The Stainless Steel Rat (stainsteelrat) wrote,
The Stainless Steel Rat

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I've made it through several books of late, which are a more than useful side effect of travelling on the São Paulo Metrô. I must stick out a bit as one of the only people on the Metrô wearing headphones and reading, whereas from what I remember this is situation normal on the London Underground and certainly UK trains. Curiously both headphones and/or reading on the Metrô is a rarity. It's a shame the journey isn't longer as I don't have a great deal of time to read.

I'm sure I saw a Last.FM/Audioscrobbler clone for books and films, but I can't for the life of me remember where... great idea though.

I've just made it through The Man in the High Castle, and although it just about held my attention it isn't one of my favourite Philip K Dick books. With this particular PKD book I have no idea really what he was trying to get across, other than the alternate future story of Germany and Japan having won the world war. It probably didn't do much for as there's very little in the way of fantasy or science fiction ideas, although I have film student friends who sing its praises. So overall this fell into a similar category as A Scanner Darkly, although I'm still interested to see how the film for this particular book has turned out, despite a rather messy production and mixed reviews. PKD's mostly at his best for me with his short stories, which is I think where the true SF master comes to light. He has some of the most bizarre and off the wall ideas, which don't need a novel to explain. But rather than just being bizarre and odd, and feeling drug fuelled, they are fascinating and original, to me at least. The short story format works wonderfully for these.

I still have 4 or 5 PKD books sitting on the bookshelf, among others, but I've switched for the moment to the memoirs of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a book my boss gave to me. Fernando Henrique Cardoso was a president of Brazil, and supposedly viewed as one of the best. My boss was fortunate to meet him recently, while accompanying a New York Times journalist who was interviewing him. The book is fascinating, albeit ghost written, and intertwines the history of Cardoso's family with that of Brazil over the last 200 years. It's a great introduction for me to the strange history of Brazil, although I have to write a review of the book at the end anyway.

That which floats my boat with books is much the same as film, in that as long as you have an interesting and at least partly original message to get across I'll enjoy it. Of course whatever the written style you have to get that message across as well, to me at least. I've noticed that just like films there are some styles which sync with some people, but not with others. But like any art form is that a great surprise?
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