I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby vector » Tue May 12, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

Some horrific book I read in late elementary school, of which I suddenly want to know the name:

One of the stories about two twins, with a demonic one and an angelic one (of course). They were girls, with some kind of magical powers. The good twin's name is Angelica, with the evil twin being something like Zanzibel--I'm pretty sure it started with a z, anyway. The book details the conflict between the two sisters, and I seem to remember something about suspecting the good twin was actually evil. There's also something in there about adoption, if I remember correctly, and a house exploding.

Current thoughts for title name: Angelica and Z__________.

Any ideas?
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby LuNatic » Mon May 18, 2009 9:03 am UTC

There is a story I read quite some time ago, possibly in a book composed of short stories that I'm trying to recall. Basically, some major cataclysm occurred, resulting in a complete restructure of society that is against violence. Humanity is forced to leave earth and travel to an alien galaxy, where some young girl finds out about violence, gets challenged to a sword duel by some alien and wins, but refuses to run him through. One of the other aliens picks up her sword and stabs her opponent for her, but it doesn't die cause it can move its internal organs to avoid fatal injuries, and the human society is somehow all the better for this having happened. The story wasn't that good, but it bugs me that I cant pick where/when I read it.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby lanicita » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:19 pm UTC

Okay, I have a new book (and am also looking for the old story still!). This might be tough because all I remember is a bunch of people landing on an alien planet, and the new planet makes planting things really difficult because there's this sharp grass-type stuff growing everywhere and it's hard to get rid of it. The stupid memory of sharp grass has been stuck in my head for years...
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Random832 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 4:55 pm UTC

lanicita wrote:Okay, I have a new book (and am also looking for the old story still!). This might be tough because all I remember is a bunch of people landing on an alien planet, and the new planet makes planting things really difficult because there's this sharp grass-type stuff growing everywhere and it's hard to get rid of it. The stupid memory of sharp grass has been stuck in my head for years...

I'm pretty sure that was mine, too, from a few pages ago.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby lanicita » Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:56 pm UTC

It is! I really hope someone comes up with it...
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Jorpho » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:32 am UTC

Hyperion had a giant field of sharp grass-type stuff. Not really the primary element of the story, though.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Zohar » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:08 am UTC

Oh, you're right! I forgot about that. To add a few more details to Hyperion - it's basically seven people telling their stories of how they encountered a creature called "The Shrike" which is some sort of blade... covered... thing... They are traveling on a ship "sailing" this sea of grass. But I don't remember any particular emphasis being put on the inability to grow plants.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Ended » Sat Jun 06, 2009 6:26 pm UTC

vector wrote:Some horrific book I read in late elementary school, of which I suddenly want to know the name:

One of the stories about two twins, with a demonic one and an angelic one (of course). They were girls, with some kind of magical powers. The good twin's name is Angelica, with the evil twin being something like Zanzibel--I'm pretty sure it started with a z, anyway. The book details the conflict between the two sisters, and I seem to remember something about suspecting the good twin was actually evil. There's also something in there about adoption, if I remember correctly, and a house exploding.

Current thoughts for title name: Angelica and Z__________.

Any ideas?

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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby vector » Sat Jun 06, 2009 8:22 pm UTC

Ah-ha! Thank you so much. I have no idea how that Z got in there, but now it's all coming back to me.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby FearoftheDomo-Kun » Wed Jun 10, 2009 10:46 pm UTC

I am in search of a novel i read when i was younger.

The setting is somewhere in the far east, around the 12th century. The book revolves around the lives of two brothers, royalty of some sort (princes IIRC). When they're young their country is invaded by Genghis Khan, their family murdered etc and they're left in a prison to rot. They escape however, and lots of stuff happen to them. I remember them eventually joining Genghis Khans army and becoming his loyal servants. I also remember very vividly the beginning of the book, where the brothers are playing in the garden. The older brother (or are they twins? Now that i think about it, there might be something in the book about them being twins, and that in that country at the time whenever a queen bore twins, the second one was immediately killed as to not have any doubts to whom the true successor was. However, the king intervened and pronounced that the firstborn of the two were to be his successor) is catching lizards or something, much to his brothers amusement.

The general theme of the book (as i recall) is rather grim, lots of violence.

Anyone recognize this?
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I need help finding a robot short story

Postby guamuser » Wed Jun 17, 2009 11:43 am UTC

I need help finding a story. Hopefully someone here knows the name of it.

