Friday, January 15, 2021

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Love in Vain: Robert Johnson, 1911-1938, a graphic novel by Mezzo and J.M. Dupont


Going Native by Stephen Wright


Loved this book, particularly the tremendous chapter 7, "Night of the Long Pigs," about an American couple's visit to the wild jungles of Borneo.

Each chapter surprising, apparently unrelated, except for the man who drives the green Galaxie who features in the first chapter, at a dinner party at home with his wife and two friends. The man picks up and leaves, and the rest of the book follows the dimmest thread of his passage.

Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath by Heather Clark


Monday, December 07, 2020

The Luzhin Defense by Vladimir Nabokov


To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss


Dombey & Son by Charles Dickens


Persevered and finished this massive book.

Too much to recount. A good example of its richness is the wedding of Florence and Walter, late in the book: the memorable image of Toots running in and out of the church repeatedly, as he is overcome with emotion, and peeping in a different window from outside each time, so that the congregation eagerly awaits where next he will show up.

Saturday, December 05, 2020

The Quick & the Dead by Joy Williams


Odd, compelling, disturbing book. You never know where Williams' character will go next, either physically or mentally.  A little wearying, too -- it could have gone on forever, or been half the length it was.

"For most inhabitants of modern industrialized nations," Alice said, "the principal contact with other species does take place at the dinner table."

"Their life had been their soul and had been extinguished with them."

This somewhat fit in with her more recent theory that the soul was something you acquired only after you were dead..."

Monday, November 30, 2020

Middlemarch by George Eliot


Got through 150 pages but then crapped out. Have already read four three enormous quite really boring novels this year (THE REVISIONARIES by The Revisionaries by A.R. Moxon, THE STAND by Stephen King, A LITTLE LIFE by Hanya Yanagihara, and ANT KIND by Charlie Kauffman).  I'm now officially too old to risk another.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard

Began it with trepidation - thought it some sort of English Patient romantic mystery.

Which it is and isn't. Hazzard's lapidary prose takes some getting used to, but the brilliance makes wonderful effect. Reminded me of Penelope Fitzgerald, with her use of ellipsis and understatment, and delayed exposition.

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