Staying at home is the norm... What are you reading?

Drathnoxis

Became a mass murderer for your sake
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
5,500
1,949
118
Just off-screen
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Still reading Soul Eater, I'm at volume 15/25 and well past the point the anime stopped. I gotta say, the manga is waaay better. The art is just incredible at times, just so stylish, and he's always throwing in new weird styles for a couple of panels here and there to accentuate something. The manga is also way darker than the anime after the anime branches off. BlackUntitled-1.pngStar's last fight with Mifune is just so completely brutal in the manga and, honestly, he pretty much steals the spotlight for the whole Baba Yaga Castle arc. Honestly, after that I feel like his character arc is done and I have no idea where's even left for BlackUntitled-1.pngStar to go. In the anime the fight is cliche. Also there was no Baba Yaga Castle Vs. Death City mech battle. Thank god because it was completely stupid. I could go on for quite a while on the differences between the last episodes of the anime and the manga, but there really isn't a point, the manga is better in pretty much every way.

What's kind of weird is that when the anime adaptation begins there's a couple bonus manga's from different manga artists congratulating Atsushi Ohkubo on getting a manga adaptation... except the volume that these appear in are pretty much the end point of the anime. It's pretty funny how that worked out.

I do have a correction from my early post on this, but Maka does indeed get a gravity defying skirt in the manga as well, it just takes a couple volumes. From like volume 3 or something we never see her panties in battle again. The manga is still pretty horny, it just doesn't like to be horny about Maka.

So yeah, I haven't even finished the manga yet but I can still with full confidence recommend that if anybody is interested in Soul Eater they should definitely read the manga rather than watch the anime.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
9,651
2,173
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Read some stuff:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Photo Guide (3/5)

Star Wars: From the Journals of Obi-Wan Kenobi (3/5)

Star Wars: Operation Starlight (3/5)

Still reading Soul Eater, I'm at volume 15/25 and well past the point the anime stopped. I gotta say, the manga is waaay better. The art is just incredible at times, just so stylish, and he's always throwing in new weird styles for a couple of panels here and there to accentuate something.
So it's, um, solely better then?
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
9,651
2,173
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Read some stuff:

The Worst Witch (2/5)

Hogfather (3/5)

Resistance (2/5)

Current Discworld rankings now as follows:

6) The Colour of Magic

5) Hogfather

4) Witches Abroad

3) Ms. Bradshaw’s Handbook

2) Wintersmith

1) Mort
 

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 16, 2010
18,739
3,613
118
Can I get some more detailed thoughts on this one? I don't remember Hogfather being that bad, though I did need to look up a plot synopsis to even remember which one it was.
The auditors hire assassins who are stealing the tooth fairies' teeth so they can steal Christmas Hogswatch. It's one of the three ive action tv movie adaptations.
 

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
9,651
2,173
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Can I get some more detailed thoughts on this one? I don't remember Hogfather being that bad, though I did need to look up a plot synopsis to even remember which one it was.
Well I didn't say Hogwarts was bad, only that it's weaker than most of the other Discworld books I've read. On the other hand, I find myself in the position of realizing that I'm just not into Discworld that much, because of said list, the only one I've genuinely enjoyed is Mort, whereas everything else is okay at best.

Anyway, assuming that by now you've looked up a plot summary, my general thoughts are as thus:

THE GOOD

-Pretty much anything involving Death. I mean, that likely goes without saying, but pretty much everything from Death's mouth (telepathy?) is gold. This runs the gamete from comedy ("we shall SLEIGH them, Albert, HO HO HO") to menace ("Have you [the Auditors] been naughty or nice?" [asked with his scythe at the ready]) to a mix of insight and ignorance (e.g. his perplexion as to human nature, of the contradictions in Hogwatch, consumerism, the nature of belief, etc.

-While not as memorable, Susan is still a fun character, though she's at her most fun when she's with the children (Twylla's certainly adorable). It's an interesting take on things about how she deals with children's monsters (like the children, she can see them, and hits them with a poker).

THE BAD

Not that this is necessarily "bad," but meh, semantics.

-I just didn't care about the Unseen University stuff. It's funny at first, how one make-believe creature pops into existence after another (the Veruca Gnome, the Oh God of Hangovers), but it wore out its welcome. The characters are okay, like Ridcully and Ponder Stibbons, and Hex is an interesting concept (basically a steampunk computer), but I just wasn't engaged in it like I was the above-mentioned stuff.

