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nosferatu

nosferatu

Joined July 2018

🇩🇪/🇨🇦
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The Language of Cities by Deyan Sudjic
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Ice by Anna Kavan
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Pickpick

💂‍♀️👍

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Dune Messiah | Frank Herbert
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Mehso-so

This was my first audiobook ever. As expected, I had a tough time staying focused, though the Wikipedia plot summary did help a little. As for the book itself: meh. I remember being fond of the first book, and I adore the most recent movie adaptation, but this sequel just didn‘t feel as immersive as I would have liked it to be. Maybe the medium just wasn‘t right…

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Tschick | Wolfgang Herrndorf
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Possibly my favourite German YA novel, trying to read it with my grade 9 in the next few weeks.

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The Invincible | Stanislaw Lem
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One of my Lem favourites, reread in time for the upcoming video game adaptation.

Love: that first half, in which Lem introduces his planet‘s mysteries in his trademark dry, scientific style.

Like: the second half, which is still exciting, but moves along a bit too slowly.

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Intriguing.

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Quallen: Ein Portrait | Samuel Hamen
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A fascinating essay tracing the influence of jellyfish through biology, ecology, literature, and culture.

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A Wrinkle in Time | Madeleine L'Engle
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Mehso-so

Like: the mix of sci-fi, fantasy, (gentle) horror. Dislike: the overall simplicity of the plot, the completely anticlimactic ending. It‘s okay.

Reading location: the beach.

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A group of strangers is hired to find the "sun" in an abandoned high-rise, slowly revealing the influence their employer has had on their lives. This is another bizarre and beautifully told Klein treasure, though the story doesn‘t shine as bright as that AMAZING cover illustration.

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Miakro | Georg Klein
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What did I just read? It‘s hard to tell if Miakro is dystopian, utopian, postapocalyptic, satirical, sci-fi, or all of those things. Could it be German literature‘s New Weird?

The story centres on a strange, living structure that contains an office and people who work in it, though their jobs seem enigmatic and ultimately pointless. Klein‘s parenthetical, inventive language supports this overall feeling of mystery, and …

nosferatu … his narrators give very few clues as to what is happening, asking the reader to constantly change their assumptions.

Georg Klein keeps surprising me, and I am amazed and grateful that something so distinctly strange and original was released by a large, mainstream publishing house in this day and age. More please!
2mo
6 likes1 comment
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Asterix at the Olympic Games | Ren Goscinny, Albert Uderzo
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Mehso-so

Again: excellent art, lame (and slightly problematic) plot.

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🏴‍☠️🇳🇱🤘

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The Stand | Stephen King
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Finishing this summer‘s King took much longer than expected, but that‘s because I picked the chunkiest one. While I truly enjoyed the epic scope of the story, the nods to LotR and King‘s trademark omniscient narrator, the plot pacing seemed somewhat uneven, with some segments dragging on forever and others not fully fleshed out. Still, I‘m very happy I got this one off my list. Time to move on to something more compact.

TrishB Great pic ❤️ 3mo
nosferatu Thanks @TrishB 😎 3mo
11 likes2 comments
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A sweet little volume that includes some Niemeyer bon mots and a more substantial afterword for context.

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The Seventh Voyage | Stanislaw Lem
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A beautiful adaptation that shows a lot of respect for Lem‘s original story.

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The Crystal World | J. G. Ballard
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This feels a lot like an apocalyptic, surreal retelling of Heart of Darkness: futile human struggles in an ever-changing environment filled with dreamlike apparitions. For me, the first half introduces too many meaningless characters, whose descriptions often feel tedious. Fortunately the plot picks up speed later on and Ballard puts his crystal imagery to good use.

nosferatu Companion piece: Alex Garland‘s 2018 adaptation of Annihilation. The refracted sun light within the Shimmer, the crocodile/alligator attack, reduplication and mutation of organisms etc. – it‘s all there! 5mo
8 likes1 comment
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Asterix and the Normans | Anthea Bell, Ren Goscinny, Albert Uderzo
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👍👍

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Asterix and the Goths | Anthea Bell, Ren Goscinny, Albert Uderzo
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👍

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The Twilight World | Werner Herzog
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An extra-short, extra-dense novel by the master himself. Reading it with Herzog‘s voice in mind adds even more punch.

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Venusia: A True Story | Mark Von Schlegell
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There is a lot of Philip K. Dick‘s and Kurt Vonnegut‘s world-building in here: lived-in, alien (yet familiar) spaces that follow their own sets of rules. There‘s also complete madness: incoherent storylines, confusing plot devices, a character who rightly wonders, "who dreams who?" …

I enjoyed it!

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Too much detail, too much history in the first half. It starts being fun once Castner starts his own trip down the river and juxtaposes it with Mackenzie‘s 1789 account.

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Angsttier | Lola Randl
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A short novel about a man‘s quick descent into madness after moving to the country, this was a weird, dark and pleasantly unsettling read.

Companion piece: Karen Duve - Regenroman

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Scott Pilgrim Bundle Vs 1-6 | Bryan Lee O'Malley
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Waiting for 12+ years to reread these was a great idea because I had forgotten so much and got to feel all the feels again 🤩

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My Heart Is a Chainsaw | Stephen Graham Jones
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An interesting set-up that is weighed down by one hell of a meandering plot - but saved eventually by a bonkers finale. I wish some confident editor had slashed some of the filler and reduced the page count by a hundred. 🔪

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Apollo | Chris Baker, Matt Fitch
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Mehso-so

Nice art, that‘s it.

