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Thanks for your review (second book). I am not a fan of the first genre! Unusual storyline.


Mystica--After reading through my post I didn't do a very good job of talking about the Leigh Fermor, but it is really a very good book and worth looking for if you have an interest in it. I don't read much in the way of sci fi but I do like trying new things occasionally. I think the timing maybe wasn't the best on the Dick novel.


I'm still not much of a sci-fi reader so I can understand having to be in the right frame of mind to read this book. One day I'd like to try some of his books.

With regards to the second book you said you want to read his other book... So is it also more of a continuation of his time in monasteries in Europe? How interesting.


You've got me curious about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It's not something I've considered reading before, jeez, even the title is a little...clunky, but it sounds like it has a really interesting premise!


I thought when I was reading the first PLF travel book (sorry, title's gone) how incredibly intelligent he must be as a few things went right over my head. How wonderful it must be to be that knowledgable. I must get to Between the Woods and the Water myself next year.


I never thought of SciFi as action packed, rather the opposite. I associate SciFi with Lem and the Strugatzkis, and Tarkowski's movies, very slow, philosophical and a tad boring (for me) at times. Even Alien, as a movie, has long slow stretches, although it is gripping. I think the good novels are like that. Dick was probably one of the most prolific and I heard that some of his books are not well written, which is certainly not the case here. I agree that it must be the right moment for a book like this for those of us who rarely read SciFi... I can imagine it would clash with 2010 Christmas. I might start Ursula K. Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness soon. I got the Leigh Fermor and am looking forward to read it... When?


I also love PLF, but a little goes a long way and it takes me an age to read him. I enjoyed the first two thirds of the monastery book much more than the last little bit, which lost me for some reason. It's funny how books can do that sometimes, isn't it? I can quite see how the android hunting could pale with the demanding reality of Christmas fast approaching! That bit of your review made me laugh.


I think the best scifi is ideas clothed in action/plot though there are some good space operas out there that keep you on the edge of your seat (M.K. Wren's Phoenix Legacy trilogy for example). I've got to get around to reading PLF, every time you post about him I think, gosh, I'm certain I'd love this guy!


I watched Bladerunner years ago and loved it, but still haven't gotten around to reading the original story by Dick:)

A Time to Keep Silence sounds intriguing. I've always been fascinated by monasteries (a lot of the medieval mysteries I like reading are set in them!)


There is a Trappist Monastery about 25 km away from where I live. As with La Trappe it is famous for its brewery! The beer is called Trappist. It is a really open community of monks, they do receive guests, we visit them now and then. We love to hear them sing. What PLF writes about La Trappe reminds me very much of a community of hermit monks in the French Alps, the Carthusians. Philip Gröning made a fascinating 3 hour film (also available on DVD) about their community and way of silent, prayer life. It is called Into Great Silence and if I remember correctly it was the first time it was permitted to film in their abbey La Grande Chartreuse.


Iliana--I'll read more sci fi--but the hectic holiday season run up is definitely not the best time for me. The Patrick Leigh Fermor I want to read is the continuation of his travels from Holland to Constantinople. The first book I read was A Time of Gifts. There is actually meant to be a third book but I'm not sure if it will ever be published, which is really a pity.
Megan--It is a mouthful, isn't it? Looking back--it is a good story, only I was too stressed out to enjoy it. I'll try some of his other books at some point though!
Cath--I felt the same way! And it's funny as didn't he get kicked out of school? I'm not sure if he ever went to university? It's amazing how much you can learn on your own and I admire that--I only wish I could be so dedicated. I'm sure I only got a very few of the references, but I still loved it anyway.
Caroline--This just goes to show you how my perception of the genre is off. Other than a few films (like Alien) I'm not at all familiar with the genre. I wasn't disappointed that it was more thoughtful than action packed, just a little surprised. I do think that maybe the writing was a little uneven and maybe that had something to do with my attention wavering. I'd definitely like to try Ursula le Guin at some point, too.
Litlove--There's no spacing off while reading his books, is there! But I love his prose and in the right mood I very much enjoy his writing. I also thought that last section a little thin. My favorite part was reading about the Trappist monks. I think I had hoped it would be more about his own personal experiences in visiting the monasteries and the solitude but there was quite a bit of history, which while interesting wasn't quite what I wanted. Still, a good read. I'd actually like to read more of Karen Armstrong's work--I really loved that introduction she wrote.
Stefanie--It is nice when it's not only thoughtful but page turning, too. This is just my first exposure, so I'll be very curious to read more. I'll have to look up M.K. Wren now, too. Do try PLF--he's wonderful.
Sakura--from what I understand the movie is very different (idea-wise) from the book. I've only seen parts of Blade Runner, but now I am curious to see the whole movie. I wouldn't mind reading more about monasteries, too, as this just whetted my appetite. It would be fun to read a mystery set in one--I've not been reading many historical mysteries, but I do enjoy them. I've been meaning to try Ellis Peters--maybe he'd be a good follow up (of sorts).
Catharina--I have a feeling that a lot has changed in the last fifty years since he published that book. Their lives sounded so strict and regimented, but perhaps that has laxed a bit since then. I'd love to visit one some day. I will have to see if I can get ahold of that film--I'd be quite interested to see it!

Dorothy W.

I really should read PLF, I think. I'm guessing I would enjoy him. I'm afraid I hesitate because I worry about being bored, but it sounds like that's not really an issue, and if his books are that short, that makes it less likely as well.


Dorothy--I think I'd start with his travel narratives first if you are thinking of reading him. I found it to be much easier to get into than the book on monasteries, though it was also interesting. I think you have one of his novels? I'd be very curious to see what his fiction is like, too!

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