Books I've been reading

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Books I've been reading

Post  Constance on Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:21 am

I finished my books by Anchee Min and am now reading Xinran.

First, a very sad book that profiles terrible lives of Chinese women.




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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:46 pm

Still engrossed in the bleak December Oslo cityscapes of Jo Nesbo's Inspector Harry Hole yarns:

Just started The Redeemer. Here's The Guardian review:

The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo

Ben East The Observer, Sunday 25 October 2009


The Redeemer by Jo Nesbo

A maverick detective with a drink problem and predilection for pop music, solving murder cases in the underbelly of a beautiful city: Jo Nesbø's Harry Hole is so Rebus it hurts. But for all the crime cliches and hilarious cliffhangers, The Redeemer is an enjoyably chilly manhunt through Oslo's wintry streets, as the curmudgeonly hero tracks down a Croatian hitman who has seemingly shot the wrong brother. For once, this isn't a gangland murder; it is set instead amid the more refined circles of the Norwegian Salvation Army. But what could have been a taut 350-page thriller is bogged down by reams of unnecessary explanation and masses of psychiatric babble. This fourth instalment in the Hole series is often great fun, but overlong.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  sil on Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:35 am

jhgf


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  sil on Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:01 am

afro


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Sun May 01, 2011 6:27 pm

Sadly, I've reached the last of Jo Nesbo's Inspector Harry Hole crime thrillers currently available in English translation, viz The Leopard. Here's The Guardian's review:

The Leopard by Jo Nesbø

Laura Wilson goes on a Nordic murder spree

The Guardian, Saturday 22 January 2011

Since The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was published in 2008, there's been something of a Nordic noir bonanza in this country, with every new Scandinavian crime novel, whether good, bad or indifferent, being engulfed in a blizzard of hyperbole, and every author trailed as "the next Stieg Larsson". While this label is neither intelligent nor helpful, it is probably fair to say that, in terms of both critical and commercial success, Norwegian Jo Nesbø is the writer to whom it is the most applicable.


Leopard by Jo Nesbo, translated by Don Bartlett

However, those who did not appreciate Larsson's work need not fear: in both style and content, Nesbø is entirely his own man. The Leopard, the sixth Harry Hole novel to be published in Britain, is a big and meaty, but easily digestible, slab of a read, ably translated by Don Bartlett. At first glance, 610 pages might seem a little (or a lot) on the long side for what is, in essence, a serial killer/maverick cop story, but the labyrinthine plot and the large canvas (Hong Kong and Africa as well as Norway, and several points in between) justify the word-count.

As with Nesbø's other books, all the characters, both heroes and villains, are toting phenomenal amounts of personal baggage, none more so than Hole himself. He has a full checklist of the character requirements of the noir hero – being melancholic, alcoholic, intuitive, uncompromising, anti-authority and, although often unsanitary, astonishingly attractive to women (including his stunningly beautiful colleague Kaja, who, naturally, has a raft of problems of her own). He also has the requisite backstory, in the form of a lost love and a dying father with whom he has unfinished emotional business. Apart from this, he has near-superhuman powers of recovery, whether from a mammoth hangover, an avalanche, or the attentions of a frenzied psychopath. And boy, does he need them.

The story begins with Hole being recalled (somewhat implausibly) from Hong Kong, where he has fled after his last, traumatic case. He is in hock to the triads over gambling debts, and self-medicating with opium to stop drinking. Lured back by the lovely Kaja with the prospect of seeing his father, he reluctantly agrees to investigate the case of two women who have been found murdered in a way so spectacularly ingenious and revolting that it is the stuff (literally, in my case) of nightmares. With no forensic evidence or even a single clue, and the media circling like hungry sharks, Hole finds himself caught in the middle of a police turf-war over power and jurisdiction (not that this bothers him – he simply alienates both sides in equal measure).

