Current book being read/just finished

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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Shyster on Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:17 pm

Now reading The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard. According to investigative journalist Stephen Jimenez (who is himself homosexual), the media narrative that Matthew Shepard’s murder was an anti-homosexual hate crime isn’t close to the true story. The book actually recounts the history of Jimenez’s investigation, which he originally undertook because he wanted to write a screenplay of the events.

According to Jimenez, the true reasons behind Matthew Shepard’s murder would likely be familiar to fans of Breaking Bad. That includes: (1) Shepherd and his murderers were all actively involved in the sale and distribution of crystal meth in Laramie, Wyoming, and Shepherd was a user himself; (2) Shepherd personally knew at least one of not both of his killers from his drug use and dealing; (3) Shepherd may have had prior sexual contact with at least one of his killers, which calls the “gay hate crime” meme into question; and (4) the real reason for Shepherd’s murder was likely meth and money, not Shepherd’s homosexuality.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby eddysnake on Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:15 am

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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Troy Loney on Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:41 am

Shyster wrote:Now reading The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard. According to investigative journalist Stephen Jimenez (who is himself homosexual), the media narrative that Matthew Shepard’s murder was an anti-homosexual hate crime isn’t close to the true story. The book actually recounts the history of Jimenez’s investigation, which he originally undertook because he wanted to write a screenplay of the events.

According to Jimenez, the true reasons behind Matthew Shepard’s murder would likely be familiar to fans of Breaking Bad. That includes: (1) Shepherd and his murderers were all actively involved in the sale and distribution of crystal meth in Laramie, Wyoming, and Shepherd was a user himself; (2) Shepherd personally knew at least one of not both of his killers from his drug use and dealing; (3) Shepherd may have had prior sexual contact with at least one of his killers, which calls the “gay hate crime” meme into question; and (4) the real reason for Shepherd’s murder was likely meth and money, not Shepherd’s homosexuality.



Another take on this book.

http://flavorwire.com/418257/the-contro ... is-legacy/

First of all, there are a lot of problems with The Book of Matt. To begin, it reads as a trashy, sensational tell-all, based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence from other people who apparently knew Shepard and McKinney through Laramie’s meth scene.


It’s also suspect that a relatively unknown journalist was able to get these allegations out in the open years after the media circus that descended upon Laramie following the murder and during the McKinney and Henderson’s trials.

All of which is to say that there is, essentially, no proof that any of these allegations are true. But even if they were — that Matthew Shepard and Aaron McKinney had a relationship, that Shepard had a meth addiction, that the murder was part of a major drug conspiracy that the Laramie police department covered up, that the myth surrounding Shepard’s death was trumped up by the liberal media and federal government (Jimenez casually mentions that Shepard’s death was a distraction from the Lewinsky scandal) — none of those things dispute the fact that Matthew Shepard was violently tortured and murdered, that his apparent addiction was indicative of a larger problem within the gay community at the time, and that his demise was, despite what one may argue otherwise, a result of his being gay.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Shyster on Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:07 pm

Troy Loney wrote:Another take on this book.

http://flavorwire.com/418257/the-contro ... is-legacy/

I’m aware of the controversy, but my take is that Jimenez’s book is accurate, or at least mostly so. Jimenez spoke to literally dozens of sources in Laramie and Denver, and while many of them asked for anonymity, many did not. One of the leading sources with whom Jimenez repeatedly spoke was the prosecutor, who could hardly be considered an unreliable source.

Tyler Coates is correct that nothing changes the fact that Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten with the butt of a revolver (to the point his skull was crushed), tied to a fence, and left to die. I think the lesson of the book is more about false media narratives and taking media reports—especially on headline-grabbing cases like this one—with a healthy grain of salt. Shepard’s murder was not prosecuted as a hate crime, and neither did the prosecution focus on gay hatred as the primary motive for the assault. In fact, drugs and robbery were the primary motivations proffered at Aaron McKinney’s trial (the other attacker, Russell Henderson, took a plea deal and was never tried). It was friends of Shepard and members of the media who mostly ran with the idea that it was a gay-bashing hate crime.

