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League of Extraordinary Books

  • 02-11-2013 3:17pm
    Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭

    So heres my reading list of stuff 'referenced in the League of Extraordianry Gentlemen graphic novels'.
    There are innumerable literary references in these comics and so i thought i'd read some of them.
    I'll hopefully write some short reviews on future stuff but for now just ratings out of five because its such a long list.

    Oh and first this is the stuff i was familiar with before i started reading the comics:
    Dracula [4/5]
    20,000 Leagues [5/5]
    Wind in the Willows [4/5]
    King Solomons Mines [1/5]
    Journey to the Centre of the Earth [2/5]
    Treasure Island [3/5]
    War of the Worlds [4/5]
    H.P. Lovecraft ALLLLLLL his stuff [5/5]

    And now what i've read since i started my list:
    A Blazing World by Duchess Margaret Cavendish [4/5]
    Carnacki the Ghost Finder by William Hodgson [4/5]
    Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman by E.W. Hornung [4/5]
    Orlando by Virginia Woolf [4/5]
    Orlando Innamorata by unknown (prose translation) [1/5]
    Song of Roland by unknown (poetry) [3/5]
    Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan (poetry) [3/5]
    Floating Island by Richard Head [2/5]
    She by H.Rider Haggard [3/5]
    Allan Quartermain by H.Rider Haggard [3/5]
    Arsene Lupin by Maurice Leblanc [1/5]
    Fantomas by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre [3/5]
    Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde [2/5]
    Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer [3/5]
    My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse [2/5]
    Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse [3/5]
    Fanny Hill by John Cleland [3/5]
    Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch [3/5]
    Doctor Syn by Russell Thorndyke [3/5]
    Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper [3/5]
    Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy [3/5]
    Limehouse Nights by Thomas Burke [4/5]
    Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan [2/5]
    Bulldog Drummond by Herman Cyril McNeile [3/5]
    The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley [2/5]
    Zanoni by Edward Bulwer Lytton [4/5]
    The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer Lytton [4/5]
    Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott [5/5]
    Gullivers Travels by Jonathan Swift [3/5]
    Gulliver of Mars by Edwin Lester Arnold [3/5]
    Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs [1/5]
    Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht & Kurt Weill (musical) [4/5]
    The Tempest by Shakespeare (play) [2/5]
    The Alchemist by Ben Johnson (play) [1/5]
    Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry (play) [1/5]
    Earth-Spirit by Frank Wedekind (play) [2/5]
    Pandoras Box by Frank Wedekind (play) [3/5]
    Melmouth the Wanderer (abridged) by Charles Maturin [1/5]
    The Vampyre by John Polidori [2/5]
    Manfred by Lord Byron (poetry) [1/5]
    Robur the Conquerer by Jules Verne [1/5]
    The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne [3/5]
    An Antarctic Mystery by Jules Verne [3/5]
    Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne (both volumes) [3/5]
    First Men in the Moon by H.G.Wells [4/5]
    Island of Dr.Moreau by H.G.Wells [2/5]
    Invisible Man by H.G.Wells [3/5]
    Time Machine by H.G.Wells [2/5]
    The Crystal Egg by H.G.Wells (short) [2/5]
    Moonstone by Wilkie Collins [2/5]
    Moonchild by Aleister Crowley [3/5]
    Meccania by Owen Gregory [4/5]
    Metropolis by Thea von Harbou [3/5]
    The Magician by W. Somerset Maugham [3/5]
    The Beetle by Richard Marsh [3/5]
    all 28 issues of Mysta of the Moon (comic) [4/5]
    Frank Reade Jr's Electic Air Canoe (short) [3/5]
    three issues of Captain Mors the Air Pirate (short) [3/5]
    Sherlock Holmes, The Final Problem by Arthur Conan Doyle (short) [2/5]
    Sherlock Holmes, A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle (short) [2/5]
    Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe (short) [2/5]
    Mystery of Marie Roget by Edgar Allan Poe (short) [2/5]
    Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe (short) [2/5]
    Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe (short) [2/5]
    Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe (short) [2/5]
    Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allan Poe [3/5]
    The Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe (short) [3/5]
    Thousand and Second Tale of Scherezade by Edgar Allan Poe (short) [3/5]
    The Angels of Mons by Arthur Machen [1/5]
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll [2/5]
    Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll [2/5]
    Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll (poetry) [3/5]
    Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear (poetry) [3/5]
