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Passions in Poetry

What are you reading?

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Poet deVine
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0 posted 01-01-2002 11:34 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine


I skipped the last 3 or 4 books written by Dean Koontz. He diappointed me with some of his work so I hadn't bothered to read him. But I just got his latest on Sunday...and reading straight through, I must say, I really enjoyed it. Crisp and humorous, it was one of his best (though the ending wasn't what I would have done). Anyway, he's back in my good graces (I'm sure he was devastated that I hadn't read him!)

Ron
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1 posted 01-01-2002 12:18 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

It's been almost the opposite experience for me, Sharon.

I got a large selection of Koontz's books from a book club, oh, must have been ten or fifteen years ago, and read them all. There were probably more than a dozen, including "Watchers," "The Bad Place," and my favorite at the time, "Cold Fire." He told a good enough story, I enjoyed the books, but I ranked him as a Stephen King wanna-be and pretty much ignored him after that.

Last year, I seemed to be reading a lot faster than my usual list of authors could write (shame on them!), and picked up two of Koontz's more recent novels out of sheer desperation: "Fear Nothing" and the sequel to it, "Seize The Night."

I was absolutely astounded by how much Koontz has improved in the past decade. His stories were good before, and that hasn't changed, but his use of words and imagery has grown by magnitudes. Instead of just "telling" a good story, he now paints a good story, and for me that makes a world of difference. He may well have become the closest thing I've yet found to a modern "prose poet," and I started looking forward to the beginning of each chapter, knowing the first few paragraphs would be a true delight.

Here are the first few paragraphs of the first chapter of "Seize The Night"

"Elsewhere, night falls, but in Moonlight Bay it steals upon us with barely a whisper, like a gentle dark-sapphire surf licking a beach. At dawn, when the night retreats across the Pacific toward distant Asia, it is reluctant to go, leaving deep black pools in alleyways, under parked cars, in culverts, and beneath the leafy canopies of ancient oaks.

"According to Tibetan folklore, a secret sanctuary in the sacred Himalayas is the home of all wind, from which every breeze and raging storm throughout the world is born. If the night, too, has a special home, our town is no doubt the place.

"On the eleventh of April, as the night passed through Moonlight Bay on its way westward, it took with it a five-year-old boy named Jimmy Wing."

Poet deVine
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2 posted 01-01-2002 12:52 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Oh dear! What have I done? That was incredible!! His latest "One Door Away from Heaven" is full of unique characters - that's why I liked it so much.

And now I'm off to find Dean and apolgize for my rudeness in ignoring him.

My favorites from him are:

The Bad Place
Strangers
Sole Survivor

and now this one.

hush
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since 05-27-2001
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Ohio, USA


3 posted 01-02-2002 12:04 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Sole Surivor was really good. I haven't read much Koontz, maybe four books- 2 I liked (I think the other one I liked was called Intensity?) and the other two I thought were very mediocre, and I don't even remember the names of them.

I haven't been reading much new fiction lately, right now I'm trying to get Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles done in time to write a book report on it.... it's okay, not as good as the other things I've read by him. I was recently a little dissapointed by The Vagina Monolouges by Eve Ensler- I thought Gloria Steinem's introduction was by far the most interesting part. The rest seemed a little hum-drum to me- there were interesting parts, but I didn't think it was quite as revolutionary as everyone makes it out to be, and she seems to count on that.

"I'm thinking about leaving tomorrow
I'm thinking about being on my own
I think I been wasting my time
I'm thinking about getting out"

Ron
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4 posted 01-02-2002 02:30 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Ray Bradbury also falls into the "prose poet" category. Every thing he writes is always, if not brilliant, at least beautiful. Very few writers consistently use colors, textures, smells, and sounds to bring scenes to life as well as Bradbury.

"The Martian Chronicles" was revolutionary when it was written, but is much less so fifty years later when we are more accustomed to "hard" science fiction. His vision of Mars was much closer to that of Edgar Rice Burroughs, much more fantasy than real science fiction. Interestingly, though, the political values that form many of the themes throughout the book are as relevant today as they were in the middle of the Cold War.

