Manual Sight and Sound: Book Three (The Longsword Chronicles 3)

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Thank you for giving me the nudge towards this review. There are so many books that I have read recently that I want to write about, but I have had so many interesting books waiting to be read that I have sacrificed review writing time for book reading time. I cannot say this is a totally bad thing, but I do want to share some of my thoughts on other books with my friends here in the Green Dragon. There are one or two earlier works, e. The Longsword by Thomas Leland, that some people would argue are Gothic novels but this argument has not received wide acceptance, or even much attention, amongst the Gothic scholars of the world.

In his first preface he claims the story is a tale from some earlier time that was discovered and which he has brought to light. In the preface to his second edition he admits responsibility for the story and explains his original distancing of himself from the authorship as being due to his fear that the blending of old and new romance styles would not be accepted. Given the popularity of the first edition he was more than happy to own up to having written the story. As a Gothic tale it has all the elements one would expect: Much of the terror of the tale is created by the machinations of the human characters in the story rather than by fear of the supernatural.

As someone who likes Gothic stories I have to admit to feeling a degree of regret and shame for not having read this story earlier in my life. Who Rules the World? Of course I am now unable to get The Third Man theme tune out of my head. I can think of worse music to be "ear-wormed" by. The preface puts the novel in an interesting context.

Apparently Greene was asked to come up with an idea for a film in post-war Vienna with the four powers having their own zones and taking turns to have responsibility for the city's security. Greene consulted his old ideas notebook he said it was actually a paragraph written on the back of an envelope and found a paragraph in which someone describes how he has paid his last respects to Harry Lime by attending his funeral and then sees Harry Lime pass him in a market.

This was the kernel of the idea he offered and he went to work with Carol Reed on the script.

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Green thought it was not possible to write a script without first having a story and so he set about writing the story as a working document in advance of writing the script. The story was never intended for publication as a novel. Greene pointed out that changes were made for the film but that the reader should not weep for the betrayed author as it was Greene who made most of the changes while working with Reed on the script.

It is a short novel and I am four chapters in and enjoying the atmosphere. The film is one of my favourites and it is interesting to be reading the novel, especially as it was never meant to be a novel. I found The castle of Otranto to be a fun read. I'd known of it for a long time but it was the fantastic British Library exhibition all about Gothic literature, art and culture that finally got me to pick it up.

The exhibition included extracts from Jan Svankmajer's short animated film of the novel, which includes a pseudo-documentary framing narrative thus preserving Walpole's technique of the distancing preface. I finished The Third Man and have been ear-wormed with the theme tune from the film for the past four days. I like the music so I am not too upset about this. This was an interesting little story and apparently there is a film of it also.

I must hunt this down. It starts with a description of the activities on Noah's Ark from the point of view of a bird. Well, Chapter 1 was an eyewitness account of life on Noah's Ark from the viewpoint of a wood worm. I watched " Blade Runner " this evening.

I enjoyed it and it did no harm to the original. I have a predicament. Nick Harkaway's new novel, Gnomon , is shipping today and should be hear in the next few days. Life is just one problem after another. What am I going to do? Lovely problem to have, Peter! When I get throught this current predicament I must turn to a classic. Nov 2, , Nah, no pressure - just lots of good books to read.

I'm doing well - have read 81 of the book goal for the year. Any particular classic in mind? I don't know what you count as classics, but if you're at all a Dickens fan, we're going to have a group read of Nicholas Nickleby next year, probably February. Murakami casts a spell over me when I start one of his books.

I think we met on one of your Dickens group reads; Great Expectations.

I might just join in the Nicholas Nickleby read but might also sneak another Dickens in before the end of the year. I might try A Tale of Two Cities. I anticipate Gnomon will be a quick read as I find Nick Harkaway's books to be unputdownable. Yes, it is a word. I just used it and it must therefore be a word. I'll add your name to my NN list - no commitment, no pressure, but I'll let you know when I set it up. There are 13 so far who've expressed interest. Unputdownable is an acceptable and beautifully descriptive word. I have not been disappointed yet. It sounds as though you have resolved your dilemma!

It was a well written ramble through various stories but it did nothing exciting for me. Each chapter was a different story with the general theme of questioning the way dogmatic Christianity views the world and the hereafter. While Barnes was pushing some themes and ideas that could be regarded as challenging dogmatic Christianity rather than mocking it, I got the feeling he was trying to be controversial for the sake of selling his book and I did not get a sense of real conviction or energy behind his thesis.

This book would not have me bursting to read another Barnes and given that the volume I have contains another Barnes it would not take me much effort to find one. The most remarkable thing about this book is that I have now finished it and can start on Nick Harkaway's Gnomon. I shall need some light to read by. I am still enjoying Gnomon by Nick Harkaway but work and other real life matters are keeping my reading opportunities to a minimum. I have reached page of pages. The long time reading is more to do with opportunity than any lack of enthusiasm.

I wondered why you haven't been posting. Glad it's only work and other RL matters! These chunksters are worth it but sure do play havoc with my totals for the year. Good to hear from you.

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There was a lot in it that spoke to my own experience of life and work. I hope you are enjoying it. Have you read other books by Murakami? I read 1Q84 for book club in December of and Kafka on the Shore in August of this year for the group read. His work is dense and magical and highly symbolic. Not easy reads, but definitely good ones. As soon as I could tell what was coming, I skipped over both of them.


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Interesting that you see parallels between your own life and that of Toru Okada. I meant it in the sense of seeing the world from different perspectives when finding myself in situations that are not my usual, mundane, day-to-day routines, not that usual, day-to-day routines are mundane. Dec 14, , 4: I have finished Gnomon. I enjoyed Gnomon a lot.

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Nick Harkaway has strong views about the use and abuse of technology as evidenced in his non-fiction book, The Blind Giant: Being human in a Digital World and this book explores the abuse of technologically supported surveillance, data analysis, and artificial intelligence, to control and manipulate a population and to influence the actions and, quelle surprise, voting choices of the individuals in that population.

The story takes place in a post-Brexit Britain in which "The System", a supposedly benign, ubiquitous on-line presence, monitors everything and supports the "police" in investigating crimes. The story is centred on the investigation of a death in custody case; a death that occurred during interrogation. We see the story unfold from the viewpoint of the investigator assigned to find out if the death was murder or an unfortunate event. Despite the focus being on advanced technology, the book includes mythology, some history of Ethiopia, and the economic crash that so badly affected Greece amongst other countries.

Philosophy of identity, art, and the culture of the modern start-up technology firm all play a significant role in this book.

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Steganography is a thread that runs right through the book which had me second guessing everything as I read the book. I will not pretend I understood everything in the book, but I understood enough to enjoy the read.