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 Posted:   Jun 22, 2005 - 9:41 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

(Beware of spoilers!)

When it first came out, in 1948 as I recall, the whole story was a flashback, narrated by Jim drunk in a bar. In that version, he ends up killing Bob. In a later revision, which I understand is the version mostly available now, he ends up sort of raping him, instead.

I read the first version as a paperback in the early 60's, then later found out about the second. The novel made a big splash in its original release; now it's more regarded as a sort of period piece. Like "The Boys in the Band," the sensationalism of its subject matter has dwindled over time, so that what was daring then is more of a stereotype now. (Of course that cultural shift derived in large part from such works coming out, as t'were.)

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2005 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   Robyn Hood   (Member)

The Stichin is not fiction, but rather an extensive argument that our civilization, going back to its origins in Sumeria, is alien-inspired.

In other words, Stichin is the new Erich von Daniken. Like we needed either. I don't buy the whole "alien-inspired" thing; the argument that primitive people couldn't've built the pyramids or constructed the Easter Island icons, so aliens must have?

What nonsense. "Primative" doesn't equate to "stupid", and never has. These "ancient wonders" were obviously built be human beings...Stonehenge is a calendar, for heaven's sake, which could've been built with the materials at hand. Obviously, it would have been a difficult undertaking, but not impossible. The idea that aliens "helped out" is not only a ludicrous idea, it's an insult to human intelligence and ingenuity.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2005 - 1:33 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

I take it you haven't read any of these books, then. A case of, as they say in AA, "contempt prior to investigation."

Stichin is a Sumerian scholar, fluent in cuneiform. His idea of people from another planet is not only extensively documented in his work, it even borders on the obsessive.

I'm not all that sure I agree with him. I will opine that the two most ancient civilizations on our planet, the Sumerian and the Egyptian, seemed to begin at the height of their expertise, and to decay from there. Almost as if the first automobile were to be the Rolls Royce, followed in later years by the gradual development of the Model T.

This is part of a movement of awareness abroad in the world, pointing out that there was certainly some intelligence behind multivarious stone structures still standing, the construction of which continues to remain a total mystery to modern science. Whether it was by alien hands I don't know, but there was certainly some kind of civilization long years before recorded history. How it came to degenerate is a moot point; the current hypothesis is that what is referred to as the Deluge may have caused enough damage to it that knowledge simply died out, along with memory, surviving only in the form of myth.

Imagine, if you will, how quickly memory of what we fancifully call "civilization" would disappear, in only a generation or two, if there were to be some similar cataclysm, or, perhaps, a war. The tissue of our existence is more fragile than you think.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2005 - 1:54 PM   
 By:   JJH   (Member)

"Ripples of Battle" by Victor Davis Hanson

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2005 - 10:57 AM   
 By:   Oblicno   (Member)

American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2005 - 8:19 PM   
 By:   Robyn Hood   (Member)

I take it you haven't read any of these books, then. A case of, as they say in AA, "contempt prior to investigation."


I've read von Daniken's CHARIOTS OF THE GODS. Both he and his crackpot theories have been throughly debunked. As has the idea of "ancient astronauts".

Gussying up this idea from time to time, and calling it somthing else reminds me that Creationists are now calling themselves "Creation Scientists", and creationism is now being called "Intelligent Design". But it's the same old snake oil.

 
 Posted:   Jun 27, 2005 - 2:56 AM   
 By:   Essankay   (Member)

I just finished David Robinson's excellent biography of Charlie Chaplin. Highly recommended.

I'm still plowing through Quijote, though.

 
 Posted:   Jun 27, 2005 - 7:03 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)



I've read von Daniken's CHARIOTS OF THE GODS. Both he and his crackpot theories have been throughly debunked. As has the idea of "ancient astronauts".









"Debunked" by who? The not-so- Amazzing Randi or some other know-nothing who nevertheless issues proclamations of certainty.

Yeah, and the Downing St. memo has also been debunked; and the Jim Garrison investigation....
and UFO's, blah blah blah


 
 
 Posted:   Jun 27, 2005 - 7:40 PM   
 By:   Robyn Hood   (Member)

It's still snake oil.

Lemme put it to you this way...

What's a more reasonable explanation...

1.) That human beings have the intelligence and ingenuity to construct complex and wonderful inventions and works of art

or

2.) That aliens have come light-years away just to carve their own heads over and over again on Easter Island, and anally probe some poor shmoes while they're at it.

Personally, I think that human beings are capable of constructing our own marvels, without help from aliens, demigods or gods. At least I give humanity some credit.