The thing to remember when reading the Chronicles is that it is NOT a novel, but rather, is a series of short stories linked by a common background. It doesn't even include all of the Mars stories Bradbury wrote. When the stories were joined into a single volume, Bradbury made a modest attempt to add connective material, but most agree it was less than successful. Personally, I think it was impossible. The tone of the individual stores differs too widely, and there are dozens (perhaps hundreds) of internal inconsistencies and contradictions. Read each chapter as a separate entity, however, and those become less important. And much more enjoyable. Listen to the language, look for the themes, and I think you'll find yourself appreciating it a lot more.
Jamie
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Blue Heaven


5 posted 01-02-2002 05:28 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

Why, James Patterson of course

There is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar.
byron

Poet deVine
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6 posted 01-02-2002 05:37 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Oh Jamie! Is it the vampire one? I think 'Violets are Blue' is the title. I love James Patterson - is it good? Should I buy it. Sigh! I need to be a librarian!!! Or work in a bookstore!!
Jamie
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Blue Heaven


7 posted 01-02-2002 05:45 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

nope== actually re-reading cat & mouse,, after having re-read jack & jill..

have to read my namesake yanno

hey-- maybe i can profit from sharing the name---heh

There is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar.
byron

Marina
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8 posted 01-02-2002 05:57 PM       View Profile for Marina   Email Marina   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marina

I'm just finishing Blood and Gold.  It is the newest of the Vampire series by Anne Rice.  Those who are die hard Anne Rice fans will not be disappointed by this one.

Marina
serenity blaze
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9 posted 01-02-2002 05:58 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Mostly reference--and poetry of course! oh...and groan..."The Brand-Name Calorie Counter"---(yep...I will be eating plain turkey weenies on wheat during carnival---blech!)
Temptress
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10 posted 01-02-2002 09:17 PM       View Profile for Temptress   Email Temptress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Temptress

Ron and Sharon,
KOONTZ? REALLY? I think its awesome that you read him. I've been a faithful reader for years now although I have yet to catch up. A store had a major sale on books last year some time, and I bought A LOT of his books for like 1.25 or less each. Now I have a collection I'm dying to catch up on. The first book I read by him had me hooked. It seemed the name of it was "Twilight Eyes". Can't remember exactly, but there was a picture of a carousel on the front.  

If anyone can find a copy of a book called
"Mordant's Need--A Man Rides Through" which is the sequel to "A Mirror of Her Dreams" (not by Koontz of course) I would be grateful. I tried ordering from the bookstore. They couldn't get it because its not being printed anymore?

Laters for now! I'm off to read more poetry.
Ron
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11 posted 01-02-2002 10:03 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

How would you like a First Edition copy, Jenn, for about ten bucks? You've only got about 42 hours, though

Amazon Auction

I've read everything Donaldson has published, but haven't really liked anything since the Thomas Covenant series.
hush
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12 posted 01-02-2002 11:32 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Ron-

I knew that when I started reading the Chronicles. I am enjoying most of the stories in it- it just impresses me less than some of his other stuff.

Actually, though, I do think that he shows connections/progressions fairly well. Yeah, the connective material is pretty lame (although, as you say, it is beautiful, especially the description of why the men go to Mars) but I think the stories are set up in a way that shows the progression of society in a series of snapshots rather than a long story. I also have my own idea about the contradictions- after all, there are infinite versions of every he-said, she-said story, right?

"I'm thinking about leaving tomorrow
I'm thinking about being on my own
I think I been wasting my time
I'm thinking about getting out"

Temptress
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13 posted 01-16-2002 01:39 PM       View Profile for Temptress   Email Temptress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Temptress

Umm..Ron? Thanks for the direction. I just wish I could have gotten back on time to see your response and get the copy. I hope I can still find a copy somewhere. I haven't read anything else by that author. Just "A Mirror of Her Dreams" and now I'm hooked I think.
Christopher
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Purgatorial Incarceration


14 posted 01-16-2002 03:39 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Interesting topic! (Sneaking in at work here... waiting for some plans to come back... ahem)

Bradbury, yes. Also, Zelazny. He was another who writes 'poetically' I think. With much imagination to boot... the Amber series was quite inventive, though the characterization of those outside the main could have been a little more well-developed. The imagery was amazing though, and seemed to be a consistent voice for him.

Donaldson!!! Ahh, my favorite. Ron - do you refer to the first chronicles, or both? There were two, though when taken together, actually there should only be one long chronicle of six-books. There is conclusion to the first, but the second tied in so perfectly, and filled in those few missing gaps, that it should have been all one long series.

His gap-cycle novels could have been better - they seemd an awfully bitter portrayal of quasi-interesting science fiction to me... Still enjoyed them, but more for the style of writing than actual stories.

