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"Best and worst rereads ?" Topic

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828 hits since 3 Feb 2014
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kreoseus2 Inactive Member03 Feb 2014 8:49 a.m. PST

Hi Guys

I often go back and reread books that I first read years ago. Some books have been read multiple times. Occasionaly rereading an old book is like meeting an old friend, warm & nostalgic. Other times you start a book you first read a long time back and you are horrified by how bad it is, like seeing an ex to whom time has not been kind.

What is your best & worst experience in rereading old books ?

I love the early Elric books by Moorcock, they have aged well. I tried to reread the Alexander books by Manfredi and was left scratching my head in wonder, they have aged like an Essex pin-up….


Cincinnatus Inactive Member03 Feb 2014 8:56 a.m. PST

No question my favorite friends in this area are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Although these days I listen to them on CD as I drive and save my reading time for other books.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2014 9:11 a.m. PST

I regularly re-read with pleasure:
Stephen Becker's "The Chinese Bandit"
All the Flashman books
Nicholas Monserrat's "The Cruel Sea"

And then there are those who make me say "What did I ever see in this???"
The biggest disappointment was Alister Mclean's "HMS Ulysses". It was one of my favorites a long time ago, and lead me to "The Cruel Sea". Now, it is just unreadable.

Streitax Inactive Member03 Feb 2014 9:19 a.m. PST

Red Storm Rising.

Dan Wideman II Inactive Member03 Feb 2014 9:23 a.m. PST

I regularly reread Mike Shepard's Kris Longknife series. I can't put my finger on exactly what makes them so rereadable. There's nothing groundbreaking in them. They are just plain FUN, I guess.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2014 9:29 a.m. PST

Since Streitax brought up a Tom Clancy novel, I may re-read "The Sum of All Fears". Last night's Super Bowl should have been nuked.

Texas Jack03 Feb 2014 9:59 a.m. PST

This is a great question thumbs up

I re-read a ton of things, but two of my favorites are The Longest Day by Ryan, and Incredible Victory by Lord (I know Shattered Sword re-wrote the book on Midway, but Incredible Victory was the first real book I read on war, definitely takes me back!).

And once every two years or so I read War and Peace. For some reason I just absolutely love that book.

As for worst, that is easy, anything by Robert Heinlein. I read everything he wrote when I was a teenager, and loved it all, but as an adult- yuck, just kitschy rubbish to me.

britishlinescarlet2 Inactive Member03 Feb 2014 11:16 a.m. PST

Second the Moorcock books….love them as a quick read. Guess the book that I have re-read the most is The Silmarillion. Simply epic and I just love the Anglo Saxon/ Nordic feel that it has.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian03 Feb 2014 12:45 p.m. PST

Pohl's Gateway, Stainless Steel Rat series, good to re-read.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2014 1:32 p.m. PST

Worst re-reads: Zane Grey western series, read them as a kid and enjoyed them (young male romances).

Tried re-reading some a few years back and was saddened by the ugly racial/gender steriotypes.

Funny how 50 years can change one's world view.


Last Hussar03 Feb 2014 2:23 p.m. PST

Nightwatch by Pratchett gets a regular read

Anthon Inactive Member03 Feb 2014 2:28 p.m. PST

I read Sword of Shannara when I was a kid, I remember sitting by the pool and stealing glances at the ladies so I recalled it quite fondly. I recently tried to reread it ,no amount of nostalgia could sustain me through that crap.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Feb 2014 5:28 p.m. PST

The best re-read was Thucydides, after that probably the Iliad.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2014 7:22 p.m. PST

The works of G.M. Fraser (except The Pyrates never get old. Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series is still brilliant, and something I read through about once a year, along with The Song of Troy. O'Brian's Aubrey and Maturin series, of course. I've only read Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies twice, but I suspect they will be perennial favorites as well. Likewise, I've read all of Alan Furst's novels, but I've only reread a few so far and they are as good (if not better) the second time around.

Too much non-fiction to name, but Cozzens and D'Este spring immediately to mind.

Hornblower has not aged very well.

Ochoin One Inactive Member04 Feb 2014 3:40 a.m. PST

Both the Sherlock Holmes & Nero Wolfe series get frequent re-reads.
There's something about an anti-social genius with a long-suffering side kick that gets you every time.

Kim by Kipling was/is/ & will be my favourite book.

Hemingway isn't as good as I first thought many years ago but I think that might be because he's had so many imitators that what was fresh now seems stale.

Andrew Preziosi Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2014 8:35 a.m. PST

I still read Reeman/Bolitho---though with the split from wife one to two, the Regency Romance aspect jumps to the fore and killing everyone dead to death within five novels cheapens the second half of the Bolitho series (only enlivened by a few books, like Darkness on the Sea, and the appearance of Tyacke).

Tuchman's "Guns of August" never fails to satisfy either.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Feb 2014 9:14 a.m. PST

Well, I have to provide a dissenting opinion to Texas Jack's statement about Heinlein! His so-called 'juvenile' novels were great when I first read them and they are still great now. I re-read most of them from time to time and they hold up well.

Lately, I find myself re-reading Lois Bujold's work. Her Vorkosiverse stories are vastly entertaining and her first two Chalion novels are simply the best fantasy novels ever written. I'm a Tolkien fan, but Bujold is right up there. She might not be able to match Tolkien's world-building, but her character developement leaves J.R.R. in the dust.

Texas Jack04 Feb 2014 12:47 p.m. PST

Thatīs fine Scott, to each his own buddy! I must say though that I was a little unfair to Mr Heinlein, as I do still enjoy Job very much. But thatīs all! evil grin

kreoseus2 Inactive Member04 Feb 2014 12:50 p.m. PST

Another book that gets back in the reading pile regularly is "the longships" , every time I read it, I want to build a Viking army.

Parzival04 Feb 2014 8:11 p.m. PST

Well, I will admit that the first time I read Moby Dick I thought it was an amazing novel. The second time I found myself thinking that Melville lays the imagery on a bit thick. Still a great book, of course.

The Brian Daley Han Solo books are still fun reads, but my teen impression of their coolness has been softened a bit by my adult recognition that the writing is strictly average.

I haven't attempted any of the Shannara books again because I know they'll suck, now that I'm a long way from 15.

I acknowledge that Heinlein has some creaky bits and dated motifs and language, but I still can reread most of his stuff for what it is, and appreciate it.

Odd thing for me, though, is that my memory for good books is so strong that I can look at the titles and recall enough that I seldom feel compelled to read them. (I still keep 'em on the shelf, of course.)

Ochoin One Inactive Member05 Feb 2014 3:03 a.m. PST

@ Parzival

"Odd thing for me, though, is that my memory for good books is so strong that I can look at the titles and recall enough that I seldom feel compelled to read them. (I still keep 'em on the shelf, of course.)"

It's not about forgetting what was in old favourites. Re-reading is like visiting an old & valued friend. No surprises just the warm satisfaction of saying 'hello' to an important part of your life.

John Leahy05 Feb 2014 5:18 p.m. PST

Sherlock Holmes never seems to get old. I also go back and reread LOTR and the Hobbit every few years. So many good books available.

MAD MIKE Inactive Member07 Feb 2014 12:15 a.m. PST

Always worth a reread for me; Helmet for My Pillow, With The Old Breed, and The Road Past Mandalay.
Favourites that I now find unreadable; Jerry Pournelle's work except his David Niven collaborations.
LOTR has almost worn itself out.

Old Slow Trot Inactive Member25 Feb 2014 7:30 a.m. PST

Bell Wiley's "Life of Johnny Reb". One of my faves.

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