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Kingpin

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  1. What are you reading at the moment?

    I read Never Let Me Go last year. It made an impression as I continued thinking about it for a few weeks afterwards. Knew nothing about it before reading so went in cold. Interested to hear your thoughts on that one. I’m currently reading Pompeii by Robert Harris. I’ve read Fatherland and The Ghost by him previously and loved them. This one is Roman historical fiction about the engineer responsible for the aquaduct before the volcano blows. Only about 20% in now but I’m loving the setting and the build up.
  2. What are you reading at the moment?

    High Rise by JG Ballard I am enjoying this one more in the dissection after the fact, rather than in the reading itself. I struggled about the halfway point until the final chapters when the three main characters start to move towards their conclusions. It's very interesting - lots of themes to explore, the writing is good, it's bizarrely funny and then really brutal at times.. To be honest, I couldn't help thinking of Grenfell Tower because in the book, bad services and maintenance just made the class divides much worse and it caused this tribal madness to occur. In High Rise, the threat comes from within, from the residents (though caused by bad planning). However, in the reality of Grenfell, the threat came from neglectful public services and austerity*, which ultimately lead to disaster. The idea of essential upgrades not being done amounted to human lives being a line on a spreadsheet and that's probably more dehumanising than most of what Ballard depicts, despite the violence and so on. *this is just my perception, I haven't followed the events as closely as I'm sure others have, and I'm definitely not trying to stir any political debates. It was all I could think about while I was reading it.
  3. What are you reading at the moment?

    Me too - I just think the coming of age story was the wrong thing for Laymon and his lurid descriptions of the teen female lead just weirded me out. It's funny though as this is his most popular book according to Goodreads. I would definitely read more stuff like Island though. As for Don, I went back through the thread and it seems like everyone here who read it had a similar opinion. It reviewed very well in the press though - most of the reviews seem to see it as a "post-Ferguson" novel and therefore innovative. Apparently, he had sold the rights to The Force before it even had a title, so maybe he was writing with a movie in mind? I would still give his pre-POTD novels a go though.
  4. What are you reading at the moment?

    I have had a good run so far this year (for me): The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe - incredible book following the Mercury space program and its astronauts. I read an interesting review which criticises how Wolfe depicts Gus Grissom, and having done some research, I do think he unfairly paints Grissom in a cowardly light during a particular incident. It's an unusual thing to do considering the entire rest of the book is about the "right stuff" - having the guts to strap yourself to a prototype supersonic aircraft and later to rockets pointed towards space. From the Chuck Yeager era onwards, this is gripping stuff all the way through and you can't help but have admiration for everyone involved. The Force by Don Winslow - very disappointing after the incredible "Power of the Dog" and "The Cartel". Everything about this one felt far smaller than those books. This is "The Shield", set in New York instead of LA. Some interesting things, like it's definitely written with the Black Lives Matter movement in mind, but otherwise, everything felt very cliched and unsurprising. His last few books had completely blown my mind, and then this one is so pedestrian in comparison. What Does This Button Do? by Bruce Dickinson - The lack of detail about Maiden (each album covered in a couple of paragraphs) and his personal relationships within the band are conspicuously absent for an autobiography from the lead singer of Iron Maiden. That said, I did enjoy the book and was surprisingly interested in his adventures as a pilot. The chapters about Sarajevo and his cancer battle were very interesting too. I would hope for a second volume once the band have called it a day, but I doubt it. This won't tick any of the boxes for fans of Bruce and Maiden and I assume he doesn't want to rock the boat with Steve Harris while they're still working together. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick - Been meaning to read this for years and thought it was great. I've seen Blade Runner but it was years ago and the details aren't burned into my mind, so I could enjoy this relatively fresh. I found the ending oddly uplifting and satisfying and I really got into the world building and Deckard's struggles as he went about his duty. It definitely diverges enough from what I can remember of the movie to warrant a read. The ridiculous title finally makes sense now too. The Travelling Vampire Show by Richard Laymon - This was a weird one. I have previously read "Island" and that was a lot of fun because it's a ridiculous slasher-style novel with intentionally OTT sex and violence. This one was like a sub par King coming of age story which was weirdly lecherous along the way. It's quite mundane up until the last 20% and it's like Laymon remembered that he should probably go mental at that point, which he did - but very little of it makes any sense. For instance, he introduces some threatening characters before the finale that really don't amount to anything, and he glosses over other characters fates with half a sentence. Other characters turn into killing machines without a second thought. The ending was so bizarre, it actually pushed this into "so bad it's good" territory, but on the main, I wish I hadn't bothered.
  5. Official Mixed Martial Arts Thread

    God help me, I agree with FRB on this. I think the fight itself could be great but there are many negatives. I like both fighters a lot, but DC winning would just make us all want to see JJ come back and dominate both divisions like he could have done if he wasn’t such a disaster. Stipe winning won’t add much to his legacy either though. On the positive side, I loved watching DC at heavyweight in Strikeforce but that’s a long time ago now. According to rumours, this event will be Stipe v DC, DJ v TJ and Cyborg v Nunes - holding up 6 divisions in one night
  6. Official Mixed Martial Arts Thread

    DC vs Stipe is happening after they coach on TUF. https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2018/1/26/16938868/stipe-miocic-daniel-cormier-heavyweight-title-ufc-226-coach-tuf-27-mma-news An admission that both divisions are practically dead imo.
  7. Harvey Weinstein and other Hollywood predators

    Regarding the story of the teenager who was thrown off the bus in the middle of nowhere, you were there, did you not think to speak up or do anything? Sounds like you are complicit in that particular incident.
  8. The Rllmuk Metal Thread Part 2

    RIP Warrel Dane - unique set of pipes, was involved in some of my favourite 2000s-era output. http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/nevermore-and-sanctuary-singer-warrel-dane-dies-of-heart-attack-in-brazil/
  9. Guess the film from the screenshot

    Bit of a guess but could it be Be Kind Rewind? I think Ghostbusters was involved in there somehow.
  10. Post Your Gaming Setups

    An older pic but this is basically it, until I move house.
  11. Sci Fi recommendations

    This is right. I think the only difference is that it does not sync your progress across devices. They would actually be in the MOBI format but kindle just refers to them as your documents, as opposed to a .doc file.
  12. Sci Fi recommendations

    I much preferred Player of Games myself so I would recommend carrying on with that one at least. If that doesn't do it for you, I would move on to something else.
  13. The Rllmuk Metal Thread Part 2

    Anyone listening to the new Wintersun? https://wintersun.bandcamp.com/album/the-forest-seasons "Epic" gets thrown around a lot but it definitely fits in this case. I wasn't familiar with the band until reading a review of this and hearing about their kickstarter "controversy" (including a sauna in the studio budget. Well, they are Finns after all). It's so dense and it's way more orchestrated and polished than I would normally be into but this is just so well done, I can't ignore it.
  14. The Rllmuk Metal Thread Part 2

    My friend's band Jenova just released their debut EP. I'm really impressed with it - reminds me of a modern take on the slower/old school death metal and my pal is a ridiculous DM vocalist. Production is spot on as well. Not sure how to embed Bandcamp stuff so here's a link: Jenova - Bandcamp Metal Ireland Review
  15. Villains - QOTSA

    Deluxe vinyl is on the way. First listen on Tidal happening now.
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