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Undine | Friedrich de La Motte Fouque
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Short and sweet ⛲️

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Stern 111: Roman | Lutz Seiler
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My second read since it came out two years ago, during that strange first Covid spring. Which is peculiar because I don‘t normally reread books. There is just something about Seiler‘s prose that keeps sucking me in, even if Stern‘s story isn‘t quite as strong as Kruso‘s. I enjoyed every page of it and, weirdly enough, identified with completely different characters this time.

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Freak The Mighty | Rodman Philbrick
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(Potential spring read for my grade 8)

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Die Anomalie | Herv Le Tellier
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A neat little blend of genres that borrows heavily from modern serial storytelling - and that is no doubt going to be turned into a show itself. I enjoyed it a lot.

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His Master's Voice | Stanislaw Lem
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Mehso-so

A group of scientists tries to make sense of what might be a signal from outer space. I had hoped for a little more plot and a little less philosophy and scientific theory, essentially ignoring the narrator‘s initial warning that his report wasn‘t going to be a sci-fi story. It often reads like a precursor to first contact stories like Contact or Arrival/Story of your Life, though I wasn‘t really in the mood for its wordiness.

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An essay about the power of multilingualism, or lack thereof, in contemporary German society (and, to a degree, worldwide). Grjasnowa‘s age-old arguments praising the benefits of multilingualism and condemning normative language policies didn‘t fascinate me as much as the examples from her own diverse, multilingual biography and experience.

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Asterix Tour de France | Goscinny, Uderzo
Mehso-so

Repetitive.

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I‘ve been fascinated by the Franklin expedition for a while but knew almost nothing about Erebus‘s story pre-1845. Palin‘s style is often chatty but mostly subdued, a perfect fit for this type of non-fiction (ship biography, I guess).

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Not a perfect story, but still really good entertainment for a Saturday morning.

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Asterix and the Golden Sickle | Goscinny, Albert Uderzo
Mehso-so

🤷‍♂️

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Great (because it‘s short).

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Asterix and the Griffin | Jean-Yves Ferri
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Absolutely beautiful art and a fun story - if it wasn‘t for that ending, which seems a bit rushed and … unfinished.

Reading soundtrack: Beach House - Once Twice Melody (Chapter 3)

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Woyzeck | Georg Buchner
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Reread for teaching purposes. I wish more classics clocked in at less than 40 pages.

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Asterix and Cleopatra | Ren Goscinny, Albert Uderzo
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👃👍

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Mount Copenhagen | Kaspar Colling Nielsen
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An obscure, genre-hopping collection of stories set on and around fictional Mount Copenhagen. The way Nielsen pulls off his absurd idea and builds a microcosmos around this literary mountain is quite impressive, especially considering it‘s such a slim volume.

nosferatu Thanks for the tip, @Jari-chan 🤓 11mo
Jari-chan @nosferatu So glad you liked it as well 😄 11mo
5 likes2 comments
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The Fifth Essence - Planet DiFool | Alejandro Jodorowsky, Moebius
Mehso-so

Great art but another haphazard succession of events that could have been an interesting story. It‘s a shame I couldn‘t get into this series. I might return to it someday.

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Recursion | Blake Crouch
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A great read from start to finish, filled with crazy plot twists and surprises that somehow work. I can‘t even begin to imagine the amount of work that must have gone into plotting this novel.

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Evangelio: Ein Luther-Roman | Feridun Zaimoglu
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A fictional account of Martin Luther's secret stay at Wartburg castle in the 1520s, this one was a lot of fun to read. Zaimoglu joyfully mimics the vocabulary and style of 16th-century German, which made me smile and chuckle over and over again. Choosing to tell the story from his bodyguard's perspective is a neat literary trick, also because Zaimoglu's Luther is a superstitious and vulgar man whose paranoid ramblings get tedious rather quickly.

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The Fifth Essence - The Dreaming Galaxy | Alejandro Jodorowsky, Moebius
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Mehso-so

Nah.

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What is Above | Alejandro Jodorowsky, Moebius
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Mehso-so

Finishing this one took a little longer because I could not get into the convoluted plot. Here‘s hoping things will make more sense in the last two volumes.

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Listened to this 1946 radio play while baking cookies, a great story narrated by tough dudes.

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Tender Is the Flesh | Agustina Bazterrica
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Provocative, well-written, and a true page-turner. The author uses relentlessly nauseating details to bring to life her idea of socially accepted cannibalism. A bonkers concept in theory, her thought experiment shows that it doesn‘t take much for the pieces to fall into place. (I also felt reminded of Michel Faber‘s Under the Skin and the "mercy/murky“ scene in particular. It might be time for a reread.)

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A fascinating biography of one of my favourite authors that doubles as a history of post-war Poland. Gall‘s writing style is a bit too dry and academic at times, but overall I absolutely enjoyed learning about Lem‘s writing process and finding out about some of his quirks (car races and secret candy, among others).

Reading soundtrack: White Lies - As I Try Not To Fall Apart

Jari-chan This book has been on my wish list since I've first heard about it 🙈 12mo
nosferatu You might end up liking it ☺️ 12mo
4 likes2 comments
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What Lies Beneath | Alejandro Jodorowsky, Moebius
Mehso-so

Stilted dialogue, extra strange plot twists. Not so sure about this anymore.

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The Luminous Incal | Alejandro Jodorowsky, Moebius
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Much better! As fun and absurd as a video game that pulls you from one weird set piece to the next.

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The Incal #1 : The Black Incal | Alexandro Jodorowsky, Moebius
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Mehso-so

Not fully hooked on the story or the artwork yet, but I‘ll keep going.