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review 2018-02-20 15:00
The Flanders Road - Claude Simon,Richard Howard

A masterpiece from the greatest of the nouveau roman novelists. You almost experience the book more than merely read it, so adept is Simon at conveying mental and sensual experience.  He looks at only a few episodes from different POVs, each POV giving rise to a slightly different style, like Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style meets the funeral procession in Joyce's Ulysses. His aim is to put you in the heads of his characters as they experience and remember the events in question, all circling around:  Captain de Reixach is shot dead by a sniper during the German advance into Belgium in 1940. Three witnesses,  a relative, an orderly, and his wife's lover, remember him and help the reader understand the man and what led to his death.

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text 2018-02-18 09:53
Tickboxing Screen SF: "Altered Carbon" by Laeta Kalogridis

 

It's a shame they've spent so much money on it as it isn't anything new, the only thing that is new is that you see a couple of willies (even though the willie count is going up generally, we always get an almost embarrassed shot which says look there's a willie in this but lets move back along to the tits, phew) along with the many, many boobs, bums and really as you get closer to the end, stomach churning sexual violence. There is a line spoken by one young actress which made me think that the thirteen year olds watching it (and there will be) will be off kilter for days if not months or years. And of course the scene where one actress fights naked. She seems to be fighting naked because she is a new clone and if she had been born from a vacuum pack I'd have gone with it, but she'd been reclining on a nice comfy chair which could have gone with some nice comfy sci-fi- sweatpants or even a slinky pair of pjs...but no she's naked. Some of the totemic cliches of the first two episodes are part info dump but are mostly faithful to the book. And unless I'm remembering the novel incorrectly, there's at least one Chekov's Gun lying in plain view that had to be there. There is a degree of lingering soft porn that's been overdone (e.g., the Bancroft clone vault scene), and the screenplay and acting are awkward against the expense and complexity of the effects. But I'm four episodes in and so far it's not even close to my expectations. Richard Morgan's novels are heavily invested in violence and sex. They do contrast the violent, casual decadence and immorality of the Meth's vs the street. It's the dark side to privilege that, say, Bank's Culture didn't always address with the same visceral ugliness.

 

 

If you're into good SF, don't read on.

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review 2018-02-13 03:10
THE COLOR OF LAW: THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF HOW OUR GOVERNMENT SEGREGATED AMERICA by Richard Rothstein
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America - Richard Rothstein

Interesting book on how the government ignored the Constitution to create segregate communities of African-Americans and Caucasians.  I learned a lot and much made me angry.  He gives the history of how and when this happened and remedies to correct the past.  At times I didn't understand but he wrote so that I could understand the concept.  He documents everything.  I especially liked the FAQ section.  Worth reading.

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text 2018-02-12 01:28
Reading progress update: I've read 67 out of 516 pages.
Altered Carbon - Richard K. Morgan

"Lot of the hotels on this strip are A.I.” She grinned at me through the smoke. “That’s why no one stays in them. Shame, really. I read somewhere they’re hardwired to want customers the way people want sex. That’s got to be frustrating, right?”

Morgan, Richard K.. Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs Novels) (p. 67). Random House, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

 

...

 

...

 

...

 

Wants to say something about how I'm hardwired, but can't think straight enough to get that done. 

 

I'm not really paying attention to the audiobook: too tired, too nervous about the internship tomorrow. 

 

Anyway, yeah, gonna finish up a couple things, then go to bed and read for a half hour or so before I sleep, I think.

 

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text 2018-02-12 00:24
Listening to the audiobook
Altered Carbon - Richard K. Morgan

I wanna.   And the thing is I have it accessible via Scribd.   

 

Scribd, who didn't make me add my credit card when I got the code for their free six months, so I don't even have to worry about them just spontaneously charging me.   I'm having a  lot of fun so far.   Got the one thing I wanted to get done via homework today, so I'm reading a little.   Or listening, while knitting.  

 

I'm quite enjoying this narrator, Todd McLaren.   

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