The only connection between the victims is that they spent the same night in an isolated mountain hostel, and when another visitor is found murdered, it becomes clear that the killer is determined to pick off the rest of the guests. As well as making good use of that particularly Scandinavian USP the weather (or, more specifically, snow, snow and more snow), which provides dramatic plot developments in ways that writers who set their books in more temperate climes can only dream of, Nesbø deploys all the key ingredients of a cracking good thriller with expertise and verve. The ticking clock, the tension expertly racheted ever upwards, the changing scenery, the constantly shifting goalposts and his effortless, triumphant outpacing of the reader's ability to guess what's going to happen will keep you gripped to the last page. Suspend disbelief, immerse yourself and enjoy the ride. Oh, and don't have nightmares.

Laura Wilson's A Capital Crime is published by Quercus.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

Harry is an increasinbly battered figure: malformed jawbone and missing the third finger of his right hand, but- for all his many physical, emotional and psychological problems- he's still smarter than everybody around him.

I'm hoping that I won't have to wait too long before the English translation of the next Hole thriller, but when I've finished The Leopard I'm going to console myself with Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, starting with this:


The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo- Stieg Larsson.


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:12 pm

I've sought out some light relief from all the violence and gloom of Nordic detective fiction in Ben Aaronovitch's not altogether successful attempt to write a Harry Potter tale for adults:



Synopsis

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit - we do paperwork so real coppers don't have to - and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England. Now I'm a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden ...and there's something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair. The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it's falling to me to bring order out of chaos - or die trying.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Mon May 09, 2011 6:17 pm

Just started this. Moderately interesting so far:

The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal

The potter believes in the existential hum of objects, but this tale of a family heirloom misses the bigger picture

Rachel Cooke The Observer, Sunday 6 June 2010

Edmund de Waal is a potter, perhaps the most famous potter working in Britain today. His bowls and beakers, thrown in porcelain and glazed in celadon, are domestic, – in theory, you could fill them with hot tea – but they also exist in a more contemplative realm; arranged in pale lines and marked by various dents and asymmetries, they whisper a story of limitless but rather fragile possibility. This is what they say: that the potter may throw any shape he likes; that no two of his pots will ever be precisely the same; and that a pot may disappear – crash! – in an instant. I find them exquisite, but I'm not sure that I would ever want to own a row. As an ever-present metaphor for human endeavour, I fear they would slowly drive me mad.


The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund De Waal

In his memoir, de Waal alludes early on to the existential hum some objects emit. Things do "retain the pulse of their making" and this intrigues him: "There is a breath of hesitancy before touching or not touching, a strange moment. If I choose to pick up this small white cup with its single chip near the handle, will it figure in my life?" De Waal believes the way objects are handed on has as much to do with storytelling as happenstance. You know the drill: this belonged to your aunt, who looked just like you. But such anecdotes, prettified over time, obscure as well as reveal and this worries him (he's always worrying).

De Waal has inherited 264 Japanese netsuke – wood and ivory carvings of animals, plants and people, none larger than the palm of his hand – from his beloved great uncle Iggie, and though they're a relatively recent arrival at his London home, already he fears their story is growing too "poised". A netsuke is a "small, tough explosion of exactitude". It deserves exactitude in return. "I want to know what the relationship has been between this wooden object that I am rolling between my fingers and where it has been." So, leaving his studio in the care of others, off he went. He would tell their story.

Where does it begin? Paris. The netsuke were bought from a dealer there in the 1870s by Charles Ephrussi, a relative of his great grandfather, Viktor. Charles, scion of the fabulously rich Jewish banking family and one of the models for Proust's aesthete Charles Swann, is a collector who once bought a still life of asparagus from Manet at a price so generous the artist sent him a canvas of a further, single stalk in gratitude. Charles bought the netsuke during the craze for Japonisme. They were kept in a black lacquer vitrine until, one day, Charles sent them to Vienna as a wedding present for his cousin Viktor. Why send these rather than, say, a vase? De Waal speculates that they must have been lost among all the tapestries and the Renoirs; probably, Charles had outgrown them.

But at Viktor's home, they were equally out of place. "It looks like the foyer of the opera," said his bride, Emmy, on being shown her new apartment. The vitrine and its homely curiosities – netsuke were originally designed as toggles – were banished to her dressing room, where, in due course, her children would play with them while she chose her jewellery. And there they stayed, a cuckoo in the nest, as the first world war began, and ended, and then, as Austria, unable to feed its people, allowed antisemitism to take hold. In March 1938, the Ephrussi home was invaded by men in swastika armbands. Some things were stolen, others destroyed, but the netsuke remained mysteriously intact.