-Because I saw the Hogfather TV movie way back in the day, I had a strong sense of what certain locations looked like (e.g. the Tooth Fairy's realm), but the book's extremely vague on visual descriptions. Too vague, IMO, where it was often hard to get a sense of place. Not always (e.g. the Bone Castle), but often.

-Teatime is a solid villain, but there's just not enough of him.

-Finally, the crux of the matter. This might seem like heresy to a lot of people, but I'm just not much of a fan of Pratchett's writing style. In Witches Abroad, I commented that he has a comment of throwing in joke after joke, as if to see what sticks. Hogfather doesn't have exactly the same problem, but the writing style is extremely fast faced, regardless as to what events are actually happen. Often, Pratchett writes dialogue in what's effectively script format, so not only is it hard to tell who's talking at times (not that DEATH HAS THIS PROBLEM), but it gets exhausting to follow at times. So on one hand, you have a story where the premise is that time has slowed around the world (it's Hogwatchnight, time needs to be slowed for the Hogfather to deliver all his presents), but on the other hand, the writing style doesn't match what the story is saying.

So, yeah. The novel isn't bad, but it's fair to say at this point that Discworld isn't really my thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Drathnoxis

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
9,651
2,173
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Doctor Who: The Androids of Tara (3/5)

A novelization of the 1978 DW serial of the same name, and about as average as one would expect.

Anyway, the Doctor and Romana go to Tara to find the Key to Time, which is quickly relegated to the sidelines as they wind up in politics on the planet Tara. Tara, or at least this part of it, is a feudal society but where androids are aplenty due to a quirk of technological development in response to plague (Black Plague analogy is obvious). Romana is captured and spends most of the story staying captured without doing anything, leaving the Doctor to use his wits to save the day and navigate Taran politics.

If you can't tell, I didn't think much of this. The idea of a feudal society skipping ahead to developing androids is potentially interesting, but nothing interesting conceptually really comes of it. There's a few times when the author, writing in narrative, tries his hand at satire on the absurdities of the society the pair have found themselves in, but they come and go only as time permits. This is particuarly notable since I've just come off Hogfather which, regardless of my own gripes with that work, keeps its satire constant and on point. At the end of the day, it's just pulp sci-fi, and not particuarly engaging pulp sci-fi at that.
 

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 16, 2010
18,739
3,613
118
Doctor Who: The Androids of Tara (3/5)

A novelization of the 1978 DW serial of the same name, and about as average as one would expect.

Anyway, the Doctor and Romana go to Tara to find the Key to Time, which is quickly relegated to the sidelines as they wind up in politics on the planet Tara. Tara, or at least this part of it, is a feudal society but where androids are aplenty due to a quirk of technological development in response to plague (Black Plague analogy is obvious). Romana is captured and spends most of the story staying captured without doing anything, leaving the Doctor to use his wits to save the day and navigate Taran politics.

If you can't tell, I didn't think much of this. The idea of a feudal society skipping ahead to developing androids is potentially interesting, but nothing interesting conceptually really comes of it. There's a few times when the author, writing in narrative, tries his hand at satire on the absurdities of the society the pair have found themselves in, but they come and go only as time permits. This is particuarly notable since I've just come off Hogfather which, regardless of my own gripes with that work, keeps its satire constant and on point. At the end of the day, it's just pulp sci-fi, and not particuarly engaging pulp sci-fi at that.
It's Prisoner of Zenda, in space. Apparently even the actors making it would say that. OTOH, it's almost a period costume drama, and the BBC can do those well.

But yeah, the story is saved from being the worst of the Key to Time arc mostly by The Pirate Planet existing, though you could argue The Armageddon Factor was worse than Androids of Tara, i guess.
 

Drathnoxis

Became a mass murderer for your sake
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
5,500
1,949
118
Just off-screen
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Well I didn't say Hogwarts was bad, only that it's weaker than most of the other Discworld books I've read. On the other hand, I find myself in the position of realizing that I'm just not into Discworld that much, because of said list, the only one I've genuinely enjoyed is Mort, whereas everything else is okay at best.

Anyway, assuming that by now you've looked up a plot summary, my general thoughts are as thus:

THE GOOD

-Pretty much anything involving Death. I mean, that likely goes without saying, but pretty much everything from Death's mouth (telepathy?) is gold. This runs the gamete from comedy ("we shall SLEIGH them, Albert, HO HO HO") to menace ("Have you [the Auditors] been naughty or nice?" [asked with his scythe at the ready]) to a mix of insight and ignorance (e.g. his perplexion as to human nature, of the contradictions in Hogwatch, consumerism, the nature of belief, etc.

