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So, I decided this year to keep track of my reading.


list of books )

Star Trek, Doctor Who, music, mysteries including several Hard Case Crime books, some Lovecraftian stuff, some Philip K. Dick, some literary fiction, a fair number of graphic novels, some good new fantasy and SF... and a Coronation Street novelization. Not a bad mix. Tagged some of the titles to get a sense of trends. As has probably been the case for some time, there's more Doctor Who than Star Trek, and more crime fiction than non tie-in science fiction or fantasy.
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Just got back home after several days down south with the inlaws. Frantic, lots of running around, good times, glad to be home. Saw the US version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, not bad, simplifed elements of the mystery, and the new lead is not as good as Noomi Rapace, but not awful either. Saw the Doctor Who Christmas special and my opinion of the Moffatt years continues to toboggan downhill. Glad to see snow on the ground here at last, and xmas on Taffy Lane looks as OTT as ever, with all the lights and traffic. Listened to some Eighth Doctor audios in the car on the trip and enjoyed them.

Back to work on Wednesday.
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[Error: unknown template qotd]I wish.
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It's Harry Potter Goes to Narnia, except that Harry Potter is messed up not because of Voldemort but because he's a clueless, aimless, self-centered doofus. And he's a few years older.

What I remember of Grossman's first novel, Warp (it's been years since I read it), is that it was about a clueless, aimless, self-centered doofus who's just out of university, obsessed with Star Trek, and trying to figure out what to do with his life. The protagonist of The Magicians goes through pretty much the same phase, except that he's obsessed with the Narnia-like Fillory books and then discovers magic, Fillory, and many other things are real.

It could have been a disaster, on a par with Stephen Donaldson's Lord Foul's Bane, which introduced the most dickpunchworthy lead character in fantasy fiction. But it works. The protagonist has his good moments, and Grossman really does a good job of capturing both the wonder of discovering magic is real and the jaded and burned out disenchantment, so to speak, that comes of trying to figure out what to do with your life after that. And there are some genuinely well drawn settings and set pieces that borrow from the classics but have freshness and originality, too.

There's a sequel. I'll probably read it.
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Ever read a review of a book by an author you've never heard of, maybe in a style or genre you don't often read, and thought, damn, I have to read this? And then it turns out to be as good as you hoped it might be?

Esi Edugyan's novel Half-Blood Blues is one of those books. Edugyan's a Canadian novelist and this is her second book. It's narrated by an American who played jazz in Germany and France just before WWII with a group of American and German musicians, the most talented being a black German trumpeter, and what happens when the Nazis move into Paris, and what happens fifty years later. Great writing and characterization, suspense and surprises, it's damn good all around.
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In light of the ddos attacks, I wonder... Does lj clone Dreamwidth have the variety of communities that lj does, or is it mainly a fanfic place? Would it make sense to gravitate over there?

L.A. Noire

Jun. 16th, 2011 09:43 pm
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So the company responsible for Grand Theft Auto IV: Liberty City, quite possibly my all time favourite video game, releases a high profile game taken straight out of James Ellroy's LA Quartet (well, not officially). Oh, yes, that's for me.

And now I'm finished playing through the storyline and, well, I'm a tad underwhelmed. I miss the open sandbox world of GTA. L.A. Noire is a much more structured game -- you have to play through the episodes in the right order, and though you can take time out to go drive along the LA River basin or just generally explore how much of 1947 Los Angeles you can see (a lot) or look for tips o' the hat to classic movies, like Geiger's Bookstore from The Big Sleep, in general, you're on rails. It's like the Blade Runner PC game, in a way: go here, look for clues, interact with people to try to figure out what's going on... but with much, much better graphics and gameplay.

The thing is, it's not very noir. It's mainly a police procedural out of the Dragnet school, despite the occasional flashback cut scenes that reveal how various characters were connected during the war. A little more GTA-ness could have improved the noir element by fleshing out the characters. The conversations and activities the GTA protagonists have with their friends, employers, and even strangers do a lot to make their characters more rounded and believable. I didn't get enough of that for Cole Phelps in L.A. Noire.