After the Anschluss, the family fled. Emmy took her own life in the Ephrussi country house in Czechoslovakia. Viktor and his children escaped elsewhere: his daughter, Elizabeth (de Waal's grandmother), took her father to Tunbridge Wells. After the war, she travelled to Vienna to discover what remained of the family's possessions. Not much was the answer, but a maid, Anna, saved the netsuke from the Nazis, hiding them in her mattress.

In 1947, Elizabeth's brother, Ignace (Iggie), visited Tunbridge Wells between postings for an international grain exporter. Should he go to the Congo or to Japan? They looked at the netsuke together and his decision was made for him. And it was in Japan, in 1991, that de Waal first set eyes on his future inheritance, now repatriated by Iggie. The young potter was studying in Japan and every week he lunched with his great uncle. Afterwards, they examined the netsuke, one by one. The hare with the amber eyes. A tiger. A tumble of tortoises.

De Waal has researched his story with obsessive diligence and he tells it with an imaginative commitment – searching, yet wide-eyed – sadly lacking in some of our more wizened biographers. He is wonderful on place, forever turning doorknobs, real and imaginary, and inviting the reader in. But I could not understand, and became annoyed by, his conviction that he is not in the business of memorialising the diaspora. There is something precious about this, as though such territory is beneath him. "I don't really want to get into the sepia saga business, writing up some elegiac Mitteleuropa narrative of loss," he says.

The question is: do the netsuke enable him to resist such a tale? No. Their survival is wondrous, but I don't think their presence turns The Hare With Amber Eyes from memoir into book of ideas, as de Waal seems to believe. Sometimes, they are more distraction than narrative thread and the need to return to them often bogs the author down; there are, after all, only so many ways to describe the feel of carved wood and only so many times such an image can be made to work as a symbol of patinated memory without the reader feeling that a point is being laboured. I loved the story of the Ephrussis, but I am mystified by de Waal's insistence on gilding it with his own flimsy abstractions. There is no shame in telling people what happened to Jewish families in the last century. Such elegies, sepia or otherwise, grow every day more vital.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Constance on Mon May 09, 2011 10:56 pm



Looks like a very interesting book. I made a note to look for it.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Constance on Mon May 09, 2011 11:01 pm

Broken Earth by Stephen Moser

Published in 1983, this is the story of Moser's year, 1979-80, of living in a village in the Pearl River delta.
This was a time when few outsiders were allowed in China, let alone given permission to reside there, and in a peasant village no less.

This is the story of the daily gride of live as lived by Chinese peasants.

Fascinating. Epic.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Constance on Mon May 09, 2011 11:03 pm


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Constance on Mon May 09, 2011 11:05 pm

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Fri May 27, 2011 12:24 am

I've temporarily abandoned "The Hare With the Amber Eyes" because the author's main point somehow eludes me. It's an interesting enough sideways-on take on 20th c history for a few chapters, but I think perhaps you have to be a potter or a sculptor yourself to attach quite so much emotional importance to the subject matter.

I'll get back to it eventually, I suppose.

As light relief, I've resumed my reading blitz on Nordic detective fiction.

Stieg Larsson's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" eventually lived up to the hype in the last third of the book, which I found absolutely gripping.

So much so that I've moved on to the second volume in Larsson's Millennium Trilogy: "The Girl Who Played With Fire". Here's the Guardian review:

Not your normal Swedish sleuth

The late Stieg Larsson's detective series fully deserves its success, says Louise France

Louise France The Observer, Sunday 15 February 2009

Fans of Swedish crime fiction know where they are with their sleuthing heroes: take one curmudgeonly detective, add a dogged work ethic, failing marriage and bleak world view, and you have an enduringly popular formula. From Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö's 1960s creation Martin Beck to Henning Mankell's bestselling Inspector Wallander in the late 90s, these dour but decent coppers have become as synonymous with Sweden as Ikea sofas and crispbread.


