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Author Topic: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)  (Read 10396 times)

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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #100 on: November 29, 2015, 07:02:56 pm »
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You're very welcome. and do read some more, although all his books run somewhat similar storylines, so it might get old. And I'm not sure I agree with the oscar wilde comparison, but that's based on reading half of Dorian Grey and nothing else.

I will be sure to read some at a later date. Probably give it a couple of months inbetween so the style doesn't get dull.

And the Oscar Wilde comparison was meant more in terms of "The Importance of Being Earnest" than Dorian Grey. Dorian Grey is much, much darker and deep where Earnest is very similar in tone and style to Psmith, I think.
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Infthitbox

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #101 on: December 03, 2015, 10:06:26 pm »
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My favorite novel this year was, I think Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.  It's an awesome mix of Sci-Fi, philosophy, religion, tech, humor, etc.  From the description on amazon.com:

Quote
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately

I went on to read Quicksilver, which is the first volume of The Boroque Cycle.  It's very interesting, especially if you like math/physics (or history), but it's also pretty slow going.  It took me a while to finish, and I started Volume II (The Confusion), but I got distracted from it.  (For a while, my reading switched from fiction to text books.)  I also heard The Necronomicon is good; I picked it up but haven't yet read it.

I just read Anathema by Stephenson a few weeks ago and I was completely and totally blown away. Probably the best book I have read this year. Part of the reason I came back to f.ds is because while I was reading it I thought to myself "this would make for a great mafia setup theme"

So it is in the works but isn't even kinda close. But I do want to check out some of his other works. But I like to keep some distance between reading the same authors otherwise I tend to get bored.

Anathema was spectacular; couldn't tear myself away. Cryptonomicon: also spectacular. The Baroque Cycle: spectacular.

I'm reading The Idiot by Dostoyevsky now. Man, I always keep forgetting just how good he is.

Completely agree. Well, I don't know if I forget how good he is, but each Dostoyevsky novel that I read automatically becomes my favorite... until I read the next one... or reread a previous one... or start talking about one..

If I had to rank the Dostoyevsky novels I have read:

1. Crime and Punishment
2. The Idiot
3. The Brothers Karamazov
4. The Double
5. Demons
6. Notes from the Underground

Will probably read The Gambler, House of the Dead or the Insulted and the Humiliated next. Probably House of the Dead as it is apparently semi-autobiographical of his experience in a Siberian prison camp.

Ranking Dostoevsky is tough. Demons currently checks in for me at No.1, followed by The Idiot and Crime and Punishment is some ordering, followed by Brothers Karamazov, and then Notes from Underground.

The best book I've read recently is Master and Margarita, not close. It had everything, and I'm waiting on my enforced cool-down before I read it again. Also to finish Lost Illusions, which is by far the worst book I've read since I was last compelled to read Dickens.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #102 on: December 03, 2015, 10:19:28 pm »
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The best book I've read recently is Master and Margarita, not close. It had everything, and I'm waiting on my enforced cool-down before I read it again.

I agree it is very, very good. It was unlike anything I had ever read before. There was a Russian mini-series made in 2005 that was pretty trippy if you want to check that out at some point.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #103 on: December 03, 2015, 11:06:53 pm »
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I read Anathema a while back on the recommendation of a friend.  It was interesting and very good.  Not a book that you can just skim through...or a book you want to skim through.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #104 on: December 08, 2015, 10:59:11 am »
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- The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
A weird story without real beginning or end. The main character is being dropped into a surreal situation, almost dreamlike. He is apparently a famous pianist travelling to a foreign city to give a concert. Everyone there somehow expects him to solve the various problems they have. The book leaves much open to interpretation, and is very well-written.

Interestingly I ended up settling for The Buried Giant by Ishiguro. I am not sure what to make of it. Coming off reading the fourth game of thrones book (A Feast for Crows) it is comparing a bit slower for the "time period" although the genre appears to be significantly different.

I didn't really like his What Remains of the Day but wanted to check out some of his other works before writing him off. I'll check out Unconsoled a little down the road, probably regardless of whether I like Buried Giant or not.

I think if you want to read Ishiguro, just go to Never Let Me Go.  It's sort of his main thing.

If you haven't come back to Murakami, please do.  Pick up Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage.  The things that bugged you about 1Q84 are toned down there, and it's a pretty intense story.

