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Author Topic: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?  (Read 79926 times)

Offline Funky Scarecrow

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2011, 12:43:47 AM »
Lonesome Dove By Larry McMurtry, Empire of the Sun by J.G. Ballard, The Wanderers by Richard Price, Disturbia by Christopher Fowler and for sheer blood and thunder excitement, Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe novels.

Non fiction wise, I'd say The Use and Abuse of History: Or How the Past is Taught by Marc Ferro, Bulfinch's Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch, The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris (flawed but fun), The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins (far less dickish and smug than some of his later works) and A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. An entertaining whistle stop tour of the history of western science.
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Offline Jatix

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2011, 09:39:31 PM »
My favourite non-fantasy work is one that I would imagine many people would agree with, and that is the classic Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Every time I read it I draw more links to the modern world and it gives me the chills.
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Offline The Mad Hatter

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2011, 02:44:28 AM »
My favourite non-fantasy work is one that I would imagine many people would agree with, and that is the classic Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. Every time I read it I draw more links to the modern world and it gives me the chills.

George Orwell was a genius. A scary genius.

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Offline JennyBeans

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2011, 02:53:02 PM »
I read a lot of different genres, especially horror, and one of my all-time favorite non-fantasy novels is Swansong by Robert McCammon. I also LOVED Fated by S.G. Browne.
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Offline thebeatpoetic

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2011, 12:55:30 AM »
This is a tough question, so the ones I can think of, in no particular order:

-Red Earth and Pouring Rain: A Novel by Vikram Chandra
-Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
-Fury by Salman Rushdie

There's so many more, but those ones stand out as greats. Although I also really, really love Collected Stories by Roald Dahl. Actually, that would be near the top.  ;D

Offline Arthum

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2011, 02:18:23 PM »
Ah finally had a chance to finish Sniper One while I was in the hospital :P Great book :) But also another great book which is The Hunt for Red October ;) I have to tell that Tom Clancy had a great idea to write such a book. I have to tell that it is awesome, full of suspense and interesting details about everything. I loved the false A-10 strike on Konovalov, that was great. It showed that only four A-10'ns could sunk a Russian ship :D But it was described with such detail I nearly thought that I was one of the pilots while reading it.

Offline Sam Browning

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2011, 06:59:51 PM »
My favourite non-fantasy book, without a shadow of a doubt, is a series with every book being equally brilliant The Oathsworn Series by Robert Low, the best comparison i can think of is The Black Company by Glen Cook if The Black Company were Vikings! It's about a band of vikings that have a close brotherhood the characters are all unique and quirky that you get attached to and you feel immersed within their world. Absolutely Incredible.

Offline WizardofWestmarch

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2011, 07:40:25 AM »
Favorite non-fantasy book is probably Snow Crash.  Terrible ending, but somehow the rest of the book is so amazing I just don't care.  Pity I've never made it past the early hump in the Baroque cycle to where it supposedly gets amazing... I still need to read Anathem as well.

Already mentioned but another book that blew my mind was The Road.  I really need to read more McCarthy after the amazing way he blew my mind with that book.  Simply wonderful.
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Offline AlexEatsBooks

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2011, 04:14:24 PM »
Has anyone experienced Graham Joyce? He's such an amazing author and has really altered my thinking on many different levels. The first book of his I read when I was 15 was Dreamside - all about Lucid Dreaming and an experiment with four university students and their professor, which has some pretty nasty consequences. To this day it's still one of the most prolific books I've read.
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Offline missoularedhead

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2011, 04:32:57 PM »
Favorite non-fantasy book is probably Snow Crash.  Terrible ending, but somehow the rest of the book is so amazing I just don't care.  Pity I've never made it past the early hump in the Baroque cycle to where it supposedly gets amazing... I still need to read Anathem as well.

Already mentioned but another book that blew my mind was The Road.  I really need to read more McCarthy after the amazing way he blew my mind with that book.  Simply wonderful.

I read the first of the Baroque Cycle, thought it was pretty good, moved on to the second and…well, let's just say I didn't finish it.  Read Anathem, and was underwhelmed.  Stephenson has this tendency to overexplain absolutely every single frickin' detail…drives me mad!
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Offline Gandledore

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2011, 08:32:09 AM »
Anything and everything, crime stories, kids books, classics, some (but not many) biographies - usually Victorian figures, reference books, the lot. At the moment I am reading the original 1908 edition of Scouting for Boys. It's appeal now is in the very fact that it's dated, some wonderful Johnny English gung-ho in there. After this I will need a fantasy/steampunk fix of some sort, these tales (if done well, of course) are so stylish.  Cheers. Gandledore.

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2011, 08:43:38 AM »
David Mitchell is amazing - Black Swan Green, Number9Dream, Cloud Atlas etc - and has fantastical elements and sci fi in his books.

For classics: Frankenstein and Heart of Darkness are must reads!
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Offline WizardofWestmarch

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2011, 04:53:57 AM »
Favorite non-fantasy book is probably Snow Crash.  Terrible ending, but somehow the rest of the book is so amazing I just don't care.  Pity I've never made it past the early hump in the Baroque cycle to where it supposedly gets amazing... I still need to read Anathem as well.

Already mentioned but another book that blew my mind was The Road.  I really need to read more McCarthy after the amazing way he blew my mind with that book.  Simply wonderful.

I read the first of the Baroque Cycle, thought it was pretty good, moved on to the second and…well, let's just say I didn't finish it.  Read Anathem, and was underwhelmed.  Stephenson has this tendency to overexplain absolutely every single frickin' detail…drives me mad!

I haven't gotten around to Anathem yet but friends of mine loved it to death. I find it amusing you got through Quicksilver because I made it 100 pages in and gave up... twice! But people I know who made it past the Waterhouse bits said it really got better after that. But Snow Crash blew my mind (in spite of the bad ending) and I highly enjoyed Crytonomicon as well. Diamond Age was weird but enjoyable... Maybe it's the software engineer in me *shrugs* People very much seem to love or hate Stephenson's writing.
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Offline missoularedhead

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2011, 06:12:08 AM »
Funny you say that, because everyone I know who likes his work is in the computer field somewhere, and everyone who doesn't like his work is in the humanities.  Although he did do his research on Newton…the guy drank mercury just to see what would happen.  He's such a loon!
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Best Non-Fantasy Book you have read?
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2011, 06:31:28 AM »
Neal Stephenson must be one of the most intelligent men on the planet: knowledgeable on philosophy, mathematics, science, computers, history - and that's the problem with his books, you feel like you are being overwhelmed, and you need to take evening classes to understand them. 

I have read the whole Baraque cycle, Anathem, Diamond Age and Cryptonomicum.  Love them all, but want to sit down and reread them with a friend who is an expert on mathematics, one on science, one on computers, and one on philosophy.  I'll bring a decent historical knowledge to the table, and just teach each other and discuss all the different aspects of his novels. 

I would prob recommend Diamond Age as his most accessible - and Anathem as his toughest. Definitely worth reading at least one or two by him at some point in your life though - just be prepared to read slowly and have a lot of questions!
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