Don't get me wrong, it's a really good way to spend several hours, as long as you keep your expectations under control. L.A. settings look great; the facial animation is well done (you have to watch people's expressions to tell if they're lying; there are even recognizable guest stars like Greg Grunberg). But a noir story should get me completely immersed in atmosphere, and that doesn't really happen here.

Maybe it's time to pop Blade Runner into the PC again.
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Last time around I blathered about a science fiction novel set in NYC after various terrorist attacks and the near collapse of society as we know it, without much of the usual "and this is what happened to make the world this way" exposiiton, and with a damaged protagonist committing brutal acts of violence.

And now for something completely different: a 1994 novel set in a New York City that's falling apart, society descending slowly into chaos, no exposition about how all this has happened.

But a 12-year-old girl's diary is a hell of a lot different from a hipster nihilist pulp tale. Read more... )
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Stuff I've read since the last list (here)

The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick Volume One 1938-1971 by Philip K. Dick
Lies Inc. by Philip K. Dick
Humpty Dumpty in Oakland by Philip K. Dick
Mister Wonderful [graphic novel] by Daniel Clowes
Ghost in the Shell 1.5: Human-Error Processor [graphic novel] by Masamune Shirow
The Way Home by George Pelecanos
Enter Wildthyme by Paul Magrs
The Ferguson Affair by Ross MacDonald
Murder is My Business by Brett Halliday
Doctor Who: The Story of Martha by Dan Abnett et al.
Doctor Who: Beautiful Chaos by Gary Russell
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
The King's Coat by Dewey Lambdin
Magazine: The Biography by Helen Chase
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Star Trek: Voyager: Children of the Storm by Kirsten Beyer
Doctor Who: Wolfsbane by Jac Rayner (Fourth and Eighth Doctors)
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
Steve Diggle's Harmony in My Head by Terry Rawlings
Solemn Vows: A Marc Edwards Mystery by Don Gutteridge
The Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson

Current reading: Kraken: An Anatomy by China Mieville

short comments on books )

The Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson

Hipster pomo noir science fiction somewhere between early Jonathan Lethem and Jack Womack's books. Obviously the title would catch my eye, although I haven't dealt with Dewey since library school, I've always worked with the Library of Congress cataloguing and classification systems. And I like the occasional literary games some writers have been playing with the noir crime novel in recent years (David Grand's The Disappearing Body, Jedeiah Berry's The Manual of Detection, Jack O'Connell's novels, China Mieville's The City and the City, Jeff VanderMeer's Finch, etc), I like basic hardboiled and noir stuff, I like the way a lot of cyberpunk and near future SF uses elements of crime fiction. So I'm close to the target market for this novel (if I'd ever been into the band Shudder to Think, of which Larson was a member, I'd be a bullseye).

As it is, while I generally enjoyed it, I'm not sure how well thought through it was. Maybe we'll learn more in future books, but we only get glimpses of the shape of this near future New York City that's been ravaged by superflu and the 2/14 terrorist attacks, neither of which get described in any detail -- Larson's not worldbuilding, he's just reporting from that world, so he doesn't do much exposition. We also don't learn much about Dewey Decimal, the protagonist who lives in the abandoned New York Public Library; he's seriously mentally damaged, doesn't know who he really is or whether the memories that pop up from the old days are real or implanted. The character might work better in a movie, a strange guy who kills a lot of people without spending too much time worrying which ones are the good guys and which ones are the bad guys. He does a lot of damage for someone who isn't sure who he is, or who he works for, or what he's supposed to do, or who all the people he encounters really are. It could very well be that all of that is exactly the point, or it could be that this is a dilettante hipster pomo pulp novel just managing not to collapse under the weight of its pretensions. I think the second novel, when it comes, may answer that question, at least.
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I don't think Nick Hornby is a great literary master. His work is repetitive, plotless, and sometimes insufferable (How to Be Good isn't in fact good at all). But he's very, very good at capturing and presenting certain character types, as he does in High Fidelity, a book that I recognized myself and too many other people in. I can tell you when and where I read High Fidelity, I can tell you how many people I tried to get to read it (I think one or two did), I can tell you that I liked the movie, too, despite the Americanizations. About a Boy wasn't bad. How to Be Good was painful. And I gave up, until I saw a copy of Juliet, Naked on sale cheap.

