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steelersrock01 Posted: 21:01 Nov29 2021 Post ID: 3456258
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Haha, if you want to give it a go feel free. I've definitely posted enough info here to pinpoint a 20-mile radius.

I've read some King. Carrie, Pet Sematary, 'Salem's Lot, The Stand, Misery. I used to be a fan but now he puts out so much volume even compared to his early days that it feels like the quality is suffering. He also wrote a nonfiction memoir/writing advice book called On Writing that's excellent.
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Warrior13 Posted: 21:02 Nov29 2021 Post ID: 3456259
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Mike: The only one that I ended up liking was a Tale of Two Cities. Huckleberry and Sawyer were okay stories, but deep south written like deep south is rough. Odyssey will take you down a flippin rabbit hole if you do not pay close attention. And Shakespeare was never my thing as I did not care that most of his stuff ended in tragedy. Ironically, I tend to do the same with most of my writing, except most of my stuff have added epilogues to end in a good place.

Dennis: I have a love hate relationship with Stephen King, which is why I just prefer his movies. His books are way too long, and he is usually overtly descriptive. And some of them have some far out s***, and by that I mean even more than what appears to be on the surface. The whole It backstory when it came to earth made the second movie of the later rendition absolutely garbage, and no one ever talks about the orgy that takes place between the middle schoolers after they first defeat the monster. I also do not care for Kings philosophy on writing in general. If I remember correctly, I had to read excerpts back in high school of his and Poes, and King believed only those with a talent for writing should be the ones to so so. I lean more with Poe and that anyone can write if they have a story to tell and a desire to do so.

« Last edited by Warrior13 on Nov 29th 2021 »
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steelersrock01 Posted: 21:21 Nov29 2021 Post ID: 3456267
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See I was never exposed to Dickens or Twain. We had some Shakespeare, but only R&J, Julius Caesar, Othello, and Much Ado About Nothing. Excerpts of Homer that I always enjoyed. There's a really good TV miniseries from 1997 of the Odyssey. We had some Poe. I think the worst I had to read in high school was Jane Eyre. So I think I avoided the worst of it when people talk about school making them hate reading. We had stuff like 1984 and Frankenstein, which I guess can be a little dry or esoteric if you don't have any interest in reading, but I always enjoyed it.

Then in college I didn't have to take any lit classes (besides my senior year when I needed to fill my schedule and took a Children's Lit class where I was the only guy in a class of 25 freshman girls - such a shame I had a girlfriend at the time, group projects were a sore point), though I did take several ancient/medieval history and mythology classes that dove into the antique classics. So I've got a bit of fondness for your Homers and Virgils and Ovids and Sophocles. It's easy enough to find pretty modern translations of everything that make it readable while still keeping the spirit of things.

I do need to read more Poe and Lovecraft though. My Poe experience is basically The Raven and the Telltale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher.

I'm with you on King too. He writes some weird stuff, I think just for the sake of being weird sometimes. I think the most recent horror of his I read was Under the Dome. I did read 11/22/63 about the Kennedy Assassination but that was more historical fiction than scifi or horror.

« Last edited by steelersrock01 on Nov 29th 2021 »
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Warrior13 Posted: 21:53 Nov29 2021 Post ID: 3456272
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Twain was at least entertaining. Difficult to under hill at points, especially uneducated slang hill, but good stories overall.

I am the opposite with Homer. Odyssey felt like a whole bunch boring nothingness, especially the end where everything is magically good.

Fitzgerald also did not do it for me. Not bad, but I did not see a point with most of his works.

Yeah, I basically had the same Shakespeare stuff, but I think basically all high schools have you read Romeo and Juliet, MacBeth, Othello, and Julius Caesar. All phooey to me.

Poe and Dickens were probs my favs of the forced lit. Dickens is a great teller, at least in regard to Tale of Two Cities imo. Poe is exceptionally deep, and sometimes he does things you would not expect.

