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Old 05-06-2010, 12:50 PM   #876
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That's part of it. But writers have stylistically improved over the past 200 years or so since Defoe was writing. Most 19th century writers lack refinement and have an inability to even make images (i.e. scraps of prescient detail that actually mean). The notion of the 'real' of course, changed drastically at the end of the 19th century. The details that mattered weren't one of setting, but one of psychology and emotion. It makes sense that reading a style that devalues meaningful detail replacing it with willy-nilly detail would be frustrating to read.
I absolutely agree, but Robinson Crusoe was not one of them.

There was a lot of drivel printed as you point out, just plain drivel. Charles Dickens was one of the only English novelists that wasn't drivel, he wrote in the vernacular, and he was printed early 19th-century. Don't get too carried away condemning anything printed before the late 19th-century.

Voltaire was printed in the 18th century. Probably there was more lost to us printed in the 18th century but burned.

The political tracts are what tends to survive from England from the late-18th to the late-19th centuries. Works from Ireland? No. Works from Scotland? No. Why? Because they were burnt.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:30 PM   #877
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I hated the first half of the book, and kept wondering why I was sticking with it. But most of the reviews that I read raved about it, so I did. And then when it finally dawned on me why the book was titled "Pandora's Star," interest started to pick up and we were off! I'm starting to run out of pages on this one and am expecting a cliffhanger towards the end. I'm thrilled now that he follows this one with another massive story. This one would make a great graphic novel and maybe even movie, IMO. The only thing that bothers me about it is that I think Wilson Kime is a jackass. I like my starship captains to at least seem like refined, intelligent people - not uncouth unrespectable pricks. But I can look past that for the great story.
One of the things I like about Hamilton is the breath of his stories. It does take a while to unfold but once it does there is a massive chain of events in play. Some of the stories are better than others but he ties them up nicely. I love SCi Fi and not many do a space opera better then him. I lost track of how many planets and characters are involved but it is up there. Yes Kimes is a bit of a douche but he redeemed himself a little later on. He belongs behind a desk not on the bridge.
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Old 05-06-2010, 10:35 PM   #878
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eh, I am about 36 pages late. But, Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell was AWESOME. Wonder if anybody else in here mentioned it.
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:58 AM   #879
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Just read two by Greg Iles. Turning Angel, and Devil"s Punchbowl. Both very good. I had never heard of this guy before, but he is pretty good.

Turning Angel- Story about a doctor in his 40"s ends up having an affair with a 17 yr. old, (his babysitter) she ends up dead.

Devil"s Punchbowl-Ex IRA goon running a riverboat casino, with a bunch of illegal action on the side, dogfighting, prostitution.

Both are based on a central character, Penn Cage, in a small southern town on the Missisippi, called Natchez.

(He's not the doctor, or the goon)
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:42 AM   #880
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For my history paper I picked up four books on World War One. Good reads. Also rereading 1776 and A. Lincoln. Summer/spring reading is awesome.


What did you pick up on WWI?
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:12 PM   #881
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What did you pick up on WWI?

I can't remember the title and I cant find where it is but it was an abridged history of the war...annoying me because I reread it about 3 weeks ago, another book on the history of the german people from Rome to now and a third book on the Franco-German war in 1870. History never happens in a vacuum.

Oh,

Bump.

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:15 PM   #882
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Last 3 books I've read.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Rhino Ranch by Larry McMurtry

Amazonia by James Rollins
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:25 PM   #883
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I noticed someone at the top of this page mentioned Robinson Crusoe. I've tried to read that book probably every 6 months for the past 2 or 3 years. Never get more than MAYBE halfway through it and I just lose interest. I really want to but I just can't do it. I was even more pumped one of the times because I read Swiss Family Robinson and then wanted to switch over to Robinson Crusoe and still came to a grinding halt.