The description of the book made it sound like it was aimed at people who liked High Fidelity, and it pretty much is, mixed in with a bit of About a Boy's focus on parenthood and being an adult. You've got your music-obsessed fanboy, his steadily less patient girlfriend, a reclusive musician whose classic last album was more than 20 years ago and no one's heard of him since, and things come together. It's a bit of a plotless mess, but Annie is such a great character, and Duncan and Tucker have their moments, too, and there are some good observations about love and relationships and life, that the plotlessness doesn't really matter. It was a thoroughly enjoyable book.

As for real literary value... well, compared to a couple of tie-in novels I read recently, it felt like it. The prose was well crafted, the dialogue real, the characters -- well, the three main characters, at least -- completely believable in their failings. I found myself strangely reminded of Philip K. Dick, whose characters are often losers living lives they're unsatisfied with. If he'd had more of a sense of humour, his mainstream novels could have been something like this. He certainly had his own manias and musical obsessions.

But I digress. Good, fun book, more than worth the low price I paid for it.
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Just finished reading Sarah Waters's novel The Little Stranger today, and read a few reviews, interviews, and online discussions to see what other people made of the book. I really enjoyed it myself, but the ending is ambiguous. Without going into spoiler territory (because it's a good book and you may enjoy it, what may be a ghost story set in England in 1947, with austerity measures, class conflicts, etc)... well, the last page of the book had me thinking, ah, this is definitely an unreliable narrator story, and what really happened must be X. Other people online drew the same conclusion. But Waters herself in interviews said he's something of an unreliable narrator but not too much, it's more that he's not realizing all of what's happening around him... so what really happened may in fact be Y, not X.

Ordinarily, when I read something that dances around the edge of the supernatural, I like it to land clearly on one side or the other. This one... it's debatable. And it's interesting to see some readers online really resisting the possibility of the supernatural explanation being the valid one, some because they just can't buy the intrusion of the supernatural into a realistic novel, some because they don't seem to want the intrusion of genre into their literary historical fiction. Which is kind of ironic, given that Waters managed to gain mainstream success writing lesbian Victorian historical fiction. There are bound to be lit snobs whose main concern would be which ghetto of sub- or paraliterature she should be relegated to.

But I digress. It's a fairly long book, one with characters many people online found utterly unsympathetic, and one in which actual events sometimes seem few and far between; it's a very extensively researched work of historical fiction; some reviewers seemed to find it a chore to get through... but I found it unputdownable. It builds a lot of suspense from a handful of incidents and even with its ambiguous ending I didn't feel unsatisfied.
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The 2011 reading list only had one ebook; when it comes to reading, I still like a physical book. I've been okay with downloadable music for quite a few years, being a longtime eMusic user, but I've discovered that physical media still help. I may have computers and an ipod and so on, more ways to listen to music in more places than ever before, but to really engage with an album, it helps to be in the living room with the music playing on my old stereo. And the ipod sounds awful going through the stereo. (Sounds fine on the ipod dock, but that's another story.)

So I've been finding that if I don't want to just forget about a new album, it's helpful to buy it on CD. Leave it laying around where I'll see it and think about playing it. And, of course, rip it to the ipod. So I've bought a fair number of actual CDs so far in 2011:

Various artists: Scientist Launches Dubstep into Outer Space
Shackleton: Fabric 55
Florence and the Machine: Between Two Lungs
Wire: Red Barked Tree
The Streets: Computers and Blues
James Blake
Buzzcocks: Love Bites
Various artists: Exit Records Presents Mosaic Volume One
Killing Joke: Absolute Dissent
Various artists: Adventures in Dubstep and Beyond
Kid Cudi: Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr Rager
Various artists: FabricLive 56: Pearson Sound/Ramadanman
John Foxx and the Maths: Interplay
Various artists: Dubstep Allstars Volume 7 Mixed by Chef and Ramadanman
Ladytron: Best of 00-10
FaltyDL: You Stand Uncertain
Stereolab: Not Music

On order:

Kate Bush: King of the Mountain/Sexual Healing single (missed that when it came out a few years ago)
Kate Bush: Director's Cut Deluxe Edition

and thinking about ordering the new Brian Eno album.