Gullivers Travels and Animal Farm were okay, but satires are not my thing either.

My uncle who passed was huge on King, but I have only read snippets. Like I said, two or three books have been read by these eyes when not required.
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steelersrock01 Posted: 22:19 Nov29 2021 Post ID: 3456274
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To me the ancient Greek world is just incredibly charming. It helps if you try and read the Odyssey as mythology instead of an account of real people.

It was weird to me that in all the years where we covered Shakespeare my classes never covered Hamlet or Macbeth. I've never even tried Dickens. Tale of Two Cities has always intimidated me.

King is alright, especially older King. But fans who pretend he's some master of the craft are just being dishonest. He's just really prolific and writes at a breakneck pace. The man can't write an ending to save his life. I think so many people like King because it's really the only thing they've read outside of school.

I'm of the opinion that the reason about 90% of people "hate reading" is because they've never actually tried to read anything outside of when school forces them to. School does a pretty bad job of exposing kids to more "fun" stuff like King that can be a gateway into leisure reading. My parents were big on having me and my brother read a lot and never said no to getting us a book, and I guess I've just never stopped. I think if a lot of kids were given more exciting, fast-paced, fantastical books we'd have a lot more lifelong readers. There hasn't been a children's book series that was really a cultural phenomenon since Harry Potter, and that's been 20 years. We've had the Hunger Games and Twilight, sure, but neither of those have come close to the public reach or imo, the quality and sense of wonder given by something like Harry Potter.

« Last edited by steelersrock01 on Nov 29th 2021 »
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Sanzano Posted: 01:45 Nov30 2021 Post ID: 3456277
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I have to agree with you about Stephen King, his later stuff is mostly garbage. He is living off his past reputation. Yes Warrior is correct, the orgy scene where the kids pull a train on the girl in the gang in It so they lose their innocece and beat Pennywise gets forgotten about, I don't think that would get past the censors these days. Makes you wonder what the guy was thinking about the time when he wrote that. I know around that time he had a severe cocain problem, he wrote Cujo and can't remember doing so. Books I like of King are:

Salem's Lot
The Shining
Pet Semetary
The Dead Zone
The Stand
Carrie
Christine
It
Cujo


« Last edited by Sanzano on Nov 30th 2021 »

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steelersrock01 Posted: 08:53 Nov30 2021 Post ID: 3456279
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King was pretty openly doing every drug under the sun for a while there in his early career. I read Dead Zone too, I like that one.

I liked the Stand, kinda. I made the mistake of reading the "unabridged, complete" version, thinking that complete = better. There's just so much extra unnecessary stuff in there. And the ending. The hand of God, literally coming down? Really?

I've never read It but I've heard about that scene. I know you're free to write whatever you wish and that words written by an author don't reflect on that author necessarily, but it is quite strange.
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Warrior13 Posted: 12:37 Nov30 2021 Post ID: 3456281
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The orgy scene is gross in every sense, and yet it encompasses basically the entire premise of the book. I think he could have conveyed it in another way, but it is King we are talking about.

I just cannot get into the context of mythology enough to enjoy the actual stories. I think it is too fairytalish to me, but that is just me. Though, I would not mind having so of the powers of certain gods.

Tale of Two Cities is one of the best imo. I hated it at first, very long and old English makes it even more tiresome, but I got more into it the more I went along. I feel like my writing style is the same in make aspects; gotta get into it before it becomes interesting.

Yeah, if schools let kids do more of picking what to read or perhaps gave a bigger offering in terms of selection, I think kids would want to read when away from school. Funny enough, I never read any Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, or Insurgent. The first two were far too scifi for me, and the latter two came when I did not want to read (but still too fictional for my tasting).
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Sanzano Posted: 15:14 Dec02 2021 Post ID: 3456309
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It must be a generational thing, I never read Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, or Insurgent either. I don't have no desire to read any of those books either. I was brought up on a steady diet of Alan Dean Foster (The Thing, Aliens, etc), Robert E. Howard (Conan), and Stephen King.

