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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:55 pm 
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About halfway through the first book of the trilogy
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I'm having a hard time grappling with the hard sci-fi physics, not that it's necessary to understand it to get into the story. It's pretty pertinent though for the issues of our times

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... Indeed, the trilogy can be read as a parable about the perils of inviting into your country foreigners whose ethics have been forged in more violent circumstances....


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:40 pm 
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tabascoboy wrote:
About halfway through the first book of the trilogy
Image

I'm having a hard time grappling with the hard sci-fi physics, not that it's necessary to understand it to get into the story. It's pretty pertinent though for the issues of our times

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... Indeed, the trilogy can be read as a parable about the perils of inviting into your country foreigners whose ethics have been forged in more violent circumstances....



Amazing series. Think Amazon have bought the rights to it. Be interesting to see if/how they adapt it.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:00 am 
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Just finished The Corporation that Changed the World:

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An interesting dissection of the rather rapacious East India Company with a meditation on the lessons for modern society, States and Corporations. Robert Clive comes out of it pretty badly.

Now onto this:

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Which is somewhat academic (quotes in the original Greek or Latin without translation), but already very enlightening about how ancient texts have come down to us over the past two and a half milleinia.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:36 am 
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Been working my way through "The State of Africa" based on recommendations here. Going through in fits and starts, but it's fascinating.

I had thought that learning the details about the sheer scale of corruption and abuse of power shortly after independence would be eye-opening, and it was, but it's the recent stuff that's really caught my attention. The details of the atrocities in Rwanda and the Congo/Zaire and the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone are harrowing. All parties seem to have been an absolutely horrible people, with some of the worst traits in human nature on show.
The lead-up to these conflicts, the barbarity of the conflicts themselves, and the appalling reaction of the international community really add up to create an absolute shit-show of human suffering.

Should be mandatory reading for all.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:57 pm 
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Just finished ‘The selfish gene’ by Richard Dawkins.
What a book. A must read if you haven’t already.

Onto ‘All the pretty horses’ by Cormac McCarthy next.
I read ‘Blood Meridian’ a couple of years ago and it was excellent. Grim, bleak and beautiful.
Hoping for something similar.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:34 pm 
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What do you guys think about graphic novels? Looks like crap to me. My wife's book club are starting on one called Maus.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:58 am 
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Fangle wrote:
What do you guys think about graphic novels? Looks like crap to me. My wife's book club are starting on one called Maus.


One of the top 10 books / whatever that I have ever read.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:17 pm 
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Just finished Beartown... cracking read, most enjoyable book I’ve read for a while. Recommend for fiction fans.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:18 pm 
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Denirostaxidriver wrote:
Fangle wrote:
What do you guys think about graphic novels? Looks like crap to me. My wife's book club are starting on one called Maus.


One of the top 10 books / whatever that I have ever read.

Not quite at that level of enthusiasm, but it's excellent


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:36 pm 
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Ewinkum wrote:
Just finished ‘The selfish gene’ by Richard Dawkins.
What a book. A must read if you haven’t already.

Onto ‘All the pretty horses’ by Cormac McCarthy next.
I read ‘Blood Meridian’ a couple of years ago and it was excellent. Grim, bleak and beautiful.
Hoping for something similar.


I should revisit the selfish gene, some great concepts, a bit sobering to consider oneself a survival machine or robot for our genes, although that theory falls a bit flat when I have had 10 pints, I like to think of myself as the bender of survival machine robots.

Also introduced the concept of memes. Shame Dawkins is such a C*nt


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:28 pm 
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The author reviews the concept of modern democracy and how some radical movements are shaping it in the wrong way.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:49 pm 
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Any decent/essential books on astrophysics, the big questions about the universe etc. etc. people would recommend?
Obviously for a layman and not too dry, but still something that will make me look smart/pretentious on public transport when reading it.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:57 pm 
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Floppykid wrote:
Any decent/essential books on astrophysics, the big questions about the universe etc. etc. people would recommend?
Obviously for a layman and not too dry, but still something that will make me look smart/pretentious on public transport when reading it.


Neil DeGrasse's Astrophysics For People In A Hurry is pretty good.

Also, just about to finish the Iron Druid chronicles. Pretty good, lighthearted fantasy for those who like the genre.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:33 pm 
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been reading this:

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ended him up at Dachau and dead

Quote:
Friedrich Reck might seem an unlikely rebel against Nazism. Not just a conservative but a rock-ribbed reactionary, he played the part of a landed gentleman, deplored democracy, and rejected the modern world outright. To Reck the Nazis were ruthless revolutionaries in Gothic drag, and helpless as he was to counter the spell they had cast on the German people, he felt compelled to record the corruptions of their rule. The result is less a diary than a sequence of stark and astonishing snapshots of life in Germany between 1936 and 1944. We see the Nazis at the peak of power, and the murderous panic with which they respond to approaching defeat; their travesty of traditional folkways in the name of the Volk; and the author’s own missed opportunity to shoot Hitler. This riveting book is not only, as Hannah Arendt proclaimed it, “one of the most important documents of the Hitler period” but a moving testament of a decent man struggling to do the right thing in a depraved world.

