This Is Helena wrote:What I want to be reading is Pride and Prejudice but the copies in the library are a bit dirty
humblebee wrote:Is it just me who's feeling a bit jaded by the templatey feel of a lot of new writing just now?
I seem to have given up on most new fiction these days. The only things that have really caught my attention that I've read in the last year were usually new books by established favourites (Donna Tartt, Jonathan Coe, Will Self), which were all admittedly excellent (especially Self's "Shark", which pulled him out of a long term slump in my opinion). Best newish thing? Elenor Catton's "The Luminaries", but precisely because it didn't feel like a "look at me, I'm a modern novelist" sort of thing, much more located in the 19th century, Wilkie Collins sort of tradition that I'm a sucker for.
tonieee wrote:Slightly related - I've been reading a lot of books the last few weeks (mostly sci-fi with the odd bit of fantasy) and I've noticed a pattern in them which has become boringly frustrating...
Yeah, I tend to think sci-fi can get a bit formulaic, even my favourites like John Wyndham and Philip K. Dick seem to have their own templates that they recycle again and again. The only sci-fi I've read recently was Ken Macleod's "Descent", which rambled along pleasantly enough but failed to be more than the sum of it's parts, intelligent politically but a bit simple minded in terms of being a novel.
I remember an interesting sci-fi novel you might like (if you don't already know it), "Glasshouse" by Charles Stross
, which turns on the ability of people to change gender easily and gives rise to all sorts of transgender (in a very literal sense of the word) insights. With a bit of perspective, I can see it's probably hugely derivative of Ursula Le Guin (who I've still failed to read but will eventually) but still very dense and satisfying. It also featured a very good 'blind' element in the plot, it was one of those things that you seemed to be constantly working out as you went along.
crystalball wrote: I think that's why I was so blown away by The Deadman's Pedal a couple of years back.
Another one I need to remember. And are you still saying Evie Wyld's any good? Being immensely tardy, I'm still getting round to that one but it did stick in my mind.
Anyway, I seem to keep reading non-fiction now - Martin Aston's (awesome) "Facing The Other Way" about 4AD this week, getting on to Phil Cowley and Rob Ford's "Sex, Lies And The Ballot Box" soon. Descending into political nerdery, a sure sign that something bad is about to happen in parliament...
Oh, have I rambled on for half a page to very little consequence? Not like me at all then...