The premise behind the story is a robot lands on a planet and finds a lone human. The robot befriends it (I think the robot has to teach the human its language in order to talk to it). One day the human complains of overheat and so the robot "switches off" the human by sticking a needle in its neck (I believe the robot was a little surprised that the human had an off switch in the same place). The robot takes the human apart and finds nothing wrong with the human's insides and puts him back together. In the end, the robot is dumbfounded when the human doesn't turn back on and eventually rots away and turns to dust.

That's the summary of the story. I remember reading it years ago in an English textbook for school. Hopefully someone here remembers it too.

Thanks for any help!


EDIT: I found what I was looking for! "Men are different" by Alan Boch.

It can be read here http://books.google.com/books?id=57vyq8_Q1SkC&pg=PA96&dq=robot+human+needle+neck+human+dead&ei=tm45StiEM4zckQTC8vWuAw
Last edited by guamuser on Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:36 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby guamuser » Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:33 pm UTC

annals wrote:Yeah, it was pretty well hidden, but I eventually found it with this search. It was referenced inside the 'Dictionary of Children's Fiction' book.


Thank you so much for providing that link to google books. I had no idea that a simple search like
"robot human needle neck human dead" would find me the story I was searching for.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby screech » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:03 am UTC

Oh my, this is just the thread I needed. There's a fragment of a conversation that's been stuck in my head for ages, and I've no idea where it's from.

It went something like this (I don't remember the phrasings properly, so amazon search is unlikely to help)
"Well, you know, some people who had been blind from birth got their sight restored. And you know what they did?"
"What?"
"They committed suicide."
"Well, isn't that nice. I bet you could sell a story like that to Walt Disney."
"All I'm trying to say is that *finding your parents* may not be the solution to all your problems."


*I'm not certain about "finding your parents", but I can't think of anything else that could go there.
**I'm also sure that the third and fourth line are nearly word-perfect.

This came back to me when I read about how if you regained your sight but didn't have it your whole life your brain would be overwhelmed by the sensations, possibly driving you to suicide. It's been bothering me for years now. >_<



ALSO: Luthen.

Luthen wrote:I'm looking for a book (no duh).

The main character joins a old boarding school (I'm not quite sure about that anymore), and two of the staff think he's the chosen one the save the world where they're from. Their names are puns on Cat and Dog. Much roof climbing occurs. Anyway the main character runs away from school (I think the headmaster is the villian) with a girl called Seal.

Spoilered the rest of the plot:
Spoiler:
Turns out that Seal was the chosen one and the other world is a parallel dimension. There's only a dozen or so parallel dimensions and they fall on a spectrum between animal-only Eden to animal-less industrialism. At one point Seal turns into a horse and in the more industrial dimensions Cat and Dog are actually a Cat and a Dog, and can't speak.


Under the Cat's Eye
- Gillian Rubinstein

Fantastic book. I read it once and I knew I could never read it like that again, or perhaps ever again; sad because I had a signed copy. One of the few books actually deserving of the word "trippy". :lol:

Frankly, I'm going to read it again. It's long enough that I've forgotten the details, so I'll be okay.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby McCaber » Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:08 pm UTC

lanicita wrote:Okay, I have a new book (and am also looking for the old story still!). This might be tough because all I remember is a bunch of people landing on an alien planet, and the new planet makes planting things really difficult because there's this sharp grass-type stuff growing everywhere and it's hard to get rid of it. The stupid memory of sharp grass has been stuck in my head for years...

That could very well be Coyote. Where a group of political prisoners hijacks a starship to flee from the dystopian future USA to a planet in the middle of nowhere. It's a good story.
Spoiler:
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby lanicita » Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:29 am UTC

McCaber wrote:
lanicita wrote:Okay, I have a new book (and am also looking for the old story still!). This might be tough because all I remember is a bunch of people landing on an alien planet, and the new planet makes planting things really difficult because there's this sharp grass-type stuff growing everywhere and it's hard to get rid of it. The stupid memory of sharp grass has been stuck in my head for years...
That could very well be Coyote. Where a group of political prisoners hijacks a starship to flee from the dystopian future USA to a planet in the middle of nowhere. It's a good story.
I really want that to be it, but it was published in 2002. The book I'm talking about was read to me back in elementary school, probably closer to 1996. Thanks anyway though!
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Ended » Sun Jun 28, 2009 1:19 pm UTC

This might be a hard one because I've never actually read it, only heard about it briefly and second-hand.