The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

In this compelling thriller, currently riding high in the bestseller charts, Stieg Larsson brilliantly reinvents the Nordic detective. First, his hero is Lisbeth Salander, a tattooed, pierced, vengeful, bisexual misfit. Second, she's not actually a detective, but a mathematics-obsessed computer hacker. Suddenly, the male preserve of Swedish crime fiction seems strangely quaint and middle aged. It has been infiltrated by an exotic new heroine, part Lara Croft superhero, part disdainful twentysomething.

This is the second in Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy of novels. We first met Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, in which she teamed up with Mikael Blomkvist, a liberal-leaning investigative journalist who was delving into the morally bankrupt world of big business.

This time around, Larsson's theme is misogyny and the harm done to women by corrupt, evil men. His plot focuses on the Swedish sex-trafficking trade. Two writers are found dead in their apartment, days before their exposé of the sex industry is to be published in Blomkvist's magazine, Millennium. He suspects the deaths have something to do with their investigation.

When Salander is implicated - her fingerprints are found on a weapon found near the crime scene - he is torn: should he trust the secretive, troubled young woman who has suddenly disappeared? A third body is uncovered, again with links to Salander, and a media witch hunt gathers pace, aided by the prejudices of both the police and public. The reader, too, begins reluctantly to question Larsson's mysterious central character. How much do we really know about her?

What follows is a combination of urgent, multilayered thriller, traditional police procedural and articulate examination of the way a supposedly open-minded country like Sweden treats both its vulnerable women and children in care. Larsson orchestrates an ambitious array of characters, from homophobic policemen to indestructible gangsters to ambitious female media executives with harmonious open marriages (we are in Sweden, after all).

His skill is partly in his patience. This is a hefty book, but he constructs his suspenseful plot without ever ramping up the melodrama. Like most crime novels, there are a few implausible coincidences, but Larsson makes us care too much about his characters to hold these flaws against him.

The Girl Who Played With Fire is that rare thing - a sequel that is even better than the book that went before. Larsson was a journalist on a campaigning magazine and he apparently wrote the books every evening after work. He relished his task so much that it wasn't until the third one (The Girl Who Kicked Hornets' Nests, due to be published here in September) was almost finished that it occurred to him that they might be published. This is perhaps why they demand to be read in great, hungry chunks. Larsson began writing the trilogy as a hobby and his passion for his characters and subject is clear. He seems to mean what he writes.

Tragically, Larsson never got to see his success: he died, aged 50, from a heart attack in 2004, just before the first novel came out. As The Girl Who Played with Fire comes to a close, we're kept guessing as to whether one of crime fiction's most unusual and modern protagonists will survive. The sorrow is that even if she does, we know it will only be for one more book.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:53 pm

The second book of Larsson's Millennium Trilogy more than lived up to the plaudits heaped upon it and the gripping climax had me literally biting my nails.

Each book is self-contained, but taken together they tell one cohesive narrative: the story of how the anti-heroine Lisbeth Salander came to be so...unusual.

I've just picked up the third (and sadly, with Larsson's untimely death at the age of just 50, the last) of the series:



Here's The Guardian review:

********************************************************************************

The Girl Who kicked the Hornets' Nest by Stieg Larsson

The final book in Stieg Larsson's posthumously published Millennium trilogy seals his status as a master storyteller, says Nick Cohen

Nick Cohen The Observer, Sunday 4 October 2009


‘Moral clarity’: Stieg Larsson. Photo: David Lagerlof

You can never predict which writers will survive, but tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of readers believe that Stieg Larsson's Millennium series places him in that small group of thriller writers whose books future generations will enjoy long after many "serious" producers of literary fiction have been forgotten. An unsympathetic critic might look at The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, the final volume of the 2,100-page trilogy, and wonder why. Unlike Raymond Chandler or John le Carré, Larsson cannot take you to another place with a few strokes of the pen. The novel opens with Lisbeth Salander lying in a remote homestead with a bullet in her head. She has just taken an axe to her father, Alexander Zalachenko, a KGB defector whose sex trafficking business is protected by a corrupt sect in the Swedish intelligence service. She was provoked: Zalachenko had tried to bury her alive. Somewhere in the woods, the hero, Mikael Blomkvist, has confronted Zalachenko's hit man, a giant with a taste for snapping necks. Yet Larsson cannot conjure up a menacing atmosphere in a remote Scandinavian forest and does not try. The action takes places in a "white farmhouse somewhere near Nossebro", he says, and leaves it at that.

