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Books (Read 322407 times)

Started by Sepp, September 06, 2004, 07:17:29 pm
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Re: Books
#101  February 09, 2008, 08:37:58 am
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Re: Books
#102  February 15, 2008, 06:19:07 pm
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I've read in the past few weeks :
1.World War Z.
2.Atlas Shrugged (quit halfway though,since it became all crap)
3.The Catcher in the Rye.

And many others too obscure to remember.

Next on my list :
1.I Am Legend.
2.The Count of Monte Cristo (already half-way finished though,watched the anime adaptation for a few episodes too)

Someone mind giving me a link to The Giver's ebook? (free,of course)
Last Edit: February 15, 2008, 06:26:20 pm by The Lich King
Re: Books
#103  February 15, 2008, 07:29:59 pm
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2.The Count of Monte Cristo (already half-way finished though,watched the anime adaptation for a few episodes too)

So that's what that reference was in Oldboy...



Books
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Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon  :)
Re: Books
#104  February 15, 2008, 09:48:21 pm
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Finished reading I am legend, the changes made in the movie regarding the nature of the vampires didn't necessarily bother me in the end (had to shift from '75 to '07, though keeping the vampire version could have worked just as well), but I really hated the ending of the book. Also the movie being slow as hell is not too noticeable in the book because of the narration style - explanations, flashbacks etc. Good thing.
If I struggled to the end of my determination, to the end of my way of life with my followers, if the result is ruin, then this ruin is inevitable. Grieve. Shed tears. But you cannot regret.
Last Edit: February 15, 2008, 09:56:47 pm by Baiken
Re: Books
#105  April 10, 2008, 10:12:22 pm
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but I really hated the ending of the book.

Hhm. I'll have to re-read it one day. Last (re)reads:

The Book of the New Sun
  • The Shadow of the Torturer
  • The Claw of the Conciliator
  • The Sword of the Lictor
  • The Citadel of the Autarch

Awesome.

Ringworld: hilarious and the scale of the world is still staggering the second time.

A Short History of Nearly Everything: because the first few pages of Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman! didn't catch my interest. Short History is extremely readable (it was meant to be, success there!) but it gets worse in the second half of the book (loved the first part). The anecdotes get worse, the subjects were less interesting to me, and I guess that did it. I might have to try the Feyman book again, as this book referenced Feyman as some sort of god a billion times.
"Several times now, Achamian thought he had glimpsed golden haloes about Kellhus's hands. He found himself envying those, such as Proyas, who claimed to see them all the time."
--R. Scott Bakker
The Thousandfold Thought (2006)
Re: Books
#106  April 26, 2008, 01:43:42 am
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i loved every single crummy goddam page of Catcher in the Rye 8)

gotta add duma key by stephen king though, i liked it less than IT, but more than Christine, which i also liked quite a bit.
Re: Books
#107  May 01, 2008, 09:53:33 pm
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i dont read books, i can´t stand any. I only read things on the internet.
Re: Books
#108  May 03, 2008, 03:28:24 pm
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Hhm. I'll have to re-read it one day.
It's mainly because the behaviour of the "new" group is total bullshit. If they were humans before, they should know it was useless to do all this and much better to go at him and point out "HEY LOOK WE CAN LIVE NORMALLY A LITTLE". Hunting the guy who is killing them during the day has nothing in common with hunting Dracula who is biting humans during the night, because they actually know they can live together. Comparing fear of him to fear of Dracula, my ass.