So I am finally starting Colorless, about 50 pages in and I am liking it so far. But I always like Murakami through the first half of the book. I'll let you know what I think once I am done. I will say I already have expectations for where I want to the book to lead--and that perhaps is where I might come into trouble if Murakami doesn't decide to go down that road...
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ashersky

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #105 on: December 08, 2015, 02:16:03 pm »
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I loved Colorless -- more than 1Q84 for sure. 

I recommended Wind/Pinball to you -- it's fast and easy and early Murakami -- and it's fantastic.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #106 on: December 09, 2015, 10:32:40 pm »
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I loved Colorless -- more than 1Q84 for sure. 

I recommended Wind/Pinball to you -- it's fast and easy and early Murakami -- and it's fantastic.

Well... I won't be reading Wind/Pinball for quite some time... and probably only because you recommended it.

Once again Murakami was a complete and total let down... at least this time I saw it coming and really this time I wasn't nearly as invested in the book when I was let down.

I really didn't get the book at all. Maybe it all just sailed right over my head. But so much of that book, at the end I just ask... "What was the point?" I had a really hard time connecting sequences of events and so much of it just felt so random. And I wouldn't ever call Murakami's dialogue great--I know part of that is lost in translation--but this book was particularly stilted and boarder line funny at times (when I don't think the intent was ever to be humorous).

Maybe you can explain to me what the book was about and what the purpose of so many different disjointed parts was all about? But in my experience, if I have to ask someone to explain the book, then I am not going to suddenly enjoy it just because someone could explain it to me.

I'll read Pinball. But not for a while.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #107 on: December 31, 2015, 12:23:25 pm »
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Boast Post:

Partially due to taking a break from forum Mafia for 2/3 of the year plus changing job positions so that I am more likely to take the bus and have more time to read I hit a new high mark for reading in 2015, 70 books. I posted this previously, but feel free to add me if you have an account on Goodreads. Here is my account: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3660669-jed-l

Highlights from the year:

- Sand (Omnibus) - newer book by Hugh Howey (author of the Silo Series). Really interesting concept of people who live in a sand waste land and dive to find hidden treasures to survive. Might be better than the Silo Series, which for me is saying a lot. Read three other books by Howey (The Shell Collector, The Hurricane and Half Way Home) that weren't nearly as good though.

- The Paying Guests - by Sarah Waters - set in post WWI London about a mother and a daughter who are forced, for economic reasons, to rent out a room of their home. I think this book could be one that is referenced in future generations as a classic. It reminded me of Tolstoy, Dickens and Flaubert with multiple provocative themes from love to the judicial system to postwar depression and isolation. It is really, really good with a compelling story line to boot.

- Reread the first 5 books of the ASOIAF series in anticipation of book 6 coming out soon(ish). Liked the series even more the second time around, except for the second book. That one was kind of a dud for me. But the fourth and fifth book really came alive during the second reading as the first time around I missed a lot with new characters, settings and plots that I either just didn't remember or flew past previously.

- Big Little Lies - by Lianne Moriarty - went into it expecting a chick-lit novel, cause sometimes those are just fun to read. But it ended up being a really, well written funny and morbid novel with deep tones about domestic violence. Was really surprised and excited about how good it was. Bought my mother and sisters-in-laws copies and they loved it more than I did.

- Probably the favorite book of the year was Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I already talked about it above, but again, it was really good. I can't even compare it to anything as it was completely unlike anything I have ever read.

Low-lights of the year:

- Read a lot of overrated claptrap including: Ready Player One (was OK, but the nostalgia factor was just too much and felt the real world applications were underdeveloped), The Goldfinch (oh my goodness the entire section in Nevada was just completely and totally awful and just gave me further reason to avoid that Godforsaken state), Name of the Wind--King Killer Chronicles (ego driven fantasy, felt like the author used a maxed out Dungeon and Dragons character sheet that he uses with his gaming group and wrote an over sized novel from it), The Girl on the Train (Big Little Lies was way better) and All the Light We Cannot See (another WWII story that has more sentiment than heart).

Also got in some classics: Hunchback of Notre Dame (good), 20 Thousand Leagues under the Sea (sci-fi has come a long way from this), Lord of the Flies (wow!), Tender is the Night (yuck) and The Gambler (Dostoevsky at his best).

Anyways, what did you read this last year?

Happy New Year. Hope your 2016 is full of good books.
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ashersky

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #108 on: December 31, 2015, 12:28:15 pm »
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I was just coming on here to tell you to read Ready Player One as I'm currently in the middle of it.  I actually wanted to hate it so much, but can't. 

I would highly recommend The Boys in the Boat if you like non-fiction.  Read it before it becomes a movie.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #109 on: December 31, 2015, 12:33:03 pm »
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Oh man, I really like the King Killer Chronicles.  I see what you're saying, but I don't think that's particularly bad.  And I really like the storytelling. 
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #110 on: January 03, 2016, 10:45:30 am »
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I recently finished In The Light Of What We Know by Zia Haider Raman and was very pleased. The book touches an incredible amount of subjects - post-colonial Bangladesh, the 2008 financial crash, the importance of class in today's life, Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem and the Afghanistan war are just a few of them - and still manages to tell an engaging story and offers reflections on human nature.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #111 on: January 03, 2016, 11:23:55 am »
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I was just coming on here to tell you to read Ready Player One as I'm currently in the middle of it.  I actually wanted to hate it so much, but can't. 

I would highly recommend The Boys in the Boat if you like non-fiction.  Read it before it becomes a movie.

Yeah. I liked it as I read it, but it was a book that the book became progressively worse after reading it and reflecting back on it. The more I thought about it the more holes I found and the more I realized a lot of inadequacies were effectively covered up with nostalgia. I think the fact that I am more a child of the 80s than a teen of the 80s had something to do with my distaste. But ultimately I was turned away by the "video game savior" motif. I hear his new book "Armada" takes that to a whole new level.

And I have rarely been able to get into non-fiction. Is the book written like a non-fiction book or does it used a factionalized format? I have a hard time being interested if it is presented more like a history lesson or an autobiography.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 11:25:32 am by yuma »
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #112 on: January 03, 2016, 11:29:05 am »
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Oh man, I really like the King Killer Chronicles.  I see what you're saying, but I don't think that's particularly bad.  And I really like the storytelling.

I got maybe 200 pages in. And up to that point the main character, can't remember his name, had yet to make a mistake or error. He was just naturally gifted in every way and could do no wrong. So there was no internal conflict, no actual internal learning or development. So I gave up at that point. But I need characters to have flaws for me to be interested. Other wise it really just is a perfected dungeon and dragons character sheet come to life. Which might be fun for 30 minutes but not for a 900 page book.
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ashersky

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #113 on: January 03, 2016, 11:52:07 am »
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I was just coming on here to tell you to read Ready Player One as I'm currently in the middle of it.  I actually wanted to hate it so much, but can't. 

I would highly recommend The Boys in the Boat if you like non-fiction.  Read it before it becomes a movie.

Yeah. I liked it as I read it, but it was a book that the book became progressively worse after reading it and reflecting back on it. The more I thought about it the more holes I found and the more I realized a lot of inadequacies were effectively covered up with nostalgia. I think the fact that I am more a child of the 80s than a teen of the 80s had something to do with my distaste. But ultimately I was turned away by the "video game savior" motif. I hear his new book "Armada" takes that to a whole new level.

And I have rarely been able to get into non-fiction. Is the book written like a non-fiction book or does it used a factionalized format? I have a hard time being interested if it is presented more like a history lesson or an autobiography.

The Boys tells a story, so it does not feel like a text book.  It's a narrative told very well.  It's worth a try.  I thought I'd be bored, but it feels more like Hemingway or Salinger than it does nonfiction.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #114 on: May 20, 2016, 02:10:19 pm »
+1

So I finally finished Cryptonomicon.  Not a very fast read, but enjoyable.  It's hard to get into, but once I got towards the latter third, I was anxious to keep reading and see what happens.  Looking online a bit, I see a lot of criticism about the ending.. people complain about his endings in general.  I really don't get the complaints.

I paused The Boroque Cycle (The Confusion) to read this.  I want to get back to it, but I don't think I will immediately.  I've been wanting to read Infinite Jest, so I think I'll go there.

Also in the middle of Cryptonomicon, I picked up the graphic novel series Saga.  Pretty entertaining. 
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Infthitbox

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #115 on: May 20, 2016, 02:16:44 pm »
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So I finally finished Cryptonomicon.  Not a very fast read, but enjoyable.  It's hard to get into, but once I got towards the latter third, I was anxious to keep reading and see what happens.  Looking online a bit, I see a lot of criticism about the ending.. people complain about his endings in general.  I really don't get the complaints.

I paused The Boroque Cycle (The Confusion) to read this.  I want to get back to it, but I don't think I will immediately.  I've been wanting to read Infinite Jest, so I think I'll go there.