A list of downloads (from eMusic, DGMlive, iTunes, etc) would probably be a lot longer, thanks to all the dubstep and Autonomic singles and EPs. Other stuff in there would be Robert Fripp and Brian Eno, Robert Fripp and Theo Travis, Sonic Youth, Thurston Moore, Effi Briest, Zola Jesus, White Ring, Moebius Plank Neumeier, Mogwai, Pale Sketcher, Juliana Barwick, Egyptrixx, Kryptic Minds, Subeena, Terror Danjah, Seefeel, the Zombies, the Pointed Sticks, 2562, Charles Bradley, Instra:mental, ASC, Scala... the usual mix of electronica, new wave, soul, post-goth, krautrock, ambient, 60s, grime, dubstep, avant garde guitar music, alternative rock, postrock, etc, that you'd find in any music collection. (Nobody's read this far, have you?)
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I really intended to do something more regularly, but it's being another hell of a year. Good to be working, not so good to feel too tired trying to be productive when I get home. Anyway.

Rat Girl: A Memoir by Kristin Hersh
Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau by Brian Walker
Husker Du: The Story of the Noise-Pop Pioneers Who Launched Modern Rock by Andrew Earles
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts of Empire by David R. George III
Iris: Abroad edited by Paul Magrs and Stuart Douglas
Chasing the Cyclops: The Making of the Powysverse Mythology by William Latham
Tied In: The Business, History, and Craft of Media Tie-In Writing edited by Lee Goldberg
Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale [graphic novel] by Joss Whedon, Zach Whedon, and Chris Samnee
Solomon Kane: Death's Black Riders [graphic novel] by Scott Allie and Mario Guevara (based on the character created by Robert E. Howard)
The Chronicles of Kull Volume 3: Screams in the Dark and Other Stories [graphic novel] by Roy Thomas et al. (based on the character created by Robert E. Howard)
Star Trek: Typhon Pact: Paths of Disharmony by Dayton Ward
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
Doctor Who: Imperial Moon by Christopher Bulis (Past Doctor Adventure featuring the Fifth Doctor)
Turncoat by Don Gutteridge
The Devil's Paintbrush by Jake Arnott
Blue City by Ross MacDonald
Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel
The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye [graphic novel] by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us [graphic novel] by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard
House of Mystery Volume 3: The Space Between [graphic novel] by Matthew Sturges et al.
House of Mystery Volume 4: The Beauty of Decay [graphic novel] by Matthew Sturges et al.
House of Mystery Volume 5: Under New Management [graphic novel] by Matthew Sturges et al.
The Scar by China Mieville
Space: 1999: Android Planet by John Rankine (2011 revised edition)
Unwritten Volume 1: Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity [graphic novel] by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
Hellboy Volume 1: Seed of Destruction [graphic novel] by Mike Mignola and John Byrne
Madness of Flowers: A Novel of the City Imperishable by Jay Lake
Nightmare in the Street by Derek Raymond
The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine
Hellblazer: Pandemonium [graphic novel] by Jamie Delano and Jock
The Third Bear by Jeff Vandermeer
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Indistinguishable from Magic by David McIntee
The Chronicles of Solomon Kane [graphic novel] by Roy Thomas et al. (based on the character created by Robert E. Howard)
The Three Roads by Ross MacDonald
Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: Watching the Clock by Christopher L. Bennett
Doctor Who: Shining Darkness by Mark Michalowski (Tenth Doctor)

Comments on some of these to come later.
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I ended the year with the Lovecraftian anthology Cthulhu Unbound Volume 2 (I think I liked the first one better), the scriptbook of Last Year at Marienbad, and the exceptionally excellent The City & The City by China Mieville.

2011 begins with Rat Girl: A Memoir, by Kristin Hersh.

Imagine you're an 18-year-old girl whose band is starting to generate a lot of buzz. But the songs aren't yours, they come from the music you've been hearing since you were hit by a car. One of your best friends tells stories about her days as a Hollywood star that are actually true. You have a breakdown, get diagnosed as bipolar, get medicated, get pregnant, quit the medication, and record your band's first album. That was 1985-86 for Kristin Hersh, and this book is based on the diary she kept that year.

