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books - ONE masterpiece.

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Bert 22 Sep 00 - 02:21 PM
mousethief 22 Sep 00 - 02:28 PM
Naemanson 22 Sep 00 - 02:34 PM
Morticia 22 Sep 00 - 02:35 PM
SINSULL 22 Sep 00 - 02:39 PM
Naemanson 22 Sep 00 - 02:42 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 00 - 02:45 PM
mousethief 22 Sep 00 - 02:53 PM
SINSULL 22 Sep 00 - 03:08 PM
Bert 22 Sep 00 - 03:09 PM
mousethief 22 Sep 00 - 03:16 PM
Bert 22 Sep 00 - 03:23 PM
Naemanson 22 Sep 00 - 03:27 PM
Naemanson 22 Sep 00 - 03:40 PM
SINSULL 22 Sep 00 - 04:05 PM
Naemanson 22 Sep 00 - 04:53 PM
SINSULL 22 Sep 00 - 04:55 PM
bbelle 22 Sep 00 - 04:58 PM
Jim Dixon 22 Sep 00 - 05:38 PM
Micca 22 Sep 00 - 06:27 PM
Marion 22 Sep 00 - 10:17 PM
Peter Kasin 23 Sep 00 - 12:00 AM
Morticia 23 Sep 00 - 10:27 AM
kendall 23 Sep 00 - 02:02 PM
Midchuck 23 Sep 00 - 02:07 PM
Morticia 23 Sep 00 - 06:49 PM
mousethief 23 Sep 00 - 08:10 PM
MarkS 23 Sep 00 - 08:52 PM
Midchuck 23 Sep 00 - 09:15 PM
rangeroger 23 Sep 00 - 09:40 PM
Ebbie 23 Sep 00 - 09:52 PM
Marion 24 Sep 00 - 12:05 AM
bbelle 24 Sep 00 - 12:14 AM
Catrin 24 Sep 00 - 05:26 AM
Naemanson 24 Sep 00 - 08:23 AM
Clinton Hammond2 24 Sep 00 - 09:04 AM
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Gern 24 Sep 00 - 10:51 AM
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Subject: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:21 PM

Suggested by a comment by Moonjen in the worst books thread.

Have you noticed that many authors have just ONE masterpiece in them and spend the rest of their lives trying to live up to that one book.

For Heinlein it's - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"
For Tom Sharpe it's - "Wilt"
Desmond Bagley - "The Golden Keel"
Brian Callison - "Trapp's War"
Norah Roberts - "Hot Ice"

Bert.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:28 PM

Frank Herbert, Dune.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:34 PM

Bert, this is a matter of personal opinion. I agree the books you've chosen are good but I liked Citadel more than Golden Keel. While Moon Is A Harsh Mistress was very good I would put Stranger In A Strange Land and Time Enough For Love ahead of it. I haven't read the other authors. I will have to admit that it has been years since I read any of the above books (your choices and mine). Still they all have remained lodged in the spaces between my ears while other lesser books have slipped away.

Still, you bring up a good point. Some authors do indeed only have one masterpiece in them. And some authors only have one book in them, much to the reader's sorrow.

Is there anything you'd like to offer to support your statements or your choices for the title of masterpiece?


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Morticia
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:35 PM

I can't agree with that Bert, I loved everything Robert Heinlien and Tom Sharpe wrote.......although undoubtedly some books were better than others, that's inevitable I guess.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:39 PM

iN THE MOVIE CATEGORY:
cITIZEN kANE - oRSON wELLES.
Damn Capslock!


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:42 PM

Sinsull, give up that newfangled machine and get a good old fashioned flintslock!


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:45 PM

Robert M. Pirsig, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:53 PM

Jim Dixon: Amen! Lila sucks.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:08 PM

Will you visit me in the hospital when I shoot my foot off, Naemanson?


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:09 PM

No, you're right Naemanson, it's purely personal opinion.

I felt that 'Stranger in a Strange land' was a little childish. I've not read 'Time Enough for Love' or 'Citadel' I'll look out for them. It's just that the one's I mentioned seem exceptional to me.
Morty, you're also right in that Heinlein and Sharpe are consistently good. I think though, that even Sharpe himself knows that Wilt is a masterpiece, he has tried a couple of sequels.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: mousethief
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:16 PM

The 80's and 90's sequels to Asimov's original 50's masterpiece Foundation Trilogy also suck. But he did other good works besides F.T. so I guess he doesn't fall into this category. In fact just forget I even posted this.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Bert
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:23 PM

I kinda like Asimov, he can be very clever and very funny, but If he's written a masterpice I haven't read it yet.

Another one is 'It can't Always be Caviar' By Johannes Mario Simmel. It's a great book (and the recipes are great too) but I've not been able to finish any of his others.

Bert


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:27 PM

It must be time for sacrilege. MT, I couldn't read the Foundation Trilogy. I keep promising myself I'll try again but I just couldn't do it.

I think part of my problem was the idea of predicting the future through the application of mathematics. That and the fact that Asimov, whose other work I loved with all my heart, wrote that without any real understanding of the world.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:40 PM

Oh, and Sinsull, I would be happy to visit you anywhere you want me to.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 04:05 PM

Asimov did a great collection of dirty limericks - quite mild compared to what gets printed here. N. - you'll be the first one I call the next time I am stuck at an airport.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Naemanson
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 04:53 PM

OK but try to make it an airport in the same state I am in! *BG*


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 04:55 PM

Ohhh. (dejectedly).


