GR Book Club - The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Phillip K Dick

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Rocsteady
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Rocsteady » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:12 pm

Rex Kramer wrote:
Rocsteady wrote:I'm still really enjoying this book although I've been incredibly tired this week and only reading it before bed so sometimes find it hard to concentrate: I'm on chapter 16 and only just realised

That there's two characters the story is following :lol: :fp:

I'm around chapter 20 and
although I'd got it pegged that there were 2 plot strands, the Russian names mean I'm struggling to follow who the incidental characters are in each strand. I mean, who the strawberry float is Georgy?

:lol:

I was wondering if others were experiencing that problem too. I get it far too frequently with books tbh, I'm terrible with names in real life as well which I think doesn't help.

I've been reading it in larger chunks which helps with that I think, up to chapter 55 now and much more into it. Nice atmospheric turns of phrases throughout.

Enjoy Nik's storyline far more for now, think it's much more interesting and better realised.
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Rocsteady
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Rocsteady » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:20 pm

Frank wrote:I finished it last night and still had that problem :slol:

especially when the two strands join together for the last few chapters.

It's a fun book, though. I think I'll have to read through it again at some point to really get a handle on what happens. I thought the Viktor guy was going to end up hunting for the Nik fella and them having some kind of shootout but then they just team up to get the money and the book ends, so I think I might have missed something somewhere :shifty:

I don't think you did miss anything. Just finished it.

I thought the end was a bit jumbled up and incohesive. Why did the two leaders not just murder Nik and Victor too? They were ruthless throughout yet they're happy to keep people alive who could easily doss them in. I thought the action sequences near the end were poor as well; Viktor happily shoots Pierre without a second thought or second sentence mentioning it yet until this point there's no suggestion he's a cold blooded killer.

Worst of all, though, was how Nik dealt with his 'dead' family - the strawberry float?! The guy did not give a gooseberry fool. He was sad and got drunk then from a few days on he just did not care in the slightest. Thought it was very unbelievable.

Having said all that, decent read. Solid 3/5 in my mind even if it did fall away at the end.
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Errkal
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Errkal » Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:38 pm

Just finished this

Enjoyed most of it but the ending seemed a bit flat, really enjoyed seeing the two sides coming together but oh and they all friends tho just seemed a bit meh.
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Parksey
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PostGR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Parksey » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:00 am

Finished this too. Time short chapters and relatively fast pace were well-suited to being in an airport/on a plane so I got through it quickly.

Glad I am not the only one who felt they didn't have a full grasp of what was going on.

I don't know if it's the writer's style but it felt quite manic to me, being confusing and obtuse at times.

The middle third was the most enjoyable. The beginning was a little muddled and like others have said, the ending was quite abrupt and flat. It never all quite came together satisfactorily for me. Nik's story was also the most interesting of the too as well, with Sahkno providing a bit of dark comic relief.

Saying that, it was a decent read. I agree with the sentiment that it was a 3/5 and something maybe a second reading would improve. I certainly wouldn't rule out reading another of Kurkov's works.


When is the next book starting?

Got another plane journey on Sunday morning so would quite like something to read then.
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Rocsteady
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Rocsteady » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:18 am

Parksey wrote:Finished this too. Time short chapters and relatively fast pace were well-suited to being in an airport/on a plane so I got through it quickly.

Glad I am not the only one who felt they didn't have a full grasp of what was going on.

I don't know if it's the writer's style but it felt quite manic to me, being confusing and obtuse at times.

The middle third was the most enjoyable. The beginning was a little muddled and like others have said, the ending was quite abrupt and flat. It never all quite came together satisfactorily for me. Nik's story was also the most interesting of the too as well, with Sahkno providing a bit of dark comic relief.

Saying that, it was a decent read. I agree with the sentiment that it was a 3/5 and something maybe a second reading would improve. I certainly wouldn't rule out reading another of Kurkov's works.


When is the next book starting?

Got another plane journey on Sunday morning so would quite like something to read then.

Yeah, agree with all of that.

Next book's not starting till next weekend.
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Rocsteady
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Rocsteady » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:42 pm

Under a week to go until we start our next book so if you've not finished this one yet get going with it

Next one is: "The Stars My Destination" by Alfred Bester

I've got an electronic version of it again I can send out.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by evanswolves » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:39 pm

Rocsteady wrote:Under a week to go until we start our next book so if you've not finished this one yet get going with it

Next one is: "The Stars My Destination" by Alfred Bester

I've got an electronic version of it again I can send out.


This book :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub:
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Parksey
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Parksey » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:39 am

I know they say don't judge a book by its cover, but the copy that I have coming my way looks horrendously naff. Think it's the same template across a sci-fi books as I came across a few looking equally as bad.

Hopefully it will get here before the weekend - said it would take 10 business days and will have been 9 by that point.

