What Are You Reading ?

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30 October 2004, 04:28 AM
What Are You Reading ?
Just finished Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy. Slow going in places but an interesting look at a ritual obsessed world.
30 October 2004, 05:47 AM
Halloween before last I read "The Time Machine," by H. G. Wells, last Halloween "The Invisible Man," by the same author, and this year I'm finishing "The War of the Worlds" no matter WHAT else gets done (and not much has been!)
31 October 2004, 12:35 AM
I just read "The Halloween Tree" last week in preparetion for Halloween. I must say I enjoyed it a lot. It really put me in the Halloween mood.
31 October 2004, 03:28 AM

THE INVISIBLE MAN is sooo cool. I love that book, especially the part when the two street urchin kids spot his muddy feet during the parade.
31 October 2004, 05:23 AM
I had my doubts about "The War of the Worlds" being as cool as "The Invisible Man," but so far I think I am liking it better.
31 October 2004, 12:20 PM
Korby--I just wanted to let you know I haven't been ignoring your question about The DaVinci Code. I have been trying to read enough of it to give you a decent answer, but have been so swamped at school I haven't been able to read as much as I would like to lately. I still have about half of it to go, but it is fantastic. It starts with an American professor being called to the Louvre, where the curator has been murdereed and has left a message as he died about the professor. The professor is soon wrongly accused of murdering the curator, so he goes on the run along with the curator's granddaughter. They are running, while at the same time trying to decipher the coded message the curator had left them. According to legend, DaVinci was a long standing member of a secret society whose main goal was to protect the secret hiding place of the Holy Grail. This society would one day release the information about the Grail, which would shake the Church to its foundations. So the Church has sent out someone, from another secret society of their own, to intercept the secret and hush it all up, committing murder when needed. The Grail, by the way, is revealed not to be the cup or chalice of legend, but a person (I won't tell who because I don't want to ruin the surprise), along with documents that had previously been hushed up by the Church proving that Jesus was married and had a child, thus making him mortal. The book is very well-written and extremely suspenseful, taking twist after twist. Of course much of it is fiction, but it is so well done, I find myself wanting to do research on DaVinci and his work as well as biblical history, just to see where the fiction ends and the nonfiction begins. I can see why this book is still on the best seller list. I am only half way through, and can't wait to finish it!
01 November 2004, 06:35 AM
Well, now that my "books to be read" pile is down to 3, looks like it's time to order more! So, perhaps The DaVinci Code may be on my list. I've also got a book of 3 novels of H.G. Wells coming that includes The Time Machine (which I've read), War of the Worlds, and The Island of Dr. Moreau (the last two I've never read; seen the movies, though!). So much to read, so little time!
02 November 2004, 05:14 AM
Korby, the three-book Wells volume I have has the introduction by Isaac Asimov. Is that the one you're getting?

I thought "The War of the Worlds" was great! I hope to find time to write a critique of it!

Reading "The War of the Worlds" brought back fond memories of this movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073454/ My favorite part was when the farmer with the shotgun went out looking for the three-legged marauding metal Martian machines and ended up shooting a water tower. Heh-heh! My dad has a great story of someone he saw that night panicking.

I do have the book by Howard Koch, who also wrote the movie, but of course it's packed away where I can't find it easily, and I haven't been able to find online an answer to my question. Can anyone who has that book or a good biography of H. G. Wells please tell me what he had to say in response to the reaction to the radio adaptation of his work?

(As I understand, the panic resulted in an FCC ruling that a drama could not be presented as news. Evidently, 30 years later someone got around this, as one of the websites says a radio station used its news division to present an all-new radio drama of the same story, done as news. I don't know if the public in 1968 was too savvy to fall for it. What I have always found incredible in hearing this story is that in 1938 so many people seemed willing to accept the existence of Martians as reality, when 30 years later the idea of life on other planets was supposedly so ridiculous as to be laughable...although WE know better, don't we?)
02 November 2004, 10:01 AM
Originally posted by dandelion:
Korby, the three-book Wells volume I have has the introduction by Isaac Asimov. Is that the one you're getting?

I'm not sure, it doesn't say! I'm getting it through the Sci Fi book club; seems that, since hanging around here, my interest in sci fi/fantasy has kicked into gear again! That's a good thing because I'm starting to get weary of my usual fare!
04 November 2004, 06:21 AM
Well, I found my copy of "The Panic Broadcast" (as usual, while looking for something else which I didn't find) and I'll let you know if it tells of H. G. Wells's reaction.

Regarding the 1968 radio version of "The War of the Worlds," it occurred to me that in 1938 people only had three or four radio networks--ABC, CBS, NBC, and, I believe, one called MBC which doesn't seem to have made it to television. One story of a family listening to the original "The War of the Worlds" broadcast was that they turned to another station, heard it playing music, and the father said, "They aren't as on the ball as the other network." In 1968, however, radio listeners could surely have counted on television to tell them what was real. Assuming this was Halloween of 1968, just months after the King and Kennedy assassinations and the Democratic National Convention riots, a little old Martian invasion might scarcely be expected to phase people. It could also be a case of "Fooled me once, shame on you, fooled me twice, shame on ME," even for younger people who didn't remember the original play, but had heard of it.

Just a few years after "The War of the Worlds," the bombing of Pearl Harbor was announced by bulletins interrupting radio broadcasts. Jack Parr told a wonderful story of a man telling him about "all this fuss over a place called Pearl Harbor, and I never heard of it." Remembering the Martian scare, Parr said, "Oh, this isn't another one of those things, is it?" and the guy said, "No...I think this one's real."

Even after the war, some versions of "The War of the Worlds" done in Central or South American countries caused widespread panic. In one case, an angry mob surrounded and burned the radio station!
04 November 2004, 08:39 AM
Braling II
If the '68 version is the one with Leonard Nimoy, I thought it was surprisingly poorly done.
I still like the George Pal movie version. Special effects were primitive by today's standards, but the imagination and creativity is amazing.
05 November 2004, 03:00 PM
Word has it they're doing a TRILOGY of it...with Tom Cruise, no less (yuk!)
05 November 2004, 05:40 PM
I heard that, too.....somewhere on one of these boards, I do believe! Makes me wonder how they can stretch that movie into a trilogy....or improve on the original! Oh, sure, the effects would be a lot cooler....but that's almost like re-making Gone With the Wind!
09 December 2004, 12:38 PM
I have a great H G wells with 7 of his books, my favorites are the island of dr moreau, first men in the moon, and the time machine. the time machine has been one o fmy favorite books for many years
11 January 2005, 08:33 PM
Okay, totally non-sci-fi, but I've been reading a book by a guy named Francesco Alberoni. I can't remember the name of the book in Italian, but the translation is called "Falling in Love". There is much truth and much wisdom to be found as the author (head of the sociology dept. at the University of Milan) examines what it means to fall in love in the context of a social revolution (such as marxism, the French revolution, hippiedom, etc.) I'm currently reccomending this book to everyone.