The rest of the book is set in the police stations and newspaper offices of Stockholm, as the secret police try to protect themselves by rigging the trial of Salander, who was badly injured but not killed by the bullet. For all the local detail Larsson offers, a foreigner cannot get a sense of the city from reading the Millennium trilogy, whereas people who have never been to Edinburgh feel they know it from reading Ian Rankin. Salander herself is a magnificent creation: a feminist avenging angel. But elsewhere Larsson's characterisation is perfunctory. All the decent journalists, police officers and secret servicemen who help Blomkvist bust open the conspiracy are essentially the same: good Swedish social democrats, sexually liberated and tolerant of everything except the abuse of human rights.

Quite rightly, Larsson's admirers do not care. His phenomenal, if sadly posthumous, success comes from a combination of moral clarity and narrative skill rather than descriptive ability. In the second volume, The Girl Who Played With Fire, he announces his creed when he has a reporter tell Blomkvist he wants to go after the men shipping Russian girls into Sweden:

"Blomkvist smiled. He had never met Svensson before, but he felt at once that he was the kind of journalist he liked, someone who got right to the heart of the story. For Blomkvist the golden rule in journalism was that there were always people who were responsible. The bad guys."

As a left-wing reporter who had investigated neo-Nazi gangs, and lived in fear of murderous reprisals, Larsson had learned to mistrust non-judgmental pieties about there being "good and bad in all of us". Hard-won experience taught him to avoid the shades of grey, which reduce so much contemporary fiction – and political thought – to a formless blur. Specifically, Larsson believed misogyny to be an unpardonable evil, and wove a feminist argument through the trilogy with enormous skill. All thriller plots are ludicrous when you to stop to think about them, but Larsson uses male hatred of women to make his uncomfortably plausible.

Without giving too much about the final volume away, it turns on a secret police plot to keep Salander quiet by duping a pompous prosecutor into seeking a court order to confine her to an asylum. The prosecutor isn't part of the conspiracy. But he has already confidently if falsely accused her of three murders and fed the press with stories that she was a member of a satanic lesbian cult. He does not repent his mistake but turns on his victim: "Everything had gone haywire, and he had found himself with a completely different murderer and a chaos that seemed to have no end in sight. That bitch Salander."

When the crooked psychiatrist who had tried to drive the young Salander mad by keeping her tied to a hospital bed prepares to take her back under his control, he gloats that he "had not become an internationally respected psychiatrist for nothing. He could sense a cold shadow passing through the room, and interpreted this as a sign that the patient felt fear and shame beneath her imperturbable exterior. He was pleased that her attitude to him had not changed over the years. She's going to hang herself in the district court."

I cannot think of another modern writer who so successfully turns his politics away from a preachy manifesto and into a dynamic narrative device. Larsson's hatred of injustice will drive readers across the world through a three-volume novel and leave them regretting reaching the final page; and regretting, even more, the early death of a master storyteller just as he was entering his prime.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Lee Van Queef on Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:00 pm

I've most recently read the Bible. Not sure what is next, I do have the Qu'ran as well.

What's Ken Follet like? A number of people I know say they greatly enjoy his books, but I have also been warned that the writing is not all that.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Doc Watson on Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:17 am

Simulacrum wrote:I've most recently read the Bible. Not sure what is next, I do have the Qu'ran as well.

What's Ken Follet like? A number of people I know say they greatly enjoy his books, but I have also been warned that the writing is not all that.
I have read a few , they are good readable stories , but after a while he becomes predictable.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:40 am

Simulacrum wrote:I've most recently read the Bible

Perhaps you can explain something that's always puzzled me.

What is the distinction between the two terms applied to Jesus in the New Testament...?

Son of Man
Son of God

A distinction there must be, but on the face it the two terms appear to be contradictory.


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Lee Van Queef on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:14 am

eddie wrote:
Simulacrum wrote:I've most recently read the Bible

Perhaps you can explain something that's always puzzled me.

