Charlie Harvey

August 2011 Reading

  • Post Prison Writings And Speeches, by Eldridge Cleaver

    A really intriguing glimpse of Eldridge Cleaver's political development, focussing on the black panthers and other revolutionary black power struggles in the US in the 60s and 70s. Deeply poetic, passionate, angry and inspiring words. It also made me think I should read Franz Fanon again.

    2011-08-04 by Charlie Harvey
  • Rule 34, by Charles Stross

    Rule 34 states that if it exists there is porn of it. Stross uses that as the jumping off point into a tech/crime thriller comedy. Christopher Brookmyre calls it "cracking near-future crime laced with humour that's exquisitely wrong" on the cover. Which I think just about sums it up really. There is a wonderful review by Damien G Walter in the Guardian, which apes the second-person writing style that Stross has adopted. Complex, dark, funny, cyberpunk meets comedy meets hardboiled.

    2011-08-15 by Charlie Harvey
  • Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill

    My Dad recommended this. It twists in equal parts tales of male companionship, depression and unexpected places that cricket is played. Gorgeously written and totally absorbing.

    2011-08-18 by Charlie Harvey
  • Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow

    I’ve been meaning to read some of Cory's fiction forever and this was in the shop. He manages to combine geekery, a critique of the surveillance society and some satirical commentary on the state/media complex in the US in a way that's totally engrossing and absorbing. Its aimed at young adults but never seems patronising. He even manages to include one of the most lucid explanations of PGP that I have read somehow. I devoured the novel in just over a day. Cracking stuff!

    2011-08-20 by Charlie Harvey
  • If on a Winter's Night a Traveller, by Italo Calvino

    I read Calvino's Invisible Cities in July and was bowled over by its lyrical almost mythalogical storytelling. If on a winter's night a traveller is a longer book, technically astounding, cheeky, funny and intelligent. It alternates a narrative written in the second person a-la Rule 34 with sections from various novels, which each get broken off for some reason. Wonderful to see so many different writing styles mastered by a single author, though by the sixth or seventh novel I felt like Calvino was stretching things a bit far, it felt a little contrived, like a running joke.

    2011-08-29 by Charlie Harvey


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