I finished the three Dexter books - Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Dearly Devoted Dexter and Dexter in the Dark. Quite a few differences compared to the 2 seasons of the TV series. Aside from the obvious total change of direction in the scenario, what also greatly contributed to the change of atmosphere :
-the side characters have a LOT less importance in the books than in the TV series (or if you prefer, the series had them gain a lot). Angel first, even Doakes shows more and is more interesting... Masuoka on the other hand, the comments on him by Dexter were interesting in the book. Dunno why they scratched it for the series. The books end up being about nothing other than Dexter and a bit of Deborah. In the series, I liked a lot Dexter's comment to Angel that went something like "if there was someone I would want to be like, it would be you".
-Dexter's personnality... At the start, it's better to read it, since it really is insisted on that he has no feelings, that he actually *likes* killing and chopping up people - those things are lost a lot in the TV series. Especially by just seeing Dexter talk, he looks much warmer on screen.
-Dexter's personnality again, but in the wrong way this time : in the end, by the time of the third book, his "no feelings" thing turn stupid :| not figuring out why people react this or that way only makes him look dumb rather than emotionless. He's supposed to have studied them to blend in, so in the end, he's just oblivious, not "without feelings". And his fits of various emotions during the third book make him look even more stupid, almost making the whole thing useless and rending Dexter much more common : without the Passenger, he's useless and has nothing special.

All in all, I think I liked the series just a little bit more. The beginning of the books is better, but as it goes, the series gain more interest than the books do. Though the thing about "IT" during the third book, and especially the kids Astor and Cody, were really good.
If I struggled to the end of my determination, to the end of my way of life with my followers, if the result is ruin, then this ruin is inevitable. Grieve. Shed tears. But you cannot regret.
Last Edit: May 03, 2008, 03:44:48 pm by Baiken
Re: Books
#109  May 04, 2008, 12:34:28 pm
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It's mainly because the behaviour of the "new" group is total bullshit. If they were humans before, they should know it was useless to do all this and much better to go at him and point out "HEY LOOK WE CAN LIVE NORMALLY A LITTLE". Hunting the guy who is killing them during the day has nothing in common with hunting Dracula who is biting humans during the night, because they actually know they can live together. Comparing fear of him to fear of Dracula, my ass.

I never thought about it that way.


The Once and Future King:

  • The Sword in the Stone
  • The Queen of Air and Darkness
  • The Ill-Made Knight
  • The Candle in the Wind

The Ill-Made Knight and Candle are the only parts I could read with interest here and there. I skipped a lot of pages in the first two books, who are really pretty simple fantasy books for children. Loved the ugly (lol!) Lacelot's personal struggle, he thinks so lowly of himself.

"[F]or he put a higher value on chastity than is fashionable in our century. He believed, like the man in Lord Tennyson, that people could only have the strength of ten on account of their hearts being pure. It so happened that his strength was the strenght of ten, and such was the medieval explanation which had been discovered for it. As a corollary to this belief, he supposed that if he gave it to the Queen he would lose his tenfold might. So, for this reason, as well as for the other ones, he fought against her with the courage of despair."

This unlocked better understanding of Blade of Tyshalle's crooked knight... ill-made knight... crooked knight... omg!

Blade of Tyshalle said:
THE SOLE DEFENDER of the part-time goddess was the crooked knight. He was the reflection of knighthood in a cracked mirror, and what he did, he did backward.

The crooked knight wore no armor, and he did not care for swords. He was small and thin, ugly and graceless. He could not ride a warhorse, and no squire would serve him. He was a deceiver, a manipulator, his life built upon a lie.

His strength was the strength of ten, because his heart was filled with corruption.


Teacher Man

By the guy who won the Pulitzer Price for Angela's Ashes. Don't care about Ireland or ashes, but teaching sounded interesting. It was.


The Mists of Avalon:
  • Mistress of Magic
  • The High Queen
  • The King Stag

Still reading the third book of it. Arthur again, from an entirely different angle this time. A lot more interesting for me, though I skip passages here as well... sorry, I GET IT, you don't need to spend yet another page having those women think about how they feel about things.
"Several times now, Achamian thought he had glimpsed golden haloes about Kellhus's hands. He found himself envying those, such as Proyas, who claimed to see them all the time."
--R. Scott Bakker
The Thousandfold Thought (2006)
Re: Books
#110  May 04, 2008, 07:16:19 pm
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It's mainly because the behaviour of the "new" group is total bullshit. If they were humans before, they should know it was useless to do all this and much better to go at him and point out "HEY LOOK WE CAN LIVE NORMALLY A LITTLE". Hunting the guy who is killing them during the day has nothing in common with hunting Dracula who is biting humans during the night, because they actually know they can live together. Comparing fear of him to fear of Dracula, my ass.

