Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Ms Southworth, Aug 2, 2017.
A Perfect Hoax by Italo Svevo
The Adventures Of Tintin: Tintin and The Picaros.
Being And Nothingness - I read a chapter every night in bed after the athletics. Makes me feel a bit Nauseous at times.
Although Sartre's book is a best-seller, I think that reading about existential philosophy at night would put me to sleep before it would make me nauseous!
I tend to just look at the pictures mostly, Ms S.
Have you read The Twins At Mallory Towers ?
Great suggestion and a crackin' good read....
but not as risque' as :-
They were totally outrageous by the Upper Fourth...
I finished The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue a couple of weeks ago. It's a YA novel and was a really fun, quick read.
I'm currently about half way through The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen. It's not so much a biography (I've read Anne biographies in the past) as an examination of how she's been perceived throughout the years. It's fascinating.
The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin, I think. I may have read something I have forgotten about after that. Before that I had read Rosemary's Baby also by Ira Levin.
EDIT - The last book I read was actually I Am Legend by Richard Matheson.
I do like horror.
I didn't realize those books were written by the same person. How was the book version of Rosemary's Baby? I think I'd like to read it.
It's almost exactly the same as the film. In that, I mean Polanski really used the book's material in the most brilliant, efficient way. It's a short read and as far as I remember virtually everything in the book is in the film. I really enjoy Levin's style of writing. It's short and snappy but very clever. The Stepford Wives was also great, and much better than both film versions. I also have his book The Boys From Brazil too, which was also made into a film with Richard Burton. I haven't read that though or seen the film.
.... neither did I...??
I think he's had 4 or 5 of his books turned into films which is really quite amazing I think.
I was looking at some of his books on Amazon today. He also wrote Sliver and A Kiss Before Dying, which were not great movies in the 80's or 90's. Reading some of the reviews and descriptions made me want to read Kiss Before Dying.
I'm in good company then.
No, I haven't had the pleasure yet!
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe
Despite the seemingly hyperbolic blurb on the back about "action-packed fist fights and third act betrayals" I was expecting this one to ultimately be a congratulatory celebration with some history thrown in. I'm very glad to say the blurb was accurate.
Howe had clearly researched the material thoroughly, with great knowledge of both the Marvel Universe and the Bullpen itself which is made up of larger than life characters, some of who are as well-known as their creations.
Even though I had a decade or so heavily into comics from the early Eighties through to the mid-Nineties I've never really got into the world of fanzines or conventions. While I knew of and admired many of Marvel's staffers I'd never looked into the dynamics between them beyond hints of some of the more pervasive difficulties (Jim Shooter was editor-in-chief when I first got into Marvel in a big way).
So in a way, reading this book was my loss of innocence. It lifted the veil on the Bullpen which was always presented as its own little cheerfully dysfunctional family all mucking in together, to reveal frequently unhappy people working in isolation at home under very difficult conditions. At least that's how it got to be. It's a linear journey that makes the fallouts all the more sadder from seeing how things started out with people mucking in together to get the job done and keep things running.
The challenges they faced over the years reflected a changing culture: the popularity of superhero comics ebbed and flowed; the economic climate affected sales; the G.I. and Silent Generations gave way to Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers who wanted more of everything: money, power and credit. And they got it - to the detriment of the product. I checked out of reading comics due to the cynical, money making marketing that started in the late-Eighties with multiple spin-offs and crossovers saturating the market, complex chronology and mass resurrections that were done for short-term financial gain. It made superstars out of a generation of Marvel creative teams, but at the expense of the product. Seeing that period chronicled here reinforces that I did the right thing and it seems I wasn't the only one. Now I see the Marvel Cinematic Universe (including the TV shows) going the same saturation route and can only imagine it's going to be the same story on a bigger scale.
There's no airbrushing here and consequently some people come out of it very badly (Todd McFarlane, who reinvigorated Spidey in the late-Eighties springs to mind). Stan Lee - the avuncular Mr. Marvel himself - is not immune to this. That he is depicted as a charming narcissist didn't surprise me, but the implications of the extent of this put him in a very different light. The best example of this is Jack Kirby with whom Stan created the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Avengers, among others who went to his grave very bitter towards his one-time closest friend who he claimed took credit for work and creations that were his.
When reading the first part of the book and realising how much dirt was being exposed I seriously considered if I wanted to continue reading. I wanted to know what happened next, but I was concerned it may taint the affection I have for "my era" (the Bronze Age of Comics). Maybe it has a little. It's certainly added a new layer to those familiar stories. But it's certainly written with enough love to balance it out and make it worth the trip.
The history is here too, of course. The book serves as a three-way biography chronicling the history of the comics industry, the very personal struggles of the creators and the evolution of the Marvel brand and characters. That it's written in a linear way following all these threads creates a layered read. When buying the book I wasn't sure if I'd read it in full. I thought I may dip in and out, either by looking up names in the index or skipping to sections that interested me. As it turned out, the entire book was compelling reading and has to be read all the way through at least once. I want to go for twice.
Whether this would have interested me had I not read the comics is difficult to say. Probably not quite as much. But it's a masterclass in business analysis and biography.
You don't know what you're missing, Ms S.
I'm just coming to the end of Kafka's 'The Trial' which doesn't have any pictures in at all and I'm about to start the Kama Sutra which does have quite a few pictures in, I'm told.
Monaco by Malcolm Folley
(A History Of The Monaco Grand Prix).
Biography of James Hunt (officially endorsed by McLaren).
Lots of good books about James Hunt around, this one is one of the very best, written by Maurice Hamilton, one of the most revered F1 correspondents.
Phew, what a corking good book that Kama Sutra is.
I've just finished reading "The Complete History Of Glue". I couldn't put it down.
Separate names with a comma.