I feel like a fat guy trying to do one of the final events in the Ninja Warrior challenge. No matter how many times I try, I'm just not getting up that curved wall thingie and I'm not finishing that damn book.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:27 PM   #884
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:27 PM   #885
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I can't remember the title and I cant find where it is but it was an abridged history of the war...annoying me because I reread it about 3 weeks ago, another book on the history of the german people from Rome to now and a third book on the Franco-German war in 1870. History never happens in a vacuum.

Oh,

Bump.


A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People-Steven E Ozment

The First World War- John Keegan

The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France 1870-1871-Geoffrey Wawro

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:29 PM   #886
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I noticed someone at the top of this page mentioned Robinson Crusoe. I've tried to read that book probably every 6 months for the past 2 or 3 years. Never get more than MAYBE halfway through it and I just lose interest. I really want to but I just can't do it. I was even more pumped one of the times because I read Swiss Family Robinson and then wanted to switch over to Robinson Crusoe and still came to a grinding halt.

I feel like a fat guy trying to do one of the final events in the Ninja Warrior challenge. No matter how many times I try, I'm just not getting up that curved wall thingie and I'm not finishing that damn book.
Haha... I didn't realize they were commenting on my b****ing about that book approximately 6 months ago. Hillarious because I just made an attempt again back at the beginning of Christmas break and failed, as usual.

From the last page in the thread:

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I'm currently forcing myself to get through Robinson Crusoe... so hard to read it really detracts from the story. So wordy that I find myself at the end of a sentence and realize I went into a daze from the run-on and missed the point of the sentence.

Ugh...
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:29 PM   #887
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I noticed someone at the top of this page mentioned Robinson Crusoe. I've tried to read that book probably every 6 months for the past 2 or 3 years. Never get more than MAYBE halfway through it and I just lose interest. I really want to but I just can't do it. I was even more pumped one of the times because I read Swiss Family Robinson and then wanted to switch over to Robinson Crusoe and still came to a grinding halt.

I feel like a fat guy trying to do one of the final events in the Ninja Warrior challenge. No matter how many times I try, I'm just not getting up that curved wall thingie and I'm not finishing that damn book.

I have that same problem with Shakespeare. The plays they want us to read are the ones I can't stand...(Romeo and Juliet...I actually made a comment in class back in HS that I was happy at the end because the two most insipid characters are dead)...

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:33 PM   #888
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Well, that's how they wrote back in those days. They had to tell the story in every detail, there was no video accompaniment. They had to present every detail. If you can't follow it, blame it on your short attention span, not the author's attention to detail.
Apparently I hadn't seen this thread in quite some time.

It's not just the details that kill me about a story. I appreciate the details. It's how they can write a three page run-on sentence just to say "I farted". It's the space filling words that don't provide detail nor significance to the story and just come across as trying to read a story out of a word search. You know the significant words are in there somewhere, they key is just to know what words you're looking for and you might be able to deduce a point.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:35 PM   #889
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I have that same problem with Shakespeare. The plays they want us to read are the ones I can't stand...(Romeo and Juliet...I actually made a comment in class back in HS that I was happy at the end because the two most insipid characters are dead)...

Shakespeare is another that I really wish I could appreciate. I've made an attempt and at the end (or when I declare it the end), my response is usually along the lines of "Really?".

It's the same response I got with The Great Gatsby. I finished it and went... where's the story? What's the point? That's REALLY a classic?
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:39 PM   #890
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And since SirH mentioned some war books, I recently had to read Fox of the North for a Russian History class I was taking. It was a biography of General Kutuzov who fought against Napoleon.

It's a very interesting story for me because the concepts that were being implemented by the generals in the days of Napoleon are still proving to be true today. They knew then concepts like holding ground did not win you wars - preservation of your army and destruction of the enemy army did. For 50 years though, we've thought as long as we hold land (or in some cases, just keep retaking land) then somehow the enemy would give up and we'd win. It was fascinating to read this and think, "Duh".
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:40 PM   #891
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Shakespeare is another that I really wish I could appreciate. I've made an attempt and at the end (or when I declare it the end), my response is usually along the lines of "Really?".

