What Are You Reading?

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
yeah, i'm reading Exit next.

requiem for a dream was one of the most disturbing, depressing movies i've ever seen. i loved it!
That scene with Jennifer Connelly stays with you, doesn't it? ;)

@d gray Buk ever mention him? Not that I'm aware of. I've only ever seen him refered to as Hubert Selby Jr. He was a huge influence on Lou Reed, that I know. I love the 2 of his I read, Last Exit To Brooklyn and Requim for a Dream.
I keep meaning to read more of his but those two are great. The only other one I've read is The Demon which is also pretty powerful and well worth checking out.
Reading the new Murukami: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Halfway through, and surprisingly a very
fast read for a writer I usually slog through.


Founding member
Have been reading this:


It's about this stoned hippie-private-detective who runs around stoned working on a case meeting a lot of stoned people in Los Angeles. Beautiful girlfriend also in there, ran away while he was stoned. Police pissed because everybody is stoned all the time.

I don't know. Guess it's meant to be cool and funny and iconic.

But I got bored about halfway through and had to read something else. Somehow reads as if Pynchon had consumed the collected works of Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch in 48 hours and is now deeply impressed.


“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
@Bruno Dante Oh, yeah. I forgot. I read half of The Demon. The main character is just a dick. I got tired of it, not anything exciting. I may go back to it eventually. It is an easy read.
@Bruno Dante Oh, yeah. I forgot. I read half of The Demon. The main character is just a dick. I got tired of it, not anything exciting. I may go back to it eventually. It is an easy read.
Yeah, it gets a bit tiresome towards the end. I think it also suffered from the protagonist working in an office and Selby not really being able to relate to that world. Those parts are somewhat glossed over in terms of the descriptions of what he actually does. It still think it works overall though.


“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Just finished Jonathan Letham's The Fortress of Solitude. I love it's evocation of the 70's, 80's and 90's. And his love of music is deep. Great book.


Founding member
I've read these Nabat books, and they're all good:

Bad: The Autobiography of James Carr
Beggars of Life: A Hobo Autobiography
"Yellow Kid" Weil: The Autobiography of America's Master Swindler
You Can't Win
Jack Black
Five Years in the Warsaw Ghetto Bernard Goldstein


Recently bailed out on a thriller by Gillian Flynn, the author of "Gone Girl". It was called "Sharp Objects" and looked like a fun ride when I skimmed the first couple of pages at the bookstore. The trouble is this: Anyone can grab your attention for a page or two with some punchy, hard-boiled prose. But then.... well then comes character development and plot construction - you know the stuff that actual novels are made of. And in my opinion, this woman really sucks at it. All I was looking for was a thriller, but chapter by disappointing chapter, this damned thing turned into what I can only describe as chick-lit.

So I felt like I was suckered into a tavern with the promise of fine single-malt scotch and handed a pint of Thunderbird. How do I slake my thirst now ? James M. Cain maybe ? It's gotta be crime/thriller but can't be Elmore Leonard because I've probably read his entire catalog. Any tips appreciated - thanks.
Andrew Vachss wrote some very intense crime novels set in NYC. They aren't for everyone, but I really dug them. First book was called Flood.
There were probably a dozen or so featuring the same protagonist and recurring characters.


By the way, after re-reading this thread I wanted to follow up on "The Luminaries" by Eleanor Catton. It was an 829 page commitment that paid off. It was a kind of murder mystery with supernatural elements to it involving 12 distinct characters that are all somehow connected to a prostitute. She's not exactly a "hooker with a heart of gold" but still a sympathetic character. The 12 men in the story all correspond to the 12 signs of the Zodiac but knowledge of astrology is not a requirement to following the story.

Superb writing here that is very much in a 19th-century style, with a narrator that "explains" certain background details to the reader. I don't care for that style usually but I adjusted to it here with no problem. Catton's voice is consistent throughout a thousand plot-twists and resolutions. I would say she very much deserved that Man Booker Prize last year.
Andrew Vachss wrote some very intense crime novels...
Will look into some Vachss. Thanks
Recently bailed out on
You're probably familiar with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler but as far as James M. Cain goes I enjoyed The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity. Mildred Pierce is meant to be good but I haven't gotten round to reading it yet. In a similar vein, you might like Horace McCoy's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? All a bit obvious I suppose, but all well worth a read if you haven't already checked them out.


“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
@number6horse The Martin Beck Police Mystery by Maj Sowell and Per Wahloo series is great. Written by a Sweedish couple. Start with the 1st, Roseanna. The series of ten were written as "the history of crime". The books start in 1965. The last is, I think, set in 1975.


And in the end...
[... It's gotta be crime/thriller but can't be Elmore Leonard because I've probably read his entire catalog. Any tips appreciated - thanks.
Not big on action but if it's plot and character development then a great series to get your teeth into are the novels by Andreas Camilleri. Set in Sicily, present day. Pure pleasure and escapism with some social commentary/ great parody on Italian politics and bureaucracy.

Or Norwegian Jo Nesbo's books, much darker and really, like Chandler and Hammett, mostly just provide a setting for his deeply flawed, but very lovable protagonist to wrestle with all the big conflicts: struggling against authority, corruption, women and the woes they bring:D and booze.
Would recommend both authors.
[...You're probably familiar with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler....]

Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, I've read just some of their books, but I really admire them too, as men. There are two Dashiell Hammett's books I want to read:
Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett: 1921-1960
Sally Cline's: Dashiell Hammett: Man of Mystery



Founding member
Update: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit is very very good! Definitely recommended!

No spoilers, but some of the best written war-scenes in there I've every read. Normally I get bored quickly by war-scenes, but here not so.

Check it out, you are missing something if you don't read this book.


“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Just finished Time's Arrow by Martin Amis. It's been a very long time since I last read Amis. I almost forgot how good he is and the fact that I've already read about 7 of his other books. TA is excellent. The story goes backwards. Technically it is so well done and hard to explain without giving too much away. And it's short so the technical flourishes are reasonable and not overwhelming or annoying.
I was going through an old box of books, and found some Edward Bunker novels. If anyone is interested in a great L.A. crime novel (which is semi-autobiographical and was the basis for the movie Straight Time), No Beast So Fierce can't be beat. Great Book.


“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Just blew through Bill Janovitz's Rocks Off 50 Songs by the Stones. Brilliant and it renewed an interest in some of their more obscure tunes.
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