Tuesday, October 05, 2004


I'm not much of a reader. Not in the same league as my hero Tim
, but I read in fits and starts. I'm currently the adic from the sporadic.

Books on my table:

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell: Required a leap of faith to get to a tipping point where it was worth continuing on it's own merit... then it flowed and invigorated... then it became the most brilliant book I'd ever read and my eyes opened wide and I though my head would explode.. then I thought it a bit contrived and formulaic... then a bit of a naff bit... then I was reminded how I'd felt a few chapters ago when it tied together at the end. It's written as six short stories in the following order 12345654321. For me 15651 would have worked just aswell, but that's just me, and it sort of only leaves you with the sci-fi stuff. To sum up, it's f**in great.

Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut: I've leafed through this a number of times, am savoring it, very excited. It'll only take me a few hours by the look of it. Is full of kids drawings of things such as a beaver, a beaver (woman's variety) , and apple. Seems to be written for someone from another planet who does not know what these simple objects or concepts are. I bought it because I loved 'SlaughterHouse #5', and because the blurb talked about a man being convinced that his world is populated by humanoid robots passing themselves off as the people in his life. This struck a chord with my childhood belief that the real world and majority of it's population were far more advanced than the 'world' presented to me. I was infact the equivalent of a mentally disabled child in this world, and that the real world had enough of a surplus to be able to create a pretend, dumbed down world that my inferior brain could cope with (the assumption being that I would not survive in the real world). Those people in my world (my parents for example) were volunteers or researchers who would act the part to create a stable world for me. Think 'Truman Show'.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach: this is about 50 pages long and half of those are pictures, looking forward to finding out what the fuss is about, but when should I start/finish with it?

PostgreSQL - Douglas Douglas : A modern masterpiece

The Road to Reality - Roger Penrose: This will probably take me a few years. Have so far read preliminaries and am looking forward to Penrose explaining "Gravity's role in quantum state reduction" to people who can't cancel fractions. I understand he's trying to sell books without compromising his academic status, we'll see how he gets on. Personally I can cancel fractions, but not too much else. I coped with the Emperor's New Mind (when I was 16), skipped most of Shadows of the Mind cos I couldn't cope with the maths. I heard about this book when Penrose was on 'Start the Week', I normally buy books based upon reviews or interviews I hear on the radio.

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