Also in the middle of Cryptonomicon, I picked up the graphic novel series Saga.  Pretty entertaining.

I don't understand criticism of the endings, his novels are amazing. Cryptonomicon used to be my favorite; Anathem now takes it for me.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #116 on: May 20, 2016, 02:19:22 pm »
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So I finally finished Cryptonomicon.  Not a very fast read, but enjoyable.  It's hard to get into, but once I got towards the latter third, I was anxious to keep reading and see what happens.  Looking online a bit, I see a lot of criticism about the ending.. people complain about his endings in general.  I really don't get the complaints.

It has been on my list for a while, so glad to hear it was enjoyable and will probably try to read it this year. But man... only having it pick up in the latter third is kinda a hard sell for me. I actually mistakenly picked up another of his books thinking it was this, Seveneves, and it ended up being the opposite for me. The first 2/3rds of the book were really good. The last third it started to completely fall apart. Well not fall apart, but it just went in a completely different direction that I thought would have made a really good second book because it wasn't expanded enough for me.

I have read a lot of really good books this year. Will probably do a mid-year post in the next little while to talk about them rather than waiting until the end of the year cause this has just been a spectacular year for me reading really good books.
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Witherweaver

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #117 on: May 20, 2016, 02:28:06 pm »
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So I finally finished Cryptonomicon.  Not a very fast read, but enjoyable.  It's hard to get into, but once I got towards the latter third, I was anxious to keep reading and see what happens.  Looking online a bit, I see a lot of criticism about the ending.. people complain about his endings in general.  I really don't get the complaints.

It has been on my list for a while, so glad to hear it was enjoyable and will probably try to read it this year. But man... only having it pick up in the latter third is kinda a hard sell for me. I actually mistakenly picked up another of his books thinking it was this, Seveneves, and it ended up being the opposite for me. The first 2/3rds of the book were really good. The last third it started to completely fall apart. Well not fall apart, but it just went in a completely different direction that I thought would have made a really good second book because it wasn't expanded enough for me.

I have read a lot of really good books this year. Will probably do a mid-year post in the next little while to talk about them rather than waiting until the end of the year cause this has just been a spectacular year for me reading really good books.

Well, part of it is that the narrative follows multiple characters across two parallel eras on time.  So you get invested in one character and then as things start to unfold you suddenly jump to a different person, possibly a different time, and you may not see how they connect.  Though in my case numerous other distractions could have hindered the novel's tractability for me.

At any rate, it was really good, but it felt like I wasn't progressing through the novel for quite a while.  Once momentum picked up, I feel like it went fairly quickly. 

Weird, I had thought that it was you that said you read this one and really liked it. 
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #118 on: September 12, 2016, 04:59:43 pm »
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I finished the Howl's Castle series:

Howl's Moving Castle
Castle in the Air
House of Many Ways

They're basically children's fantasy novels, but still pretty enjoyable to read.  The author (Diana Wynne Jones) has many other series, but I don't know if I'm going to go into them yet.  The main appeal for me was that I was familiar with Howl from the movie.

And I suppose I posted it in the other thread, before that I read Infinite Jest.  I think next I'll move on to other David Foster Wallace stuff.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #119 on: September 12, 2016, 06:24:25 pm »
+1

i read a book one time. it was a stephen kingo
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Witherweaver

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #120 on: February 12, 2017, 05:07:55 pm »
+1

I read Seveneves by Neal Stephenson.  It's really great.  I think it's better to just pick it up and read it, rather than find out much about it first.

I think I'm going to go back to The Baroque Cycle now.  I took a break in the second book (The Confusion) to read some other stuff.  I also want to read the rest of his books.. I still have not read (by him) quite a bit: of the 'better known' ones (i.e., those that I see on the bookstore shelves): Zodiac, Anathem, Reamde, The System of the World (Baroque Cycle Book 3), and others that I haven't heard of before: The Big U, Interface, The Diamond Age, The Cobweb, The Mongoliad.

Seveneves, by the way, should really be made into a Television series, like on HBO.  Apparently there are plans to make a movie.  I'm less excited about that prospect: I think it really needs to be spread out.  Hopefully it would be a trilogy.  But I think a series with the kind of pacing of Westworld with a few seasons would be perfect.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #121 on: February 12, 2017, 05:10:24 pm »
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Though in terms of single movies from Neal Stephenson books, I think Snow Crash would be perfect.
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