Books As Fuel


If we’re burning shitty books, we’re gonna need a biiig fire :fire:


I enjoyed the LOTR books, though The Two Towers was a bit of a slog. But I would be tearing out all the pages with Tolkien’s songs or poetry. It makes for a faster read, anyway. Fire in the hole!


Oh, Save the Enemy by Arin Greenwood can go on the fire. I very nearly ripped the book in half out of frustration anyway.


And what, pray tell, peeved you about said tome? Is this the one that’s described as follows:
_Everything has been downhill since Zoey Trask’s mother was murdered in a random mugging. Her younger brother, Ben, is on the autistic spectrum and needs constant supervision. It’s senior year, and she’s the new girl at a weird private school in Old Town Alexandria, VA, full of …
OK. I see what you mean.


Yes, that one.The writing isn’t bad, per se, but there is a scene where the characters are in an emergency situation and need to drive away somewhere. The author’s solution for crippling the vehicle to up the stakes was a random meteor shower. It was a simple YA thriller (?) and was so random I couldn’t believe it. Of all the ways to disable the car she picked that. Also there was something about the way she used Ben’s autism in the plot that rubbed me the wrong way. Also! She just lets this random boy from her school just…move in with them? No questions it was just like ‘I guess you live here now’.


Deus ex machina strikes again. You go to all that work of reading the book, and then the author dumps that on you. I remember reading “Harvest Home,” (by Tom Tryon) years ago- a big, thick book that was part mystery, part horror, and a suspenseful page-turner. But then you get to the last chapter, where the hero does something incredibly stupid- letting a coven discover him spying on them. So in the last few paragraphs we find out that he’s allowed to live at home with his devil-worshipping wife, but he’s had his tongue and eyes torn out so he can’t tell anyone, or ever escape. I remember flinging the book across the room, I was so ticked off. Maybe it was the way a horror tale is supposed to end, but for me it seemed more like a case of the author writing himself into a corner he later couldn’t revise his way out of.


Oof, that’s always the worst. I always wonder how things like that get through their editors.


I’m disappointed, ahuhuhu


Yeah. I think the publisher and the editors know that some books will sell because of who wrote them, and the quality be damned.


Respect lost, ahuhu. The first chapters at least are awesome


I really liked the book when I read it, years ago. But over time it’s lost its appeal for me- sort of like the movie “Psycho.” Norman Bates is hard to watch, after repeated viewings.

Ok. That was a lousy comparison …


Well, I’d imagine experiencing that dark psychological stuff is not something many people want to do more than once. I think that speaks to Dostoyevsky’s talent in showing psychological stuff in writing, though. Fascinating person, his time in a horrible Russian prison certainly influenced him in his writing.


He was a gifted writer, and his tribulations informed all he wrote with an authenticity that breaks through to the reader.


I haven’t read much of his, but I hope to read more! Crime and Punishment at least. Not sure if I can make it through Karamazov.


I’ve tried The Brothers K twice, and like Moby Dick, have never made it to the end. It’s a long soap opera in some ways, but the author keeps your interest. I just got drama fatigue and had to move on.


The painting on the cover of my copy, a sort of beige realist picture of some peasants, intimidates me


Well, the interactions between the three brothers, their crusty father, and the three women are fascinating. There’s also a murder to solve, if you can last that long.

Now, FD’s short stories (The Gambler, Bobok, and A Nasty Story) are good. As for “The Idiot,” it sits on my shelf until I can get up the nerve to make a run at its 643 pages. Same with “Notes from the Underground,” which I tried to read once, but need to be in state of mind that can handle its dark mood.


Yeah, Notes has an ominous reputation for me!

As for Dostoyevsky as a whole, I was surprised at how gripping the first part of Crime and Punishment is - I stopped reading rather arbitrarily and simply haven’t got back to it. I don’t read many classics, so I was pleasantly surprised.


Though I’ve been joking about C&P, I was genuinely touched by the message of redemption it has. I remember telling a church friend of mine about how touching the end of the book was, and he was aghast. It’s a story about a murderer, he said to me. He can’t be redeemed. Whatever. I picked the wrong person to talk to about that story …


Another day, another barbeque. Today’s offering to the flames includes:

The Word Finder (J. I. Rodale). This 1,317-page doorstop from 1947 claims, somewhat self-consciously, that it is NOT a thesaurus. It “does not merely yield a substitute word, but produces an argumentative word, one to embellish and add to the idea.” In other words, since it doesn’t want to compete with Roget’s, it’s decided to just toss a crapload of synonyms and antonyms together and hope to hell that the reader can make some sense out of it. Under the word “queen,” it lists “refulgent,” “haughty,” “fairy,” “pale,” “papist,” and “fiend-like,” along with fifteen other words. I don’t get it, and I haven’t used it, so it’s going.

Webster’s New World Dictionary. Sure, it holds 1,692 pages of information, but I have five or six other dictionaries already, so …

The Oxford American Dictionary of Current English (1999). With all the other excellent publications Oxford is known for, why this 996-page doorstop?

Now, where did those matches get to?