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what are you reading?

Head over to the bookshelf and take your pick. We want to hear your thoughts on any past, present or future novels.
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Nu-D
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Re: what are you reading?

Post by Nu-D » 03 Dec 2016, 16:21

Recently finished (re)reading C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces. It was Lewis's last novel, and the one he regarded as his best. He had been fascinated with the story of Cupid and Psyche all his life, and had tried to render it in prose and in verse many times. Late in life he had a revelation, and changed his view on the story and this novel was the result.

The story is the myth of Cupid and Psyche, told from the POV of Psyche's eldest sister. In the traditional myth, Psyche is so beautiful that Aphrodite is jealous and orders her sacrificed. She is rescued by Cupid, who takes her to his home but prohibits her from ever seeing him. Her sisters go to visit and are so jealous they trick her into looking at Cupid. When she does she is exiled and wanders the Earth for eternity.

In this version the eldest sister is not jealous, but rather she loves Psyche. When she visits Psyche on the mountain in Cupid's home, she cannot see its wonders. She believes Psyche is captive of a monster or a delusion, and coerces Psyche into looking at Cupid in the hopes she'll come to her senses and return home with the sister. Psyche does so, and is sent into exile.

Lewis' take on the myth is pregnant with messages about faith and doubt. It's written as an indictment of the gods' demands that we believe things we cannot see or verify.

I read it first back in 1999 on my father's recommendation. I remember really liking it a lot. I liked it enough that it was the first book I ever gave to my then-girlfriend (now wife). She also liked it a lot at the time, but doesn't really remember it now.

Honestly, it's very good but I can't really see whatever it was that I saw in it the first time. I know I'm in a very different place, spiritually, than I was then. That might have something to do with it. Back then I was learning a lot about varieties of spirituality. Today, I'm much more settled into my own space, and I don't think it's very similar to C.S. Lewis' questions and agonies in this book. (Contrast with The Screwtape Letters which speaks to me very precisely).
Music and silence–how I detest them both!….[Hell] has been occupied by Noise–Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile–Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end….The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. (C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, 119-120)

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Nu-D
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Re: what are you reading?

Post by Nu-D » 18 Sep 2017, 01:39

I just finished "A Good Country" by Laleh Khadivi. It was good, but doesn't deserves to glowing press it's getting. It's about a second generation Iranian American teen from California who becomes alienated by his exclusion from American society, and radicalizes and goes to join ISIS in Syria. His character arc is persuasive and sympathetic. But the author's picture of American high school life is pretty exaggerated in a lot of ways. It's an enjoyable read, but I found myself skimming at times and rolling my eyes at others.

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Gomurr the Ancient
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Re: what are you reading?

Post by Gomurr the Ancient » 28 Nov 2017, 18:05

Blackcyclops wrote:
23 Feb 2016, 15:01
Thanks everybody!!!!!

If only comics could somehow be turned into audiobooks, read by the voice-actors from cartoons or live-action (I'd love to have the Mutant Massacre read by the cast of the 90s animated series lol)...
https://www.graphicaudio.net/our-produc ... arvel.html

I just stumbled across a fair number of adapted comic audiobooks. Figured I'd link it here, as I'm sure a number of us would appreciate it. I'm about an hour in on the Days of Future Past audiobook, it's pretty great.
Take it from me -- One doesn't become Gomurr the Ancient by keeping one's eyes clenched shut. First and foremost, you have to be named Gomurr. Then you have to get really, really old.

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