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: bbelle
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 04:58 PM

Margaret Mitchell ... Gone With the Wind


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 05:38 PM

Joseph Heller, "Catch-22". I tried reading both "Something Happened" and "Good as Gold" but they both sucked.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Micca
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 06:27 PM

And Quiet flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokov


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Marion
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 10:17 PM

A little more sacrilege... Tolkien. Lord of the Rings is a masterpiece.

The Hobbit, on its own merits, I would just dislike, but what makes me hate the friggin' Hobbit is the number of people who, when asked if they've read Lord of the Rings, say "No, I read the Hobbit and didn't really like it...".

I've tried the Silmarillion a few times and couldn't get past a couple of chapters. The tone just seems pretentious, like he's trying too hard to epic and surpass the Lord of the Rings in, um, epicness.

Marion


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 12:00 AM

J.D. Salinger, for you-know-what.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Morticia
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 10:27 AM

Richard Adams....Watership Down. 'Girl on a Swing' both sucked and blowed.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: kendall
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 02:02 PM

Ship of fools Cathrine ann Porter. Never could top it.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Midchuck
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 02:07 PM

Heinlein:

Best known and most influential on society at large: Stranger in a Strange Land.

Best political and social thought (in my opinion): The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Most fun read (in my opinion): Glory Road.

Most influence on me personally: Between Planets (first of his juvies I read at 10 or 11, one of the major causes of my being hooked on sci-fi for the following nigh fifty years)

Best novel: Give me a break! Anyone who can claims he can call that one, I want some of what he's snorting.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Morticia
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 06:49 PM

I nominate 'Time enough for Love' because it has a bit of everything in it......and I'm snorting coke......but the bubbles make me sneeze.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: mousethief
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 08:10 PM

Tolkien wrote the Silmarillion BEFORE the Hobbit and LOTR. It was in the form of notes, however. After his death, his son Christopher and Guy Gavriel Kay worked together to sew the notes into a continuous narrative. Unsuccessfully, alas. I read the whole bloody thing just so I could say I had. It sucks.

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: MarkS
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 08:52 PM

Larry Niven: Ringworld


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Midchuck
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 09:15 PM

You're right if you limit it to his sole efforts. The Mote in God's Eye was it's equal, but it was a collaboration, of course.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: rangeroger
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 09:40 PM

What Midchuck said about Heinlein.

I also started reading him at a very young age. His stuff toward the end tended to be a bit strange but I still read it all.

I have a copy of an Asimov book called the Sensuous Dirty Old Man that is absolutely hilarious.

rr


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Ebbie
Date: 23 Sep 00 - 09:52 PM

Truman Capote: In Cold Blood


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Marion
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 12:05 AM

Related question: is an author's masterpiece likely to appear early or late in his/her career?

Does a writer build up to the masterpiece, with practice making perfect?

Or does the masterpiece arrive as a gift from the muses, then because of its success the author keeps trying vainly to recapture the glory?

Marion

PS Thanks for the clarification, mousethief.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: bbelle
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 12:14 AM

I think if there's going to BE a masterpiece, it's the first one because it's fresh and new. And there's a difference between good reading material and a masterpiece.

John Grisham couldn't get anyone to print his first book "A Time To Kill," so he had it printed himself. After that, it was all uphill. Many people who have read Grisham's, including I, consider it to be his masterpiece.

And some, like Margaret Mitchell, only had one book in them. Who's to know if her other writings would have been simply anti-climactic?


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Catrin
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 05:26 AM

Christopher Isherwood
John Steinbeck
Charles Dickens
Dorris Lessing
Jane Austen
DH Lawrence
Mark Twain
Graham Greene
Armistead Maupin......................

Lots of great authors have lots of great books.

Cheers,

Catrin


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Naemanson
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 08:23 AM

Catrin, with the exception of one post (mine) in the favorite books thread yours is the first to mention Armistead Maupin. And I think I got his name wrong in that thread. Weren't those books great?

For those who don't know him he was(is?) a newspaper columnist in San Francisco. He began a series column, a fiction, detailing the lives of the tenants of an apartment building during the '70's. The series showed the free and easy lives of the people, gay and straight, in San Francisco. The columns were then compiled in a book titled Tales Of The City.

There were two or maybe three books of columns and then he began to write novels going deeper into the characters. PBS picked up on it and made it a TV miniseries which is faithful to the books and scandelous in this strait laced United States society. It is available on video.

These books, and the video, are full of unexpected plot twists that will keep you focused and interested right through to the end. Do yourself a favor. See/Read these.


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Clinton Hammond2
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 09:04 AM

Hey mousethief!

Ya took the post right out of my mouth! Only I have never made it through Sil... Blech....

I've also never really enjoyed ANY R Heinlein.... except for one short story that wasn't half bad, if a tad juvainile called "All You Zombies"... I think... It was a long time ago...

I'm gonna lump Stephen King inot this list, but as a slightly different beast.. he's the blunderbuss of writing... If you write enough crap, eventually maybe some of it will stink lees than the majority of it...

Sorta the same thing, but slightly different..

{~`


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Catrin
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 10:49 AM

I first came across Armistead Maupin in the 80's when the first trilogy had been written. His books made me really think about what 'family' meant, also true friendship. They also come pretty close to giving an idea of what is really important about being alive.

Cheers,

Catrin


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Subject: RE: books - ONE masterpiece.
From: Gern
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 10:51 AM

I would not include Truman Capote's name on this list, because other works of his proved valid as well (Breakfast at Tiffany's, for example.) However I would propose the name of Ralph Ellison, whose Invisible Man received such deserved acclaim that he spent the rest of his many years trying to complete his second novel. the result was the unfinished (but still interesting) Juneteenth, decades in the making. Early success can be intimidating.


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