    Bluebeard by Charles Perrault (from Mother Goose Tales) (short) [2/5]
    Seven Voyages of Sinbad by unknown (from the Arabian Nights) (short) [3/5]
    Wreck of the Titan by Morgan Robertson [3/5]
    Purple Terror by Fred M. White (short) [2/5]
    Monster of Lake LaMetrie by Wardon Allen Curtis (short) [3/5]
    Casting of the Runes by M.R. James (short) [1/5]
    The Birds by Aristophanes (play) [3/5]
    On Gargoyles by G.K. Chesterton (short) [3/5]
    Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss [3/5]
    Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School by Frank Richards [3/5]
    Immortal by Jorge Luis Borges (short) [3/5]
    Library of Babel by Jorge Luis Borges (short) [4/5]
    Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino [3/5]
    Casino Royale by Ian Fleming [2/5]
    1984 by Orson Wells [4/5]
    On The Road by Jack Kerouac [3/5]
    Doctor Sax by Jack Kerouac [3/5]
    Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope [3/5]
    Prince Zaleski by M.P. Shiel [3/5]
    Palos of the Dog Star Pack by J.U. Giesy [2/5]
    L'Assommoir by Emile Zola [4/5]
    Christianopolis by Johan Valentin Andrea [1/5]
    A Crystal Age by William Henry Hudson [3/5]
    Secrets of Dr.Taverner by Dion Fortune [3/5]
    Dr.Nikola's Experiment by Guy Boothby [2/5]
    A Voyage to Cacklogallinia by unknown [4/5]
    The Unfortunate Traveller by Thomas Nash [3/5]
    Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu [3/5]
    Pollyanna by Eleanor Hodgman Porter [4/5]
    Maza of the Moon by Otis Adelbert Kline [3/5]
    City of Dreadful Night by James Thomson (poetry) [5/5]
    The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spencer (both volumes, poetry) [4/5]
    Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (both volumes) [3/5]
    Aucassin and Nicolete by unknown (poetry and prose) [3/5]
    At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald [3/5]
    Fattypuffs and Thinifers by Andre Maurois [3/5]
    Alasto by Percy Shelley (poetry) [3/5]
    Fortunio by Theophile Gautier [3/5]
    The Travels of Sir John Mandeville by Sir John Mandeville [3/5]
    Scoop by Evelyn Waugh [3/5]
    Forever Amber by Kathleen Winsor [3/5]
    Encounter at Dawn by Arthur C.Clarke (short) [2/5]
    Child of the Phalanstery by Grant Allen (short) [3/5]
    Strange Case Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson [2/5]
    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley [4/5]
    Moby Dick by Herman Melville [3/5]
    Riallaro, the archipelago of exiles by John Macmillan Brown [4/5]
    The Ice Queen by Hans Christian Anderson [3/5]
    The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson [3/5]
    The Kindly Ones by Anthony Powell [3/5]
    The Castle by Franz Kafka [3/5]
    Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter [4/5]
    Mother London by Michael Moorcock [4/5]
    Roadtown by Edgar Chambless [3/5]
    Utopia Limited by Gilbert & Sullivan (musical) [3/5]
    all 16 issues of Stardust the Super Wizard (comic) [2/5]
    The Warden by Anthony Trollope [3/5]
    Mount Analogue by Rene Daumal [3/5]
    Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (poetry) [4/5]
    Whatever Happened to Corporal Cuckoo by Gerald Kersh (short) [3/5]
    House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski [4/5]
    Disappeared City by Victor Hugo (poetry) [3/5]
    The Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner (opera) [3/5]
    The Curious Republic of Gondour by Mark Twain (short) [3/5]
    The Yellow Danger by M.P. Shiel [4/5]
    Varney the Vampire by Thomas Preskett Prest (completed finally) [3/5]
    Lair of the White Worm (40 chapters) [2/5]
    The Lost Continent of Mu by James Churchward [1/5]
    Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen [3/5]
    The Voyages and Wonderful Discoveries of Capt.John Holmesby by John Holmesby [2/5]
    Sweetheart Roland by Brothers Grimm (short) [2/5]
    Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers [4/5]
    The Thinking Machine by Jacques Futrelle (short) [2/5]
    The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole [3/5]
    Dick Donovan, the Problem of Deadwood Hall by J.E.Preston Muddock (short) [3/5]
    Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo by Edward Lear (poetry) [3/5]
    A Honeymoon in Space by George Griffith [3/5]
    The Coral Island by R.M.Ballantyne [3/5]
    The Face in the Abyss by A.E.Merrit [4/5]
    007 by Rudyard Kipling (short) [3/5]
    The Town Where No One Got Off by Ray Bradbury (short) [3/5]
    When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr [3/5]
    Steam Man of the Prairies by Edward S. Ellis [2/5]
    Howl by Allen Ginsberg (poetry) [4/5]
    Briefing for a Descent Into Hell by Doris Lessing [4/5]
    The Problem of Susan by Neil Gaiman (short) [4/5]
    Formosa by George Psalmanazar [1/5]
    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons [4/5]
    Aline and Valcour by the Marquis de Sade (short) [2/5]

