The Brave & The Bold -
  • Lady RoseLady Rose London,UKPosts: 2,492MI6 Agent
    RogueAgent wrote:
    Lady Rose wrote:
    Ive recently discovered Jilly Cooper ... Yes,I know she's been around forever but I'm a late developer :) ... and recently finished Wicked.

    Loved it.The only annoying thing is I didn't realise its the last book in a whole series so now I've got to start at the beginning knowing what happens to all the characters X-(


    Please tell me, Lady, with a title like that...is it...horror?

    *Dr. Evil impression* :D

    :)) ... interestingly, Horror is my usual genre ,particularly James Herbert and Anne Rice but alas, this Wicked just involves a healthy dose of adultery and lust. ;%
  • PendragonPendragon ColoradoPosts: 2,640MI6 Agent
    Blaze by Stephan King's pen-name, Richard Bachman...

    Although any avid King reader can recognize his style, the story was so different from his normal horror stories. This one had no monsters, no abnormal deaths or anything you would normally perceive as Stephan's work. A great read.

    Currently, I'm reading PHANTOMS by Dean Koontz. It's certainly interesting...and I'm only about 60 pages in...

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

    mountainburdphotography.wordpress.com
  • Barry NelsonBarry Nelson ChicagoPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent
    Oil on the Brain by Lisa Margonelli - In attempting to explain the oil business the author takes us, literally, from the gas station to the drilling wells. Starting at the gas staion the author spends a chapter at each location along the oil distribution system, gas station, tanker truck drivers, distributers, drilling rigs, refinaries and more. Then she spend several chapters visiting Venezuela, Chad, Iran and China. A very informative and enlightening book. For the oil producing countries, oil has been a burden not a blessing.
  • darenhatdarenhat The Old PuebloPosts: 2,029Quartermasters
    Shalako by Louis L'Amour

    In keeping with my habits, I prefer to read a book before I see the movie. I figured I'd like to see the film which paired Sean Connery and Honor Blackman together.

    Now, after reading the book I'm thinking 'why bother?' The novel was fairly dull.
  • Hugo DraxHugo Drax Leeds, United Kingdom.Posts: 210MI6 Agent
    Debt of Honor by Tom Clancy. I have read most of his other novels, but I found myself shooting through the last half of it, as the plot gets increasingly bogged down by military narrative. It is clearly a well-researched book, and for that the author deserves credit. But the military narrative takes occupies much of the novel and thus it is not one of my favourite Clancy books.
  • Dan SameDan Same Victoria, AustraliaPosts: 6,057MI6 Agent
    edited October 2007
    For the oil producing countries, oil has been a burden not a blessing.
    I can see that. With the exception of the United Arab Emitates and possibly Brunei, how many other oil producing countries are investing in other industries such as tourism? Saudi Arabia, I believe, is the perfect example of a nation which has put all of its eggs in one basket. I'm not an expert on economics, but it does seem rather problematic if instead of investing your money in other fields, you spend it in the hope that the oil will last forever.

    P.S. It's never a good idea to talk about politics, however let me assure everybody that I am not doing that. I'm speaking solely about economics, and nothing else.
    "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
  • Bill TannerBill Tanner "Spending the money quickly" iPosts: 261MI6 Agent
    darenhat wrote:
    I figured I'd like to see the film which paired Sean Connery and Honor Blackman together.


    Goldfinger?
  • darenhatdarenhat The Old PuebloPosts: 2,029Quartermasters
    darenhat wrote:
    I figured I'd like to see the film which paired Sean Connery and Honor Blackman together.


    Goldfinger?

    Sorry...I meant 'again paired' ;%
  • Barry NelsonBarry Nelson ChicagoPosts: 1,505MI6 Agent
    Alan Greenspan, The Age of Turbulence - A very interesting read highlighting Alan Greenspan's long tenure as the Federal Reserve Chairman of the US banking system.

    The book is divided into three parts, the first part and the most interesting part covers Greenspan's life, which included a stint as a professional musician playing for some fairly well known swing bands, a close friendship with Ayn Rand, dating Barbara Walters and his various economic roles in seven administrations. He shares his opinion of the various Presidents, praising Ford, Reagan and Clinton, neutral on the Bush's and negative on Nixon and Carter.

    The Second part is an econmic summary of various economies, including, China, South America, Russia, Europe and others.

    The third part is a discussion of the some of the world's economic problems, like energy, education, free trade, trade inbalances, wage inbalances, etc.

    Maybe not for everyone, but I found it fascinating.
  • PendragonPendragon ColoradoPosts: 2,640MI6 Agent
    finished PHANTOMS...wow...:o

    currently reading Young Bond Three. so far, very interesting. ^^

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

    mountainburdphotography.wordpress.com
  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,266Chief of Staff
    edited October 2007
    The Battle For Bond by Robert Sellers.

    Beg, steal or borrow but get this book ! Especialy if you have an interest in how Thunderball & NSNA came to be, and the workings of the McClory mind !