Don't really get on with sci-fi so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by <]:^D » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:16 pm

my copies cover is naff as hell also - enjoy the book :wub:

evanswolves have you read it before? :wub:
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Denster
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Denster » Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:39 pm

I need to crack on with this one.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by evanswolves » Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:13 pm

<]:^D wrote:my copies cover is naff as hell also - enjoy the book :wub:

evanswolves have you read it before? :wub:



Yep a couple of years ago, loved it, became my fav book :)
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Rex Kramer
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Rex Kramer » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:41 am

Finished it last night.

I found it a real drag particularly in the middle section of the book. I think the short chapters didn't really help me as I never got fully invested into the story as it switched viewpoint far to quickly. The ending was also a little disappointing, it never really built to anything. Some of the descriptive text was nice, particularly when describing the weather (one line talked about it being cheek pinchingly cold I think). I still struggled to work out some of the secondary characters and was it ever clear who continually phoned up Nik with instructions in Germany? 2/5, probably wouldn't read again.
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Parksey
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PostGR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Parksey » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:57 am

For me:

the short chapters actually helped. I was reading on a plane where sometimes my attention is a bit stretched so the fast pace and regular chapters helped it whip along.

I agree about sometimes not being massively invested though. I think the darkly comic tone of the novel didn't help you particularly connect with any of the characters either.
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Rex Kramer
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Rex Kramer » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:02 am

There was such an indifference to the characters - the way Nik moves on from his wife and childs death, Viktor despatching Pierre that it just reminded me of something like The Outsider by Camus.
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Gently-Parted Ringpiece
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Gently-Parted Ringpiece » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:58 am

Off on holibobs this week so Ill get it read then.
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Super Dragon 64
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Super Dragon 64 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:29 am

I just finished the book and found it enjoyable overall.

As others have said, the short chapters helped to keep my interest. The switching stories was a great touch, especially when they merged but that didn't feel well developed as Nik and Victor just accepted that they were now working together. The ending a bit anti-climactic for a similar reason but the journey through the book made it a good read.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Knoyleo » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:45 am

What's the deadline to read the current book by? I've barely touched it this week, but I'm on a flight today, so hoping to get done with it today or tomorrow, but not sure when I'll be back on to post my thoughts on it.

I ordered the next two books, but only Zazie had arrived by yesterday, so I won't be able to start the next one until I'm back from holiday. :fp:
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Rocsteady
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Rocsteady » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:35 pm

Knoyleo wrote:What's the deadline to read the current book by? I've barely touched it this week, but I'm on a flight today, so hoping to get done with it today or tomorrow, but not sure when I'll be back on to post my thoughts on it.

I ordered the next two books, but only Zazie had arrived by yesterday, so I won't be able to start the next one until I'm back from holiday. :fp:

Next book starts tomorrow so those who haven't piled through the Kurkov yet probably need to start railing the amphetamines to manage it in time.

I'm actually going to struggle to read Zazie, an electronic copy of it doesn't seem to exist.

The book starting from tomorrow's 'The Stars My Destination' by Alfred Bester. I'll update the OP and everything tomorrow but if folk want an early start: (it's in mobi. format so will need calibre if you don't have a Kindle)

http://www.mediafire.com/file/pp7tcm4717apopv/Alfred+Bester+-+The+Stars+My+Destination+%28mobi%29.mobi
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by <]:^D » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:45 pm

just finished 'General's Thumb' and my thoughts are below:

it was well written (and translated of course!) throughout. there were a couple of over-running sentences in the first few chapters, but they seemed to get shorter as the book went on, or more likely i just got used to them.

i read it in one sitting, as the mysterious plot drew me in very well.

i liked the constant flitting between multiple story-lines, mirroing what the protagonists would have been feeling, being kept in the dark for most of the story.

unfortunately, due to this back-and-forth, and no backstory or build up to speak of, i didnt really identify or care too much about Nik or Viktor, although Viktor having a present family for much of the book made him a bit more likeable.

the 'hidden' figures - Georgiy and Refat - were actually more interesting, as the people who seemed to have more of an idea of what the hell was going on.

the ending was a shame, and, again, not caring too much about the protagonists made it a bit perfunctory.

not a bad read, but something that would need another going over to make sense of, and i dont think i liked it enough to do so.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Rocsteady » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:54 pm

So, beginning from today we have two weeks to read the next book which is: The Stars Our Destination by Alfred Bester

I wasn't initially mad keen on the look of this one simply because I normally have a strong dislike for sci-fi but <]:^D (whose pick it was) has alleviated them somewhat:

i read this book about 3 years ago, without much research (I just pick up SF Masterworks books whenever i spot them) so i went into it blind and it blew me away.

what impressed me most about it is the pace. the book pulls you through it unlike anything ive ever read, and if you have the time you could easily go through it in an afternoon.

i also like that the sf elements dont impose on the (at its core) basic story, but complement it perfectly


Link's on the previous page for those who are happy with an electronic version. Got till the 5th to finish it!
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