Monday, September 12, 2016

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

A heavy book-- the second half really picks up.

It's heavy because it threatens to be so many other books -- an immigrant experience book, a war book, a spy book -- on the way in the end to be a much more philosophical book about existence and doubleness and memory.

And a truly pentrating look at the past fifty years from inside a Vietnamese mind.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Straight Man by Richard Russo

Funny as ever fourth time around.  Well, perhaps a tad more painful.  But maybe that makes it more funny? William of Occam would probably disagree.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee

great sprawling multigenerational novel of the Ghosh family of Calcutta.  Mukherjee writes brilliant, close description of both the natural world and the inner emotional lives of his characters.

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

great worldview but a little lame on characters and plot.   teeming with great ideas.  quick and easy to read.  easy to see why it's a favorite of adolescents.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Heat & Light by Jennifer Haigh

Exceedingly well-written, burnished totally boring novel about fracking and its effect on persons, peoples, communities.  There's something about that evenly-spread "American" third person omniscient narrator voice that I loathe, mixed in with pious liberal journalistic info.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Under the Net by Iris Murdoch

Events stream past us like these crowds and the face of each is seen only for a minute.  What is urgent is not urgent for ever, but only ephemerally.  All work and all love, the search for wealth and fame, the search for truth, like itself, are made up of moments which pass and become nothing.  Yet through this shaft of nothings we drive onward with that miraculous vitality that creates our precarious habitations in the past and the future.  So we live:  a spirit that broods and hovers over the continual death of time, the lost meaning, the unrecpatured moment, the unremembered face, until the final chop that ends all our moments and plunges that spirit back into the void from which it came.
[from Under the Net]




Under the Net by Iris Murdoch

Events stream past us like these crowds and the face of each is seen only for a minute.  What is urgent is not urgent for ever, but only ephemerally.  All work and all love, the search for wealth and fame, the search for truth, like itself, are made up of moments which pass and become nothing.  Yet through this shaft of nothings we drive onward with that miraculous vitality that creates our precarious habitations in the past and the future.  So we live:  a spirit that broods and hovers over the continual death of time, the lost meaning, the unrecpatured moment, the unremembered face, until the final chop that ends all our moments and plunges that spirit back into the void from which it came.
[from Under the Net]