-While not as memorable, Susan is still a fun character, though she's at her most fun when she's with the children (Twylla's certainly adorable). It's an interesting take on things about how she deals with children's monsters (like the children, she can see them, and hits them with a poker).

THE BAD

Not that this is necessarily "bad," but meh, semantics.

-I just didn't care about the Unseen University stuff. It's funny at first, how one make-believe creature pops into existence after another (the Veruca Gnome, the Oh God of Hangovers), but it wore out its welcome. The characters are okay, like Ridcully and Ponder Stibbons, and Hex is an interesting concept (basically a steampunk computer), but I just wasn't engaged in it like I was the above-mentioned stuff.

-Because I saw the Hogfather TV movie way back in the day, I had a strong sense of what certain locations looked like (e.g. the Tooth Fairy's realm), but the book's extremely vague on visual descriptions. Too vague, IMO, where it was often hard to get a sense of place. Not always (e.g. the Bone Castle), but often.

-Teatime is a solid villain, but there's just not enough of him.

-Finally, the crux of the matter. This might seem like heresy to a lot of people, but I'm just not much of a fan of Pratchett's writing style. In Witches Abroad, I commented that he has a comment of throwing in joke after joke, as if to see what sticks. Hogfather doesn't have exactly the same problem, but the writing style is extremely fast faced, regardless as to what events are actually happen. Often, Pratchett writes dialogue in what's effectively script format, so not only is it hard to tell who's talking at times (not that DEATH HAS THIS PROBLEM), but it gets exhausting to follow at times. So on one hand, you have a story where the premise is that time has slowed around the world (it's Hogwatchnight, time needs to be slowed for the Hogfather to deliver all his presents), but on the other hand, the writing style doesn't match what the story is saying.

So, yeah. The novel isn't bad, but it's fair to say at this point that Discworld isn't really my thing.
Ok, I can understand all that. Don't have really too much to add, it being so long since I've read the book, other than to make some recommendations as to my favorite Discworld novels:

Guards! Guards! - You haven't read any of the City Watch novels yet, and they are some of the best. Kind of a fantasy crime/mystery style with some fun characters.

Reaper Man - This was my favorite Death focused novel. I thought it was really good.

Small Gods - A one off focused on religion in Discworld. Don't remember too much about it, but I remember liking it.

Going Postal - I tend not to like much of Terry Pratchett's later work, but the Von Lipwig novels are an exception. It's hard to not like conman going straight stories.

Although, I really liked The Colour of Magic (and The Light Fantastic) which bottoms out your list, so maybe take my recommendations with a grain of salt. I also listened to the audiobook versions read by Nigel Planer, and I find a good narrator can really affect your enjoyment of a book.
 
Last edited:

Hawki

Elite Member
Legacy
Mar 4, 2014
9,651
2,173
118
Country
Australia
Gender
Male
Ok, I can understand all that. Don't have really too much to add, it being so long since I've read the book, other than to make some recommendations as to my favorite Discworld novels:

Guards! Guards! - You haven't read any of the City Watch novels yet, and they are some of the best. Kind of a fantasy crime/mystery style with some fun characters.
Guards! Guards! is one I want to read at some point, mainly because we did a stage adaptation back in primary school (I was Carrot).

Although, I really liked The Colour of Magic (and The Light Fantastic) which bottoms out your list, so maybe take my recommendations with a grain of salt.
Dunno how you feel in comparison, but CoM really feels out of place when compared to the other books I read. CoM comes off as more standard fantasy (and not engrossing fantasy at that), whereas every other book in the series I've read has Pratchett's trademark wit.

Either this was a typo, or you are trying to cash in on the controversy of the Hogwarts: Legacy thread. Clickbait!
Those damn dirty house elves, they confounded me!

(Yes, it's a typo.)
 

Drathnoxis

Became a mass murderer for your sake
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
5,500
1,949
118
Just off-screen
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
Dunno how you feel in comparison, but CoM really feels out of place when compared to the other books I read. CoM comes off as more standard fantasy (and not engrossing fantasy at that), whereas every other book in the series I've read has Pratchett's trademark wit.
Standard fantasy about a tourist and the worst wizard ever? Is that pretty common? I don't know, I thought it was witty. Certainly more inventive than the books where he just does something like "movies... but in fantasy." But it was the first one I listened to and that was probably close to 10 years ago. I should probably do it again some time.
 

