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Thread: What book are you currently reading?

  1. #131
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    Anyone here ever read The Animal Dialogues? I've always enjoyed my copy.

    Also starting in on reading The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen. Read the first few chapters previously, and it seemed like an interesting travel book.
    "If you are worthy of his affection, a cat will be your friend but never your slave. He keeps his free will though he loves, and will not do for you what he thinks unreasonable; but if he once gives himself to you, it is with absolute confidence and fidelity of affection." -Theophile Gautier

  2. #132
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    I read a lot of Karl May's books, but I'm currently writing my own novel, so I didn't have much time to read other books.

  3. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamery View Post
    I read a lot of Karl May's books, but I'm currently writing my own novel, so I didn't have much time to read other books.
    What a weird coincidence. I had never even heard of this author until about fifteen minutes ago, and then by some turn you happen to mention it! It is mentioned in Peter Longerich's biography of Heinrich Himmler:

    It is clear from his reading-list for the years 1923-4 that his interest in 'Teutonic' topics not only endured by increased. Above all, in September 1923 he began reading the trilogy of novels by Werner Jansen published between 1916 and 1920. These were popular adventure stories in the form of versions of the Nibelungenlied and other sagas. Jansen had tried to transform these sagas into Teutonic-German myths, and infused them with racist and Teutonic cliches. The result was a kind of Karl May for Teutonic enthusiasts and, above all, young readers.
    The past nine months I've been studying mostly the history of the Third Reich, scholarly histories, biographies, memoirs, etc. A really fascinating, but horrifying and morbid subject.

  4. #134
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    Finally digging into Buffalo for the Broken Heart, a Dan O'Brien memoir about his switch to ranching bison in the Black Hills. SUPER fascinating so far, so much familiarity about the country, since I've previously worked in some of the land described. In fact, it's likely that the bison skull I salvaged from a pasture out there was from an animal belonging to one of the people mentioned in the book.

    It's making me nostalgic. I love the Black Hills and the grasslands.

  5. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lupus Paws View Post
    I forgot to mention, I finished reading this! It was like having a fever dream.

    I really enjoyed it, particularly how it relied so heavily on the dogs' animality and found overlap with the humanity of the human characters. It made a nice change to the usual approach of adding a limited amount of zoomorphism to the edges of an otherwise human character blueprint. Also, it's suitability for an adult audience was refreshing to see.

    The writing styles and chapter structures were interesting. The only thing I didn't particularly like was how the author seemed to randomly add significant coincidences and events to the storyline where they weren't necessary and without much effort to make them fit comfortably, especially at the end. At the same time, it generally added to the book's surrealness which is one of my favourite things about it.

    Thanks for the recommendation! I'd encourage any other therians to read it if you're considering doing so.
    I'm so happy that someone else has read this! It's wickedly intelligent and fun. I found it utterly charming, and darker than I'd expected until I realized I was reading a Gothic novel. Even the essay that prefaces the Kindle version of the book is fascinating if you enjoy clear, concise, intellectual musings on humanity and animality, which I think Werelisters generally do.

    Here's one of the dogs on a rant at dinnertime, tossing a quail leg into the air (page 163):

    "And that's something I miss in your culture, by the way," he said to me. "No blood. Everything is so sanitized. There are hardly any butchers' shops. And yet the slaughterhouses that supply your meat, I've seen them on television, they're really appalling, hellish. It's not natural at all. You don't have the chase or the smells that make everything worthwhile, and yet the most abominable suffering is created. And what do you do all day, you sit in little offices and think. It's a very bad way to live."
    I did wonder about the ending, though, and it felt odd at times when the author veered into spirit-entity territory. The magical ability shared by two of the characters felt. . . out of place, a bit forced? I wasn't quite sure why it was added. Maybe the dream sequences were meant to prepare us for having our suspension of disbelief pushed and prodded later in the novel? Those excursions are probably an homage to a philosopher I'm not very familiar with. An intellectual experiment. I enjoyed Ludwig's sudden, unexpected musings on death and the nature of the soul, even if I'm not sure that the author prepared us for them, at least from his specific character. I can appreciate the surreality, though.

    The phantasmagoria, gradual pace, and old-fashioned diary style of the chapters reminded me of The Prestige. There's certainly enough scheming and backstabbing as well.

    I can tell that this book was influential among certain academics I've encountered.

    So much fun. Recommended.

    Edited to add: This post is referring to the book Lives of the Monster Dogs.
    Last edited by Coyote Jones; June 4th, 2020 at 07:41 PM.

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