Discworld

What are you reading when not on this forum IV

For literary discussions, of both Pratchett and other authors.

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby chrisboote » Wed Jul 22, 2015 08:44 am

While in Finland a couple of weeks ago, I had read everything i took with me, and (as well as a really interesting book about the difference between conscious and unconscious thought) ended up reading The Rosie Project, a light book supposedly dealing with the trial and tribulations of a man rated highly on the Aspergers scale trying to find a partner

What utter, awfully researched, poorly written dreck

In style, it resembled David Lodge (Small World, Changing Places, Nice Work) at his most ponderous with none of his sharp wit or insights into how people think
But in content ... well, the protagonist is a successful geneticist, who, to show you how different he is, refers to every person he meets as "XXXX, 24, 5'6", BMI 24" and constructs lists in his head
He has a set routines for exercise, shopping, meals (indeed, he has a Meal System and gets very distressed when these routines are disrupted
In other words, the author skimmed a few pop-psychology books about Autism and Aspergers, conflated the two in his head, and applied them with a thick brush over the top of his frankly unlikeable main character
There is one, and only one, good scene in the book, where the protagonist has to give a talk to a classroom of Aspie children, which is so accurately portrayed, with such vivid descriptions of the children's behaviour, and their parents' embarrassments, that it must have been lifted from a scientific paper during his 'research'
The plot is meandering and trite, there are NO likeable characters*, and the general Aesop you're to take away is that Aspergers can be 'cured' by being crazy and spontaneous with the right free-thinking person guiding you

Alongside the various, quite nasty. swipes at people along the Aspie spectrum - for example, the protagonist has sent so many letters suggesting 'improvements', that airlines let him travel for free in first class in a row to himself, or market stallholders have his purchases readily weighed and bagged so they don't have to talk to him - the other characters were so two dimensional (or one dimensional, in the case of the protagonist's only male friend) that it was a real struggle to keep on going to the end**

So, in summary;
1) Do Not Read This Book
2) Packing 2 books a day is NOT ENOUGH when staying on a Finnish island

* There was one sympathetic character, who was however portrayed as unreasonable and ridiculous by the author for being upset that her potential date had lied to her about being able to dance, when she was an excellent and frequent dancer - another example of how he mocked people with strong passions for things to the exclusion of some other considerations

** But as there were only ~ half a dozen books in English, I had to read something
Using your old computer to shop for a new computer online is rather cruel
It's like asking your dying wife if she has any cute girlfriends
User avatar
chrisboote
 
Posts: 5576
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 08:51 am

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby Grace Speaker » Wed Jul 22, 2015 09:16 am

Oh dear, books like that are very disappointing - and it's frustrating that they think they are taking an 'enlightened look' at this condition, whereas what they are actually doing is playing to stereotypes. It sounds like the author has lazily pinched Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, without bothering to form any real depth of understanding of people with high functioning Asperger's. I've never been to Finland, but will take your advice re reading material if I ever visit :wink:
X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett
GNU Stephen Hawking
Grace Speaker
 
Posts: 4604
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:00 am
Location: London

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby chrisboote » Wed Jul 22, 2015 09:46 am

Grace Speaker wrote:Oh dear, books like that are very disappointing - and it's frustrating that they think they are taking an 'enlightened look' at this condition, whereas what they are actually doing is playing to stereotypes. It sounds like the author has lazily pinched Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, without bothering to form any real depth of understanding of people with high functioning Asperger's. I've never been to Finland, but will take your advice re reading material if I ever visit :wink:

The main character was written to seem more like a lazy understanding of Autistic, not an Aspie

This wasn't typical Finland
It was an island (owned by my friend's family) about 1000m x 400m, no electricity, no running water (there was a well for drinking/cooking water and swimming in the (14C!) sea for bathing)
Very peaceful, but once I'd read all eight books I had brought with me, I was starting to get a bit bored...

And I shouldn't get bored
You wouldn't like me when I'm bored
Using your old computer to shop for a new computer online is rather cruel
It's like asking your dying wife if she has any cute girlfriends
User avatar
chrisboote
 
Posts: 5576
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 08:51 am

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby chrisboote » Wed Jul 22, 2015 09:49 am

The other book, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thinking-Fast-S ... 0141033576 , was much better, and led me to an epiphany about my Aspergers, which I am discussing with a neurobiologist with a view to publishing as part of her work :)
Using your old computer to shop for a new computer online is rather cruel
It's like asking your dying wife if she has any cute girlfriends
User avatar
chrisboote
 
Posts: 5576
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 08:51 am

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby Grace Speaker » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:32 am

chrisboote wrote:The other book, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Thinking-Fast-S ... 0141033576 , was much better, and led me to an epiphany about my Aspergers, which I am discussing with a neurobiologist with a view to publishing as part of her work :)
Good recommendation and it's now in my Amazon basket :thumbr: I'd be interested to hear more about the work your neurobiologist friend is conducting - is she doing any research around Decreased Sound Tolerance (Hyperacusis/Misophonia/Phonophobia) in people with Aspergers? It's something I've always struggled with and at times has made 'normal' life impossible, so I have a vested interest . . . :wink:
X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett
GNU Stephen Hawking
Grace Speaker
 