I LOVED Mordant's Need. Very well tied together couple of books! Both my copies are tattered and frayed from use!

Daughter of Regals & Other Tales, and Reave the Just are two short story collectiosn - both of which have some VERY good stories in them - he doesn't do bad at all as a short-story author!

Finally, The Man Who Fought Alone - his newest novel just released in hardback - is a plain ol' detective novel, replete with a P.I., martial artists and murder. It's interesting how his style meshed into a first-person character, one out of "fantastic" situations. I will have to re-read it to see if I truly enjoyed it, but it was interesting to see him take a different approach.

Finally - right now I'm finishing up the second volume of "Otherworld" by Tad WIlliams. Actually, it took me half a dozen times to actually get past the first chapter in book one. Once I did though, I found that despite rambling on here and there, he actually has a pretty interesting idea with this story, one that, as an author, must have been really fun to play with!

Anyway, I'll be getting book three here soon. Hope it stays interesting.

Peace

C
Jeffrey E. Osborne
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out there


15 posted 01-17-2002 08:39 PM       View Profile for Jeffrey E. Osborne   Email Jeffrey E. Osborne   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Jeffrey E. Osborne

At the moment, I'm reading "Dreamcatcher" by Stephen King. So far so good, if you like King . Haven't read Koontz in awhile as I thought his subject matter was getting somewhat repetitive but maybe I'll give him another go. Same with Anne Rice - loved her vampires and witches but her over the top prose can grow tiring after awhile. James Patterson is excellent and I'm still trying to catch up on Patricia Cornwell.

"people say I should learn some self-control, but I just want to exorcise my soul"

Jamie
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since 06-26-2000
Posts 3219
Blue Heaven


16 posted 01-17-2002 08:55 PM       View Profile for Jamie   Email Jamie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Jamie's Home Page   View IP for Jamie

E=MC2,  A biography of the world's most famous equation, by David Bodanis.

There is society where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar.
byron

Temptress
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17 posted 01-17-2002 09:42 PM       View Profile for Temptress   Email Temptress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Temptress

JEFFEY??!! Is it really you?
I like King occasionally, but not as much as Koontz. I've just finished reading Koontz's "Fear Nothing" and I am searching feverishly through unpacked boxes in my apartment for "Seize the Night". I'm probably way behind, but I still like reading him.
Poet deVine
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18 posted 01-17-2002 10:17 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Find one by Robert McCammon...he doesn't write any more..and he was GOOD!
mauddib
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since 01-12-2002
Posts 124
melbourne australia


19 posted 01-22-2002 04:56 PM       View Profile for mauddib   Email mauddib   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for mauddib

I have 3 favourites.
First and foremost ONE T S ELIOT, the Love song of J Alfred Prufrock and the JOurney of Magi are exceptional works along with the Wasteland series.
Thomas Hardy is the most descriptive writer I have yet to come accross, The Woodlanders being an excellent read.
But, as my nickname suggest, Frank Herbert and The Dune series of books are just superb.
Romy
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since 05-28-2000
Posts 1226
Plantation, Florida


20 posted 01-23-2002 10:51 AM       View Profile for Romy   Email Romy   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Romy

I'm also reading the latest by Koontz and enjoying it.  I love to read Stephen King and Peter Straub, (especially the Tailsman)
Clive Barker (Weaveworld), John Grisham, Cornwall and of course Patterson!
For more challenge though I like to read any editions of the Norton Reader, always packed with the best authors old and new and very inspiring!

Oprah's book club sometimes offers a chance to read some really good but not so well-known authors and the one that I recently read is no exception.  It's called The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.  One of the best modern novels that I've read in a long time.  I was blown away by his talent!

[This message has been edited by Romy (01-23-2002 10:55 AM).]

amigo
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since 10-12-2001
Posts 525
the earth school


21 posted 01-23-2002 11:22 AM       View Profile for amigo   Email amigo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for amigo

Anyone to share your views on The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield....it's amazing....
Temptress
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Member Rara Avis
since 06-15-99
Posts 7276
Mobile, AL


22 posted 01-23-2002 02:05 PM       View Profile for Temptress   Email Temptress   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Temptress

Umm..Christopher? Did I hear you say BOTH your tattered copies? LOL! Geesh..I'd give anything for a tatter copy of the second book right now. *sigh* I still haven't had any luck finding it, but I also haven't really been searching on line lately either.
*Jenn slips through Christopher's computer and snatches the second book**
 
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