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Author Topic: The All-New Reading, Watching, and Listening Thread  (Read 214328 times)
John R Little
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« Reply #3570 on: April 20, 2017, 02:34:15 AM »

Tunnel in the Sky was probably my favorite as well, but I enjoyed all of them.
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markgunnells
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« Reply #3571 on: April 20, 2017, 03:00:32 AM »

Finished Mr. Mercedes by King and 77 Shadow Street by Koontz.

Liked the King a lot. It was fast-paced and very suspenseful. The Koontz...not so much.

I used to be a big Koontz fan, then after about 10 books in a row that disappointed (I held on for a while because I like his older stuff so much) I decided I couldn't justify the expense or time. SO I stopped reading him probably a decade ago.

THen I saw this one in the used shop, 2 bucks for a hardcover, and it sounded intriguing, so I decided to give it a try. It started out promising, a slow build with creepy stuff. SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD:

I knew it wouldn't turn out to be a haunted house story because that's sort of his thing now for the most part. Make it seem supernatural but then give another explanation. That can actually be cool, but he does it so often it has become predictable for him. And unfortunately the real explanation was really sci-fi and he does not always do well with that at all. The late Michael Crichton could incorporate science into his work and make it feel authentic, but not Koontz. (He's better than Anne Rice though, she should never attempt to put actual science into her preternatural novels.) The science in Koontz's books, especially this one, comes off as ridiculous and cartoonish. Also the character were so flat and without distinction. Each chapter was supposed to be from the perspective of a different character, but they all read the same to the point that I'd have to go back and look at the chapter heading to remind myself which character this was. Then at the very end, two characters ended up getting married and it seemed to come out of nowhere. THey had barely interacted the whole book and I saw no signs of attraction or anything of the sort.

Okay, I sort of went on a tangent. Bottom line, I tried him again years later and this book confirmed I made the right call the first time.
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peteee
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« Reply #3572 on: April 20, 2017, 08:38:04 AM »

watching bates motel season five which is so phucked up i love it the on to bosch and the the new season of the americans
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RonClinton
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« Reply #3573 on: April 20, 2017, 11:36:52 AM »

Finished Mr. Mercedes by King and 77 Shadow Street by Koontz.

Liked the King a lot. It was fast-paced and very suspenseful. The Koontz...not so much.

I used to be a big Koontz fan, then after about 10 books in a row that disappointed (I held on for a while because I like his older stuff so much) I decided I couldn't justify the expense or time. SO I stopped reading him probably a decade ago.

THen I saw this one in the used shop, 2 bucks for a hardcover, and it sounded intriguing, so I decided to give it a try. It started out promising, a slow build with creepy stuff. SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD:

I knew it wouldn't turn out to be a haunted house story because that's sort of his thing now for the most part. Make it seem supernatural but then give another explanation. That can actually be cool, but he does it so often it has become predictable for him. And unfortunately the real explanation was really sci-fi and he does not always do well with that at all. The late Michael Crichton could incorporate science into his work and make it feel authentic, but not Koontz. (He's better than Anne Rice though, she should never attempt to put actual science into her preternatural novels.) The science in Koontz's books, especially this one, comes off as ridiculous and cartoonish. Also the character were so flat and without distinction. Each chapter was supposed to be from the perspective of a different character, but they all read the same to the point that I'd have to go back and look at the chapter heading to remind myself which character this was. Then at the very end, two characters ended up getting married and it seemed to come out of nowhere. THey had barely interacted the whole book and I saw no signs of attraction or anything of the sort.

Okay, I sort of went on a tangent. Bottom line, I tried him again years later and this book confirmed I made the right call the first time.

Well said, Mark, and my thoughts on Koontz echo yours.  I loved classic Koontz in the same way that I loved classic King...books from the mid '70s to the late '80s were fantastic, fresh, and inventive, a long series of absolutely compelling narratives:



Then the '90s set in, and with the exception of INTENSITY, all that made his work special seemed to progressively diminish in predictable plots, trite characterizations, shallow writing, and genius canines, with the 21st century only seeing such things ramp up, perhaps in an appeal to a wider audience, I don't know, given that most Koontz fans I know abandoned him long ago.