- A book or a short story.
- Possibly by Kurt Vonnegut.
- A man is shot at by a gunman. The man survives, does a bunch of stuff, but in the end it's revealed that he doesn't actually survive, and that all the "stuff" was taking place in his imagination during the bullet's transit time between the gun and his head. (Or something similar.)


vector wrote:Ah-ha! Thank you so much. I have no idea how that Z got in there, but now it's all coming back to me.
No problem! My mum used to read it to my sister and I. It's rather dark if I remember correctly, quite an "adult" children's book.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby PAstrychef » Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:22 pm UTC

Ended wrote:This might be a hard one because I've never actually read it, only heard about it briefly and second-hand.
- A book or a short story.
- Possibly by Kurt Vonnegut.
- A man is shot at by a gunman. The man survives, does a bunch of stuff, but in the end it's revealed that he doesn't actually survive, and that all the "stuff" was taking place in his imagination during the bullet's transit time between the gun and his head. (Or something similar.)

This plot has been used in many stories, perhaps the most famous of which is The Incident At Owl Creek Bridge.
And Vonnegut is a fun read. A skim of his short stories wouldn't take long and you should find a few to like even if you don't find this one.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby screech » Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:57 am UTC

Never mind my post beforehand. I found it again, after all this time.
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What's this book called?

Postby Klotz » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:01 am UTC

My uncle told me about a book but he couldn't remember the name.

It's about some scientists at CERN who open a black hole and a bunch of aliens come out and destroy humanity. Then another race of aliens tells two scientists they can send them back 10 years earlier, and they have to do their best to prevent CERN from creating the black hole.

Ring any bells?
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby animeHrmIne » Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:43 pm UTC

Two books from elementary school that I don't even want to read, but it's always bothered me that I can't remember them.

One is something I read in kindergarten, so it would be a book recommended for 6-8th graders (they had a program where they sorted all the books, and I know for a fact that second grade was 6th-8th grade reading level). In it, this family consisting of a mother, sister, and brother, fleeing either the Russian Revolution or the Holocaust (I know they were Russian, so it's probably the first.) They had to travel through gunshot and the like, and in one bit I remember that the mother's hair had turned grey from stress. They may have been bread-makers, because I recall getting really angry that no one could tell me how to pronounce the names of the Russian breads (first time I learned that you didn't have to know every word in a book to understand it).

In the second, I only remember a scene. In it, the main character girl is in Girl Scouts, though her family is poor and has trouble paying the dues. Her Girl Scout troop is giving food to families in need, and they end up giving food to her family. She quits girl scouts after that.
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Please help identify a comic

Postby _gb » Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

Hello everybody,

I have recently read the watchmen graphic novel for the first time (yes, I know I'm late). I think it was the type of cigarettes smoked by some of the characters, with a little sphere containing the tobacco, that reminded me of some other comic book I read as a child, in a public library, maybe around 15 years ago.

All I remember about that comic book is a very short part of the story, probably not more than 16 panels of it:

- someone, at home, watches or reads the news, and decides that is now time to use some old artifact again.
- he opens a drawer and takes out a white glowing sphere, it is magnetic and attracts spoons and knives from the drawer above
- he calls a friend, but the line is busy because said character is trying to call back at the same time
- he decides to visit in person, puts on a helmet and drives towards the other character, who in turn does the same thing
- they meet (crash) halfway

I believe it was laid out so that every second panel showed each of the characters watching the news, picking up the phone, getting on the scooters, etc.


Can anybody remember anything like that? Please, let me sleep again :-)
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Intercept » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:22 pm UTC

When I was a kid I read some book where someone was killed in a storage room of a shop. This was set in the past in the US by the way. There was a little girl and her brother who I believe was mute. They suspected she did it. The murder weapon was some sort of container I think. I think a body is also found in the river near the end of the book. It may have been the first book of a series, and it may be a fairly famous book.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby __jess » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:13 am UTC

There's a book, maybe a few books by the same author, that I've been trying to remember for months. The idea is that you can pick it up, open to any page and read from there. Kind of a 'choose your own path' sort of book, the pages consist of segments and no matter what order you read the segments in you form a story, individual of the story you'll read next time you pick up the book, open to any page and start reading. Reading it from cover to cover creates roughly the same effect as picking a different page each time you finish one little segment. And I think the author or the title was a word starting with 'm'. The one I flicked through had a white cover with the title in a bold neon block font and some kind of black image/pattern.