    The comics also reference some non-literary stuff so while i'm here:
    OTHER Media (film unless stated otherwise)
    The Third Man [2/5]
    First Men in the Moon [3/5]
    Cat Women of the Moon [2/5]
    Amazons of the Moon [1/5]
    The Phantom Empire (serial) [3/5]
    Duct Soup [3/5]
    The Great Dictator [4/5]
    The Creature from the Black Lagoon [3/5]
    The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari [4/5]

    Book in Progress: The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley



  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    So each time i finish a book i'll write a little note on it and on a previous book on the list above so:

    New Item:
    The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley (1934)
    An incredibly cliched black magic story it's possible it invented the cliches but that doesn't really help it. It has it's moments but apart from the cliches the author also spends a lot of time explaining the supernatural like numerology, black masses etc. and these sections can be quite boring.
    It has its moments but still kind of a chore to get through [2/5]

    Old Item:
    A Blazing World by Duchess Margaret Cavendish (1666)
    A weird bit of philosophy and proto-sci-fi. Ignores the rules of any conventional story, features parallel worlds, astral-projection, submarines made of gold and many sorts of animal men including Lice-men. Best approached as a piece of philosophy rather than sci-fi but quite interesting. [4/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item
    Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus (play, 467BC)
    A decent enough play about a siege with both sides being lead by the sons of Oedipus. Not really too interesting though. [2/5]

    Old Item
    Carnacki the Ghost Finder by William Hodgson (1913)
    Six supernatural investigation stories (later versions have 3 more). Interestingly not all the hauntings are real, a number are hoaxes and some are a bit of both. Good stories, ghosts are quite bizarre. Suspense a little undermined by the fact that Carnacki is telling the stories so you know he at least survived the encounter. [4/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Etidorhpa by John Uri Lloyd (1896)
    Oddly haunting book about a forced journey into the interior of the earth. Very long winded, 1/3 story to 2/3's lecture on science, metaphysics, dangers of alcoholism etc. Tough to dig through but interesting. [3/5]

    Old Item:
    Raffles by E.W. Hornung (1899)
    Surprisingly good, didn't think the gentleman thief character could be particularly interesting but this book manages a lot of variety. Ending comes on pretty suddenly though and was a little disappointing but overall good, despite not being a genre i like. [4/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Cream of the Jest by James Branch Cabell (1917)
    A tale of an author who starts dreaming about one of his creations and starts wondering about the nature of reality. Decent enough for the most part, picks up quite a bit towards the end. [3/5]

    Old Item:
    Orlando by Virginia Woolf (1928)
    Kind of a boring biography until the 'incident' which is so spectacular and done in so different a writing style from before that it really makes this book. [4/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Giphantia by Charles-François Tiphaigne de la Roche (1760)
    A man discovers the land of the elemental spirits and how they watch and aid mankind. Most of the story is spent pointing out mankind's flaws, it has some interesting elements but feels a little pointless at times. [2/5]

    Old Item:
    Orlando Innamorata (prose translation) by Matteo Maria Boiardo (1486)
    I should have gone with a poetry version. Unfinished epic poem, knights and enchantments etc but little of interest if you've already read things like the Faerie Queen. [1/5]

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  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Medusa's Coil by Zealia Bishop and H.P.Lovecraft (1939)
    An ok weird tale until near the end when it pointlessly undermines itself for no good reason and then ends on a spectacularly bad note. Hopefully more zealia than hp.