PRAISE
Very, very rarely one comes across a book so remarkable and so unexpectedly convincing that it deserves more to be quoted than to be reviewed.... I beg you to read this bitterly courageous book by as good a German as one could well imagine.
—Frederic Raphael, The Sunday Times, London

It is stunning to read, for it is not often that invective achieves the level of art, and rarer still that hatred assumes a tragic grandeur.
—The New York Times

Observations set down with passion, outrage, and almost unbearable sadness.... astonishing, compelling, and unnerving.
—The New Yorker

In his visceral loathing of the Nazis, Reck was not, of course, unique. From our perspective, however, he had one great advantage over most of his like-minded friends: he possessed the makings of a great diarist. True, he was not at the centre of things, but he knew the world and had contacts in it. He was something of a connoisseur of rumours, collecting and savouring stories about the latest Nazi scandal or atrocity and adding to them his own trenchant reflections. And if he was a slightly gullible listener, he was a very acute observer.
—The Financial Times

Unlike many memoirs of the Nazi period, this one is not a totally gloomy account of persecution, brutality and horrors. The dominating quality is its tough exuberance and (often black) satirical humor. From a great height of aristocratic disrelish Fritz Reck-Malleczewen looks down on the Nazis as lower middle class scum, vengefully greedy for power, with Hitler as their avatar, at once sinister and ridiculous.
—The Wall Street Journal


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:47 pm 
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Any good bios of Tecumseh Sherman people would recommend?


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:53 am 
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Floppykid wrote:
Any good bios of Tecumseh Sherman people would recommend?


You could go directly to the source with his memoirs, but I would suggest:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fierce-Patriot-Tangled-William-Tecumseh/dp/0812982126/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1543024127&sr=8-5&keywords=william+tecumseh+sherman

https://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Tecumseh-Sherman-Service-Country/dp/0393354202/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543024127&sr=8-1&keywords=william+tecumseh+sherman


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:39 pm 
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Lacrobat wrote:

Danke!


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:52 pm 
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this arrived today - supposedly like the Flashman stuff. anyone read it?

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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:04 am 
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Read State of Africa having seen it posted here, what a general shambles and doesn't leave you hopeful for the future.

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This is an excellent biography of Woods. Golf isn't a sport I've much interest in but he really was an unbelievable superstar. Goes into a lot of detail on his father (total prick) and how it developed his mindset. He was extremely cold and ruthless. Seems to have gotten himself together a bit after his life crashed a few years back. One of better sports books I've read.

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This is about a post office manager who robbed more than €1.7 million to fund his compulsive gambling addiction. Reading it would induce anxiety when you hear all of the amounts he wins and loses. Good account of how insidious gambling (especially online) has become in our society and how the mind of an addict works.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:50 am 
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Monk Zombie wrote:
this arrived today - supposedly like the Flashman stuff. anyone read it?

Image



No, but I want to now! Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 3:40 pm 
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So I've read book 1 in this series and I'm wondering whether to continue. It's got plenty of merits but he also extrapolates everything. Lots of battles which get reptitive, I skim read battle bits, there's also plot threads that get hammered home again and again, 2 characters 1 is a bully, he bullies other character about 8 times, ott. 3 more books each about 1k pages. Being a bit sexist but I think would probably appeal more to men, main characters are all men, lots of fighting and warrior stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 4:36 pm 
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Recently read and can recommend:

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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:00 am 
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Uthikoloshe wrote:
MungoMan wrote:
An exceedingly enjoyable SF / fantasy book from the local library. Definitlety recommended.

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Good shout. Half way in and hooked.



Do you know who is Dad is?

I've enjoyed all his books. Glad to see a new one.

Just finished the latest Peter.F.Hamilton book.

Enjoyed it a lot - a new universe is good afternoon the Void sequence


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:35 pm 
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I'm tempted to see if I can get this on interlibrary loan ...

Spoiler: show
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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:38 pm 
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I need to find some new authors to read. Preferably ones with a large back catalogue. Anyone got any suggestions?

I read all sorts: literary, intelligent thrillers, humorous, historical, contemporary, crime, classic. Authors: Jonathan Coe, Iain Banks, Paul Murray, David Mitchell, Philip Roth, Alan Hollinghurst, have read a few Pratchett, Iain Pears, Magnus Mills, le Carre, John Irving, Evelyn Waugh, others in the same vein(s).

Not really into SF or (serious) fantasy. All suggestions gratefully received


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:56 pm 
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Richard Morgan back in form with Thin Air.

I'd rate it as his best Neo-Noir yet.

He can't write Fantasy for shite mind :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:09 pm 
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Anyone read Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges by Anthony Beevor yet?