That's all I have, but it's going to bug me until I find out what it is.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby zombie_monkey » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:52 pm UTC

Milorad Pavic, Dictionary of the Khazars.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby altair4 » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:56 pm UTC

Hi, the news has reminded me of this and I just can't remember what its called.
A guy is writing up a coincidence that happened to him regarding meeting a guy from a small unheard of town in scotland,
Spoiler:
at the end you discover the small town is lockerbie

and the notes are discovered in the wreckage of the plane crash.

I thought it might be neil gaiman or iain m banks . It's only a short story about 15 pages long.
Cheers, any help greatly appreciated

Yay I have found it, it was banks after all, in state of the art
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby NecklaceOfShadow » Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:53 am UTC

Well...

I checked this book from the school library in fifth grade (about six years ago). It was about a boy who moves to a new town with his dad. He's bullied a lot by the kids in his new town and he's fairly unhappy in his situation. One day, biking home through a fog, he gets to his home only to realize that there's a girl there who keeps calling him her brother and that there's a different man there calling him his son. After a while, he switches back to his own 'world'. As time goes on, his time in the 'other world' soften him up emotionally and help him gain a talent for art, which gives him the praise of his teacher. Eventually, he figures out that the 'other world' is just the future, and that the man and girl are his descendants.

In the climax, the house is hit with lightning in the future and demolishes the fireplace. In the future, they find the drawing that he had been working on in his present time, and seeing the influence that it had in the future, he buries it in the fireplace that's being built when he gets back to his own time. His teacher is extremely disappointed that he disposed of the drawing, and sends him to work on a model plane with one of the kids who had tormented him before, but who is acting friendly to him now.

I don't know why, but I used to believe that the book's title is similar to A Wrinkle in Time, since that's the name that the book has been associated with in my head for ages. Does anyone think that they can help?
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby __jess » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:16 am UTC

zombie_monkey wrote:Milorad Pavic, Dictionary of the Khazars.
That isn't it, though it's similar. The book I'm thinking of, every page or every double page was a segment, so you could literally flick through it, pick a page, and read from there. Thanks, though!
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I need help remembering the title

Postby zacpol » Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:37 am UTC

I read about this author a few weeks ago on io9.com, where they had a quote from him about the importance of setting to fiction, and something about constructing a good city environment for a story. I did some wikipedia'ing, and I found a book of his that's 4 or so short stories that are loosely connected, a distinctive feature of the hardback copy being an additional story taking the place of the normal book summary on the insides of the jacket. In several of his books, he uses a single large city (although it's not any of China Mieville's works; someone else).

So sorry my memory is a bit rambling, but I can't remember the title or author for the life of me. If it helps, for some reason the word Gothia is in my head, so maybe the city or something in the story sounds like it.

Can anyone help me?
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Vak Beacon » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:53 am UTC

TheAmazingRando wrote:There's a short story (or maybe it's a segment of a novel, even) that's been bugging me for a year or two now:
A man wakes up in a large underground chamber with stone walls, a well in the middle, and thousands of people mingling around with clothing from various different centuries. Every now and then, a person will jump into the well in the middle of the room. Sometimes a blue light flashes, and they disappear. Other times, they keep falling, presumably forever. The narrator realizes he is in purgatory. Whenever he wishes, he may jump into the well. He might be taken to paradise (blue light flashing, taking him away) or he may continue falling forever, which would be hell.

I'm thinking this was something by Neil Gaiman, but I just cannot seem to find it.


Okay, I know I'm really late for this, but I felt so useful when I read this I couldn't help myself.

House of Leaves. That's a part from House of Leaves. And if no one got it before me then for shame XKCD forumers!
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Zohar » Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:09 pm UTC

It's not actually something I read, but a quote my 10th grade English teacher told us about evil. I seem to recall she said it was by Stephen King but I can't find it through Google (or wikiquote).

It was about types of evil. He said that Evil is pretty bad, but you can rather easily find it. The more dangerous type is evil, since it appears rather normal-like. But the worst type is (evil), which hides itself and is difficult to uncover.