I first heard Throwing Muses on Lonely is an Eyesore, a compilation album released in 1987 by 4AD, and loved their song, so I bought their first album as soon as I could. I bought every album they released, and most of Kristin's solo albums (and some by her stepsister and exbandmate Tanya Donelly and her band Belly, too). So I would already have been interested in this book. But I also remember reading an interview with Hersh circa the early '90s in which she discussed being diagnosed as, iirc, bipolar with schizoid affect, the same diagnosis an ex-girlfriend of mine had been given not long before. My ex was being treated for something else while we were dating, and evidently successfully -- she probably could have hidden it from me. But we never talked much about it and I never really got much insight into what it was like for her, and we've been out of touch for a long time. This book doesn't just tell a powerful and sometimes laugh out loud funny story that casts new light on the enigmatic lyrics of some Throwing Muses songs, it gives me a bit of a sense of what life may have been like for my ex.

Anyway, it's a great read that could captivate readers who've never heard of Hersh or the Muses and an essential read for those who have. And it's reminded me to put some Muses and Hersh albums back into rotation, whuch is a good thing.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

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If you're writing Lovecraftian horror fiction and your story includes God, Satan, angels, demons, Hell, Heaven, or anything else out of Christianity, you're not writing Lovecraftian horror, no matter how many times you namedrop ol' HPL. I mention this because of some not very ept "Lovecraftian" comics I read recently.

Fortunately, today's Lovecraftian read, Dennis Detwiller's Delta Green novel Denied to the Enemy, is more solidly based on elements from Lovecraft's fiction. Sure could use a tutorial on the use of commas and semi-colons, though.

ETA: this app isn't very good at geography.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

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Dear world: If you're offended because someone else doesn't respect something sacred to you, you have more than one option. You don't have to demonize the other side, you don't have to riot, you don't have to threaten property damage or death and destruction to protect what you think is holy and divine. You certainly don't have to say you better not do that because then I'll do this and I will be blameless and justified for what I do because you provoked me.

You have a better option: you can say you disagree with what they're doing and then get on with your life.

A Muslim community centre can be built in New York City with no adverse effect on anyone's life. A nutbar can burn a book with no adverse effect on anyone's life. It's the reactions that are the problem. So don't react.

Your reaction to these situations is entirely your responsibility. You can refuse to be provoked. You can be better than that. It's called maturity, and it's something everyone is supposed to learn before they get out of their teens. You do not have the right not to be offended. Just grow the hell up already.
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Finally got a copy of a book I've been waiting for since I first heard about it a few years ago: Miss Freedom by Andrew Cartmel, the second in Powys Media's series of novels based on the original Prisoner TV series. The first, Jon Blum and Rupert Booth's The Prisoner's Dilemma, was really good. I've been curious what Doctor Who's Cartmel could do with The Prisoner. Tonight I shall begin to find out. (There are apparently only 200 or so copies of this book, but it's supposed to be reprinted, eventually, maybe, some day.)

The other day I decided to read the copy of Philip K. Dick's novel Nick and the Glimmung I got a few months ago, but reread Galactic Pot-Healer first. When the former (an attempt at a science fiction novel for kids) didn't sell, PKD recycled a few names and concepts and added some of the usual PKDisms to create the latter. I first read GPH in 1985 and forgot almost everything about it; it was much better than I remembered, but still a minor work. As for NatG, it's a very slight, lightweight SF book for kids that includes elements of some earlier short stories like "The Father-Thing." The prose style is very different, very much aimed at kids. Nick and the Glimmung is one of PKD's books not published during his lifetime; there was a UK paperback that I missed quite a while back, and now there's a very attractive hardcover edition from Subterranean. It's a very short book, though, around 120 pages. Still, it's fun to read something so different from the usual PKD SF novel, and yet with so many of the familiar touches still present.

(Now playing: Kelis's Flesh Tone album. Like Janelle Monae's brilliant The ArchAndroid album, it's got  a bit of a science fiction theme running through it, but instead of being the kind of eclectic genre-mashing experience Monae's album is, this has a consistent house/electro feel that reminds me of Madonna's Confessions on a Dance Floor, which isn't a bad thing.)
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Here's how it works: go to Wikipedia (as the most convenient resource), and copy the list of movies that were released in the year when you were 12 years old. Mark in italics the movies that you've seen. (Not necessarily that year.) Mark in bold the movies that you own on video, DVD, Blu-Ray or whatever.

