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Thread: Which Book?

  1. #1
    PeteLeo
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    Which Book?

    A very simple, direct question (unlike most of my verbose postings): what book do you absolutely love that no one else seems to have ever heard of? PeteLeo.

  2. #2
    PD99
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    Book

    Well, I really liked a book called THE CHRYSALIDS that I read quite a few yrs back. Whenever the conversation steers towards books and I'm inclined to mention it, no one has heard of it. However, they are generally aware of the author John Wyndham and his better known story THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS.

  3. #3
    Gallicrow
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    Re: Book

    My favourite book is actually non-fiction. It's called "On Growth and Form" and was written by a Scottish scientist called D'Arcy Thompson. The book considers the structure and shape of living things from an engineering / mathematical viewpoint and it's an astonishing piece of work.

    When I originally bought it about twenty years ago it cost me 50, but there are reprints available now for about 5.

  4. #4
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Book

    Two books:

    African Genesis by Robert Ardrey. This was somewhat well known in the anthropological circles when it first came out in the late 60s, but is guaranteed to be growing moss on used book stores these days. It's a rather dry subject matter if you're not into anthropology, but the author was a playwright, so he infuses some pacing and style into the work. Basically the plot is the real life fraud and obstinance of self serving anthropological experts in the face of new discovery.

    The 2nd is a little gem. Now I'm not one of those sci-fi nutcases who go to conventions and know sci-fi like some of y'all know 50's boxing, so it might be a classic in that rarified world.

    The name is The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester. It's a fairly short and easy read. I have no idea how I came on the book as I don't recall buying it. The plot is futuristic, but oddly enough doesn't rely on fantastic machines and technology to set the stage. Instead the people in the novel go about their business just like we do today. Woven into that setting is a competition between the ruling class of oppressives and the rebellious resisters. It's sort of like a spy novel in that there are executions of a very creative sort and assassinations. It's good and basic enough that it could even serve as a CIA primer. The top oppressors can read minds and are planted everywhere to grab plotting miscreants and haul them away away to the gulag based on what thoughts they pick up. The top resisters, "Espers," can also read minds and spend their time avoiding the "Peepers" with cat and mouse moves. The main character gets a tunesmith to play him the most pernicious jingle he ever concocted, which provides our protagonist with a sort of whitenoise cover that the Peeper's can't penetrate to see his latest assassination plot.

    Highly recommended though likely to be rare.

  5. #5
    Gallicrow
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    Re: Alfred Bester - Demolished Man

    In the fifties/sixties when people like Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick were churning out novels and short stories at a hell of a rate; Alfred Bester was famous for publishing almost nothing, but what little he did publish was eagerly anticipated. His other famous novel is "Tiger! Tiger!" and that is excellent as well.

  6. #6
    DscribeDC
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    forgotten?

    Don't know how forgotten it is, since it was made into a Spielberg movie about 20 years ago, but nobody really talks about it anymore: Empire of the Sun, by J.G. Ballard, his memoirs of a childhood spent in a Japanese internment camp. Excellent. Much better than the movie.

  7. #7
    theironbar
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    Re: forgotten?

    "The Complete History of Jack the Ripper" by Phillip Sugden... all "facts" and contemporary reports, analyzed with a brilliant, sceptical mind, but still a great sense of the time and place -- East End London, late 1880's -- highly recommended... No bullshit pet theories to promote, and a sharp pin to explode all those hackneyed theories about the Royal Family, among others...

  8. #8
    jyoungfan2
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    book

    ole andersons "Inside out, how corporate america destroyed wrestling"
    1/2 of the minnisota wrecking crew, ole was the top booker/matchmaker in the georgia wrestling territory. He goes into great detail on whats wrong with wrestling today. very interesting overlooked wrestling autobiography.

  9. #9
    PeteLeo
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    Re: book

    The mention of "Cheetah" still surviving after having appeared in those Tarzan films in the Forties actually inspired this question (along with memories of long summer days spent wandering the halls of the public library while my ma was at work and my little sister was with neighbors). Three books that I absolutely loved were TARZAN ALIVE! and DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, by Philip Jose Farmer (both treating their title characters as if they were real people) and ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN: LEGEND COME TO LIFE, by Ivan Sanderson. Sanderson's massive tome collected stories of Yeti/Bigfoot/Alma sightings from all around the world (six or seven years before the Roger Patterson film allegedly showing a Bigfoot gal walking through a northern California forest ignited the craze for the gigantic cryptids in the U.S.) and set me on a life-long (so far) path of interest in mysterious creatures and events.
    Those were some wonderful days spent among the often moldy but always entrancing volumes of fact and fiction. Too bad those experiences didn't prevent me from turning most of my teen years into a long royal screw-up (but that was fun in its own way, too). PeteLeo.

  10. #10
    Roberto Aqui
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    Seminal Texas

    Texas history looms large in US history, and of course the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto are the pinnacles of Texas history. Unfortunately there was short shrift given to recording this history from the participants so much was lost.

    The battle of San Jacinto had quite a few survivors so enough of it's history was salvaged. The Alamo only had 3 survivors, Susan Dickinson and her baby and a San Antonio domestique who were allowed to return to civilian life by Santa Anna, the conquering Mexican general and president of Mexico.

    Jose Enrique De La Pena was a young officer in Santa Anna's army and kept a diary which he used to publish his narrative of the Texas revolution, the only detailed first hand account of this era and more importantly, the only Mexican account.

    The obscure autobiographical narrative was only discovered a few decades back by a historian in a Mexican library. It has been recently republished under the title, "With Santa Anna in Texas" by Texas A&M University Press.

    DLP traces the initial formation of Santa Anna invasion army in Mexico City and traces their northward march through Mexico into Texas, rampaging the countryside and conscripting young Mexicans and Texans whenever possible.

    His is not a kind description of Santa Anna and his generals, though he is filled with admiration over the core of the Mexican army and the Texas rebels.

    The book is controversial because he details the capture and execution of Davy Crockett, one of the handful of survivors of the Alamo. Popular legend, ie see the John Wayne movie, has Crockett dying while fighting. I don't see the controversy. It was 5000 men against a garrison of 136 and the Mexicans killed all but a handful who they dragged before Santa Anna who summarilly ordered them bayonetted to death. When 5000 soldiers want to decide how you die, there is little choice you have in the matter while armed with a single shot musket rifle and pistol.

    Anyway, DLP is extremely observant and intelligent and even describes the debates he has with the Texans who escort the beaten Mexican army to south of the Rio Grande to be released into the new boundaries of Mexico. He's so incensed at Santa Anna that he starts a plot to overthrow him, is discovered, and tossed into the notorious Mexican jails where he dies just 5 yrs after the Texas revolution.

    A must read for any semi serious history/military buff or human interest afficianado. This is the real, real deals folks.

  11. #11
    kikibalt
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    Re: Seminal Texas

    This book is dedicated to the American heroes of Mexican decent who fought with the United States forces in
    World War ll and in Korea
    This is what it say about Johnny Flores ,co-manager of Jerry Quarry and Ruben Navarro and other figthers

  12. #12
    BDeskins
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    Re: Seminal Texas

    I have a couple, though some may have heard of at least one..."Swan Song" by Robert R. McCammon...it's probably my second favorite read next to Stephen King's "The Stand." It is the same type of "End of the World" book like "The Stand" with great characters and the devil, though he is never called that during the book, is always lurking trying to finish off the last band of surviors fighting for the good of life.

    Another is "Mythago Wood" by Robert Holdstock, though it is entirely Fantasy.

  13. #13
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    Re: Which Book?

    THE LONG TWILIGHT, by Keith Laumer. PeteLeo.

  14. #14
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    Re: Which Book?

    THE LAST HURRAH- BY O'CONNOR a great book and funny as hell.

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    Re: Which Book?

    The Pity Of War Niall Ferguson

  16. #16
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    Re: Which Book?

    It's not exactly "unheard of", but Franz Kafka's "The Trial" IMHO ranks as one of the great literary masterpieces of the past century. Less familiar but equally fascinating is the non-fiction classic "Ashes of Honour" the memoirs of Christian de la Maziere, a Frenchman who, out of conviction, enlisted in the Waffen SS late in World War II in order to fight the advancing Russians.

  17. #17
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    Re: forgotten?

    Quote Originally Posted by theironbar
    "The Complete History of Jack the Ripper" by Phillip Sugden... all "facts" and contemporary reports, analyzed with a brilliant, sceptical mind, but still a great sense of the time and place -- East End London, late 1880's -- highly recommended... No bullshit pet theories to promote, and a sharp pin to explode all those hackneyed theories about the Royal Family, among others...

    I second that one. I have read 10-12 books on the ripper and still have another few in my bookshelf waiting. The Jack The Ripper case is by far the most facinating murder mystery of all time.
    Personally I like Joseph Barnett as the no. 1 suspect, but will not rule out Francis Tumbelty or W.H. Bury either.
    For all others interested in Jack The Ripper, check out www.casebook.org


    -KOKid-

  18. #18
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    Re: Which Book?

    I don't know if it's something nobody has heard of, but I've never found anyoen else who's read it: And The Sea Will Tell by Vincent Bugliosi.

  19. #19
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    Re: Which Book?

    The Ultimate Evil by Maury Terry.
    It's goes into how David Berkowitz was not the lone gunman in the 1970's Son of Sam murders.Pretty convincing arguments that a satanic cult Berkowitz belonged to was responsible for the killings.This book chilled me to the bone and sometimes I wish I had never read it.

  20. #20
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    Re: Which Book?

    Quote Originally Posted by TKO11
    I don't know if it's something nobody has heard of, but I've never found anyoen else who's read it: And The Sea Will Tell by Vincent Bugliosi.
    But I seen the movie.

    Frank B.

  21. #21
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    Re: Which Book?

    I didn't even know they made a movie. Considering the depth of the book, I would imagine the movie wasn't very good - just no way to get enough of the stuff in to make it coherent.

  22. #22
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    Re: Which Book?

    Charles Portis's novel Masters of Atlantis is a little-known masterpiece. All of Portis's novels are great: Norwood, True Grit (yes, the one that was made into the John Wayne movie), The Dog of the South, and Gringos. But Masters of Atlantis is a hilariously deadpan wonder.

  23. #23
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    Re: Which Book?

    It seems plenty of people have heard of it, I suppose because of the PBS series, but I've only talked with one other person that actually read
    "I, Claudius".

  24. #24
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    Re: Which Book?

    >>>I second that one. I have read 10-12 books on the ripper and still have another few in my bookshelf waiting. The Jack The Ripper case is by far the most facinating murder mystery of all time. Personally I like Joseph Barnett as the no. 1 suspect, but will not rule out Francis Tumbelty or W.H. Bury either.<<<


    I have the "Diary of Jack the Ripper" on my bookshelf, but have only skimmed through it reading various parts. This book accuses Jame Maybrick of being Jack. I've read quite a bit about Jack the Ripper, but intend to read a lot more...I don't know why such morbid stuff interests me, but I have a book case full of horror novels and a lot of true crime books to go along with all of my boxing and other sports books.

  25. #25
    MANAGING EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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    Re: Which Book?

    Thumper:

    Totally agree about the book version of I Claudius. Did you ever read the follow up, Claudius The God? It's just as good, maybe better.

    Another forgotten book that also deals with The Romans & Christianity is a terrific book by an author I don't normally like, Gore Vidal. The book is Julian.

    It deals with the last pagan emperor of the Romans who ruled in the 3rd century after a long string of Christian emperors. Facinating book, One of the best I've ever read along with the Claudius books.

    I learned more about the Roman Empire & Christianity from those three books than I did in 9 years of Catholic school & two years as an altar boy.

    GorDoom

  26. #26
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    Re: Which Book?

    If you want to read an almost unknown but really twisted horror novel, try SIMON'S SOUL, by the late screenwriter Stanley Shapiro. It clearly takes some of its inspiration from Poe (particularly "The Case of M. Valdemar"), but it goes in some pretty freaky directions and quite logically explains why a normal, principled modern male would become a serial killer -- and why this would be a GOOD thing. PeteLeo.

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