Does anyone know of this quote?
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:57 pm UTC

Not offhand. I wonder if it was from Danse Macabre
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby waltwhitmanheadedbat » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:48 am UTC

I seem to remember posting about this before, but I didn't see my post in this thread, so here goes:

I remember reading a work of fiction in middle school about a member of the French resistance during WWII. The details are sparse; I seem to remember the protagonist meeting a girl who was also a member of the resistance and who characteristically walked unusually erect. Lines I remember are "and she walked away, erect as ever" and "friends call me Malo" or something like that.

I realize these are some pretty crappy hints. Further crappy hints are spoilered:
Spoiler:
A "crimson mask of death" was described when the protagonist shoots a man in the face at point-blank range the climax of the book. I believe he was a radio operator that betrays the resistance leading to the capture and presumed death of his significant other.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby BlackSails » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:50 pm UTC

Im looking for a kid's science series, where the lead character (Danny?) uses science to solve problems. I remember one book had the nearby observatory get a message from aliens, sort of like SETI. He had an incompetant friend.

The message from the aliens was a variation on this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arecibo_message
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Brooklynxman » Sat Oct 31, 2009 1:27 am UTC

My fiance is looking for a book about a girl living in Eastern Europe during or just after the holocaust. She can't remember the author or the title of the book. She believes that the book has either the word Bridge in it or Tears. And there is a sequel to the book. That's about all she knows.
We figure out what all this means, then do something large and violent

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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Quadropus » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:49 am UTC

I'm sorry I can't help anyone else with their searches, but I will if I see something that rings a bell...

I do have one request myself, it is a [very] long shot as I have never read this story, only been told about it by the Mother....
The details I know are as follows: There is a man (I think on the run from the law) who goes to a fellow named Vladimir's house for some reason. Vladimir ends up dead, so [nameless man] ends up stealing the identity of Vladimir and dumping Vladimir's body in a river by putting it in a box which a fridge comes packed in.
I seem to remember being told that the [new] Vladimir pondered the thought of no one ever questioning what one was doing with a large box, no matter what the situation.

This is all the information I can remember, I am not expecting miracles here as it is a very vague description of a story I have never read. Though, one final bit about it is that it was broadcast on BBC Radio 4's "books at bedtime" a while (a couple months perhaps?) ago.
Anyhoo, if anyone can tell me this, I will be immensely grateful as after being told about it, the Mother forgot the name, yet I have been dying to read it ever since!

Thank you all literary folk!
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby BlackSails » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:49 am UTC

I found the series I was looking for two posts up. Its Danny Dunn and the _______
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Zohar » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:23 pm UTC

I read this book when I was in junior high or even elementary school, in Hebrew. However, it was probably translated from some other language.

* Setting: European-like city. No high tech or anything, probably around 1900's - 1950's. I don't remember if there were cars or not, for example.
* There's a kid who was abducted or joins a giant (not sure which but it was with consent). I think it may have been a girl, not a boy.
* If I recall correctly, some people (maybe it was the giant's job) were collecting\handing out dreams into\from bottles, something like that. The girl was helping him I think. They would open windows to rooms (children only? adults? I don't remember) and collect the dreams, or maybe give them dreams.

It seems like something that could be written by Michael Ende, and a quick wikisearch suggests he wrote a book called "The Dream Eater", so maybe that was it. However, I can't find any more info about the book...
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby zombie_monkey » Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:30 pm UTC

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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Zohar » Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:51 am UTC

zombie_monkey wrote:http://www.amazon.com/Glass-Books-Dream-Eaters/dp/0385340354/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1259947731&sr=8-1

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters?

http://www.amazon.com/Dreaming-Jewels-T ... =8-1-spell

The Dreaming Jewels?

No to both of those. The first one is waaaaay too late. This is something that have come out at the latest around 1990, and my guess is at least 20-30 years earlier than that (going by the feel of the book).

The second doesn't ring a bell. There weren't too many characters I think, only the girl (boy?) and the giant.
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Re: Things you remember reading -Merged: Searching for a...

Postby Ended » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:31 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I read this book when I was in junior high or even elementary school, in Hebrew. However, it was probably translated from some other language.

* Setting: European-like city. No high tech or anything, probably around 1900's - 1950's. I don't remember if there were cars or not, for example.
* There's a kid who was abducted or joins a giant (not sure which but it was with consent). I think it may have been a girl, not a boy.
* If I recall correctly, some people (maybe it was the giant's job) were collecting\handing out dreams into\from bottles, something like that. The girl was helping him I think. They would open windows to rooms (children only? adults? I don't remember) and collect the dreams, or maybe give them dreams.

The BFG?
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