If you're not sure if you've seen a movie, you haven't.

Okay, 1975...

A

Aaron Loves Angela
The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother directed by and starring Gene Wilder with Madeline Kahn and Marty Feldman
The Adventures of the Wilderness Family
Aloha, Bobby and Rose
Attilas '74
The Apple Dumpling Gang
At Long Last Love directed by Peter Bogdanovich starring Burt Reynolds and Cybill Shepherd

B

Barry Lyndon directed by Stanley Kubrick, starring Ryan O'Neal and Marisa Berenson
Bite the Bullet directed by Richard Brooks, starring Gene Hackman, James Coburn and Candice Bergen
The Black Bird
La Bête (aka The Beast)
Breakheart Pass starring Charles Bronson, Ben Johnson and Richard Crenna
Breakout
Bugs Bunny Superstar

C

Carry On Behind
Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold
Cooley High
Coonskin
Cría cuervos (aka ¡Cría!)
Conduct Unbecoming directed by Michael Anderson, starring Michael York, Richard Attenborough and Trevor Howard

D

The Day of the Locust directed by John Schlesinger, starring Donald Sutherland and Karen Black
Death Race 2000 directed by Paul Bartel, starring David Carradine, Simone Griffeth and Sylvester Stallone
Deep Red directed by Dario Argento, starring David Hemmings and Daria Nicolodi
Dersu Uzala directed by Akira Kurosawa
Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze
Dog Day Afternoon directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Al Pacino, John Cazale and Charles Durning
The Drowning Pool directed by Stuart Rosenberg, starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward

E

The Eiger Sanction directed by and starring Clint Eastwood with George Kennedy
Escape to Witch Mountain starring Eddie Albert, Ray Milland and Donald Pleasence

F

Farewell, My Lovely starring Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling and John Ireland
Flame starring Slade
The Flower in His Mouth
The Fortune directed by Mike Nichols, starring Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty and Stockard Channing
The Four Musketeers directed by Richard Lester, starring Michael York, Oliver Reed, Frank Finlay and Richard Chamberlain
French Connection II directed by John Frankenheimer, starring Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey and Philippe Leotard
Funny Lady directed by Herbert Ross, starring Barbra Streisand, James Caan and Omar Sharif

G

Great
The Great Waldo Pepper directed by George Roy Hill, starring Robert Redford

H

Hababam sinifi
The Happy Hooker starring Lynn Redgrave and Jean-Pierre Aumont
Hard Times directed by Walter Hill, starring Charles Bronson and James Coburn
Hearts of the West
Hester Street
The Hindenburg directed by Robert Wise, starring George C. Scott and Anne Bancroft
Hustle directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Burt Reynolds, Catherine Deneuve and Ben Johnson

J

Jaws directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw


K

Kaddu Beykat

L

L'important c'est d'aimer
The Land of Spiders
The Land That Time Forgot starring Doug McClure
Legend of the Werewolf starring Peter Cushing
Let's Do It Again directed by and starring Sidney Poitier with Bill Cosby
Lies My Father Told Me directed by Jan Kadar
The Lion Roars Again
Lisztomania directed by Ken Russell, starring Roger Daltrey, Sara Kestelman and Paul Nicholas
The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum
Love and Death directed by and starring Woody Allen with Diane Keaton
Lucky Lady directed by Stanley Donen, starring Gene Hackman, Liza Minnelli and Burt Reynolds

M

The Magic Flute a film version of the Mozart opera directed by Ingmar Bergman
Mahogany directed by Berry Gordy, starring Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams and Jean-Pierre Aumont
La Maldicion de la Bestia
The Man in the Glass Booth directed by Arthur Hiller, starring Maximilian Schell and Lois Nettleton
The Man Who Would Be King directed by John Huston, starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer and Saeed Jaffrey
Mandingo directed by Richard Fleischer, starring James Mason, Susan George and Perry King
Milestones
The Mirror directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Monty Python and the Holy Grail directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin
Moonrunners

