For me it was the book Night Work by Thomas Glavinic. After following this man, who wakes up to find that he is literally the last creature left on earth, through a long and scary story he ends up jumping from the highest tower he can find, I snapped and just felt so betrayed by this fictional character. He killed himself how dare he. It almost felt as if he left me behind to fend for myself in that world. For days I'd be doing something when the thought "He just killed himself," would pop into my head and I'd feel so pissed off. Like how fucking dare he take the easy way out. Fuck him.
Now that is powerful writing.
What books had endings that surprised you,made you angry or made you hate the book or character?
I've stumbled upon Books Should Be Free.
A gateway to books and audio books free to download. Some of the books can only be downloaded as e-books but most of them are in audio format as well.
All the books are public domain. So they're old but that just means that the catalogue is filled with the really good classics. Like Sherlock Holmes and book after book of the very first fantasy and vampire novels. There are a lot of non fiction books as well and not only books in English.
It's all (scanning and audio recording) done by volunteers and done well.
If you want a really good laugh you should try out Dear Godchild. I was listening to it while walking the dog and often found myself, standing in the middle of the field, giggling like an idiot.
Everything is running scarily fast now...after I let me poor laptop use 24 hours to download and install all the upgrades it needed.
It's like having a new computer. Only... you know, cheaper :)
I have been working on my Accidental Fatherhood ficlet and it's going well and I managed to get the bunnies to work together to make a better story than they could on their own.
As the laptop chipped away at the upgrades, I worked on finishing the book "Some we love, some we hate, some we eat." It's all about us humans and our weird relationship with animals. Very very interesting!
Simply remove this review as it is in error with you not downloading the fresh copy i insisted. Why review my book after being told to do this, and more annoying why have you never ever responded to any of my e-mails?
And please follow up now from e-mail.
This is not only discusting and unprofessional on your part, but you really don't fool me AL.
Who are you any way? Really who are you?
What do we know about you?
You never downloaded another copy you liar!
The author ends up looking like she's crazy.
Check it out here.
Now I haven't read the book but the virtual bitch slapping is very entertaining.
Now I need to find something new to read.
I'll read anything in English, German or Danish, in almost any genre as long as it's well written. I mostly read sci-fi, thriller and detective novels.
I do not read romance, harlequin or teenage angsty emo touchy-feely-my-boyfriend-is-a-vampire books.
I've heard about the Donald Strachey books by Richard Stevenson. They sound like they might be good... But I'll have to buy them since no library in Denmark has them. So I want to hear if others on my f-list have read and liked them.
Or maybe you guys have some other ideas on what I should/could read?
I tried. I really really did. Honestly.
I got past the teenage bad fanficish first chapter. I couldn't help rolling my eyes when every person was introduced with a physical description. I laughed when the lead character Sookie talked about what she herself looked like and it sounded like one of those erotic "novels" I've read on the internet.
I swallowed the need to scream when the vampires were described as having brilliant white skin.
Let me point something out to all of you *takes deep breath* Vampires do NOT sparkle. They don't. Can you imagine Dracula sparkling while he sucks on Mina's neck? No? Well, that's cause he doesn't fucking sparkle!!!
The tone of the book...well, it sounds like a teenage girl having a small orgasm over a hot guy and then deciding that we all need to read all about it.
What happened to my good old vampires? Guys like the vamps in "The Lost Boys" or Angelus in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".
As you can imagine I won't be finishing True Blood by Charlaine Harris. I'll go read Charlie Huston's Joe Pitt vamp novels.
Now there's a real vamp!
Also...check this out: http://images.suite101.com/
I found it here: http://literaryculture.suite101.com/
The book is written in Scottish dialect and everything is seen from Adam Spark's viewpoint.
Adam Spark is an 18 year old young man. He's slow and kinda simple. He lives with his sister, is a fast-food worker, Queen fan and last in the queue for luck.
He saves a small child and gets hurt. He wakes up and now he has some odd superpowers...or does he? It might all be just Adam's imagination. But the problem is that now he has choose between good and evil in a world that makes it hard to tell the difference.
It's been awhile since I read a book that made me feel so much for the characters.
You really want to like Adam even when he's doing things that are wrong.
I took a few pics of the book to give you a look at the writing style.
( Read more... )
I've just finished Already dead by Charlie Huston.
"Already Dead follows the adventures of a vampyre named Joe Pitt as he tries to figure out a mysterious zombie epidemic stemming around New York. He has connections in Manhattan Underworld which makes him a valuable item for clans. Joe is then asked to find the gothic daughter of a rich man, and is pressured to do the work. Meanwhile, a disease is spreading zombie like symptoms around the town, causing whoever is bitten (or infected) by this disease into "Shamblers", and it's up to Joe to find the mysterious carrier of this sickness..."
It's part of a series and this is the first book. The reason I like this book - and plan to read the other books in the series - is the new spin on the vampire myth. There aren't really any demons in this universe. The reason Joe is a vampire is because he was bitten and through the bite he was infected with the "vyrus". I won't go into details because that would ruin the story for those of you who want to read it.
It's written in a gritty noir style that fits the story very well. The dialog gives a great insight into the characters and I found it funny as well.
Here are a few quotes:
"He cuts a (pizza)slice and slides it into the oven to warm up. I could eat the tomato and garlic if I wanted to. It's not like the garlic would hurt me or anything. I just don't like the shit."
"We stand next to the sign on the gate. NO ADULTS ALLOWED! PARENTS AND GUARDIANS ONLY. This is meant to keep the pederasts outside the fence so they can only watch the action within. It's too late for kids now, but any number of the creeps drifting around the park might be child molesters. If only I could smell that."
"I'd offer you guys some coffee or something, but I don't like you. So."
Looks like I'm going to have to buy the rest of the series because the libraries don't have them. *sighs*
E.M. Forster: A life, volume two; Polycrates’ Ring (1914-1970) by P.N. Furbank
Forster showed Maurice to various friends and Forster’s confidence began to grow. He wrote to Dent: “You can scarcely imagine the loneliness of such an effort as this - a year’s work!” (6 March 1915)
In a letter EMF described Clive as being underdeveloped. ( Ha! take that Clive!)
“The main man in my book is, roughly speaking, good, but Society nearly destroys him, he nearly slinks through his life furtive and afraid, and burdened with a sense of sin. You say “ If he had not met another man like him, what then?” What indeed? But blame Society not Maurice, and be thankful even in a novel when a man is left to lead the best life he is capable of leading!……….. Is it even right that such a relationship should include the physical? Yes sometimes. If both people want it and both are old enough to know what they want- yes. I used not to think this, but now do. Maurice and Clive would have been wrong, Maurice and Dicky more so, Maurice and Alec are all right, some people might never be.” ( letter to Forrest Reid 13 March 1915)
Lytton Strachey wrote to EMF 12 march 1915: “A minor point is that I find it very difficult to believe that Maurice would have remained chaste during those 2 years with Clive. He was a strong healthy youth, and you say that unless Clive had restrained him “he would have surfeited passion”. But how the Dickens could Clive restrain him? How could he have failed to have erections?” (well I think he restrained Maurice with love. Bad bad Clive. Let Maurice have his erections! Damn you.)
From same letter: “ I like enormously Alec’s letters. Is it true that the lower classes use “share” in that sense? - I must find out.”
EMF replied: “ I might have been wiser to let that also (The Alec Scudder part of the novel) resolve into dust or mist, but the temptation’s overwhelming to grant one’s creation a happiness actual life does not supply. Why not? I kept thinking. A little rearrangement, rather better luck . But no doubt the rearrangement’s fundamental.”
Siegfried Sassoon showed some of his own unpublishable writings (read: homosexual) to EMF, who in return lent him Maurice.
Forster was shown a draft of an article about his writing and was ruffled by it. Part of the trouble was that he neither wanted to show Maurice to the writer or have his work summed up without it.
It was EMF’s and his friend Isherwood’s favorite occupation to devise endings to Maurice.
Apparently Maurice was suppose to end when Alec doesn’t go to the Argentine but a friend of EMF asked how Maurice was to find Alec after that and that made EMF add a passage where Maurice ends up in Alec’s arm. (THANK GOD)
Sexuality and literature 5: Distant Desire: Homoerotic Codes and the Subversion of the English Novel in E.M.Forster’s Fiction by Parminder Kaur Bakshi
Chapter 7: Desire Attained: Maurice
Forster wrote Maurice during 1913-14 and revised it in 1919, 1932, 1959-60. Maurice was written as a respite from literary conventions. Unlike the other novels, Maurice flowed effortlessly and compulsively out of Forster’s pen. An explicitly homosexual text, Maurice decodes the motifs of Forster’s other novels. Forster did not plan Maurice; the novel emerged from the pressures of homoerotic desire which refused to be stifled any more. He was suffering from an acute sense of sexual and artistic block, and in this state he went to visit Edward Carpenter in September 1913. Here George Merrill touched Forster on the backside and the contact released the author’s pent-up emotions. The experience brought him sexual release and he poured homoerotic desire into narrative. Maurice is distinct in that it does not fall within the genres of mainstream literature. It is less well constructed that Forster’s other novels, because in this case, the text is determined by content rather than structure.
Maurice progresses from his initial horror of homosexual love, from regarding it as pathological, aberrance, to an affirmation of his own nature. His awakening to homosexuality is gradual and the novel depicts the stages by which he attains his identity. It is Forster’s strength that he maintains his protagonist’s sense of bewilderment and incomprehension to the last. He vividly captures Maurice’s struggle as he grapples first with his own, then society’s prejudice against love between men. Thus homosexuality emerges as natural phenomenon, something that happens in spite of social conditioning and taboos. He describes Maurice’s recognition of his homosexuality as positive, an emergence from the confusion and anguish caused by social mores to a harmonious understanding of himself.