What is the distinction between the two terms applied to Jesus in the New Testament...?

Son of Man
Son of God

A distinction there must be, but on the face it the two terms appear to be contradictory.


Even Jesus described himself as both the 'Son of Man' and the 'Son of God'. I imagine he could be both. 'Son of Man' is a reference to Jesus' humanity, it doesn't necessarily have to be a denial of his deity. By becoming a man, Jesus did not cease being God (or His creation), instead he gained the title 'Son of Man'.... It seems they are not mutually exclusive.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Lee Van Queef on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:18 am

OK, I typed in 'son of man son of god' into google and got all sorts of responses. If you're interested, it's probably best to have a gander there.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:20 am

Simulacrum wrote:Even Jesus described himself as both the 'Son of Man' and the 'Son of God'. I imagine he could be both. 'Son of Man' is a reference to Jesus' humanity, it doesn't necessarily have to be a denial of his deity. By becoming a man, Jesus did not cease being God (or His creation), instead he gained the title 'Son of Man'.... It seems they are not mutually exclusive.

It's not me you have to convince, it's Rene Magritte:


The Son of Man, 1964.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Lee Van Queef on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:31 am

I don't have to convince anyone. I am not a Christian. In fact, I wasn't even Christened, which probably means I'm never gonna be saved. affraid

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:35 am

Simulacrum wrote:I don't have to convince anyone. I am not a Christian. In fact, I wasn't even Christened, which probably means I'm never gonna be saved. affraid

I'd imagine God would be less perplexed about the lack of a formal baptismal ceremony that the furious and persistent afternoon Onanism.

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Lee Van Queef on Sun Jun 26, 2011 5:51 am

eddie wrote:
Simulacrum wrote:I don't have to convince anyone. I am not a Christian. In fact, I wasn't even Christened, which probably means I'm never gonna be saved. affraid

I'd imagine God would be less perplexed about the lack of a formal baptismal ceremony that the furious and persistent afternoon Onanism.

Ah, I'm guessing you were in the Boy Scouts in the the 1960s? Shocked

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  Lee Van Queef on Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:02 am

Simulacrum wrote:
eddie wrote:
Simulacrum wrote:I don't have to convince anyone. I am not a Christian. In fact, I wasn't even Christened, which probably means I'm never gonna be saved. affraid

I'd imagine God would be less perplexed about the lack of a formal baptismal ceremony that the furious and persistent afternoon Onanism.

Ah, I'm guessing you were in the Boy Scouts in the the 1960s? Shocked

P.S: I'm making a reference to the famous 'It is better to cast your seed in the belly of a whore than to spill it on the ground' line that was inserted in the Boy Scouts handbook in the 1960s.

In all seriousness, the Bible (in my reading) doesn't seem to condone masterbation. Although it does say lusting is a bad thing, which makes it a tad more tricky. bounce

Lee Van Queef

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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:48 pm

Some undemanding, sunny light relief from gloom of Nordic detective fiction:


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Re: Books I've been reading

Post  eddie on Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:13 pm



Michael Palin has kept a diary since newly married in the late 1960s, when he was beginning to make a name for himself as a TV scriptwriter (for the Two Ronnies, David Frost etc). Monty Python was just around the corner. This first volume of his diaries reveals how Python emerged and triumphed, how he, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, the two Terrys - Jones and Gilliam - and Eric Idle, came together and changed the face of British comedy. But this is but only part of Palin's story. Here is his growing family, his home in a north London Victorian terrace, which grows as he buys the house next door and then a second at the bottom of the garden; here, too, is his solo effort - as an actor, in Three Men in a Boat, his writing endeavours (often in partnership with Terry Jones) that produces Ripping Yarns and even a pantomime. Meanwhile Monty Python refuses to go away: the hugely successful movies that follow the TV (his account of the making of both The Holy Grail and the Life of Brian movies are pager-turners), the at times extraordinary goings on of the many powerful personalities who coalesced to form the Python team, the fight to prevent a American TV network from bleeping out the best jokes on US trasmission, and much more - all this makes perceptive, funny and rivetting reading.


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Re: Books I've been reading

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