I also note that Mr. Coates’ review contains a theme from some other negative reviews I’ve seen, namely: “it’s hard to see the point of releasing a book like this in the first place.” There are people who very much like the narrative that came from the Shepard trial, and they don’t want that to change. In fact, in the book Jimenez relates how someone in the gay community tried to talk him out of writing the book because (to paraphrase) “Matthew Shepard is to the gay-rights movement what Emmett Till was to the civil-rights movement.” (For the record, author Stephen Jimenez is himself homosexual.) In other words, opponents don’t want something like the truth to get in the way of a beneficial meme.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Troy Loney on Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:14 pm

Shyster wrote:
Troy Loney wrote:Another take on this book.

http://flavorwire.com/418257/the-contro ... is-legacy/


I also note that Mr. Coates’ review contains a theme from some other negative reviews I’ve seen, namely: “it’s hard to see the point of releasing a book like this in the first place.” There are people who very much like the narrative that came from the Shepard trial, and they don’t want that to change. In fact, in the book Jimenez relates how someone in the gay community tried to talk him out of writing the book because (to paraphrase) “Matthew Shepard is to the gay-rights movement what Emmett Till was to the civil-rights movement.” (For the record, author Stephen Jimenez is himself homosexual.) In other words, opponents don’t want something like the truth to get in the way of a beneficial meme.



I fully agree with this point. You can't attack a book for having ulterior motives with a review that illustrates...ulterior motives. But I think this book clearly has that anti media tinge and he likely sought out another theory about the crime and found evidence to support that claim.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Shyster on Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:36 pm

Troy Loney wrote:I fully agree with this point. You can't attack a book for having ulterior motives with a review that illustrates...ulterior motives. But I think this book clearly has that anti media tinge and he likely sought out another theory about the crime and found evidence to support that claim.

I think it carries somewhat of an anti-media message, but I don’t think Jimenez is anti-media, considering that he is a member of the media. According to Jimenez, he ran across the meth angle when researching the case for the purpose of writing a screenplay, and the more he looked into the drugs angle the more and more he found.

I do think there are lessons to be learned from this book, and I thought it was well-written and compelling. I definitely recommend it.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Troy Loney on Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:37 pm

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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Troy Loney on Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:50 pm

Gaucho wrote:Open City by Teju Cole. A marvellous book.



This looks really interesting. Can you think of some kind of comparable for the prose?
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Troy Loney on Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:53 pm

Gaucho wrote:There's another hilarious tennis essay in it. Wallace explains how he was pretty successful at it because of his utterley boring style, which only worked on the wind-driven courts of Illinois.



Read this essay earlier this week. I'm reading this book in between 1Q84, so it's taking a while.

Reading the Lynch piece right now. Reading DFW write about David Lynch is a really enlightening experience.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Shyster on Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:03 pm

Now reading Dumbing Down the Courts: How Politics Keeps the Smartest Judges Off the Bench, which is the latest book from John Lott. Mr. Lott is arguing that the dramatic increase in partisan bickering over judicial nominations that has occurred over the last 40 years or so is reducing the quality of the federal judiciary. Neither Ds nor Rs want their opponents to put smart, capable judges on the courts because they’re afraid those judges will use their intellectual acumen to sway the courts in directions contrary to their own political preferences. And the rancorous nature of the nomination process means that many brilliant and capable jurists simply aren’t interested in the hassle of being nominated to the Supreme Court or one of the Courts of Appeals. Lott’s ultimate conclusion is that partisanship is ensuring that the best and brightest nominees don’t end up on the bench.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Gaucho on Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:46 pm

Troy Loney wrote:
Gaucho wrote:Open City by Teju Cole. A marvellous book.



This looks really interesting. Can you think of some kind of comparable for the prose?


I want to say Siri Hustvedt, but JM Coetzee may be a better comparison.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Troy Loney on Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:10 pm

Gaucho wrote:
Troy Loney wrote:
Gaucho wrote:Open City by Teju Cole. A marvellous book.



This looks really interesting. Can you think of some kind of comparable for the prose?


I want to say Siri Hustvedt, but JM Coetzee may be a better comparison.


That's a coincidence. I've never read Coetzee, but have Disgrace sitting here on my desk to be picked up shortly.

I have that in mind, along with Delillo, Didion, Salinger's short stories and some DFW fiction. And also Gravity's rainbow, but 1Q84 is 1000 pager. I don't want to make another long commitment like that till I know I'll be able to bang it out in a month.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Gaucho on Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:54 pm

Troy Loney wrote:
Gaucho wrote:
Troy Loney wrote:
Gaucho wrote:Open City by Teju Cole. A marvellous book.