N

Nashville directed by Robert Altman, starring Ned Beatty, Ronee Blakley and David Carradine
Night Moves directed by Arthur Penn, starring Gene Hackman and Jennifer Warren
Numéro deux (aka Number Two) directed by Jean-Luc Godard
The Noah

O

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest directed by Milos Forman, starring Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher and Brad Dourif

One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing starring Peter Ustinov and Helen Hayes
The Other Side of the Mountain
Overlord

P

The Passenger directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, starring Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider and Steven Berkoff
Picnic at Hanging Rock directed by Peter Weir, starring Rachel Roberts, Vivean Gray and Helen Morse
The Prisoner of Second Avenue directed by Melvin Frank, starring Jack Lemmon and Anne Bancroft

R

Race with the Devil starring Peter Fonda, Warren Oates and Loretta Swit
Rancho Deluxe starring Jeff Bridges, Sam Waterston and Elizabeth Ashley
Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins
The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
The Return of the Pink Panther directed by Blake Edwards, starring Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer and Herbert Lom
The Return of the Sister Street Fighter
The Rocky Horror Picture Show directed by Jim Sharman, starring Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Richard O'Brien and Barry Bostwick
Rollerball directed by Norman Jewison, starring James Caan, John Houseman and Maud Adams

The Romantic Englishwoman directed by Joseph Losey, starring Glenda Jackson, Michael Caine and Helmut Berger
Rooster Cogburn starring John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn
Royal Flash directed by Richard Lester, starring Malcolm McDowell, Oliver Reed and Alan Bates

S

Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (aka Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom) directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
Shampoo directed by Hal Ashby, starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie and Goldie Hawn
Smile
The Stepford Wives directed by Bryan Forbes, starring Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss and Peter Masterson
The Story of Adele H. directed by Francois Truffaut, starring Isabelle Adjani and Bruce Robinson
The Strongest Man in the World
The Sunshine Boys directed by Herbert Ross, starring Walter Matthau, George Burns and Richard Benjamin
Switchblade Sisters

T

Terror of Mechagodzilla
Three Days of the Condor directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway and Cliff Robertson
Tommy directed by Ken Russell, starring Oliver Reed, Ann-Margret and Roger Daltrey


U

Ultimate Warrior

W

W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings directed by John G. Avildsen, starring Burt Reynolds
The Werewolf of Woodstock
White Line Fever
The Wind and the Lion directed by John Milius, starring Sean Connery and Candice Bergen
A Woman's Decision

Y

The Yakuza directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Robert Mitchum and Ken Takakura

There's at least half a dozen on the list I'd like to see, and three or four I may possibly have seen but don\t remember well enough to be sure. 
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I dumped in a few posts from thefifteenth.wordpress.com, the somewhat moribund music blog I haven't posted to lately (though I intend to get back to it; it's fun, even though no one's reading it). I wonder if it's because there's a lot of first person stuff in blog entries. I haven't read Wallace's fiction, but he did a lot of first person nonfiction.
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Last week Total Dick-Head, a Philip K. Dick news and criticism blog, mentioned that The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick 1980-1982 was finally out. I checked Amazon.com -- there it was. Not on Amazon.ca, where it's been on my wishlist for a few years, so I ordered from the USA. I half-expected I'd get something completely different as a result of a reassigned ISBN or something, but no, it's the real thing. The first five books were published from 1991 through 1996.

There's a card inserted in the book that says:
  • it's a limited edition of 1365, including 150 numbered, slipcased copies
  • the dust jackets were printed a decade ago, and the ISBN, price, and info about the availability of the earlier volumes are all now inaccurate
  • the earlier books are all sold out
  • the whole series will be reprinted in paperback eventually
Anyway, this one should be interesting. It's PKD's last two years. Among other significant events, Blade Runner was being produced during this time.

If you're a Philip K. Dick fan, you may want to investigate this. As for me, I think it may be just about time for a PKD marathon. I've got a few unread PKD-related books saved for a rainy day, including The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, which I've had for 20 years or more.This volume may provide an interesting context for it. Now, if I could find a reasonably priced copy of Gather Yourselves Together, I think my PKD collection would finally be complete...
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