I agree, if kids are given books they enjoy it encourages them to read more. In the UK kids are given books like McBeth and Romeo and Juliet which are basically tedious and boring.

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steelersrock01 Posted: 17:32 Dec02 2021 Post ID: 3456315
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We get given the same type of stuff here, and if you don't get exposed to reading outside of that you're just going to think all reading is boring.
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Warrior13 Posted: 20:21 Dec02 2021 Post ID: 3456319
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You would think educators would come together and mix in newer stuff with the classics. At least perhaps that could stem the overwhelming boringness.

I've read bits and pieces of stuff outside of school, clearly, but I do prefer writing over it.
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steelersrock01 Posted: 22:43 Dec02 2021 Post ID: 3456330
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I think a lot of it depends on the teacher, I had some teachers that would let you choose from a list of books for some units, or let you read some of your own books for summer readings as long as they were advanced enough. But I've also had teachers that went strictly by the curriculum.

It's easy to keep using the same old stuff because there's so much information on it, all the themes and moods and metaphors are all clear.
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Sanzano Posted: 01:28 Dec03 2021 Post ID: 3456334
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I read somewhere that the level of reading the average adult has in the US has regressed over the years. I also read an alarming fact that there are lots of Americans that can barely read. What is happening to the world? Kids are more interested in watching videos on social media than reading comics and books like the old days.

Just wondering do they still sell comics in shops in the US? When I was a kid you could go into any newsagents or bookshop and there would be a rack filled with comics. I don't see that no more in the UK, comics are now only available in comic shops which are few and far between.

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Warrior13 Posted: 06:12 Dec03 2021 Post ID: 3456338
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Mike: You were lucky. I do not think I had any option on books past elementary school. Maybe for a random book report or something like that, but always with the approval of said reading material by the teacher.

Dennis: I have never seen a comic book in any store I have been to, probably a specialty store at this point.
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steelersrock01 Posted: 10:18 Dec03 2021 Post ID: 3456345
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Dennis - I only know a few people personally that read. And they're all women. There's definitely been an anti-intellectual movement recently and reading is a huge part of that, along with that fact that reading has always been viewed as a nerdy thing that cool people, especially boys and men, don't do. I wouldn't be surprised if there are millions of people here that read at an 8th grade level or lower.

Just a personal anecdote, but my mom is an aide at the same elementary school I went to, and nowadays every single grade has a "remedial class" for math and english for kids that need extra help. When I was there, there was one remedial class for Kindergarten - 4th grade, and one for 5th - 8th. Each class had about 12 kids in it total. Today each class for each grade has 6-10 kids in it. They're at the point where fully 25% of the kids enrolled in the school have a diagnosis or a documented need for extra help.

As for comics, they're few and far between. The small local independent bookshops have mostly closed up, and the big retailers only carry a few issues of the most popular stuff. I actually see a ton more manga than comics. In bigger cities and college towns you can find a the odd dedicated comics shop but they all seem to be struggling.
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Warrior13 Posted: 10:30 Dec03 2021 Post ID: 3456351
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I was a little behind reading wise throughout elementary school. But after finishing fifth grade, my parents had me reading everything over the summer prior to middle school. I literally went from a 5th Grade reading level to a 9th Grade level when tested to begin middle school. Never looked back.

I have also found that a lot of people get incredibly stupid when not in school. No offense, but there seems to be a drop in IQ if you skip out on college or years after finishing college. My eldest sister had a 3.9 GPA through high school and even made the deans list a couple of times, but man, sometimes these days I wonder if she could even pass high school. I love her to death, but I cannot handle it when people let their intellect slip. Thats why I love writing more so than reading, keeps you sharp because you actually have to consider structure.

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steelersrock01 Posted: 11:49 Dec03 2021 Post ID: 3456356
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It really does all come back to the parents. Last year when my mom was doing remote learning with these kids, it was really obvious which kids had involved parents and which kids didn't. Only one of the kids in the remedial class had a parent that was in any way involved in their schoolwork, and her version of involved meant doing all the kid's work for him. Which is just as bad.

I agree there, too. If you aren't being challenged and aren't stimulating your mind, you're gonna lose stuff. And school is a great way to keep you engaged. I'm not sure if it's a result of my upbringing or I'm just lucky, but I'm naturally curious about damn near everything. I'm always reading, try to write sometimes, I love trivia and history. It's so important to keep yourself sharp. I wouldn't call my parents intellectual titans by any measure but they are sharp and my mom plays this word game on her phone where they give you a jumble of letters and you have to find every word that combination of letters can make. It's something really small, but I think things like that pay off in the long run as you get older.

It's a real shame to see some of my old friends, now that we're going on 10 years out of high school and 5 or so years out of college if they went, be so passionless and lack any curiosity about anything, and frankly a lot of people seem to actually be proud of not being smart.
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Warrior13 Posted: 17:03 Dec03 2021 Post ID: 3456362
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I completely agree, parental involvement is essential to learning. Covid screw most of that up, and the sad part is that most of teachers did not seem to either. Most teachers seemed to be more interested in using Covid to either be home with less hours or get more money. I know some teachers are underpaid (like most other jobs), but most literally have half a year off when factoring summer and weekends.

Its truly sad when people do not seem to care, perhaps sadder than those that cannot control it later in life. My folks are sixty now, and I do all I can to keep them shape. Sometimes it can be tough, especially with keeping times and dates, but I live closet so I try to prevent any loss.
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steelersrock01 Posted: 00:19 Dec04 2021 Post ID: 3456367
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My parents are about the same age. Neither of them worked very mentally involved careers, my dad especially has always been blue collar and while my moms worked in a school these past 20 something years, she was a cafeteria aide for most of it and an aide in the remedial rooms recently. They're still both really sharp, no forgetfulness at all. Both of my grandfathers passed last year, but they were both still with it up until the end, my mom's dad was 78 and if he didn't get covid and pneumonia I think he would've made it to 90 easily.

My dad's mom is 82 and still seems in great shape mentally. I think she's stayed sharp cause she took care of my grandad as his physical health failed the last few years, plus her mother, my great grandmother, was still alive up until a couple years ago and my grandmom was really taking care of both of them. my great-grandmother died at 97 and lived on her own until 92 and was razor sharp until she suddenly wasn't. Really sad those last few years when she pretends to know who you are.

My mom's mom is maybe starting to forget really minor things, like what she had for breakfast with my aunt last week, things like that. She's 76, so getting up there. I really can't tell if she's just kinda ditzy or if it's something more because really she's always been like that. This past year has been really hard for her because my grandfather really took care of her, she never really worked or drove anywhere or dealt with anything at all and now she's had all this insurance and financial stuff and utilities to handle.

« Last edited by steelersrock01 on Dec 4th 2021 »
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Warrior13 Posted: 10:18 Dec04 2021 Post ID: 3456372
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Both of my parents have been in restaurant management their entire careers. Very taxing, both physically and mentally. They're usually exhausted afterward, but they always gave time for us kids while growing up. All of us have left the nest, so I guess it comes as no surprise that they've relaxed some. Like I said, I try to keep them sharp. Not too bad most days, but sometimes they have moments of lapse. I think it will get better when both are retired and don't have to worry about work on top of everything else.

I've been grandparentless for six years now. I miss them, especially my grandmother who always lived close by. My paternal grandfather passed from cancer when I was five, my maternal grandmother from heart disease on my tenth birthday (oh what fun), my maternal grandfather from a stroke when I nineteen, and my paternal grandmother from a stroke as well when I was twenty. Stinks not having any grandparents before you're even twenty-one, but my younger brother had the same plight when only fourteen.
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