This looks really interesting. Can you think of some kind of comparable for the prose?


I want to say Siri Hustvedt, but JM Coetzee may be a better comparison.


That's a coincidence. I've never read Coetzee, but have Disgrace sitting here on my desk to be picked up shortly.

I have that in mind, along with Delillo, Didion, Salinger's short stories and some DFW fiction. And also Gravity's rainbow, but 1Q84 is 1000 pager. I don't want to make another long commitment like that till I know I'll be able to bang it out in a month.


Another coincidence, as I have just finished Pynchon's new novel Bleeding Edge. The new Lethem is next, then John Banville.

I love Gravity's Rainbow. I love V. even more.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Troy Loney on Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:33 pm

Last three have been, Disgrace by Coetzee, White Noise by Delillo and V.

V. was difficult to put together. not sure what the whole connection is supposed to be, they almost just seem like two loosely connected narratives that come together at the end, just to come together.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby GaryRissling on Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:49 pm

Recently read teju cole's "open city" as well...very interesting read.

Also read the controversial Max Blumenthal book "Goliath: fear and loathing in greater Israel" which is an eye opening look into Israeli social engineering.

Also read "slaughterhouse five" and about to start reading Dostoyevsky's "brothers karamazov" in an effort to catch up on some classics I've missed.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Gaucho on Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:54 pm

Stephen King wrote a sequel to The Shining?
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby eddysnake on Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:27 pm

Gaucho wrote:Stephen King wrote a sequel to The Shining?


I believe it's about little Danny boy all grown up, but I could be wrong.

I bet Shaf read it, if so could you please give me a brief overview of what's going on with it?
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby largegarlic on Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:56 pm

Troy Loney wrote:Last three have been, Disgrace by Coetzee, White Noise by Delillo and V.

V. was difficult to put together. not sure what the whole connection is supposed to be, they almost just seem like two loosely connected narratives that come together at the end, just to come together.


I liked White Noise well enough, but nothing from it really stuck with me (which is my unsophisticated criterion for judging the quality of a novel).

I couldn't finish V. This was in part because it was frustrating trying to follow the different story lines without seeing a connection, and in part because my 50-cent, used-bookstore copy started falling apart about halfway through.

I have Gravity's Rainbow on my iPad. I just haven't gotten around to starting it yet...quite a big commitment.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby DelPen on Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:34 pm

Paul Revere's Ride. Basically everything you thought you knew about his famous ride is just legend.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Idoit40fans on Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:37 pm

Yeah i remember reading about that recently.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Troy Loney on Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:23 pm

largegarlic wrote:
Troy Loney wrote:Last three have been, Disgrace by Coetzee, White Noise by Delillo and V.

V. was difficult to put together. not sure what the whole connection is supposed to be, they almost just seem like two loosely connected narratives that come together at the end, just to come together.


I liked White Noise well enough, but nothing from it really stuck with me (which is my unsophisticated criterion for judging the quality of a novel).

I couldn't finish V. This was in part because it was frustrating trying to follow the different story lines without seeing a connection, and in part because my 50-cent, used-bookstore copy started falling apart about halfway through.

I have Gravity's Rainbow on my iPad. I just haven't gotten around to starting it yet...quite a big commitment.



I think I just really liked Murray and his crew at the University. Specifically the dialogues that he would have, fascinating outlooks on life.

The parts of V where Stencil is giving those time pieces that take place in different instances of European Colonialism are m favorite parts of the book. I didn't think the Profane stuff was nearly as interesting as those other stories.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby rosey6629 on Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:51 pm

I read World War Z after seeing the movie first. Both were good, though completely different.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Idoit40fans on Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:00 pm

Need a new book to read after getting caught up on a song of ice and fire. Not looking for fantasy. And suggestions on fictional conspiracies. Ive read dan brown's langdon books.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby Kraftster on Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:47 pm

I'm rereading On The Road (again). It's hard for me to imagine literature getting much better than the Part One of On The Road. Amazing.
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Re: Current book being read/just finished

Postby DelPen on Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:59 pm

rosey6629 wrote:I read World War Z after seeing the movie first. Both were good, though completely different.


WWZ as written would make a great tv series with the UN guy being the bridge. Different topic each week. Use some of the stories from the book, write new ones keeping in the same theme. But as a movie, it was never going to work.

I also liked both but the book is one of my favorites.
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