It may be some time, since I've read it, so correct me, if I'm mistaken, but weren't there different stages of infection? It might be that I'm mistaking it with other post-apocalyptic, post-global-infection books. That means that the changed, after first coming to their new senses might have been quite disoriented before they, after the infection progressed some time, gained some if not all of their former knowledge as human beings. Weren't the infected just on the verge of redeveloping some kind of society by the end of the book? The organized even killed off some of their own kind (those in front of main characters house) because they didn't return to a more civilized self, even after so many of them did that the necessity for a new society emerged.
Again, I might be mistaken and remember it wrong.

Now then, should I try to mention some books I've read and enjoyed?

Dan Simmons: The Hyperion as well as the Endymion books. A great read all in all that makes the (in my eyes) few bad scenes all the more stupid.
Spoiler, click to toggle visibilty

Mervyn Peake: The books that go as the Gormenghast trilogy. Memorable characters, strange setting, descent into madness for some characters, with others already seeming to be mad...Gormenghast is a madhouse. Unique, very readable, never boring. For me.

Mark Z. Danielewski: House of Leaves. One might say it wants to be or look like something it is not, but I found it quite entertaining. Mainly got interested because of the technique, the story was not really my biggest interest, was well executed in the end. But it really is something different, if there's just some writing in the top corner of the page. In the end I enjoyed it.

Harlan Ellison: What I've read by him was always good.

Gene Wolfe: Not much read by him, yet. Only some short stories, but he is, despite that quite prominent on my to read list. And yes, I know I promised to only mention books I've already read. I lied.

Scott Westerfeld: The Risen Empire. Space opera. Nice characters, nice setting, the story develops at a good pace, there are several hotspots with likeable protagonists. I got it, because I was interested and I was not let down.

Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. Despite the length and wordiness I never found the book to be tedious or boring.

Alfred Doeblin: Berlin Alexanderplatz. Yes. I enjoyed it. At first only being interested in the technique, the story turned out interesting.

Arno Schmidt: Leviathan. Schwarze Spiegel. Great. One day I have to get my hands on Zettels Traum.

Tom Piccirilli: I liked what I've read, especially November Mourns and Headstone City. Of all the books I've read by him, which accounts to four, they all dealt with some kind of homecoming. And ghosts. And in the last two the main characters returned home from jail, if I'm remembering it correctly.

Gary A. Braunbeck: In Silent Graves. Good book. Not only in the horror genre. Disturbing with good characters. Maybe some problems with one of the last chapters, but the rest was so great, nothing was lost.

Joseph Heller: Catch 22. What to say? First 100 pages were better in my opinion. You had to think more to puzzle everything together. The longer into the book, the longer and more coherent the chapters become.

William Gibson: The Neuromancer books. Nothing much to say. Very interesting.

John Milton: Paradise Lost. Beautiful. Read it while being bored with Robert McCammon's Swan Song.

Dante: The divine comedy. Only translated. Still beautiful.

Clive Barker: What I've read was great, including the Books of Blood, Imajica, Sacrament and others. Fantastic imagery. This mixture of horror and slight fantasy.

Stephen King: The Stand. Even though it could have been longer. There. I said it. Flagg seemed not developed enough.
Spoiler, click to toggle visibilty

Nevil Shute: On the Beach. Everybody dies and it's clear from one of the first chapters, if not the very first. Nuclear aftermath done right. Not like Swan Song...

Thomas Mann: Doktor Faustus. Fantastic prose. Interesting theories and thoughts. Story is more or less a varied form of the Faust myth.