    Old Item:
    Song of Roland by unknown (1170)
    Epic poem telling of the knight Roland who worked for Charlemagne and his fall at the battle of Roncevaux. Quite decent, interesting characters, magic swords etc. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Candide by Voltaire (1759)
    Starts off hilariously funny albeit quite dark, but the humor stays still as the horrors of life continue. Might feel a little disappointing and repetitive by the end but still fair.

    Old Item:
    A Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan (1678)
    A journey to heaven although it bears great similarity to a journey to hell. Quite fair narrative poetry. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Roderick by John Sladek (1980)
    A comedy satire about a young robot. Fairly good but pretty unfocused, scattershot would be a good word to describe it. [3/5]

    Old Item:
    The Floating Island by Richard Head (1673)
    A journey through london to avoid debtors jail is interpreted as a sea voyage. Kind of like gullivers travels i guess but not very interesting. [2/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    A Rendezvous in Averoigne by Clark Ashton Smith (1931)
    A short old school gothic ghost story but pretty well told. [3/5]

    Old Item:
    She by H.Rider Haggard (1887)
    Hated 'King Solomons Mines' when i read it years ago so thought i'd give Haggard a second chance with this. Pretty decent, one of the characters bears a strong resemblance to Beast from the X-Men lol.
    Ayesha is pretty interesting and there are some nice weird touches. Only problems, ending not that great and no relatable characters, both main heroes are almost super-human. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Crotchet Castle by Thomas Love Peacock (1831)
    A funny social satire story. A surprisingly easy read despite having to look up a lot of words. [4/5]

    Old Item:
    Allan Quartermain by H.Rider Haggard (1887)
    So i gave the author a second chance with She and then gave the Allan Quartermain character a second chance with this, its ok. Fairly standard african adventure and lost civilization stuff. [3/5]

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  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    The Sanatorium by Bruno Schulz (1937)
    Weird short story, best way i could describe it would be that its like the literary equivalent of a Dali painting, if Dali was clinically depressed.
    I like it :). [4/5]

    Old Item:
    Arsene Lupin by Maurice Leblanc & Edgar Jepson (1909)
    A french gentlemen thief type character, this is a fairly bad and overly convoluted heist story. I've just realized it was based on a play which may explain some of its problems. I think i'll give the character another chance sometime with his original shortstory collection. [1/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Awful Disclosures by Maria Monk (1836)
    Biography of nun who goes through awful stuff at convent. Good information of how a cult might operate. Prefer stuff written like fiction though. This is fiction but originally published as true by protestants trying to smear catholics. [2/5]

    Old Item:
    Fantomas by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre (1911)
    Crime story about man who is master of disguise. So mysterious that by end i still wasn't sure what his plan was, which is a bit too mysterious. Overall not bad though. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Across the Zodiac by Percy Greg (1880)
    About a man who flys to mars and the martian society he encounters. Lot of layers to this, its a romance, adventure with lots of stuff about society and technology. couple of really boring bits, but it gets better as it goes along. [4/5]

    Old Item:
    Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890)
    This felt a lot shorter than i expected and i simply didn't think it was all that interesting. [2/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Noddy Goes to Toyland by Enid Blyton (1949)
    More interesting than expected, i think noddy is actually a bobblehead doll. The story is kinda racist and there are golliwogs so... yeah there's that. On the other hand there are pictures of a golliwog holding hands with a little white doll so maybe it was quite progressive for the times, or i'm just reading too much into it ;). [3/5]