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:29 pm 
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I've been trying to give fiction more of a go lately and maybe it's because I've been trained by movies, TV, and graphic novels, but do a lot of books have so much pointless fluff in them?

I just finished The American War on 1.25 speed audio and glad I chose to speed it up as I was left feeling that not much happened that couldn't be told in a short story. I'd abandoned two other books last week because nothing gripped me.

But back to the GNs, if you like Bond, I highly recommend this ... basically, if Moneypenny actually was a field agent in her youth and comes out of retirement to solve Bond's murder.

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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:34 pm 
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Struggling through Bleak House at the moment. I love Dickens but this is proving quite hard work.

Anyone read Mick Herrons Slow Horses series? Started off a bit ropey but getting more and more enjoyable as they go.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:46 pm 
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HKCJ wrote:
Struggling through Bleak House at the moment. I love Dickens but this is proving quite hard work.

Anyone read Mick Herrons Slow Horses series? Started off a bit ropey but getting more and more enjoyable as they go.


Yep, bought Spook Street the other day. They're very, very good.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:04 pm 
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Dobbin wrote:
I need to find some new authors to read. Preferably ones with a large back catalogue. Anyone got any suggestions?

I read all sorts: literary, intelligent thrillers, humorous, historical, contemporary, crime, classic. Authors: Jonathan Coe, Iain Banks, Paul Murray, David Mitchell, Philip Roth, Alan Hollinghurst, have read a few Pratchett, Iain Pears, Magnus Mills, le Carre, John Irving, Evelyn Waugh, others in the same vein(s).

Not really into SF or (serious) fantasy. All suggestions gratefully received



Try Dashiell Hammett if you haven't, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, etc. etc. Also Truman Capote, In Cold Blood, to start with. John Dos Passos, The Manhattan Transfer.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:09 pm 
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julian wrote:
Dobbin wrote:
I need to find some new authors to read. Preferably ones with a large back catalogue. Anyone got any suggestions?

I read all sorts: literary, intelligent thrillers, humorous, historical, contemporary, crime, classic. Authors: Jonathan Coe, Iain Banks, Paul Murray, David Mitchell, Philip Roth, Alan Hollinghurst, have read a few Pratchett, Iain Pears, Magnus Mills, le Carre, John Irving, Evelyn Waugh, others in the same vein(s).

Not really into SF or (serious) fantasy. All suggestions gratefully received



Try Dashiell Hammett if you haven't, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, etc. etc. Also Truman Capote, In Cold Blood, to start with. John Dos Passos, The Manhattan Transfer.

Norman Mailer, just remembering some authors I went through. The Executioner's Song.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:56 pm 
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Brazil wrote:
HKCJ wrote:
Struggling through Bleak House at the moment. I love Dickens but this is proving quite hard work.

Anyone read Mick Herrons Slow Horses series? Started off a bit ropey but getting more and more enjoyable as they go.


Yep, bought Spook Street the other day. They're very, very good.


Some of the metaphors and similes are a bit ridiculous but all can be forgiven for the character of Jackson Lamb.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:29 pm 
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Cheers julian, I might try some of that old noir stuff. I've read some of what I presume to be newer stuff of the same type - Elmore Leonard, for example.

Mailer - I read The Naked and theDead and enjoyed it. I understand he's very hit and miss though.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:14 am 
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danny_fitz wrote:
Anyone read Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges by Anthony Beevor yet?

Not as good as Stalingrad, better than Berlin. I enjoyed it but then that has a particular interest for me.


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:12 am 
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A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan came back to the library the other day and I had a flip through it. Was surprised to see a very graphic image of a German with the top/back of his head blown off. Didn't think books from the era contained such things.

(Just looked it up... turns out it was Major General Friedrich Kussin, and it's now pretty clear that he was scalped, unless some freakish cut from the glass of the windscreen?)


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:34 am 
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Nieghorn wrote:
A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan came back to the library the other day and I had a flip through it. Was surprised to see a very graphic image of a German with the top/back of his head blown off. Didn't think books from the era contained such things.

(Just looked it up... turns out it was Major General Friedrich Kussin, and it's now pretty clear that he was scalped, unless some freakish cut from the glass of the windscreen?)


A brief internet search reveals gory pics and confirmation of scalping... Aldo Reine stylee...


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 2:31 pm 
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Quote:
Publisher HarperCollins announced on Wednesday morning that the final novel in Mantel’s trilogy of historical novels about the life of Thomas Cromwell, will be published in March 2020. The long-awaited novel will cover the final four years of Cromwell’s life, starting with Boleyn’s execution in 1536, and moving to his own execution for treason and heresy in 1540.


At least someone is finishing a series


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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 2:48 pm 
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Just started reading ... enjoying so far... (but bit worried seems to be 'populist science' - which i think is a worry...)

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 Post subject: Re: The PR Book Thread
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 3:03 pm 
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Mantel has finished the third book. Coming out spring next year


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