I think, I've mentioned more than enough now. But when I post, I'll make it count. Or not.

tl;dr lots of books without a continuous air about them.

EDIT: added information on the books. At least some.
Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 07:28:57 pm by Daimyon
Re: Books
#111  May 05, 2008, 07:46:58 pm
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Quote
Weren't the infected just on the verge of redeveloping some kind of society by the end of the book? The organized even killed off some of their own kind (those in front of main characters house) because they didn't return to a more civilized self, even after so many of them did that the necessity for a new society emerged.
Yes. But the thing was that they killed Neville because he was killing them. But Neville was killing them because he saw they would keep hunting him and they wouldn't come back to their sense no matter what... Seriously, just having the "new civilization" show that, yes, they could come back to their sense and build a new civilization would have been enough ; because afterall, he was killing them because he was seeing that there would be no civilization anymore.
All Neville needed was to be sure they wouldn't eat him. Then he wouldn't have to kill them, even if they didn't live under the same circumstances, even if they didn't eat the same things. And afterall, Neville was very willing to go with them when the girl told him they were building a new civilization ; he did say he would entrust himself to their new civilized law. Until they smashed through his door, set stuff on fire and shot at him.
They just had to live together and build that new civilization. Instead of that, they just went and captured him to execute him, because they feared him. And they feared him because of ignorance ; and Dracula is never portrayed that way.
While I did like a lot the whole idea behind the phrase "I am legend", the fact that he is to them a legend of the same kind as Dracula, I didn't like the conclusion. The only thing it shows is that ignorance is the worse thing that should not be left as it is ; it ruins possibilities, here the possibility to simply live together.
If I struggled to the end of my determination, to the end of my way of life with my followers, if the result is ruin, then this ruin is inevitable. Grieve. Shed tears. But you cannot regret.
Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 08:24:10 pm by Baiken
Re: Books
#112  May 05, 2008, 08:46:31 pm
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For them he might have been a monster, comparable to Dracula. They, unlike the reader didn't know his motivations. Only the girl might have learned about them (please excuse my nebulous remembering of details...). But still, there was, I think, no way they could have let him live.
The general opinion of the changed might have been that he is a threat to their new race, new civilization, not a person anymore, because they defined themselves as persons now, so he became a monster whose motives they didn't know but who went around and killed them without mercy. I doubt most even bothered to learn about his motives.
Also, in this new society, if it was anything like the last, Neville must have been considered a murderer, as he killed citizens of this new society, seemingly without reason. Add to them that he was like a mythical beast...we also must not forget that this new state also must have had some kind of propaganda...but I think I'm drifting off into the realm of mere speculation.

And for the scene where they came for him; they shot down the vampires in front of his house and, I think, tried to call him out, and he knew, he should go out, surrender but then, on an impulse stormed back deeper into the house, letting them count down and come after him. Well, even if he had come out of his own, I doubt they could have let him live, for reasons mentioned above.

Both factions only knew the monstrous side of the other. Cut that. Neville tried to at least get behind the reason for the monstrosity the others had become. And he met the girl, always doubting her being a genuine human.
Re: Books
#113  May 05, 2008, 09:00:56 pm
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I finished The King Stag only to discover that that wasn't the end of it... now reading The Prisoner in the Oak.

Baiken's argument seems to be partly based on the assumption that---since they were once human---they would remember and keep memories from those times, and therefore they ought to have just tried to talk it out or something.

I can't remember enough of the novel to comment, but I had always assumed that the infection had somehow diminished their ability to reason or just changed them sufficiently enough that they were no longer human enough to think like one, or something.

And supposing they remembered everything and could still think humanly...

what reason had they to assume that he would listen to them? After all, they had (willingly or not) in a way committed genocide and directly or indirectly destroyed Neville's entire world... what reason would they have had to assume he wouldn't just keep killing them until the end of his days for their crimes?