    Old Item:
    Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu by Sax Rohmer (1913)
    Despite being the first in the series it seems to contain everything one expects from a Fu Manchu story. Although some of the mysteries turn out a little lame. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    And to Think that i Saw it on Mulberry Street by Dr.Seuss (1937)
    Meh... [2/5]

    Old Item:
    My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (1919)
    The usually wodehouse goings on but not very many actually have jeeves or wooster in them so that was a bit offputting. [2/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    The Mikado by Gilbert & Sullivan (1885)
    I've only watched/read one other G&S but liked it more than this. Storywise its good but the songs and music are up and down. Overall was a bit of a chore to get through. [2/5]

    Old Item:
    Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse (1938)
    One of the most classic of the wooster stories, which just proved to me that these really arn't my genre. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan (1968)
    Weird people in a weird place, do normal things. I like, pity its not longer but then its mysteries might be a good thing. [4/5]

    Old Item:
    Fanny Hill by John Cleland (1748)
    In the League comics there is a sequel to this which is quite funny. This however is not, at least for me, it was like reading an episode of Law and Order SVU or something. Its interesting but not pleasant for me. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Lament for Bion by Moschus(sic) (150BC)
    Epitaph of Bion by Henry Alford [2/5]
    Lament for Bion by George Chapman [2/5]
    Two different translations of a greek poem about the death of another poet, Bion of Smyrna.

    Old Item:
    Venus in Furs by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1870)
    A decent tale of a masochist guy who wants a certain woman to be his dominatrix, she however isn't entirely comfortable with the role. Its not too creepy which is good but it also isn't all that compelling.
    The authors last name is where the word masochist comes from. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    The House of Invisible Bondage by J.U.Giesy (1926)
    A seemingly very classic noir but with a twist. The two main P.I.'s help out their psychic/astrologer friend to solve the mystery. Fun despite me figuring out most of the plot in the first chapter :lol. [3/5]

    Old Item:
    Dr. Syn: A Tale of the Romney Marsh by Russell Thorndyke (1915)
    A strange mystery/horror tale of smuggling, demons and pirates. Fairly good even if it does seem to go a bit too weird towards the end. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    The Trap by H.P.Lovecraft & Henry S.Whitehead (1931)
    A weird but not very mysterious short tale about a magic mirror. Some good descriptions and ideas. [3/5]

    Old Item:
    Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper (1841)
    I thought this was the first story to feature Natty Bumpo aka Hawkeye but is actually the last written, its a prequel.
    Its pretty good adventure story stuff, except Natty is not really the character i most connected with and his actions towards this other character make him come across as a bit of a tool. [3/5]

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  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    The Sandman by E.T.A. Hoffman (1816)
    A strangely modern feeling short story, but with fairytale roots. Interesting, dark, odd and well written. [4/5]

    Old Item:
    Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (1905)
    The original Batman, or Zorro if you prefer. Decent story but its odd that it was written by a woman, as the female protagonist never gets to do anything useful. She's brave i guess, but definitely not helpful. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    The Adventures of Captain Kettle by Cutcliffe Hyne (1897)
    A series of short stories featuring a sea captain forced to take work where he can. He's always successful but somehow never wins. In tone this is a bit like the Indiana Jones movies in terms of violence to humor ratio. [3/5]

    Old Item:
    Limehouse Nights by Thomas Burke (1916)
    A series of horrific tales set in London's limehouse area. Nasty but moving stuff. Definitely to be avoided by those of a sensitive nature. [4/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde (1888)
    Weird fairytale about a statue that asks a bird for a favor. Odd, dark, moving and well written. [4/5]
    The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde (1888)
    Too simple and too overtly religious. [2/5]

    Old Item:
    Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (1915)
    Spy thriller involving major coincidences and disguises, not very good. [2/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Niels Klim's Underground Travels by Ludvig Holberg (1741)
    A social satire in the vain of Gullivers Travels. About a man who falls into the innerearth and finds it to be hollow. He travels on a small planet he finds there and later on the inner crust of the earth meeting various strange civilizations. Really good, funny, interestingly advanced views on women etc. [4/5]