As is typical of a romance, Maurice meets the person he will fall in love with by accident. And on seeing Durham Maurice is strangely attracted to him. Like most lovers Maurice and Clive complement one another; Maurice is athletic while Clive is intellectual. Clive is small, reserved and intimidating because of his mental powers; he belongs to the gentry and being older of the two, he has already traversed the sexual path on which Maurice is still blundering. Maurice does not have Clive’s clarity of mind, but exerts physical control over him; he comes from the class of tradesmen, and being younger he is also pliant in Clive’s hands. Thus Maurice is affectionate and impulsive while Clive channels his energies into an enduring relationship. Forster is at pains to emphasize that there is nothing exceptional about Maurice; he is an average sort of person except for his sexual preference.
Maurice’s friendship with Clive is only a phase. The friendship with him loses its aura, and Maurice is unperturbed when Alec blackmails him over Clive, for “even the Clive of Cambridge had lost sanctity.” Maurice outgrows not only Clive but also his archaic ideas of Platonic friendship. Maurice no longer craves for intellectual companionship, but physical solace. His cry of sexual despair, “Come”, fetches Alec to his bed. His relationship with Alec does not have a period of courtship (like the one with Clive) but starts from the physical. Alec helps him to move beyond the accepted paradigms of homosexuality and create a relationship based on personal need. Clive educated his spirit but with Alec the flesh educates the spirit. Maurice achieves a balance with Alec, a relationship that “twists sentimentality and lust together into love”. With Alec he is able to close the gap between his inner desires and external life. For Maurice, his friendship with Alec has the same status as Clive’s marriage has for him.
Forster stood by the friendship of Alec and Maurice; “A happy ending was imperative”. He wrote in 1915: “I…do feel that I have created something absolutely new, even to the Greeks.” The figure that inspired Maurice was Carpenter. It is interesting that, of all of Forster’s friends, Carpenter approved of the ending; “I was so afraid you were going to let Scudder go at the last – but you saved him and saved the story, because the end though improbable is not impossible and is the one bit of real romance – which those who understand will love.”
The class differences between Alec and Maurice are denoted by “the crack in the floor”. They sleep together but in the morning “class was calling, the crack in the floor must reopen at sunrise.” Maurice identifies totally with Alec when he tells Mr Ducie that his name is Scudder, but it is merely a symbolical gesture.
For Maurice, as indeed for Forster himself, his homosexuality is a source of his unique insights, and his failure in worldly terms is a measure of his success as an individual. With Maurice, Forster’s literary career comes round full circle, ending as he began, by writing explicitly homosexual narratives. Forster was to revise his opinion about his writings over the years and wrote a postscript to an entry of thirty years before, “adding when I am almost 85 how annoyed I am with Society for wasting my time by making homosexuality criminal. The subterfuges, the self-consciousness that might have been avoided.” In his letter to Forrest Reid of
In many films big city life was blamed for weakening the male image. Indeed high tension city life was considered by many to be one of the chief causes of homosexuality in society.
In 1934 there was a “doom book” of 117 names of those performers, actors and directors, deemed “unsafe” because of their personal lives.
In 22 of 28 films dealing with gay subjects from 1962 to 1978, major gay characters onscreen ended in suicide or violent death.
Homosexual feelings and sex were often portrayed as brutal, dangerous and violent. (still is I think!)
It is an old stereotype that homosexuality has to do only with sex while heterosexuality is multi-faceted and embraces love and romance.
In 1950 Coronet magazine called homosexuality “that new menace” and listed “glandular imbalance” as one of its causes. (so people with glandular imbalance who live in big cities are homosexuals)
In 1956 Time quoted psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler as saying “There are no happy homosexuals!”
Richard Burton said: I have never known anyone who took great exception to homosexuals that there wasn’t something very wrong with that person himself.
Invisibility is the great enemy!
Hypnosis was a form of therapy used to cure homosexuals. They would say the same sentence over and over. Example: I am no longer attracted to men.
It would have taken an unusually independent person…to ignore the majority and to delete those elements that stood in the way of his happiness. (Maurice was such a person)
Once the hurdle of self-awareness had been overcome, the next step was to find a like-minded person. This was nearly always a dangerous affair. A man who approached the wrong person might be arrested, blackmailed or disgraced. (Clive says this. Alec takes the risk)
Homosexuals would use literature as a means of communication. (Clive asks Maurice if he has read the symposium. Later he says that he knows Maurice has “read those books in the vac.”)
Slang was used to identify other homosexuals. One could say that he was musical or that he was a nonconformist. (Clive tells Maurice that he is a nonconformist)
In the 1900s, red neckties and handkerchiefs were a clear signal to other homosexuals. Red and green carnations were another sign. (The doctor wears a red carnation AFTER Alec and Maurice have slept together)
Edward Carpenter, who was ordained in 1869, unfrocked himself five years later, partly to end the crucifixion of his physical needs. Carpenter was a friend of Forster (Clive also sheds his religion)
The Symphonie pathetique:
It was dedicated to Tchaikovsky’s young lover Bobyk. Forster suggested that Tchaikovsky’s sexuality was audible encoded in the bars of the symphony. (I think it’s interesting that Maurice says it’s jolly when he plays it too fast and Clive says that it can’t be played again. He says: You have to hear it all the way to the end.)
I've also been reading Siegfried Sassoon's diaries. He was a good friend of E.M.F and liked him very much. I am just going to quote Sass:
Sassoon mentions an unpublished novel. It was written around the same time as A passage to India (fits with Maurice it took E.M.F a long time to finish A passage...partly because he started writing Maurice). Sassoon writes that other friends of E.M.F mentioned it. But he hadn't read it himself. I couldn't find it again but it's some time around 1924-1925.
Funny fact: James Wilby played S.Sassoon in the movie Regeneration. S.Sassoon was romantically involved with Ivor Novello. Jeremy Northam played Novello in Gosford Park a movie James Wilby was also in.
I just finished reading Graham Robb’s Strangers: homosexual love in the nineteenth century. I thought that you might want some facts. 1)The Fact that sodomy was punishable by death in 2)Ways to see if someone is a homosexual (in the nineteenth century): Homosexual men were unable to whistle or spit probably. For lesbians, the diagnostic process was simply reversed: they smoked, had deep voices and big muscles, liked sport, and were able to spit, whistle, curse and throw. It was believed that the inability to urinate in a straight line was a sign of homosexuality. The classic sign of homosexuality was the funnel-shaped anus. A fondness for stable lads and grooms, beating up servants, destroying flowers, parting one’s hair in the middle, suffering from muscular spasms could all be signs of homosexuality. Mantegazza had a theory that the genital nerves of homosexuals ended in the anus. In January 1852, a man confessed his sinful leanings to a priest, he was advised to abstain from sleep and food until his soul was clean. He died of starvation in February. In 1935, Dr Louis Max induced vomiting while showing pictures of naked men. After an injection of testosterone, the naked men were replaced with women. Similar therapies were still routinely used in
This must have given rise to some anxious self-examinations.
3)Examination and treatment: Examination of pederasts (homosexuals): For this, the individual is placed in a well-lit room made to bend his torso so that the head is almost touching the floor, the buttocks are parted with one hand, one notes the appearance of the anus, then one introduces a finger into the orifice, so as to appreciate fully the resistance of the sphincter.
I just finished reading Graham Robb’s Strangers: homosexual love in the nineteenth century. I thought that you might want some facts.
1)The Fact that sodomy was punishable by death in
2)Ways to see if someone is a homosexual (in the nineteenth century): Homosexual men were unable to whistle or spit probably. For lesbians, the diagnostic process was simply reversed: they smoked, had deep voices and big muscles, liked sport, and were able to spit, whistle, curse and throw. It was believed that the inability to urinate in a straight line was a sign of homosexuality. The classic sign of homosexuality was the funnel-shaped anus. A fondness for stable lads and grooms, beating up servants, destroying flowers, parting one’s hair in the middle, suffering from muscular spasms could all be signs of homosexuality.
Mantegazza had a theory that the genital nerves of homosexuals ended in the anus.
In January 1852, a man confessed his sinful leanings to a priest, he was advised to abstain from sleep and food until his soul was clean. He died of starvation in February. In 1935, Dr Louis Max induced vomiting while showing pictures of naked men. After an injection of testosterone, the naked men were replaced with women. Similar therapies were still routinely used in
The short story Ansell (1903):
The hero is a garden boy whose relationship with the narrator echoes Forster’s own childhood friendship, as described in Marianne Thornton and fictionalized in Maurice, with a garden boy of that name. (Reading this short story I couldn’t help noticing that Ansell has a few things in common with Alec. They are both gamekeepers for instance. Maybe this character was a forerunner for Alec?)
Forster showed one of his short stories with a homosexual content to Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson. He was disgusted by it and this had shaken E.M.F so severely as to retard work on Maurice. “How dependent on approval!” is E.M.F’s diary comment. But
In the 1960’s E.M.F executed “a grand review” of stories he thought not good enough to survive…A number of stories were destroyed. (DAMN)
The novels which meant most to Forster were The longest journey and Maurice.
Different E.M.F quotes from the book:
I should have been a more famous writer if I had written or rather published more, but sex has prevented the latter… (Diary 31 December 1964)