Wackbag Book Club October 2013 Thread

Which kick ass novel would you like to read?

  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    7

whiskeyguy

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#1
Alright, time to start voting for our October selection. I have not read the first five novels, but have been meaning to for a long time. They are all popular to one extent or another. I threw the description in spoiler tags to save space.


The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall


3.87 of 5 stars · 8,105 ratings · 1,192 reviews
427 pages



I've seen this novel compared to A Clockwork Orange and House of Leaves. It's mentioned a lot. Sounds similar to the movie Momento.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/144800.The_Raw_Shark_Texts?ac=1

Eric Sanderson wakes up in a house one day with no idea who or where he is. A note instructs him to see a Dr. Randle immediately, who informs him that he is undergoing yet another episode of acute memory loss that is a symptom of his severe dissociative disorder. Eric's been in Dr. Randle's care for two years -- since the tragic death of his great love, Clio, while the two vacationed in the Greek islands.

But there may be more to the story, or it may be a different story altogether. As Eric begins to examine letters and papers left in the house by "the first Eric Sanderson," a staggeringly different explanation for what is happening to Eric emerges, and he and the reader embark on a quest to recover the truth and escape the remorseless predatory forces that threatens to devour him.

The Raw Shark Texts is a kaleidoscopic novel about the magnitude of love and the devastating effect of losing that love. It will dazzle you, it will move you, and will leave an indelible imprint like nothing you have read in a long time.


Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthy
4.21 of 5 stars · 37,916 ratings · 4,229 reviews
351 pages



From the author of The Road, which I really enjoyed. I've seen it mentioned on Wackbag multiple times, as well as in other places.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/394535.Blood_Meridian_or_the_Evening_Redness_in_the_West?ac=1

An epic novel of the violence and depravity that attended America's westward expansion, Blood Meridian brilliantly subverts the conventions of the Western novel and the mythology of the "wild west." Based on historical events that took place on the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850s, it traces the fortunes of the Kid, a fourteen-year-old Tennesseean who stumbles into the nightmarish world where Indians are being murdered and the market for their scalps is thriving.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami, Alfred Birnbaum (Translator)
4.15 of 5 stars · 36,373 ratings · 2,302 reviews
400 pages



Murakami is a very popular Japanese author (so this book would be translated). I've seen people use a lot of descriptions for him, but essentially his writing style is described as "weird" by people who read weird stuff a lot. This is probably the biggest gamble on the list... I hear you'll either love or hate his writing style. That's not a problem for someone like me who above all wants to read something "different".

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10374.Hard_Boiled_Wonderland_and_the_End_of_the_World?ac=1

'A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international following. Tracking one man's descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy.'


The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
3.87 of 5 stars · 24,932 ratings · 1,418 reviews
187 pages



Novel written from the perspective of a psychopath. Very popular.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/567678.The_Wasp_Factory?from_search=true

Frank — no ordinary sixteen-year-old — lives with his father outside a remote Scottish village. Their life is, to say the least, unconventional. Frank's mother abandoned them years ago: his elder brother Eric is confined to a psychiatric hospital; & his father measures out his eccentricities on an imperial scale. Frank has turned to strange acts of violence to vent his frustrations. In the bizarre daily rituals there is some solace. But when news comes of Eric's escape from the hospital Frank has to prepare the ground for his brother's inevitable return — an event that explodes the mysteries of the past & changes Frank utterly.


Earth Abides by George R. Stewart
3.95 of 5 · 9,463 ratings · 903 reviews
345 pages



Of course there has to be a post-apocalyptic novel in the mix, and this is supposedly a great one.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/93269.Earth_Abides?from_search=true

A disease of unparalleled destructive force has sprung up almost simultaneously in every corner of the globe, all but destroying the human race. One survivor, strangely immune to the effects of the epidemic, ventures forward to experience a world without man. What he ultimately discovers will prove far more astonishing than anything he'd either dreaded or hoped for.

Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk
3.91 of 5 · 54,757 ratings · 2,076 reviews
289 pages



Alright, I'm throwing this one in as a safety. It's the only one on the list I have read, and thus can personally vouch for. This is my favorite Palahniuk book.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22283.Survivor?from_search=true

Some say that the apocalypse swiftly approacheth, but that simply ain't so according to Chuck Palahniuk. Oh no. It's already here, living in the head of the guy who just crossed the street in front of you, or maybe even closer than that. We saw these possibilities get played out in the author's bloodsporting-anarchist-yuppie shocker of a first novel, Fight Club. Now, in Survivor, his second and newest, the concern is more for the origin of the malaise. Starting at chapter 47 and screaming toward ground zero, Palahniuk hurls the reader back to the beginning in a breathless search for where it all went wrong. This time out, the author's protagonist is self-made, self-ruined mogul-messiah Tender Branson, the sole passenger of a jet moments away from slamming first into the Australian outback and then into oblivion. All that will be left, Branson assures us with a tone bordering on relief, is his life story, from its Amish-on-acid cult beginnings to its televangelist-huckster end. All of this courtesy of the plane's flight recorder.

Speaking of little black boxes, Skinnerians would have a field day with the presenting behavior of the folks who make up Palahniuk's world. They pretend they're suicide hotline operators for fun. They eat lobster before it's quite... done. They dance in morgues. The Cleavers they are not. Scary as they might be, these characters are ultimately more scared of themselves than you are, and that's what makes them so fascinating. In the wee hours and on lonely highways, they exist in a perpetual twilight, caught between the horror of the present and the dread of the unknown. With only two novels under his belt, Chuck Palahniuk is well on his way to becoming an expert at shining a light on these shadowy creatures. --Bob Michaels
 

Neon

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I need to take a closer look but seems like good choices. I read Survivor a few years ago and I remember it being alright. I liked Rant better, but that seems to be a controversial opinion for some reason.
 

whiskeyguy

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I need to take a closer look but seems like good choices.
Phew. :action-sm


I read Survivor a few years ago and I remember it being alright. I liked Rant better, but that seems to be a controversial opinion for some reason.
I haven't read Rant yet, but people have very different opinions on C.P. novels. Some think Invisible Monsters (which I just finished) is his best, and I just can't understand that. Survivor, Fight Club, and Lullaby were all better in my opinion.
 

Neon

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Phew. :action-sm




I haven't read Rant yet, but people have very different opinions on C.P. novels. Some think Invisible Monsters (which I just finished) is his best, and I just can't understand that. Survivor, Fight Club, and Lullaby were all better in my opinion.
I thought Lullaby was alright. I also read Diary but it was overshadowed by the similar-yet-better Duma Key by Stephen King that I just read before it. For some reason other than Fight Club, Rant was the only book of his that still stands out in my mind.
 

whiskeyguy

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#7
The mobi files for all but The Raw Shark Texts are in the usual place. I've read that there are formatting issues with RST as an ebook (and also read that they've been fixed), so not sure what's going on there... I just know it's hard to find in ebook format. Something to keep in mind if you were going to vote for that one, and I'll keep looking around for it.
 

whiskeyguy

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Really? Wow, and I thought I had an amazing selection. Not a Brad Pitt movie to be seen. That must have been my mistake.
 

LiddyRules

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I completely missed September. Will try and make October.
 

Jacuzzi Billy

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#11
If it is dead in October, I probably won't even bother posting choices for November. Someone else can if I decide not to.
 

whiskeyguy

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And I was suppose to save the book club! I at least thought liddy would be in.
 

whiskeyguy

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If it is dead in October, I probably won't even bother posting choices for November. Someone else can if I decide not to.
How could it be dead? I'll ask you once which book you'd least like to read? And then I'll ask you who cares because I don't. Good luck.
 

Neon

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Why would it be dead? Plenty of people read September's book. I'll vote on this poll tomorrow.
 

Neon

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#19
I guess so but it feels dead/dying to me.
Not every book will elicit the same amounts of discussion, I guess. I actually feel like I could talk about Canticle quite a bit. I even started something in its thread right now because I just finished it.
 

DrewDown

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I'm still in. I just haven't had any spare time since the semester started. Canticle seems like something I could talk a lot about if I could just find 5 minutes to read the damn thing.
 

Falldog

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Just because I don't really discuss the books doesn't mean I'm not enjoying reading the titles.
 

Neon

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#25
@whiskeyguy - Shouldn't we be able to vote for more than one book? I put mine down for the first one but I was also going to choose the Muarkami one and Earth Abides.