Posts: 4604
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 10:00 am
Location: London

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby chrisboote » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:51 am

No, she's trying to find ways to modify normal teaching methods to teach Aspies as well
Using your old computer to shop for a new computer online is rather cruel
It's like asking your dying wife if she has any cute girlfriends
User avatar
chrisboote
 
Posts: 5576
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 08:51 am

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby phazedout » Wed Jul 22, 2015 08:35 pm

Finland (main finland) has lots to do, trust me, Iäve lived here for almost two years, but, Lijke Chris spending one night on a remote island about an hour off teh coast drove me a little crazy as well.
[regarding Alan Rickman] He had Tim Curry's ability to save the day by putting literally all the scenery in his mouth and gnawing on it like a deranged woodchuck.
User avatar
phazedout
 
Posts: 7502
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 02:15 pm
Location: Ballina, Mayo the sunny west of Ireland (rimwards of wincanton)

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby Whos Wee Dug » Thu Jul 23, 2015 07:33 pm

@chrisboote That's when a Kindle is your friend. :mrgreen:
@ phaze I will be voting for the Helsinki bid at the Worldcon this year I hope they win it, they were beaten by just 36 votes by Spokane for this year if they don't win I won't be voting for them again twice is enough, so get your vote in for them.
A Midgie in yur hand is worth twa up yir kilt.
User avatar
Whos Wee Dug
 
Posts: 3531
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:01 pm
Location: Bonnie Scotland

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby Basement » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:33 am

The Wee Free Men. For no particular reason at all.

Just got to the bit where Tiffany is in a drome dream and the Feegles turn up in tuxedoes! What an image! I really want to see someone cosplay that now!
GNU Terry Pratchett
User avatar
Basement
 
Posts: 18129
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:10 am
Location: Somewhere over the Rainbow!

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby phazedout » Wed Aug 12, 2015 05:17 pm

tempted jax, tempted I mean I have blue face pain and the right hair
[regarding Alan Rickman] He had Tim Curry's ability to save the day by putting literally all the scenery in his mouth and gnawing on it like a deranged woodchuck.
User avatar
phazedout
 
Posts: 7502
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2006 02:15 pm
Location: Ballina, Mayo the sunny west of Ireland (rimwards of wincanton)

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby phalarope » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:38 pm

Wanna wanna wanna see Phaze as a Tuxedoed Feegle! Inna kilt! :shock: :lol:
Cheers -
Carol (phalarope)
'The world is full of signals that we don't perceive.' -- Stephen Jay Gould, (1941-2002) paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, science historian

Oysters have 4 lips

X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett
User avatar
phalarope
 
Posts: 4125
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:20 am
Location: St. Michaels, County of Talbot, Maryland, USA

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby Catch-up » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:44 pm

Chris, I tried The Rosie Project as well. Didn't even make it all the way to the end. I agree, it was horrible.
X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett
User avatar
Catch-up
 
Posts: 22199
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:40 pm
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby Ros Day » Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:19 am

For those who have enjoyed Naomi Novik's "Temeraire" series, she has ventured into a new fantasy world, with a mediaeval East European feel to it. The book is called "Uprooted". It's fairly standard fantasy, but well written and enjoyable - no dragons (yet - I haven't quite finished the book), but plenty of other monsters and a likeable and increasingly feisty heroine. Worth reading if you like fantasy.
User avatar
Ros Day
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 03:53 pm

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby Stew d'Apples » Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:29 am

Ros Day wrote:For those who have enjoyed Naomi Novik's "Temeraire" series, she has ventured into a new fantasy world, with a mediaeval East European feel to it. The book is called "Uprooted". It's fairly standard fantasy, but well written and enjoyable - no dragons (yet - I haven't quite finished the book), but plenty of other monsters and a likeable and increasingly feisty heroine. Worth reading if you like fantasy.



It's one of the next books on my list. Temeraire is a great series (is it over or on hiatus?).

Currently reading the Urban Birder by David Lindo. Next up is either The Whispering Swarm by Michael Moorcock or The Death House by Sarah Pinborough.
GNU Terry Pratchett
Stew d'Apples
 
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 03:11 pm

Re: What are you reading when not on this forum IV

Postby phalarope » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:25 am

Just finished 3: Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archives, Connie Willis - Bellwether, Alexander Kent - To Glory We Steer (Richard Bolitho - ship's name is Phalarope :wink: ). The first 2 were laugh out loud hilarious. Must share Bellwether with a statistician friend. :lol: Kent was surprisingly enjoyable. As an O'Brien fan I thought I would not care for other British Age of Fighting Sail novels (Hornblower notwithstanding), but Kent does a good job.

Now nibbling on Sky Walking by Tom Jones. Very readable personal story of a Space Shuttle astronaut.
Cheers -
Carol (phalarope)
'The world is full of signals that we don't perceive.' -- Stephen Jay Gould, (1941-2002) paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, science historian

Oysters have 4 lips

X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett
User avatar
phalarope
 
Posts: 4125
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:20 am
Location: St. Michaels, County of Talbot, Maryland, USA

PreviousNext

Return to The Reading Room

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron