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 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:55 pm

Posted again for the new page:

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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Parksey
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PostGR Book Club - First Book! The Case of the General's Thumb by Andrey Kurkov
by Parksey » Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:11 pm

Just about to read this now for an hour before bed.

Like you, I'm not keen on sci-fi, and this also has the most horrendous cover known to man, but at 300 pages it's definitely going to get finished and if it has a fast pace it should be enjoyable enough.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by <]:^D » Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:24 pm

i would advise trying to avoid categorising your book preferences by genre. preferences are all well and good but there are multiple books that ive read that are apparently classed as 'Sci-Fi Masterworks' that had almost nothing to do with spaceships and aliens; The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg is a good example; there's literally nothing supernatural in it at all!
'Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes is another extraordinarily good 'Sci-Fi Masterwork' where the plot hinges on someone having their intelligence boosted, but the rest of the book is strictly 1950s America with no other sci-fi elements to speak of.
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Rex Kramer
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Rex Kramer » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:13 am

Made a start on this the other day and I really quite like it. Doesn't read like a book written in the 50s.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Knoyleo » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:51 pm

I finished The General's Thumb on Sunday, but haven't really had a chance to write up my feelings on the book until now. I assume we don't need to spoiler stuff after the deadline?

I agree with a lot of other people's thoughts on this by the looks of it. The pacing was enjoyable, as it kept everything moving at a good pace, and flitting from character to character prevented it from becoming dull at any point. Unfortunately, this meant it took a long while to begin to feel like you knew the characters, and unfamiliarity with Eastern European names meant initially I struggled to follow just who was who.

The story itself was perfectly enjoyable, but I felt the ending really let it down. I'm unsure why Nik and Sakhno ended up doing what they did in Germany, or who was giving them orders and why. I'm still unsure why there seemed to be a dispute between rival internal Ukrainian intelligence services, and how this affected what was going on, and who was trying to take out Viktor, and the leads he found in his case. Most frustrating of all, given that it's even mentioned in the book that it's left unanswered, it's why Georgiy and Refat seemed to have been working together, but Viktor had to lie to Georgiy about Refat's involvement in helping with the case.

Whilst enjoyable, it certainly wasn't in danger of going beyond being anything other than a soft crime thriller, so I really can't give it more than 3/5 overall.

Looking forward to starting Stars My Destination when I get back home. I've got a bit more time off before going back to work next week, so should be able to make a good start on it.

Parksey wrote:this also has the most horrendous cover known to man,

It's from the same Sci-fi Masterworks range that my copy of Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep is from, and that has a pretty bad cover, too, but thankfully is a much better read. In fact, I think the only other Sci-fi Masterworks book I've read is I Am Legend, so it's a range that's been very good to me so far.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Parksey » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:02 am

Just finished this:

What a weird book. Not in a bad way, but it's strange.

Firstly, as has been said, it's weird because it really doesn't feel like it was written in the 50s. It does reak as much of a Jetsons-style future as I feared it might.

It's also quite modern in how it flits rapidly from one part to the next. In a way, it jauntes about just as much as the characters do.

And the central character feels quite modern too. He's violent, erratic, tremendously selfish and murderer and rapist to boot. He's a force of nature almost, and it's probably the character of Gully Foyle that leaves the strongest impression on the reader. I'll likely forget the details of the plot fairly quickly - indeed, the story itself is fairly mundane, though I agree with the Neil Gaiman bit at the end in that it does feel quite 80s cyperpunk - but the character will stay with me.

All in all, I enjoyed it. As I said, the plot wasn't particularly compelling by itself, but the main character keeps your interest.

I'd be tempted to read The Demolition Man by the same author, at some point.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by evanswolves » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:12 pm

Parksey wrote:Just finished this:

What a weird book. Not in a bad way, but it's strange.

Firstly, as has been said, it's weird because it really doesn't feel like it was written in the 50s. It does reak as much of a Jetsons-style future as I feared it might.

It's also quite modern in how it flits rapidly from one part to the next. In a way, it jauntes about just as much as the characters do.

And the central character feels quite modern too. He's violent, erratic, tremendously selfish and murderer and rapist to boot. He's a force of nature almost, and it's probably the character of Gully Foyle that leaves the strongest impression on the reader. I'll likely forget the details of the plot fairly quickly - indeed, the story itself is fairly mundane, though I agree with the Neil Gaiman bit at the end in that it does feel quite 80s cyperpunk - but the character will stay with me.

All in all, I enjoyed it. As I said, the plot wasn't particularly compelling by itself, but the main character keeps your interest.

I'd be tempted to read The Demolition Man by the same author, at some point.


The Demolished Man is another good one, i read it straight after The Stars My Destination :)
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Errkal » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:25 pm

I need to start this, I have been distracted by Pokemon Sun so not been reading. I will start it tonight !
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Parksey
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PostGR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Parksey » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:39 pm

When does the next book start, this weekend?

Got my book order from the Book Depository in, so I'm all sorted for the next 7 weeks or what have you.

I even bought Ready Player One because someone mentioned it here. Was thinking of starting that now to bide me over before the next.

My aim is to read 52 books this year, in an effort to get my reading back on track, as it's lapsed since coming to Japan (any spare reading has been with Japanese texts for studying, which isn't quite the same).

Up to 6 so far, which isn't bad considering I only really started in February.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Rocsteady » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:07 am

It's this weekend yeah. Haven't even started this one yet, need to pile through it in the next couple of days. Think I might struggle to read Zazie... anyway, not ordered it and electronic copies don't seem to exist
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Errkal » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:07 am

Never did start this. Keep getting distracted by games....
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Parksey
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Parksey » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:05 am

Rocsteady wrote:It's this weekend yeah. Haven't even started this one yet, need to pile through it in the next couple of days. Think I might struggle to read Zazie... anyway, not ordered it and electronic copies don't seem to exist


Are you abroad? Use the Book Depository and get free shipping.

It can offer free shipping because it seemingly calculates the price based on where you are, or where your IP address says you are. I would never dream of using a VPN to get UK prices when I was living in Japan, how dare you say that.
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Rex Kramer
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Rex Kramer » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:07 am

The 'people who bought this also bought' for Zazie on the Book Depository is basically just the GR book club!

I'll try and pick up a copy in town tomorrow. Currently around 50 odd % through the current book. Still quite enjoying it though it's really dragging out the story.
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Current castaway: Rax can be found here. All the previous contributors can be found here.
Tackling the pile of shame part 2 - http://grview.grcade.co.uk/articles/the-7-commandments-of-tackling-the-pile-of-shame/
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Errkal » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:14 pm

Am about half way through this, it is pretty good. Here are a few spelling issues with the ebook but otherwise it is really good, I quick like the fast pacedness of it. Brilliant book.
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Parksey
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Parksey » Sat Mar 04, 2017 4:22 am

Rex Kramer wrote:The 'people who bought this also bought' for Zazie on the Book Depository is basically just the GR book club!


gooseberry fool, it's basically just me - I bought Silence and Ready Player One in the same order as well.
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Rocsteady
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Rocsteady » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:32 pm

Really enjoying this story so far, trying to read 50% of it today and 50 tomorrow but not sure I'm up to the task. Only quibbles so far are that one of the futuristic 'powers', basically, was blatantly shoved in only to further the story and - more seriously - much of the dialogue is clunky as strawberry float. Cool tale though, looking forward to seeing where it goes.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Squinty » Sun Mar 05, 2017 5:17 pm

The Stars our Destination is pretty good. I hope you all enjoy it.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Rocsteady » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:46 pm

Shite I was meant to update this today and my Internet's being dire.

The next book, now that I've remembered, is Zazie in the Metro. I can't remember the author. This was Irene 's choice, hopefully it's good gooseberry fool - I know nothing about it.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - The Stars Our Destination
by Rocsteady » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:47 pm

Shite I was meant to update this today and my Internet's being dire.

The next book, now that I've remembered, is Zazie in the Metro. I can't remember the author. This was Irene 's choice, hopefully it's good gooseberry fool - I know nothing about it.
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PostRe: GR Book Club - Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queneau
by Rocsteady » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:39 am

Finally got round to updating the OP, we have until next Sunday - the 19th - to finish it.

I just completed The Stars our Destination, a couple of days late but never mind.

Thought it was great. Not the sort of novel I ever tend to read but it was compelling, varied, and did a great job of fleshing out an interesting character (Gully). Really what I wanted to get out of this book club was reading stories that I would never normally touch so this was perfect for me - not sure if some of its plot points were rather clichéd but I read so little sci-fi that it all seemed pretty new to me.

Also, as mentioned, I thought the pacing was great. If I'd had the time I probably could have happily blasted through it in one session.

I'd give it a solid 4/5, much preferred it to our first novel. Might have to look into other acclaimed short sci-fi works now too, good pick face.
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