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 16, 2010
18,739
3,613
118
Dunno how you feel in comparison, but CoM really feels out of place when compared to the other books I read. CoM comes off as more standard fantasy (and not engrossing fantasy at that), whereas every other book in the series I've read has Pratchett's trademark wit.
Ah, but then Colour of Magic was his first Discworld book. I think it just took him a bit to really get going.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mister Mumbler

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 16, 2010
18,739
3,613
118
Just read The Horla by Guy de Maupassant. Which resembles Lovecraftian horror, but was written a few years before Lovecraft was born, and also resembles an alien invasion story, written 20 odd years before War of the Worlds.

A bit old fashioned, but still decent (I've seen at least one film that after reading this seems heavily influenced by it). Also interesting in a historical sense.
 

Absent

And twice is the only way to live.
Jan 25, 2023
1,594
1,552
118
Country
Switzerland
Gender
The boring one
Just read The Horla by Guy de Maupassant. Which resembles Lovecraftian horror, but was written a few years before Lovecraft was born, and also resembles an alien invasion story, written 20 odd years before War of the Worlds.

A bit old fashioned, but still decent (I've seen at least one film that after reading this seems heavily influenced by it). Also interesting in a historical sense.
More ambiguous than Lovecraft though as it belongs to this category of "fantastique" that stays indecisive between supernatural and psychological, and is defined by this hesitation. Many see this story as a description of depression.

But Maupassant is cool. As it's considered high litterature (as opposed to the more pulp Lovecraft), I hope too much isn't lost in translation. But hey, I had read Poe in French (translated by one of France's most important poets, but it's far from a guarantee of fidelity).

There's one detail that nags me though, and that always irks me in fictions presented like diaries or letters. The part where the narrator "hears" the supposed creature's voice is all "wait... I think... I hear it... it's the... hor... hor... la ?" which makes sense in oral but not in writing. I had the same issue with a Stephen King short story, the supposed diary of someone getting delirious (auto-cannibalising, stranded on an island if I remember well) and he supposedly wrote "hahaha" when laughing. Hm.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Johnny Novgorod

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 16, 2010
18,739
3,613
118
There's one detail that nags me though, and that always irks me in fictions presented like diaries or letters. The part where the narrator "hears" the supposed creature's voice is all "wait... I think... I hear it... it's the... hor... hor... la ?" which makes sense in oral but not in writing. I had the same issue with a Stephen King short story, the supposed diary of someone getting delirious (auto-cannibalising, stranded on an island if I remember well) and he supposedly wrote "hahaha" when laughing. Hm.
Yeah, there's often issues with that way of writing. And the way the monster will stop to let the author write about the monster, especially if the monster is supposed to be doing something scary.
 

Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
Legacy
Feb 9, 2012
18,579
3,114
118
Reading Moby Dick. 283 pages in, 186 to go. 3 pages a day = done by May 7th though lately I've been reading more than that either because I was hooked or wanted to finish a chapter.

Also cutting between Desire by Murakami and M.R. James ghost stories as "light" reads.
 

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 16, 2010
18,739
3,613
118
Reading Moby Dick. 283 pages in, 186 to go. 3 pages a day = done by May 7th though lately I've been reading more than that either because I was hooked or wanted to finish a chapter.

Also cutting between Desire by Murakami and M.R. James ghost stories as "light" reads.
What's your opinion on M.R. James? Not read his work, but there were a series of TV adaptations that I've seen some of.
 

Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
Legacy
Feb 9, 2012
18,579
3,114
118
What's your opinion on M.R. James? Not read his work, but there were a series of TV adaptations that I've seen some of.
He's not my favorite weird fiction dude but I like him a lot. His work really is primed for adaptation. A lot of it reads, and indeed was written, as essentially storytelling hour between friends. So many of his stories have a "campfire" kind of vibe down to the ending stinger. The BBC is rife with radio and TV adaptations of his work.

He was a medievalist/antiquarian and goes into great detail and with passion about those subjects, which might be a point of contention for anyone who doesn't share a fascination for those things. It's a little bit like Tolkien - he wasn't just writing fantastic shtick, he was imitating the highly archaic style of a bygone era even by his era.