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I just sped-read Carrie in a single sitting.
A slightly off-topic question from someone who can't speed read at all; can you appreciate the quality of prose while speed reading? As far as I know, speed reading requires silencing your inner voice, and it's hard for me to imagine how that wouldn't lessen the impact of prose.
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A slightly off-topic question from someone who can't speed read at all; can you appreciate the quality of prose while speed reading? As far as I know, speed reading requires silencing your inner voice, and it's hard for me to imagine how that wouldn't lessen the impact of prose.

It takes practice, I admit. But I kinda taught myself speed-reading at an early age. When every other student was listening to the teacher read a lesson out loud, I in my impatience would challenge myself to read the whole page twice while listening to the teacher before the teacher ever finish. This REALLY helped my grades. I'm always careful not to go TOO fast, though.



Got through the Shining again, but last year I was reading it in parts overtime just to say I got through it and it ended up jumbled, but this time...


I got through all 660 pages in one day. Likely the best book I've ever read and the new standard for which I'll attribute my own writing.



IT (Halfway mark)


Never read this before. I'm going on a 125 page a day rule so that I can finish it in 9 days. On day four, I read ahead enough to be halfway through, being on page 562 of 1124. I might even go to page 626 by the end of the day and be a whole day ahead of schedule.


It's obvious to me what King is doing. The vast majority of characters have a deep development that is largely either dialogue-driven or thought-driven. The decision to put both halves of childhoos and adulthood 27 years apart into the same novel is completely necessary as they compliment the idea of growing up, but what King's really doing is using both the rational and irrational forms of fear to go over the pains of life and the entire human condition in a single novel. Thick character development is absolutely necessary here. And when I think about the freaky imagery that's been used for the scares (his true testament to his own imagination), it suprises me that I haven't even gotten to the really weird stuff yet, you know, the stuff they cut out of the movie, like the whole world turtle thing?


I don't know whether or not to say this thing IS too long or not. It doesn't have that on-point pace that covers 13 years in War and Peace. It doubles that time while cutting the pacing in half in order to develop characters and build scares. So is it safe to say that this novel masters the art of slower pacing?


In short, I've never read something like this before. I'll get back to you on this in four days max, because I need to be absolutely certain I'm comfortable with the rating I give it.



IT is my favorite King book, though I haven't read that many.

So far my only problem is that in this 1100 page book, Stan and the turtle aren't getting enough mentions. I feel like he could've added a little to the mysticism while cutting out the least necessary character development shpeels. Otherwise, the development is phenomenal, the dialogue is realistic and I'm getting some serious effing chills here. So I'm thinking of maybe giving it a 98/100 at the very least. I haven't gotten to the... controversial bit, yet, so I'll see where that goes.



OK... It...

I... cannot honestly... believe what I just read...

What a monolith. I have spent my entire life practicing writing, going over terrible notes from my past and improvements I made over time, making sure I adopt my own style and never to flat-out copy anyone else. There have been times I've taken scenes and totally rewrote them based on the characters I'm using as well as changing the setting, but I am intimidated by the power that is It.

I once compared lacking character development and mentioned how multiple characters can have one or two sides each and act as a collective of a theme, using Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's four antagonists as the example. Here it's the seven protagonists that interpret various childhood issues, may they be something like being made fun of for weight, being psychologically tricked into thinking your always sick, just being annoying or even having a physically abuse parent-child relationship, as uses charisma to bounce all of these struggles onto each other, creating a connection that everyone with either struggles or friends or both can relate to. In fact, the decision to include both stories of past and present in one was the best decision he couldv'e made. In fact, even when Bill's going on about stories he was told in interludes, there's usually a twist at the end that makes it all totally relevant. This is a book that you DO NOT SPEED READ AS MUCH AS YOU ABSORB. I slowed down a little so I can really grasp it all, and it was still a mistake to do it all in a week.

The 2017 film is what inspired me to go with weird imagery in horror. This was a pivotal level of influence when I was writing Wings of Nialoca, but I haven't even touched up on the weirdness of the book. The movie even makes some totally unscary monsters from cheesy movies seem like absolute freakin' nightmares (although I have to say I kinda liked The Crawling Eye. Amazing effects for its time and an OK plot). But it's really Pennywise when he's in character where it gets really disturbing. His dialogue is just so wrong on so many levels, and thanks to the visual aspects of Stephen King's prose, it gets difficult not to even picture this and be even more frightened (although I visualize practically everything I hear, so I'm just guessing). The novel lives up to a great deal of what the movies have attempted to replicate ever since The Shining. My mother has mentioned a million times that when she read the book she knew a movie at the time couldn't do it justice. In fact, she saw the Tim Curry miniseries from 1990 and was disappointed. That's the kind of writing I want to achieve.

And now to attack that which has been a controversy since its inception: the most controversial scene in the book.

First, it must be said that Stephen King could've totally written a different scene. However, I think this is more from a moral perspective, which is truthfully more important in the long run of life, but there's also the thematic perspective to take into account. This novel is about a bunch of screwed up people screwing up their kids, then a screwed up villain comes along and screws everything even worse. You just don't go into a novel that's about extreme levels of trauma and suffering, and NOT expect something ****ed up to happen. I am in no way surprised that Beverly opens herself up that way (don't make a joke about that).