I guess if I were one of the new humans and could think and everything, I would probably figure that Neville was fighting to his dying day against the monsters who killed everyone he knew. I don't think it would occur to me that he might even consider forgetting all that and be content to just be left alone.
"Several times now, Achamian thought he had glimpsed golden haloes about Kellhus's hands. He found himself envying those, such as Proyas, who claimed to see them all the time."
--R. Scott Bakker
The Thousandfold Thought (2006)
Re: Books
#114  May 05, 2008, 09:27:44 pm
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Well yes, that's pretty much it. Ignorance. Just because they don't know, doesn't mean they're right.

In all Dracula stories, there was no such thing as Dracula needing to be understood, he was always depicted as killing for pleasure and having fun boasting around. And here, Ruth, the girl, knows they were like him before - she precisely uses it to get to him.

Quote
and, I think, tried to call him out, and he knew, he should go out, surrender but then, on an impulse stormed back deeper into the house, letting them count down and come after him.
They did nothing of that, they killed the ones outside then they immediately smashed his door. He freaked out. Let me take the book out of my shelf-- I quote,
"He would not fight. He'd throw himself upon the justice of their new society. When they called to him he would go out and surrender; it was his decision.
But they didn't call. Neville lurched back with a gasp as the ax blade bit deeply into the front door. He stood trembling in the dark living room. What were they doing ? Why didn't they call on him to surrender ? He wasn't a vampire, he was a man like them. What were they doing ?"
If I struggled to the end of my determination, to the end of my way of life with my followers, if the result is ruin, then this ruin is inevitable. Grieve. Shed tears. But you cannot regret.
Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 09:37:16 pm by Baiken
Re: Books
#115  May 05, 2008, 10:31:40 pm
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Ah thanks.

When I just reread that passage (surprisingly I was able to find my copy fast; thought it would be buried under a pile of other books) I think I remember partly blaming Neville's actions for being shot down. For retreating into darkness, getting his guns (well, who would act different?), and I think I stopped sympathizing with him when he didn't go with the girl. Or even before that. Can't remember. Would have to reread the whole book to be able to recount my former opinions, if that would be at all possible.

But you're right. And I won't try to argue about anything related to Dracula since I don't have enough knowledge concerning that.
Re: Books
#116  November 16, 2008, 11:32:47 pm
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Looks like the last few months have been guide-heavy...

    How to Win Influence and Make Friends
I am of the opinion that each and every English-speaking country on Earth really really really ought to have this book on the curriculum.

    How to Stop Worrying and Start Living
Hm. That guy was pretty good at what he did. Respect.

    Sex for Dummies
Nobody reads this thread anyway, right? ;) It's an old woman writing this, and it shows sometimes. Not really recommended for the 21st century.

    The Last Lecture
The book that goes with the video of Randy Pausch's Last Lecture. Watch the video instead, the book's not necessary. But watch it. He was a very entertaining dying man.

    The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex
A younger author, sometimes silly or with overdone coolness (noticed the awful title?), but with more practical tips and more appropriate text all around.

    The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy
I'll be damned, but it was waay cooler when I first read it. Since I sort of knew what was going to happen this time... nope, just not as good anymore without the originality factor. Same goes for the other books:
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
  • Life, the Universe and Everything
  • So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish
  • Young Zaphod Plays it Safe
  • Mostly Harmless

    Legacy of the Force: Betrayal
I read the first three chapters because it was available for free... then deleted the entire ebook out of frustration with where it was going. Please, please, next time you have somebody turn Sith Lord, don't make losing all his personality and intelligence a pre-requisite... didn't we have enough fallen-out-of-stupidity Star Wars villains already?

    The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
All right, but nowhere as good as the first reading of The Hitchhicker's Guide.

    Interview with the Vampire
My only expose to Anne Rice's world so far had been the movie version of Queen of the Damned and I thought maybe the movie didn't do her justice. It probably didn't, but turns out I don't like the actual books much either. Hated it throughout and kept skipping pages!