Now, I haven't read most of his post-2000 material, so my thoughts on this work is purely anecdotal -- what others have said, and what I've been able to glean from reviews -- and bookstore skimming of pages, but all of that along with your fine review affirms to me that my take on it continues to be correct.  Which is a shame...I can't think of any other author (since King has largely redeemed himself from that same '90s and early 2000s drought of good material (THE GREEN MILE excepted, of course) with recent works like 11/22/63, etc.) whose work I loved to such a degree and whose last two decades has been perpetually disappointing.  Well, maybe Simon Clark, I suppose...but that's another story.
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pinheadspawn
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« Reply #3574 on: April 20, 2017, 06:59:49 PM »

I'm with you on the Simon Clark thing.  I LOVE Bloody Crazy, Stranger, Vampyhric and Darkness Demands.  But he had a big time losing streak after those

Jason
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RonClinton
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« Reply #3575 on: April 20, 2017, 11:53:26 PM »

I'm with you on the Simon Clark thing.  I LOVE Bloody Crazy, Stranger, Vampyhric and Darkness Demands.  But he had a big time losing streak after those

Jason

I'd go one novel further from '01's DARKNESS DEMANDS...'02's STRANGER was, I think, one of his best.  But after that...almost like the work of another author.  And it only got worse as time went on.  As puzzling as it was unfortunate.

Interestingly, after nearly two decades of having at least one novel published per year, it was a three-year gap between his last full-length novel and the one before, and it's been five years since his last full-length novel (I qualify that because he's had a few S/L novellas).  Whether that's an audience, like me, and a publishing scene that has become less interested in his recent output due to its diminishing quality, or a self-realization that he needed to stop just churning it out and reexamine his approach to his work, I've no idea.  I'd like to think the latter and perhaps we'll see a return to that magic he had in the first half of his career, but it seldom seems to work that way.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 12:00:57 AM by RonClinton » Logged
Sigrud
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« Reply #3576 on: April 21, 2017, 03:44:31 PM »

Watched Lights Out yesterday. Very good. Finishing up the Conjuring 2 right now. Excellent. Much better then part 1.

Finished reading A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly. Another great addition to the series. A lot of important information regarding the series mythos is give. Some surprises too.

Now reading The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross.
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funland33
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« Reply #3577 on: April 21, 2017, 04:33:26 PM »

Reading: Cruel Summer by Matt Venne

Watching: The Heavenly Kid

- Danny
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RonClinton
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« Reply #3578 on: April 21, 2017, 07:22:40 PM »

Reading: Cruel Summer by Matt Venne


Oh, I really liked that one; great coming-of-age tale.  I remember speaking to Paul (?) at Tasmaniac before they shut down, and he said he had another Venne on tap...unfortunately that never happened.  A shame.
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funland33
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« Reply #3579 on: April 22, 2017, 12:52:39 AM »

Reading: Cruel Summer by Matt Venne


Oh, I really liked that one; great coming-of-age tale.  I remember speaking to Paul (?) at Tasmaniac before they shut down, and he said he had another Venne on tap...unfortunately that never happened.  A shame.

I'm only 50 or so pages in, but I'm loving it. I've been trying to get my hands on this book for awhile, after it was recommended by you on HDI. So thanks for the recommendation, it's been worth the wait.

- Danny
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markgunnells
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« Reply #3580 on: April 22, 2017, 04:36:02 AM »

Currently reading three books: Mr. Suicide by Nicole Cushing, Career of Evil by J.K. Rowling, and House of Reckoning by John Saul.

Shows we're regularly watching: Agents of SHIELD, Bates Motel, The Originals, and recently finished the current seasons of Hap and Leonard and Walking Dead.
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pinheadspawn
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« Reply #3581 on: April 22, 2017, 08:58:07 AM »

Mr. suicide is awesome

Jason
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wcr01gsr
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« Reply #3582 on: April 22, 2017, 09:30:55 AM »

I have no idea how anyone can read more than one book at a time, unless the second book is an anthology or a collection, that one would read at down times while pausing in your novel.  I have a difficult enough time paying attention to plot threads etc. in one book, that I would never be able to keep things straight were I reading a couple books at the same time!  Maybe it's my age, I don't know, but that's the way I roll.   Grin
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markgunnells
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« Reply #3583 on: April 22, 2017, 01:27:04 PM »

I typically read two books at once these days, one print and one digital. This three books at a time is rare.
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jimallcorn
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« Reply #3584 on: April 22, 2017, 08:35:38 PM »

Reading - FINDERS KEEPERS by SK
I read the first 3/4 of this one late last year & then, just lost interest in it for some reason that I can't recall, but now, I'm on my way to finishing it & really enjoying it again. Then it will be time to read END OF WATCH, the finale to King's Bill Hodges trilogy.

Watching - UFC Fight Night

Listening - Still waiting for Thirty Seconds To Mars fifth album to be released.
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