    Having read the book it's hard not to feel a degree of sympathy for McClory, although you do get the idea it was all too big for him to handle.
    Cracking Bond read.
    YNWA 97
  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,145MI6 Agent
    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

    A dark, bleak, often depressing and ultimately pessimistic but still riveting book about a plauge that turns mankind into vampires. The book follows the exploits of everyman Robert Neville, possibly the only survivor to not be affected by the plague, as he tries to survive and cope with his solitude and isolation. At only 170 pages it was a very fast read.

    The book was filmed as The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price and The Omega Man with Charlton Heston. Price's version caught some of the vibe of the book but ultimately both versions took many liberties with the material. A new version starring Will Smith will be premiering later this year.
  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,288Chief of Staff
    Black And Blue, Ian Rankin.

    I've read a few of the Rebus books, and this one really gripped me- I liked the use of Bible John as a character.
  • LoeffelholzLoeffelholz The United States, With LovePosts: 8,854Quartermasters
    TonyDP wrote:
    I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

    A dark, bleak, often depressing and ultimately pessimistic but still riveting book about a plauge that turns mankind into vampires. The book follows the exploits of everyman Robert Neville, possibly the only survivor to not be affected by the plague, as he tries to survive and cope with his solitude and isolation. At only 170 pages it was a very fast read.

    The book was filmed as The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price and The Omega Man with Charlton Heston. Price's version caught some of the vibe of the book but ultimately both versions took many liberties with the material. A new version starring Will Smith will be premiering later this year.

    Richard Matheson is one of my favourite sci-fi writers...his list of accomplishments is stunning.

    I look forward to seeing what they do with it on film this time round B-)
    "Blood & Ashes"...AVAILABLE on Amazon.co.uk: Get 'Jaded': Blood & Ashes: The Debut Oscar Jade Thriller
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  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,145MI6 Agent
    Richard Matheson is one of my favourite sci-fi writers...his list of accomplishments is stunning.

    I look forward to seeing what they do with it on film this time round B-)

    I'm sure they'll make the movie more "Hollywood" as the scene of what looks like the Brooklyn Bridge being bombed in the trailer would imply. What I liked about the novel was its small scope. We never get far from Neville's home and Matheson doesn't waste time on what caused the plauge - ony vague suggestions. It's very much a personal story that focuses on the character's plight and I liked it that way.

    Oddly enough, I'd never read any of Matheson's work. The book I got also included some of his short stories so I'll be digging into them in the next few days.
  • AlexAlex The Eastern SeaboardPosts: 2,695MI6 Agent
    I picked up a paperback of Matheson's The Incredible Shrinking Man at a flea market, check that one out, Tony, I think you'll like it.
  • TonyDPTonyDP Inside the MonolithPosts: 4,145MI6 Agent
    Alex wrote:
    I picked up a paperback of Matheson's The Incredible Shrinking Man at a flea market, check that one out, Tony, I think you'll like it.

    Thanks for the recommendation Alex; I'll be sure to check for it next time I'm at B&N or browsing Amazon.
  • SpectreIslandSpectreIsland spectreislandPosts: 274MI6 Agent
    edited November 2007
    TonyDP wrote:
    Alex wrote:
    I picked up a paperback of Matheson's The Incredible Shrinking Man at a flea market, check that one out, Tony, I think you'll like it.

    Thanks for the recommendation Alex; I'll be sure to check for it next time I'm at B&N or browsing Amazon.

    Speaking of Matheson, there's a new film being shot of his story The Box - here is the link

    http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=3&id=45292
  • Napoleon PluralNapoleon Plural LondonPosts: 9,115MI6 Agent
    The Secret History of Paris by Andrew Hussey.

    This is good stuff, though I can't pretend I read it cover to cover. I did the Roman bit, then skipped to about the year 1200 and advise you do the same.

    I never realised that the present layout of the city - all wide boulevards neatly mapped out - only came about as recently as 1850 to 1870, thanks to the controversial architect Hausemann under plans by Louis Napoleon (not Napoleon ;)the famous Nelson nemesis) to modernise the city. It meant sweeping away all the charming/claustrophobic medieval clutter, and a lot of the old Paris was lost forever in favour of this new, neo fascist design. Then again, it made it easier to get around the city and it was thought it would quel rioters more easily.

    On the downside, the Germans found it easier to invade Paris! The Great Exhibition of the 1860s or thereabouts saw Bismarck, the Prussian minister, invited to admire the new city. He noticed how backward the French military were and invaded in 1870!

    You also find out just how often Paris has been under seige over the centuries, with people enduring famine and digging up corpses to make a kind of powder from bones to give sustenence when the rats have run out. It happened around er, 1500 with Henry IV of France, again here and also when the Commune took over briefly in the 1880s (dates are a bit rough). No wonder they can put up with the strikes over there... it's small beer (or petit biere) in comparison.

    More renovations in the 1950s helped make Paris even more artifical, and many have complained it's more like a film set really. No wonder the immigrant population get wound up by it, though it's nice enough if you're a tourist.

    Fascinating stuff.
    "This is where we leave you Mr Bond."

    Roger Moore 1927-2017
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