I have to say this: it's literally 4 pages out of 1124. When I was hearing about the so-called "orgy scene," people made it (although it's still bad) sound way worse than it actually was. I was told that "King went into exact sizes during the sex" and stuff like that. I figured it was at least twenty pages. All it was was four pages of a few quick thoughts on how the kids were struggling with the concept of sex itself, but felt like they were closer to each other in the end without any dialogue actually pertaining to horniness. I've read freakin' Ron Dee and Neil Gaiman. I know the difference. So while I wish King didn't put this scene in from the moral perspective, it certainly feels like something a bunch of screwed up kids would do in the sewers after having to deal with all that craziness. So it's certainly a moral flaw, but not a thematic one. It's one of those "every pro has a con" moments. But this isn't exactly the kind of thing I want to achieve (again, don't say anything. Not kidding).

To be honest, it's difficult to find any "technical flaws" in this book. It's a monolith that is trying to attack the entire concept of human struggling in one novel, nothing to go into childhood and adulthood with it. Since Leo Tolstoy, the idea of the 1000-page fiction work has been justified, so an extra 100 pages won't hurt. It might be a bit advanced and complicated for a book, but The Godfather is that way for movies. I'm seriously considering the idea that this is the most well-written novel I've ever read.

And now, it's comparison to the movies.

This may be a difficult thing to compare for some people, considering the layout of the two movies... unless somebody gave both movies the Godfather Epic treatment and edited both movies into one, which I would definitely buy. But I've come to a decision. By focusing only on the past, the movie's able to improve on the characters' sides and make a more convincing level of charisma while keeping the themes intact. For example,. Ritchie's an actually funny comedian instead of a kid who wants to be the next Mel Blanc, which was fairly entertaining in the book but almost hilarious in the movie (if not occasionally dumb). And with Skarsgard as Pennywise making the most out of the character's motions, we get a Pennywise just as frightening as he was in the book. So even though the movie doesn't have that same organized chaos that proved technically proficient, it's a perfectly operable movie and a proper adaptation.

It Chapter 2 is about the adults, and throws in a lot of new scenes to help expand on how the characters grew up, and relies more on CGI. So while it's trying hard to balance out the proper themes and the horror, it's also a little distracting, despite how thrilling and well-acted it is.

So I'm giving both the book and the first movie five-stars, while the second gets either a four or four-and-a-half, although while the 2017 movie isn't the best movie I've ever seen, the book is probably the best I've ever read, currently making King the writer of the top two novels in my chart.



Currently speed reading another Ron Dee trash novel to make a list of the worst books ever. It's difficult finding out which really are considering that the average ratings aren't that diversified and the "worst ever lists" there have a bad habit of placing Twilight at the number one, despite the fact that, as lacking as Twilight can be, is nowhere near as bad as any Ron Dee book I've read. Anyway, this one's called Blood Lust, and it's one of his earlier vampire novels. The prose is actually quite pretty sometimes and he's at least focusing on a plot instead of just more sex scenes, but it still follows a lot of the base vampire tropes. But I'm about halfway through on a one-hour speed read, and I gotta say I'm actually having an OK time with this one.


Btw, if anyone knows of any other novels people think are absolutely horrible, preferably by novelists who typically put out horrible novels, please let me know. And don't say Stephenie Meyer. I've already read her.





A brilliant collection of all of the statistical modeling, behavioral analysis, machine design, etc that goes into making slot machines addictive. I do not have addictive tendencies by nature, fortunately, but frequenting casinos enough has definitely made me curious about the darker stories behind slot machines. This really made me think deeper about how all things can be addictive and/or detrimental to someone.



Come and Get It (2024)

I'm actually not going to be able to finish this one due it to it being a limited checkout time from my library, and I'm fine with not reading the last 100 pages or so. Nothing interesting is really happening here in the first 200 pages....



Extinction: A Novel by Douglas Preston. Like most of his books (and the ones he co-authors with Lincoln Child) it's a quick read.

80/100




I Will Show You How It Was (2024)


Firsthand account of the war in Ukraine, including how things were before Russia's invasion. In the beginning of the book, it leans a bit heavily on how worldly and magnificent Ukraine is (which is probably to be expected given the author being born there, gaining sympathy from the reader, etc). I learned a lot here, and I would recommend it to all.



Think Larry McMurtry if he had decided to dip his toe in the supernatural genre. Or maybe Charles Portis. Either way it's an impressive novel. I really hope they adapt it to the big screen or maybe a limited series. 90/100






British author, set in England. Good book. The food writing is surely influenced by the food writing of the late Julie Powell (of Julie & Julia fame).
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War in Ukraine


My second book about the war in Ukraine this month, and this is a thorough analysis from many angles of this war. I don't agree with some stances it tries to argue (the West provoking Russia via NATO, the Iraq and Afghanistan war being comparable to this one), but it tries to balance those viewpoints by showing both sides. I think I have one more book on this subject I plan on checking out soon.



The War Came To Us (2023)


3rd Ukraine book in about a month, and this is probably the best account of Ukraine's past 20 years that I have read so far. Brilliant, raw, and real.



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I started reading Frank kafka's Metamorphosis after hearing lot of appreciations about it from various sources. It increased my expectations towards the book. I ordered it in Amazon and couldn't wait for the delivery.



I started reading Frank kafka's Metamorphosis after hearing lot of appreciations about it from various sources. It increased my expectations towards the book. I ordered it in Amazon and couldn't wait for the delivery.
You know you can read it online with kindle?



Fourth in Wambaugh's Hollywood Station series. From 2010 I'm pretty sure I read it years and years ago. Maybe that's why it comes off as somewhat dated. It was a freebie though so I'll find room on my bookshelves.

60/100




How Infrastructure Works (2023)


Not bad, but it reads at something like a high school level. Broad assessments of what infrastructure is, without much in-depth detail or real world examples explaining how it works.