Monday, November 12, 2018

A History of Loneliness by John Boyne

Terrific predecessor to Boyne's 2017 stunner THE HEART'S INVISIBLE FURIES.  This one takes on the scandal and coverup of Catholic clergy sexual abuse, but through the eyes of an "innocent" priest and the narrative of his family's life. Boyne is remarkably sensitive in painting a family, inside and out. The plot of who-touched-whom and who's-to-blame is good and holds one's interest, but it's the characters in the end who are indelible.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Kafka: The Early Years by Reiner Stach

A dense, kaleidoscopic cultural history and biography of Franz Kafka, the final book in the three-volume series by Reiner Stach, but covering the early years, as legal hassling delayed Stach's work until a settlement was reached with Kafka (or Brod) estate on critical scholarly resources.

Kafka's surreal "otherworldly" style is seen hatching in turn of the century Prague, where, as a Jew, he struggled with linguistic, nationalistic and religious ghetto-ization as a native Czech.

I didn't know he was so fond of swimming, too.

Hurlyburly by David Rabe

 as astonishing as ever to re-read. bleak and hilarious.  word-storms.