    Old Item:
    Bulldog Drummond by Herman Cyril McNeile (1920)
    A fairly decent kind of detective/spy thriller about an ex-army guy fighting a foreign plot in england. Ok, but i'm not likely to read any of the follow up stories. [3/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Doctor Dolittle's Post Office by Hugh Lofting (1923)
    A really imaginative, fun and weird story or set of stories, but the multiple stories all make sense in the larger narrative. Its just really quite good. [4/5]

    Old Item:
    The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley (1863)
    About a chimney sweep boy who dies and his trip through an odd after-life as a fish-boy. Kind of haunting and nicely weird in places but just not that compelling overall. [2/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Bleak House by Charles Dickens (1853)
    Long, convoluted, with many characters but quite compelling for large portions. My first dickens work, i was fearful of something a bit darker or at least more depressing. The characters seem at times both very human and at others to be much more like caricatures. Funnier than i expected in places and with more social satire. Still it is very... long. [4/5]

    Old Item:
    Zanoni by Edward Bulwer Lytton (1842)
    A romance about an immortal. Elements of almost lovecraftian horror. Takes a long time to draw its female protagonist before the main elements start. Mixes in some real historical characters and events. Didn't like the ending but not because its not well written more because i was so invested in the story by then, i was hoping things would turn out differently. Overall just a really good supernatural/romance story. I'm pretty sure this was adapted into the film 'Hancock' with Will Smith. [4/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    The Story of the Glittering Plain by William Morris (1891)
    An odd sort of fairytale but with vikings. Kind of like beowolf i imagine, but as things progress more of the plot falls into place and you see it has a much more modern influence and makes a lot more sense than it first seems. In tone it reminded me of those Sindbad films from the 70's. I really enjoyed it, more so towards the end. [4/5]

    Old Item:
    The Coming Race by Edward Bulwer Lytton (1871)
    An amazing book considering when it was written. At least a third of the novel reads like an episode of star-trek. Other parts of the book can be a bit generic and boring but its absolutely worth a read. The fact that this predates a lot of Verne and Wells is astonishing considering how much more modern it feels that the work of those writers. [4/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Master of the World by Jules Verne (1904)
    Follow-up to Robur the Conquerer. This time he's back and with a vessel that can run on land, sea or sky, or underwater. Slightly more interesting than its predecessor as events are investigated by a proto-fbi agent. Overall though it still pretty pointless and boring. [2/5]

    Old Item:
    Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott
    Imagine if you lived in a 2-dimensional world... what you cant?.. ok then just read this its awesome :). The protagonist who's a hexagon i think, gets to see his world in a new way when he's approached by a 3-dimensional being. He also visits a 1-dimensional place line-world and point-world.
    There's a triangle (streetsign) on the road near my house, for 2-weeks after reading this it brought a smile to my face every-time i walked past it. [5/5]

  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Tom Swift and his Electric Rifle (1911)
    Where the TASER gets its name from. Good amount of incident, compelling at times. The rifle is an interesting bit of sci-fi. Although it can be used like a taser it can also disintegrate targets like a phaser. For me though a bit of a chore to get through i prefer a more descriptive writing style. [2/5]

    Old Item:
    Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726)
    Definitely not the kids book i mistook it for, biting social satire. Stands up surprisingly well to the test of time. Best part for me was the characterization of gulliver which was quite odd. By the end you looks quite insane but you can't help wondering whether its him or us who are the truly crazy ones. [3/5]

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  • Registered Users Posts: 362 ✭✭wreade1872

    New Item:
    Island of Frivola by Gabriel Francois Coyer (1752)
    A short piece of satire about an island where the trees and animals have become as shallow and insubstantial as the people. Quite decent but only really has one main point to make so feels like its repeating itself a bit later on. [3/5]

    Old Item:
    Lieut. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation by Edwin Lester Arnold (1905)
    Also known as 'Gulliver of Mars'. A man finds himself whisked to mars on a magic carpet. Its as odd as it sounds. A book i love to hate, everything is wrong with this, it has a lot of potential for a story but always seems to take a wrong turn. It also seems to be a first-draft, i find it impossible to believe someone read this over and thought.. 'yeah that makes sense'. Frustrating but still interesting. Definitely a 'so bad its good' kind of story. [3/5]