What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Thu May 28, 2020 11:36 pm

I think the Giant Rat of Sumatra is the most referenced and pastiched bit of Holmes folklore ever. :lol:

Sadly, I think Conan Doyle really grew to hate Holmes. He killed him off and wanted him to stay dead, but got pressured into reviving him. I've forgotten about a lot of these details, like the Monkey Man and the "worms unknown to science." That last one could be the basis for a Lovecraftian crossover.

Coincidentally, I am reading a Holmes pastiche now myself. It's called The Fifth Heart and it also features a bunch of historical figures, like Samuel Clemens. It's got a really interesting conceit: Holmes uses his deductive skills to figure out that he's a fictional character. :book:
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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by Lupine » Fri May 29, 2020 3:28 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 11:36 pm
I think the Giant Rat of Sumatra is the most referenced and pastiched bit of Holmes folklore ever. :lol:
Everyone loves the giant rat. :lol: :rat:
RJDiogenes wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 11:36 pm
Sadly, I think Conan Doyle really grew to hate Holmes. He killed him off and wanted him to stay dead, but got pressured into reviving him. I've forgotten about a lot of these details, like the Monkey Man and the "worms unknown to science." That last one could be the basis for a Lovecraftian crossover.
Even more so as it's stated that the worm was found in a box in front of a man who had gone insane. Considering when these stories were written it's possible that Lovecraft could have been inspired by this story.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 11:36 pm
Coincidentally, I am reading a Holmes pastiche now myself. It's called The Fifth Heart and it also features a bunch of historical figures, like Samuel Clemens. It's got a really interesting conceit: Holmes uses his deductive skills to figure out that he's a fictional character. :book:
That sounds like a good one.

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri May 29, 2020 11:42 pm

Lupine wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 3:28 pm
Even more so as it's stated that the worm was found in a box in front of a man who had gone insane. Considering when these stories were written it's possible that Lovecraft could have been inspired by this story.
Or vice versa. I wonder if Conan Doyle read Lovecraft.
That sounds like a good one.
Well, it's very good, with a lot of attention to detail (and a lot of historical characters-- Theodore Roosevelt has now entered the mix), but I'm halfway through and he hasn't really developed the theme yet.
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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by Lupine » Sat May 30, 2020 2:53 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 11:42 pm
Lupine wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 3:28 pm
Even more so as it's stated that the worm was found in a box in front of a man who had gone insane. Considering when these stories were written it's possible that Lovecraft could have been inspired by this story.
Or vice versa. I wonder if Conan Doyle read Lovecraft.
Looking just now it's possible. I had been assuming that Lovecraft post-dated Doyle but they are actually rather contemporaneous in their publishing.

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat May 30, 2020 6:54 pm

Yeah, I checked, too. Conan Doyle obviously started much earlier, but Lovecraft goes back as far as 1917. Some significant overlap.
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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:25 pm

Almost forgot again: I finished The Fifth Heart, finally. It was pretty good, but not what I expected. It was basically a Sherlock Holmes mystery that involved historical characters, and took a more realistic approach, using the conceit that Dr Watson's stories, as edited by Conan Doyle, are highly fictionalized versions-- essentially, cartoonized versions-- of what really happened. This has all been done before. What interested me about the book was the aspect where Holmes had used his great powers of deduction to conclude that he was a fictional character-- but this was hardly brought up at all after being introduced, and resolved as an aside to a near-death experience. So it's basically a great idea for a book that still hasn't been done.

And now I am finally reading Octavia Gone!
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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by Lupine » Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:28 pm

^Sounds interesting.
RJDiogenes wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:25 pm
It was basically a Sherlock Holmes mystery that involved historical characters, and took a more realistic approach, using the conceit that Dr Watson's stories, as edited by Conan Doyle, are highly fictionalized versions-- essentially, cartoonized versions-- of what really happened. This has all been done before.
The movie Mr. Holmes kind of covers that territory as well.

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Jul 14, 2020 9:58 pm

I've seen it done several times. I have mixed feelings about it. In the end, I do prefer the stylized storytelling of the classic stories.
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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by scottydog » Sat Jul 18, 2020 7:50 pm

I'm reading 'The Second Mountain' by David Brooks.

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by Lupine » Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:26 pm

^How is it compared to The First Mountain. :P

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Jul 19, 2020 8:49 pm

^^ Stole my line. :lol:
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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by scottydog » Sun Jul 19, 2020 10:03 pm

Lupine wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 8:26 pm
^How is it compared to The First Mountain. :P
Good question. He's basically saying that the first mountain is what we think is important -- career, family, money, etc. Then a lot of us (me included) realize this first mountain that was supposed to promise us happiness is a red herring and we kind of get depressed until we figure out the second mountain, which is our real purpose.

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:03 pm

First there is a mountain. Then there is no mountain. Then there is.
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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by Lupine » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:23 pm

And if the mountain won't come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain. :star_and_crescent: :lol:

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:50 pm

Why? Because it is there!
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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by scottydog » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:52 am

I just finished reading With the Old Breed, E. B. Sledge's firsthand account of fighting in the Pacific during WW2. The reading was harrowing, brutal, and riveting.

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:53 pm

^^ I'll bet. I was just watching a YouTube video recently on the Japanese invasion of China in WW2 and it was just grotesque. It was every bit as bad as what the Nazis were up to in Europe.

I forgot to mention that I finished Octavia Gone. It was just as good as you would expect from Jack McDevitt, although it had quite a downbeat ending compared to his usual stuff. Also, the main character dynamics have changed somewhat with his rescued uncle added to the mix, and we also have a bit of a Civil Rights theme going on involving the AIs.
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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by Lupine » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:04 pm

^That was kind of hinted at in Firebird.

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by scottydog » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:16 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:53 pm
^^ I'll bet. I was just watching a YouTube video recently on the Japanese invasion of China in WW2 and it was just grotesque. It was every bit as bad as what the Nazis were up to in Europe.
In some ways, worse than Europe. The author talks about the great racial divide in the Pacific theater, which didn't exist in Europe. The Japanese had a racist hatred for us, and we had the same for them. That added to the venom and brutality.

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:03 pm

Lupine wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:04 pm
^That was kind of hinted at in Firebird.
Turns out Alex and Gabe are very different, and run the business very differently.
scottydog wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:16 pm
In some ways, worse than Europe. The author talks about the great racial divide in the Pacific theater, which didn't exist in Europe. The Japanese had a racist hatred for us, and we had the same for them. That added to the venom and brutality.
Not just us. Did he go into the atrocities committed against the Chinese?
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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by scottydog » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:58 pm

RJDiogenes wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:03 pm
Did he go into the atrocities committed against the Chinese?
No. After EB Sledge fought at Peliliu and Okinawa, he returned home to civilian life and became a college professor. He never went to China.

What book do you recommend for learning about the atrocities there? It's hard reading about man's inhumanity to man. But it must be read.

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Re: What Are You Reading: The Sequel!

Post by RJDiogenes » Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:02 pm

Here's a fairly short video from the Knowing Better channel on YouTube. There's a ton of great videos on this channel. This guy is one of the best-informed and even-handed commentators I've found on the Internet.

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