And by the way, you misspelled "Amazing".

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 27, 2005 - 7:55 PM   
 By:   bondo321   (Member)

"The Complete Idiot's Guide to National Security"

What can I say, I've found a series written specifically for me

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 27, 2005 - 8:15 PM   
 By:   Robyn Hood   (Member)

The last few books I've read are:

COALESCENT by Stephen Baxter. One of the best SF writers around these days; I've yet to read a book by him that I didn't like. A lot. And this one is one of his best. A gripping look at a secret society and divergent evolution...and it's fun to read, too.

ANGELS AND DEMONS by Dan Brown. I read this to see for myself what all the fuss is about. It was an okay book, but it didn't make me thirst to read THE DA VINCI CODE.

I just started reading NEWTON'S WAKE by Ken MacLeod. So far, not bad at all.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 27, 2005 - 9:07 PM   
 By:   David in NY   (Member)

I'm currently 3/4 of the way through Michael Cunningham's new 'Speciman Days', and am finding it challenging and unpredictable. This past Sunday in The NY Times Book Review, the paper did NOT like the book, and there are certainly valid points in the review. Yet, I do like a bit of a challenge, and Cunningham (so far) hasn't bored me or offended my intelligence.
Has anyone read an early book of his called 'FLESH AND BLOOD' which was his second novel sandwiched between 'A Home at the End of the World' (my favorite of his) and 'The Hours' (his masterpiece). Anyone have any thoughts on 'Flesh & Blood'?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 27, 2005 - 10:06 PM   
 By:   Jim Titus   (Member)

Jimgrim by Talbot Mundy

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2005 - 11:40 AM   
 By:   Nautilus   (Member)

Jimgrim by Talbot Mundy

A Mundy fan, maybe? I would like to hear from you.
If you wish, contact me at mcrl@yahoo.com
Thanks

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2005 - 12:08 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

The Avenger by Frederick Forsyth.

Shadowy operative for hire goes after Bosnian killer who murdered grandson of rich Canadian. CIA officer tries to prevent the hit because the Bosnian is helping the CIA track down Osama Bin Laden (takes place before 9/11, written in 2003).

Most of the book is fiction.


Finished it. Raised an interesting question - do you tolerate a lesser evil to deal with a greater evil? Same question is dealt with often on the British TV series "MI-5" ("Spooks" to you Brits).

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2005 - 12:15 PM   
 By:   Greg Bryant   (Member)

Assassin by David Hagberg.

I know, I know, I should know better. Regardless of my political leanings, I do love these spy novels. But I read so much heavy serious stuff (research journals, dissertations, etc.) that I need some brainless reading to wind down.

Hagberg's character is Kirk McGarvey, world-weary ex-CIA agent. McGarvey (this is his sixth novel) used to do all sort of "wet jobs" for the CIA, but got disillusioned by the plotting, games and politics played by the leaders that would put him, his family and his friends in harms way.

In this one, a Russian ultra-nationalist is vying for power. He has the support of the Russian populace. But if he succeeds becoming president of Russia, he will plunge the country back into communism and Stalinism. McGarvey is secretly approached by Russian moderates to assassinate the guy before he can gain power.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2005 - 7:26 PM   
 By:   David in NY   (Member)

Three of my Favorite Authors (still writing) are: Anne Tyler, Michael Cunningham and John Irving. JOHN IRVING has a new book titled 'Until I Find You' coming out next month in July. Fans of Irving should be happy!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2005 - 8:49 PM   
 By:   Bond1965   (Member)

Struggling through Mark Richard Zubro's latest Paul Turner Mystery "Nerds Who Kill." This one is set at a Sci-Fi Convention. It's a police procedural and not as good as the early Turner mysteries.

I picked it up in Palm Springs for pool side reading and have read it on & off.

I met Mr. Zubro at several signings and he's a good guy so I always make an effort to keep up on his series. It's just a shame I don't work in the public library system anymore where I had better access to his books and the release dates.

James

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2005 - 11:23 PM   
 By:   MarkB   (Member)

Three of my Favorite Authors (still writing) are: Anne Tyler, Michael Cunningham and John Irving. JOHN IRVING has a new book titled 'Until I Find You' coming out next month in July. Fans of Irving should be happy!

Thanks for the reminder, David. Irving is one of my favorite authors and A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANEY is one of my all-time favorite books. It packs quite an emotional wallop and literally left me in tears by the end.

Mark

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 29, 2005 - 12:31 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I too love Irving. THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP is my favorite.

 
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