    Caine Black Knife
A sequel that is (intentionally) veeeery different in tone and style from Blade of Tyshalle (my favorite novel). I devoured it way too fast to be able to say anything much about it... but interestingly... I kind of did not like the book. :o


Currently reading:

    Applying UML and Patterns - An Introduction to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design and Interative Development
Probably won't finish it this year, maybe never. It quotes cool stuff, though, and I like its approach to project planning and execution in general. It's basically: you can't plan for everything anyway, and at least half of the things you designed for in the beginning will be dropped or drastically altered later on, so don't bother too much with it in the first place. Right on! XD

    The Hobbit or There and Back Again
Cute so far. Gollum alone makes me want to read The Lord of the Rings in English once I'm done.

    Shogun
Came across it in the library and remembered Bia recommending it, so... only got a few pages in so far.
"Several times now, Achamian thought he had glimpsed golden haloes about Kellhus's hands. He found himself envying those, such as Proyas, who claimed to see them all the time."
--R. Scott Bakker
The Thousandfold Thought (2006)
Re: Books
#117  November 17, 2008, 12:00:50 am
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Quote
Legacy of the Force: Betrayal
I read the first three chapters because it was available for free... then deleted the entire ebook out of frustration with where it was going. Please, please, next time you have somebody turn Sith Lord, don't make losing all his personality and intelligence a pre-requisite... didn't we have enough fallen-out-of-stupidity Star Wars villains already?
I agree with this, i've kinda tried on the "New Sith" series and it's just BAD. As a character he's been completely ruined. And everyone but Jaina is now all namby pamby. It's gone downhill a lot since the joiner trilogy. Those were pretty awful too.

I liked the clone wars ones though with omega/delta squads.


In M.U.G.E.N there is no magic button

They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it's not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.
Re: Books
#118  November 17, 2008, 12:13:53 am
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Been picking up on cheap books , so my latest reading are things that most people already read a long time before.



Terry pratchet Discworld's - Mort
Read the translated version, had heard about him before but never had the possibility to read any discworld, it was entertaining original and made me laugh quite a few times, loved the way he would break into describing the world in tangents.
Reminded me of a more interesting Lovecraft.

Stephen king's -Dreams and Nightmares 2
Collection of short stories, one of them was the "tribe of 10 o clock" about creatures replacing persons in power positions and the highly addicted to tabaco persons that were still able to see them, those scorned by the society new "healthy" ways .
Also had a sherlock holmes short story and a nice cthuluh based story about a part of britain around the corner where sacrifices are drawn to die.

Emilie Bronté - Wuthering Heights
Only heard that the music was a book recently, found it interesting so i set out to read it, it was very well written for the time period, was strangely surprised with a woman that age writing about such a theme like hate, instead of the usual love stories.
could see why some would call it the first "emo" piece of literature.
After reading it I was saddened by seeing that Heath ledger had been named after the character and would never be able to portray it in movie.

Bea

Re: Books
#119  November 17, 2008, 12:25:33 am
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    Shogun
Came across it in the library and remembered Bia recommending it, so... only got a few pages in so far.

If you like it, I strongly recommend reading Tai-Pan after it.

I've been rereading a few of my favorites now that I finally have them (had to import english versions...)

Dune
At The Mountain of Madness
The Call of Cthulhu
Princess Adora: "My friend saw She-Ra take her dress off in the shower. She said she has an 8 pack. She said She-Ra is shredded."

SF2NES is dead. Long live SF2NES.
Re: Books
#120  November 17, 2008, 12:30:11 am
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Nobody reads this thread anyway, right? ;)

..and you placed that sneaky remark right in a line following a kinda-headline with "sex" in it? Clever.

About Hitchhiker's: I saw the movie first, and I actually liked it better than the book. Especially Marvin, while being adorably depressed in the movie ("I have a suggestion, but noone listens to me anyways.." and actually noone even noticing him, "Can I have my arm back now?" in that very disinterested tone.. loved those scenes) just felt very cynic in the book :sadgoi: