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 PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:07 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I'm reading The Troop by Nick Cutter. Almost halfway through, pretty good so far. It's like a cross between The Ruins and Stand By Me. A boy scout troop gets stuck out on an island with a monster. Intriguing character explorations, good horror elements, and good prose. I'd easily put the author on par with Stephen King.
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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:33 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Finished Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I liked it. The narrative was a little spotty, confusing, at times, but I liked Whatshername. Whatshername was a really engaging character, I loved how she progressed from a naive, slightly arrogant young girl into a knowledgeable, somewhat wan, capable woman. I was a little disappointed in the other main character, Whatshisname. In the beginning he was trying to woo her, and kept on confessing his love and generally doing exactly what Whatshername told him not to do. In the backstory, there was another character who kept on doing exactly that, and we were told that this was incredibly wrong and annoying to her. Yet it's okay when the main character does it? Very jarring and not at all consistent. Otherwise I liked it.

Now reading Prince Caspian. By that guy. CS Lewes, or something.
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I am a Star Wars fan. That doesn't mean that I hate or love Jar Jar. That doesn't mean I hate or love Lucas, or agree or disagree 100% with him. That doesn't mean I prefer the PT over the OT, or vice versa. That doesn't mean I hate the EU, or even love all of it. These are not prerequisites. Being a man is not a prerequisite. Being a geek is not a prerequisite. The only prerequisite is that I love something about Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan.


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:45 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Life Is The Path wrote:
Now reading Prince Caspian. By that guy. CS Lewes, or something.

Rolling Eyes

I have a few books on the go. I have a couple chapters left of Brave New World, I'm reading Books 7-9 in Heodotus' Histories, and I'm reading World Prehistory: A Brief Introduction by Brian M. Fagan.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:19 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Laughing

Sorry, Reep. After forgetting the two main characters of a book I'd just read, I couldn't resist that.

I quite like Caspian, the character. Maybe more so than the Pevensies. And seeing Reep on the page is a little surreal.
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:59 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Life Is The Path wrote:
I quite like Caspian, the character. Maybe more so than the Pevensies.

I love Caspian. He may well be my favourite human character. Oddly enough I think The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is my least favourite book. Of course, I love it (it's the least good, not the most bad Wink) and it's the story that hooked me initially, but the characters are the least fleshed out in it and I think it's the least rewarding as a re-read.

Life Is The Path wrote:
And seeing Reep on the page is a little surreal.


Haha. Razz

The Myth has become Fact. Reep is cool in Prince Caspian, but he's at his best in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 4:24 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Finished Prince Caspian. I rather liked it, and I think the story is superior to the first book. Fulfilled prophecies don't particularly interest me, and I don't think they're particularly good story devices. But having a prince dethroned and fighting for a kingdom, and trying to figure out what it is to be a good leader, is a good story. And, of course, as I said I liked Caspian the character. Beyond that, I quite liked the book on the whole, but every now and then I had to nitpick. A few examples:

Walking all day with a harness of mail on. This was rather jarring. A few years ago I helped out on an activity day at the local Roman palace. I had to dress up in Roman armour - which included a mail shirt. Just walking around, in the hot sun, was fairly tiring - even for the more physically fit people there. Except the bastards who were allowed to wear the fancier segmented armour, which was much much lighter. Even the lightest of mail harnesses were quite heavy. In fact, that's why the Roman army changed to the Lorica segmentata - it was lighter, easier to move in and provided better protection. In later years - after the Roman empire - soldiers would march, if possible, without their armour, because it was tiring and slowed them down.

Another came later. During the duel between Peter and Miraz, Peter takes a hit to the shoulder, and while the armour doesn't break, he sustains no injury. This is wrong. Not the armour not breaking - that is quite conceivable. But to not feel anything? Bullsquat. His arm would be dead weight (at least for a while), with a large bruise from the impact. There were a few others, but those are the main ones that stuck out/that I can remember. Of course, these things can simply be put down to magic, but on close examination I think that wasn't the case, for Lewis seems to be quite clear on what is and isn't magic.

This is my major gripe with the books, every now and then little details that don't sit right just jar me out of the story. But on the whole I very much enjoyed the book singularly, and as part of a series. Though I can't put my finger on what quality it is, at the moment.

Now reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:18 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Life Is The Path wrote:
Walking all day with a harness of mail on. This was rather jarring. A few years ago I helped out on an activity day at the local Roman palace. I had to dress up in Roman armour - which included a mail shirt. Just walking around, in the hot sun, was fairly tiring - even for the more physically fit people there. Except the bastards who were allowed to wear the fancier segmented armour, which was much much lighter. Even the lightest of mail harnesses were quite heavy. In fact, that's why the Roman army changed to the Lorica segmentata - it was lighter, easier to move in and provided better protection. In later years - after the Roman empire - soldiers would march, if possible, without their armour, because it was tiring and slowed them down.

I'll admit I had never thought of this as a problem simply because I wasn't aware of just how taxing mail can be.

Now that my attention has been drawn to it, my immediate excuse is similar to the "because he's Batman" excuse. Lewis was a scholar of medieval literature and medieval literature is full of heroes and knights doing superhuman feats. That's just how it's written. So, I'd be tempted to say that the Pevensies can bear the weight of the mail all day because they're the Kings and Queens of Old and, for me at least, that's satisfying. This might just be me being the loyal fanboy, trying to explain things away, though. Razz

Life Is The Path wrote:
Another came later. During the duel between Peter and Miraz, Peter takes a hit to the shoulder, and while the armour doesn't break, he sustains no injury. This is wrong. Not the armour not breaking - that is quite conceivable. But to not feel anything? Bullsquat. His arm would be dead weight (at least for a while), with a large bruise from the impact. There were a few others, but those are the main ones that stuck out/that I can remember. Of course, these things can simply be put down to magic, but on close examination I think that wasn't the case, for Lewis seems to be quite clear on what is and isn't magic.

I re-read the Peter/Miraz duel and I think you are referring to this part (correct me if I'm wrong):
C. S. Lewis wrote:
But indeed there was no need to egg the usurper on. He was on top of Peter already. Edmund bit his lips till the blood came, as the sword flashed down on Peter. It looked as if it would slash off his head. Thank heavens! it had glanced down his right shoulder. The Dwarf-wrought mail was sound and did not break.

It sounds like Peter didn't take a direct hit, but only a glancing blow. I think that would make a difference.

As for magic, I guess it depends on what you mean by "magic", but I think it is significant that Lewis mentions the mail being "Dwarf-wrought". Mail made by Dwarfs would be better than mail made by humans... and who knows, it might even be lighter, which would solve the weight problem. I thought I remembered something about Narnian mail being light, but I was probably thinking of mithril in LOTR.
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Doubt not, Reepicheep,
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There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:13 am Reply with quote  
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  Dog-Poop_Walker
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The mail is an amalgam of Mithril, Valarian Steel, Adamantium, Vibranium, Unobtanium, and Mandalorian Iron. Striking it causes YOU to feel pain.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:59 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Reepicheep wrote:

I'll admit I had never thought of this as a problem simply because I wasn't aware of just how taxing mail can be.

Now that my attention has been drawn to it, my immediate excuse is similar to the "because he's Batman" excuse. Lewis was a scholar of medieval literature and medieval literature is full of heroes and knights doing superhuman feats. That's just how it's written. So, I'd be tempted to say that the Pevensies can bear the weight of the mail all day because they're the Kings and Queens of Old and, for me at least, that's satisfying. This might just be me being the loyal fanboy, trying to explain things away, though. Razz


Loyal fanboy or not, you have read this more times than I, so I do think that gives your reasoning more weight. I'll have to think on this. It's interesting, and though I do think there is something in it, I'll have to test it further, in my later readings.

Quote:

I re-read the Peter/Miraz duel and I think you are referring to this part (correct me if I'm wrong):
C. S. Lewis wrote:
But indeed there was no need to egg the usurper on. He was on top of Peter already. Edmund bit his lips till the blood came, as the sword flashed down on Peter. It looked as if it would slash off his head. Thank heavens! it had glanced down his right shoulder. The Dwarf-wrought mail was sound and did not break.

It sounds like Peter didn't take a direct hit, but only a glancing blow. I think that would make a difference.


Ah! Yes, I do think that is the part I was thinking of. Well, that probably explains it.

Quote:
As for magic, I guess it depends on what you mean by "magic", but I think it is significant that Lewis mentions the mail being "Dwarf-wrought". Mail made by Dwarfs would be better than mail made by humans... and who knows, it might even be lighter, which would solve the weight problem. I thought I remembered something about Narnian mail being light, but I was probably thinking of mithril in LOTR.


By magic, I mean enchanted to be incredibly resistant.

Remember in the treasure chamber, when Peter and the lot found their Christmas presents? Peter was surprised to find that his sword was not rusted. At first I thought it was because it was magic (from Santa, you know) but his reaction seems to imply it isn't. And since he'd had that sword for years and used it, I presume, a fair amount, it would seem reasonable that he'd expect it to rust, which means not magic, but an ordinary sword, well made though it is.

As for the mail being dwarf-wrought, I think that could be a reasonable explanation, though I'm going to reserve judgement on that for the moment. As far as I recall, it hasn't yet gone into detail on the qualities of dwarf smithing, and other Narnian smithing.

To return to the glancing blow, I've just quickly attempted a few practical experiments. It still hurts. Of course, I don't have any mail at hand, so I had to try with various items: a pillow (thin and thick), a padded jacket and steel shield. The thick pillow worked best, and the others didn't do much. But when I tried with my padded jacket and the shield, it seemed to work best. It did still hurt, but much less so than the other times, so if Peter had padding underneath (as professional soldiers in the old days most probably would have had) then it wouldn't have been much of a problem. I can't remember if the book made any mention of this. Did he have only his school shirt on underneath?

Looking at the images of the duel from the film, Peter had pauldrons. I'm almost certain that book Peter didn't have any, but if he did, those pauldrons would have helped mitigate the blow considerably.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:39 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Just finished Dune: House Harkonnen. A very dark story, with lots of murder and mayhem and betrayal.

I'm very much looking forward to the conclusion of this prequel trilogy (Dune: House Corrino), which I intend to start tomorrow.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:22 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Life Is The Path wrote:
Loyal fanboy or not, you have read this more times than I, so I do think that gives your reasoning more weight. I'll have to think on this. It's interesting, and though I do think there is something in it, I'll have to test it further, in my later readings.

I was thinking about it some more today and, yeah, the reason I'm satisfied with my explanation is because it plays right into the idea of the Pevensies being figures of legend come to life (though of course they actually existed in Narnian history). If Sir Lancelot came back to our world, I would almost expect him to do crazy, superhuman things like taking out ten guys at once without suffering a scratch or walking around all day in full armour. In fact, I'd be a bit disappointed if this wasn't the case.

Life Is The Path wrote:
As far as I recall, it hasn't yet gone into detail on the qualities of dwarf smithing, and other Narnian smithing.

I don't have the book with me, so I can't give an exact quote, but when Caspian visits the Seven Brothers of the Shuddering Wood they give Caspian a sword made by them (I'm pretty sure this happened in Chapter 6). Caspian's old, Telmarine sword feels as clumsy as a stick in comparison.

Life Is The Path wrote:
To return to the glancing blow, I've just quickly attempted a few practical experiments. It still hurts. Of course, I don't have any mail at hand, so I had to try with various items: a pillow (thin and thick), a padded jacket and steel shield. The thick pillow worked best, and the others didn't do much. But when I tried with my padded jacket and the shield, it seemed to work best. It did still hurt, but much less so than the other times, so if Peter had padding underneath (as professional soldiers in the old days most probably would have had) then it wouldn't have been much of a problem. I can't remember if the book made any mention of this. Did he have only his school shirt on underneath?

Once again, I don't have the book with me, but I'm pretty sure Lewis didn't describe Peter's armour, but you can see his armour in the in this illustration from the book, though of course it wasn't drawn by Lewis (are you reading illustrated versions by the way?):

In the picture, Peter isn't wearing pauldrons, but I would assume he's wearing an aketon simply because, as you said, all good knights would wear one.

As a side note, even though I like nearly everything about the books better then the movies, I like Peter's armour a lot better in the movies than how Pauline Baynes drew it. The strap on his shield should be horizontal rather than vertical. Peter's armour just looked a lot cooler in the movies too, with the visored helmet, pauldrons, vambraces, tunic etc.
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Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:11 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Reepicheep wrote:

I was thinking about it some more today and, yeah, the reason I'm satisfied with my explanation is because it plays right into the idea of the Pevensies being figures of legend come to life (though of course they actually existed in Narnian history). If Sir Lancelot came back to our world, I would almost expect him to do crazy, superhuman things like taking out ten guys at once without suffering a scratch or walking around all day in full armour. In fact, I'd be a bit disappointed if this wasn't the case.


Well, if Sir Lancelot came back to life I'd not be so bothered by whether or not he can walk around all day in full armour. I'd have other things on my mind Razz .

Quote:

I don't have the book with me, so I can't give an exact quote, but when Caspian visits the Seven Brothers of the Shuddering Wood they give Caspian a sword made by them (I'm pretty sure this happened in Chapter 6). Caspian's old, Telmarine sword feels as clumsy as a stick in comparison.


I recall. And that's a good point.

Quote:

Once again, I don't have the book with me, but I'm pretty sure Lewis didn't describe Peter's armour, but you can see his armour in the in this illustration from the book, though of course it wasn't drawn by Lewis (are you reading illustrated versions by the way?):

In the picture, Peter isn't wearing pauldrons, but I would assume he's wearing an aketon simply because, as you said, all good knights would wear one.


Yes, I've the illustrated versions (at least the first two were). But I tend to ignore the illustrations, in favour of my imagination. For one, because of the inaccuracies as you state below.

Quote:
As a side note, even though I like nearly everything about the books better then the movies, I like Peter's armour a lot better in the movies than how Pauline Baynes drew it. The strap on his shield should be horizontal rather than vertical. Peter's armour just looked a lot cooler in the movies too, with the visored helmet, pauldrons, vambraces, tunic etc.


I agree, the design is far superior.
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:58 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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^ I actually love Pauline Baynes' illustrations and the Narnia in my imagination is heavily influenced by them. I just have a small gripe every now and then.

I am currently reading... nothing that isn't school-related because the semester is nearing its home stretch. Sad
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:41 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Right now I'm reading Stephen King's The Shining in preparation for Doctor Sleep. First time I've read the book and it's really good, go figure Wink Having seen the movie, it actually makes the book even creepier. Jack's progression in the book, his slow corruption by the hotel, is a very good angle for a horror story. It'll be interesting to see how the ending differs from the movie, and once I start Doctor Sleep, to see what happens to Danny later in life.

@Taral: I've been slowly collecting all the Dune books. Someday I plan on diving back into them (I've only read the first two novels so far). Good to hear that you liked them. Might have to bump those up on my reading list now that there's no new Star Wars novels for a couple seasons.
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:28 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Darth Skuldren wrote:


@Taral: I've been slowly collecting all the Dune books. Someday I plan on diving back into them (I've only read the first two novels so far). Good to hear that you liked them. Might have to bump those up on my reading list now that there's no new Star Wars novels for a couple seasons.


They're pretty good. The original Dune is one of my favourite books, but prior to this past year the only Dune book I'd read otherwise was Dune Messiah. After I'm done the prequel trilogy, I'll finish the main six-book series, and then read the EU stuff in publication order.
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-Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear


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