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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Lost Sock Planet
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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I heard an interview about Scanner Darkly on NPR, and it sounds interesting, but I don't go to first run movies because of my hearing lose. I have to wait for it to come to TV. What was shocking was Philip K Dick's list of dead friends, that they have on at the end of the movie. He also died of complications due to drug use they interview said.

PKD was a prolific drug user, mainly amphetamines because he decided that to produce sufficient material to make a reasonable living he had to write a lot. At the end of his life he was having all sorts of bizarre paranoid episodes, although got to see some of the special effects shots from Blade Runner (despite being badly treated by the Blade Runner production team prior to this). Unfortunately he died before it was finished.

That is sad, he never got to see what a huge hit Blade Runner became. I loved that movie.

Yep, it's sad. Although the silver lining is that he got to see some of it, and was very impressed by the bits he saw. It would have still taken a few years for it to be recognised as well. There's also the positive element that he left some fanastic stories, which are a great thing to remember him for.

'Curiously both headphones and/or reading on the Metrô is a rarity.'

I think that's actually really interesting. Why do you think that is? Could it be extravert society Brazil versus rather introvert society UK in comparison? What do people there do instead? Chat with others, just sit, or?

I wonder if it's cultural. Nobody does it, so therefore nobody else does it, if that makes sense.

Nobody talks to each other, and in that sense it's much like the London Underground. I've started writing an article about it for the expat web site, although I'm not sure if it makes very interesting reading :-)

by the time i remember that i have a book in my bookbag or my mp3 player in my purse, it is already time for me to get off to my station.

Are you only travelling one station, or half asleep? ;-)

depending on the day i go from jabaquara to se, then from se to vila carrao. if not, from jabaquara to ana rosa, from ana rosa to trianon. usually, not an incredibly short ride... but then again, i am usually standing up at the times i get the subway and i dont know how to read, listen to music and hold myself up all at once :) and then when i sit down.... i nap. lol

That's a pretty long journey. I must be getting pretty skilled as I do the lot standing up, but if you're not careful you fly :-)

Someone needs to invent a Metro train that can brake smoothly...

that would be lovely. i hate taking the bus and the metro and having to stand up in it cuz its like being catapulted from side to side.

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