The Kennel

Convince us to read your "favorite" book.
maritalbliss at 3:10PM, May 27, 2007
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Is there a book you really like? Something you think everyone should read because it's just soooooo brilliant? Tell us a bit about it; but, don't give away the plot, or you'll ruin the experience for us all. Now that I've typed that someone probably will, but; hey, maybe you can persuade us to read it.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
usedbooks at 10:32AM, July 2, 2007
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My favorite book (at this very moment) is Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie. It is mostly a collection of short stories that are semi-parodies of all the great detective literature.

The story stars Tommy and Tuppence – the very best couple of crime-solver/adventurers. If you are not familiar with them, they meet in one of Christie's early novels and then get married at the end of it. After that, they do espionage/detective stuff as a married couple for several more books (aging a decade or two between each). ANYWAY, Partners in Crime takes place after they are married but before they have a child.

The premise is that the pair are undercover as detectives to catch some sort of bad guy, and in each story/case, Tommy decides to adopt a persona similar to a famous detective. (Including one moment when Tuppence gets very annoyed with him over his attempts with a violin. ;) )

Anyway, all mystery fans should read it. Even if you aren't familiar with all the literature, Tommy and Tuppence are just plain adorable together. They had me entranced in their first book (The Secret Adversary – read that one too!) and I had to read all of the books they're in. ( I wish there were more than just the five… )
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
maritalbliss at 10:44PM, July 3, 2007
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usedbooks
My favorite book (at this very moment) is Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie. It is mostly a collection of short stories that are semi-parodies of all the great detective literature.

The story stars Tommy and Tuppence – the very best couple of crime-solver/adventurers. If you are not familiar with them, they meet in one of Christie's early novels and then get married at the end of it. After that, they do espionage/detective stuff as a married couple for several more books (aging a decade or two between each). ANYWAY, Partners in Crime takes place after they are married but before they have a child.

The premise is that the pair are undercover as detectives to catch some sort of bad guy, and in each story/case, Tommy decides to adopt a persona similar to a famous detective. (Including one moment when Tuppence gets very annoyed with him over his attempts with a violin. ;) )

Anyway, all mystery fans should read it. Even if you aren't familiar with all the literature, Tommy and Tuppence are just plain adorable together. They had me entranced in their first book (The Secret Adversary – read that one too!) and I had to read all of the books they're in. ( I wish there were more than just the five… )

You probably know this; but there was a T.V. Series called, “Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime.” It is sometimes available on DVD…Sometimes…I am also a HUGE fan of Tommy and Tuppence. On the Subject of Dame Agatha…She was a Goddess…If anyone who comes after this has not read her stuff…Read it. If you ever get the chance to see the play “The Mousetrap.” See it. If you are lookin' for a movie…Go with the classic, “Murder on the Orient Express.” It's a great intro to Hercule Poirot, (Her most famous creation.) It stars Albert Finney as Poirot, who doesn't love Albert Finney and the ever graceful, Ingrid Bergman (won her an Oscar.) Rent it.

Great Book Plug, UsedBooks…Although from the writer of a comic called, Used Books…I'd expect nothing less.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
usedbooks at 12:31AM, July 4, 2007
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I never watched any of the Christie-based TV or movies, but I saw the play “The Spider's Web” in a wonderfully tiny community theater in Maine. I'm worried the TV/movie stuff would cause me disappointment (always ends up being a let down from books). I read about most of it on Wikipedia. I will have to check it out someday, especially “Partners in Crime.”


Oh, and this is a plug for any mystery fans who also enjoy manga…

Read the Case Closed series. NOW! It's all detective and murder mystery stuff. (And the detective is a teenage boy trapped in the body of a first grader, so he's adorable – but that's beside the point…) The author is inspired by all the greats. Many of the original (Japanese) character names are based on classic detective literature characters or authors. – There are even bios in the backs of each volume. ( Educational! :) )

BTW, the TV/anime series has been running in Japan for over a decade and also includes eleven movies. I have the first ten of those (awesome…). Number 11 isn't on DVD yet. Very addictive stuff. I got my dad addicted too, and he's not a “cartoon” kind of guy.

Okay, my plugging is over. Back to webcomics.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
marine at 6:35PM, July 7, 2007
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A book that has its own invented language, is a little tough to get into right? Wrong. Within fifteen pages, I had the stuff down. The narrator refers to cool things as being “horror show” and sexual intercourse as “in out in out” among other odd sayings. The book is really about the nature of evil, and if it actually can be changed, if its really just a personal choice, or if its all futile to try and cure such things. I'm talking about A Clockwork Orange, which has an excellent film adaptation if you're lazy.

Another book I'll recommend is another major thematically inspirating to penis and most of my fiction. Its the story of war and its fuitlity and how everything moves in cycles. The book is just generally down and anticlimatic at all turns. It goes in circles and overlaps itself. Its filled with doublespeak and strange situations. The film version was not nearly as great or faithful as the previously mentioned book. The book I speak of is on most advanced placement high school reading lists, Catch 22. A catch 22 is that in order to leave the military, you have to be insane. You can't tell them you're crazy thought. Chaos ensues as the “heroes” of the war attempt to get out of their military service to varying degrees of success. Its fairly long.

I'll plug one last book, which is another ‘must read’. Its called of Mice & Men by John Stienbeck. This one stars two down on their luck working class guys who're just trying to save up their money and get a farm to live off the fatta the lan. Theres a smaller guy whose got his wits about him, and a bigger stronger guy whose very unintellectual and most likely mentally handicapped. The book shows them working at a farm trying to gather funds for their version of the American Dream. The larger of the two can't seem to stay out of trouble. He's such a lovable guy, its hard to hate him, but he does things he doesn't understand, and the smaller is often left trying to get him out of his problems. Its a great read about the American dream, friendship, and just trying to survive in the ever evil larger world. It was, like most of Steinbecks work, an inspiration to me. I don't really want to plug anymore of his stuff, but I've read just about all of it. Its almost all about down on their luck people trying to overcome stuff with down endings. Most are really great too. Grapes of Wrath and The Pearl come to mind off the top of my head. So read all that stuff.

The last book I want to mention is by a gonzo journalist whose words I respect above all else. The man was a god among men. His writing and his personality can be felt in the modern world even if its unintentional. His books are all legendary and must reads. The two movies are of decent (Where The Buffalo Roam) to awesome (Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas) qaulity. Hunter S. Thompson was amazing, as a writer, as a political commentator, and as a person. He's just all around nifty. A few google searches and you'll find everything you need to know.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
maritalbliss at 5:57PM, July 8, 2007
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Hunter S. Thompson is a fucking GOD, his work has been so influential in my life…Shit, I can't even find the words to express the impact his work and philosophies have had on me, personally. I cried for weeks when he died, fuckin' travisty. Yet, what a powerful statement for euthanasia and the whole “Death with Dignity” debate.

When tackling this master, I recommend starting with; “The Gonzo Papers.”
But, really…you can't go wrong with anything he has written…I one hundred percent agree with Marine.

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“Of Mice and Men” is a quick read and it won a Nobel, it would be a shame to live one's entire life not reading this little novella. Read it.

As for Steinbeck's other work: Marine is right on suggesting The Grapes of Wrath and The Pearl. Both are excellent. If you like his style, check out: East of Eden, Cannery Row and The Winter of Our Discontent.

Movies: There have been three “Mice and Men” all are okay. I love “Tortilla Flat” and Hitchcock's “Lifeboat.”

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Catch-22 by Joseph Heller is fantastic satire, the 70's movie is also great…Not as great as the book. I'm more of a Vonnegut girl myself…Honesly, Catch-22 is the only work from Heller that I've read…But, it is worth the read.

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I love Anthony Burgess. “Clockwork Orange” is one of the best first person novels I have ever read. (I love dystopian yarns.) It's creepsome and a real page turner. (The ‘71 movie is a classic. One of Kubrick’s best–mmmmm young Malcolm McDowell…and one of the first movies criminals “blamed” their behaviors on.) But, read the book. The movie totally ignores the last chapter and you really want to get the entire experience.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
marine at 5:27PM, July 19, 2007
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maritalbliss
But, read the book. The movie totally ignores the last chapter and you really want to get the entire experience.

The book becomes entirely different without the last chapter. Without it, the author learns nothing and doesn't complete his arc, it would be much more in tone and theme if he didn't change at the end of his own free will, but it makes sense that he would. If I was writing it, or did a film version, I was cured all right would've been the canonical ending. Also the film version is probably my favorite film. Its visual poetry.

Its ending got similar to the treatment of the Getaway and what happens in El Ray, interestingly neither movie has had that in it. I've read the book and thought it was pretty cool.

Mostly for me though, its comic books or nothing else. I'd recomend:

Preacher - by Garth Ennis - 66 issues, a 5 issue mini series, and a series of one shots that expand the back story of the characters. Not as hard to track down all that as you'd think. The Trade Paperbacks/ “graphic novels” are collections of the single issues, I believe there are six collected volumes. To describe the books at all is to give away to much, its about male friendship, trust, religion, politics, and some of the blackest of black comedy you'll ever read. Its great. I can't sing the praises of it enough.

Transmetropolitin - 60 issues - This books main character is based on Hunter S. Thompson and a cyberpunk world not unlike that of Blade Runner. Spider Jerselum doesn't take shit from anyone and is a gonzo journalist who packs a laser pistol with him that is a “bowel disrupter”. He takes down corrupt politicians, cult leaders, and anyone he doesn't like. Its a great read, very witty in places, but it does have politics up its own ass a little too hard.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
maritalbliss at 1:22PM, July 22, 2007
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marine
maritalbliss
But, read the book. The movie totally ignores the last chapter and you really want to get the entire experience.

The book becomes entirely different without the last chapter. Without it, the author learns nothing and doesn't complete his arc, it would be much more in tone and theme if he didn't change at the end of his own free will, but it makes sense that he would. If I was writing it, or did a film version, I was cured all right would've been the canonical ending. Also the film version is probably my favorite film. Its visual poetry.

Its ending got similar to the treatment of the Getaway and what happens in El Ray, interestingly neither movie has had that in it. I've read the book and thought it was pretty cool.

Mostly for me though, its comic books or nothing else. I'd recomend:

Preacher - by Garth Ennis - 66 issues, a 5 issue mini series, and a series of one shots that expand the back story of the characters. Not as hard to track down all that as you'd think. The Trade Paperbacks/ “graphic novels” are collections of the single issues, I believe there are six collected volumes. To describe the books at all is to give away to much, its about male friendship, trust, religion, politics, and some of the blackest of black comedy you'll ever read. Its great. I can't sing the praises of it enough.

Transmetropolitin - 60 issues - This books main character is based on Hunter S. Thompson and a cyberpunk world not unlike that of Blade Runner. Spider Jerselum doesn't take shit from anyone and is a gonzo journalist who packs a laser pistol with him that is a “bowel disrupter”. He takes down corrupt politicians, cult leaders, and anyone he doesn't like. Its a great read, very witty in places, but it does have politics up its own ass a little too hard.

Okay, now you're just flirtin' with me. Preacher is my very favorite comic book. Yes, graphic novels are the way to go…There are nine of 'em.

Spider Jerusalem is my favorite literary character EVER.
(I even joined the Warren Ellis messageboard, I am such a Spider Fan-Girl.) I address my Husband as my “Filty Assistant” and often threaten to beat people with the “chair leg of truth.”

Marine, we would get along famously…Assuming, you like I get along rarely with anyone.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM
marine at 3:43PM, July 25, 2007
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Do you even read my posts? I don't like anybody or anything at all. Its like pure venom that spits from me. I often get told things that I've done and think “I couldn't possibly have done that”, but sure enough I've done it. Social faux pas are unavoidable for me. Its like I'm borderline retarded.

I didn't even know Warren Ellis had a forum. I've read a lot of his stuff, some I liked like Powers but it wasn't as great as Transmetro, so I decided to just stop reading halfway in. I read the start of his nextwave stuff, it was kinda funny but I couldn't get into it. I'm really enjoying his stuff on the current Thunderbolts, he's writing Bullseye (one of my favorite villains) perfectly. Even had happen to him the recurring cliche' of what happens.

I googled trying to find his official forum, found his wikipedia and according to this he wrote:

Doom 2099 #25-39 (1995-96)

Assuming those are the ones where Doctor Doom rules the world, kicks ass in the future, or does any of the other awesome stuff that Doctor Doom does. I loved it. The 2099 stuff was sort of unncessary, but the saving grace of it all was DOOM 2099. Ellis just jumped a few respect points from me.

Also according to this, it was Brian Michael Bendis that did Powers. I guess I got confused because Warren Ellis appears in it (literally, he appears as a guy writing comic books who travels with the detectives or whatever they were) and I must've gotten confused.

I've started letting myself become a fan of mainstream stuff. My fanboy rivalry with DC won't allow me to read any of their mainline books. An occasional Batman graphic novel or the series that was like what ifs about Batman are all I'll allow. Over at marvel, I'm at the point where I read just about everything they put out in a given month. If I miss something when it comes out, I'll find it later and be angry with myself for not reading it. I like marvels characters more than the writers. Occasionally they have a good story or some guy that writes the character well (such is the case with Wolverine or The Hulk), but for the most part their main books are pretty crappy. Annhilation was solid stuff though. I'd skip the drax tie in, and start with Novas solo book and just go through it like that. Its pretty great. Made me love Nova all over again. I liked most of Civil War too, but if I take off the fanboy goggles, I'd say it was poorly edited and awful. When I read comics in the late 80s-early 90s, they wouldn't have allowed such severe inconsistency. Some books have Iron Man coming off like a regular villain. I like Iron Man, he's a cool hero. But the way they made him out in civil war, he's gone from asshole playboy to being a genuine evil prick.

Almost all the Ultimates stuff is great. According to his wiki, Warren Ellis did the Gah Lak Tus books that I liked a lot. I never really care when it comes to stuff whose doing the art (I never look at that) and only occasionally do I care about the writers. I gotta say though, the best doing marvel books are: Ennis, Ellis, Bendis, Mark Miller, Peter David, and Bendis. Those are the only names that stick out.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:26AM

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