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RE: [Groop]Groop Summer Reading List
Summer reading list-good idea. Here is my offering:
The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. I violate copyright laws with the
following descriptive, but oh well. They can sue me.
Born in Ohio in 1842, journalist, short-story writer and
critic, Ambrose Bierce developed into one of this country's most
celebrated and cynical wits-a merciless "American Swift" whose
literary barbs were aimed at folly, self-delusion, politics, business,
religion, literature and the arts. In this splendid "dictionary" of
epigrams, essays. verses and vignettes, you'll find over 1000
pointed definitions, e.g. Congratulation("The civility of envy"),
Coward ("One who in a perilous emergency thinks with his legs") and
Historian ("A broad-gauge gossip"). Anyone who likes to laugh will love
the Devil's Dictionary. Anyone looking for a bon mot to enliven their
next speech, paper or conversation will have a field day thumbing
through what H.L. Mencken called "some of the most gorgeous witticisms in
the English Language.
Hey, its 80 cents at www.amazon.com, so what the hell.
Here's one of my favorites:
Alliance, n. In international politics, the union of two thieves who have
their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pocket that they cannot
separately plunder a third.
From: SheikOfEntropy@aol.com [mailto:SheikOfEntropy@aol.com]
Sent: Sunday, May 21, 2000 10:53 PM
Subject: [Groop]Groop Summer Reading List
"One has to do idiot things from time to time, if only to assure oneself
one is a human being and not a robot."
-Evan Tanner, the hero of Lawrence Block's TANNER'S TWELVE SWINGERS
Yeah, I know, people usually END their email with a quote, but this is sort
of relevant to the topic: The Groop Summer Reading List!
Okay, I know it's not quite summer yet, but this is supposed to prepare us
for summer reading, dig?
The idea is simple:
1) Suggest a book, series of books, comic book (single issue, graphic novel
or series) or other reading material that you believe the average Groo
would enjoy AND that you think most of the Groop is likely to be unfamiliar
with. Stick with ONE suggestion, because forty people suggesting a dozen
books each will probably mean none of us will get around to reading ANY of
the suggestions. Right?
2) Give a brief synopsis, WITHOUT SPOILERS PLEASE, with just enough detail
suggest the basic premise of the book and entice our curiosity.
BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!
Let's make a concerted effort to actually READ each other's picks, and send
PRIVATE critiques to each other. I stress PRIVATE so that we avoid SPOILER
Stuff like Stan's USAGI YOJIMBO, Mark's DNAGENTS, Sergio's BUZZ & BELL or
even popular madcap fare such as THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY,
although excellent choices, are a bit obvious. Let's get obscure, and really
dig up some old favorites and toss out new treats to enjoy.
I'll start by suggesting Lawrence Block's EVAN TANNER series of short
Originally published in the 1960s, they are WONDERFULLY dated, and should be
read in the order of publication (to follow) to get the most out of them.
Block likes to collect minor recurring characters along the way, and often
references events from previous installments in a humorous way.
Evan Michael Tanner is a Korean War Veteran who had a piece of shrapnel
away his brain's sleep center. Tanner, thus, is physically unable to sleep,
and is awake 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Talk about INSOMNIA!!!
He meditates to rest his body and mind, and fills his abundant spare time
learning languages, writing other people's doctoral theses for fun and
profit, and joining lost causes, revolutionary cells and subversive groups
from around the globe.
(NOTE: some of what Block considered a lost cause in the 1960s - like a
Soviet-free Serbia, has come to pass. I guess truth IS stranger than
He even predicted the kind of strife and infighting such freedom would
Then there's The Chief, head of a super-secret American Spy Agency, a
competitive rival of the CIA, who mistakenly believes Tanner is one of his
agents, and keeps trying to send him on missions that Tanner wants no part
Very funny stuff! The series goes as follows:
The Thief Who Couldn't Sleep (1966)
The Canceled Czech
Tanner's Twelve Swingers
Two For Tanner
Here Comes a Hero
Me Tanner, You Jane
Tanner on Ice (1999 series revival)
-Larry Steller AKA The Sheik Of Entropy
Groop maillist - Groop@groo.com
Groop maillist - Groop@groo.com