It's the same response I got with The Great Gatsby. I finished it and went... where's the story? What's the point? That's REALLY a classic?

I feel the same way about Hemmingway. My father and brother love the guy. I just dont care for his writing. Or Maya Angelou.

I am not too fond of the newer material from Steven King, either.

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Old 01-23-2011, 09:44 PM   #892
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Try Les Mis next, he goes into French historical minutia that even the French probably forgotten. But the parts that are good make it impossible to put down and worth some digressions, much like my posts.

I started Don Quixote and am really digging it. It reads more like a current novel than I thought it would.
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When you finish that read Foe by Coetzee. It will make the Crusoe suffering somewhat worth while. Coetzee is wonderful in his own right.
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Read anything by Chaucer. If you thought Crusoe would make your brain melt...



Just making sure noone was actually suggesting any of these books. Don Quixote I don't know the story to so I might look that up but the rest were just trying to make my head pop and not serious, right?
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:48 PM   #893
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Just making sure noone was actually suggesting any of these books. Don Quixote I don't know the story to so I might look that up but the rest were just trying to make my head pop and not serious, right?

Chaucer as originally written will make your brain explode. If you have to translate the french, latin or germanic words, you will get a migraine. If you have it already translated, its not too bad.


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Old 01-23-2011, 09:49 PM   #894
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A Mighty Fortress: A New History of the German People-Steven E Ozment

The First World War- John Keegan

The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France 1870-1871-Geoffrey Wawro

I have read the first two books. I have a bunch of WWI books. Its more interesting to me now than WWII and in this post Cold War era, I think its more relevant.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:55 PM   #895
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Have a little Faith - Mitch Albom - This is an amazing short read.

Intercultural Communications in Contexts - Judith Martin / Thomas Nakayama

I wish that I could find some eBooks of Chaucer.
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Old 01-23-2011, 09:56 PM   #896
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I have read the first two books. I have a bunch of WWI books. Its more interesting to me now than WWII and in this post Cold War era, I think its more relevant.

History is repeating. The world of 2011 thinks (much like the world of 1911 thought) that war would never happen. The same things that sparked the first world war are at it again, the only thing that has changed is where the powderkeg is.


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Old 01-23-2011, 09:59 PM   #897
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Have a little Faith - Mitch Albom - This is an amazing short read.

Intercultural Communications in Contexts - Judith Martin / Thomas Nakayama

I wish that I could find some eBooks of Chaucer.
http://www.gutenberg.org/browse/authors/c#a144

This Chaucer? Not familiar with the person so maybe there's another.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:08 PM   #898
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History is repeating. The world of 2011 thinks (much like the world of 1911 thought) that war would never happen. The same things that sparked the first world war are at it again, the only thing that has changed is where the powderkeg is.


I dont know about all that. I certainly dont. What's the saying - only the dead have seen an end of war.

WWI to me is fascinating as Europe stood astride the globe, dominating in every fashion. And they just dismembered themselves. And it was really all about pride. Everyone wanted that war. Everyone wanted the chance to prove that they were the best. The powderkeg wasnt the Balkans, that was just an excuse to get after each other. The powderkeg was in the hearts of the leaders on both sides.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:12 PM   #899
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I dont know about all that. I certainly dont. What's the saying - only the dead have seen an end of war.

WWI to me is fascinating as Europe stood astride the globe, dominating in every fashion. And they just dismembered themselves. And it was really all about pride. Everyone wanted that war. Everyone wanted the chance to prove that they were the best. The powderkeg wasnt the Balkans, that was just an excuse to get after each other. The powderkeg was in the hearts of the leaders on both sides.
That really is the key to why Europe and, moreso, East Europe has never been able to prosper to their maximum potential. All of them were so intent on conquering each other that they were constantly absorbed in war. From England to Russia, it's been a series of contries just attacking each other then reloading whenever they lose to jump back in.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:15 PM   #900
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