Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr


Really enjoyed reading this, after some trepidation after reading alot of the review. As a follow up to the stunning ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, it pales somewhat, as it is more in the line of CLOUD ATLAS, a blurring interwoven text about some humans shared devotion for a fragmentary Greek text. It covers from Ancient Greece until some time well in the future aboard an interplanetary spaceship, and visits the sacking of Constaninople,1950s-to-present day Idaho, a  murderous climate activist, and the Korean War.

Quicksand by Steve Toltz


Shades of PANAMA by Thomas McGuane, one of my favorite novels. Toltz's style is frenetic, brilliant and blinding: he stacks up aphorisms and similes like nobody's business, it's too packed with great lines to quote here with any comprehensiveness.

Now he was saying he was tired of thoughts so self-pitying he believed he could hear God throw up in His mouth. (60)

from The Black Riders by Vallejo: 
There are blows in life so violent-I can't answer!
Blows as if from the hatred of God; as if before them,
the deep waters of everything lived through
were backed up in the soul. . . I can't answer! (91)

"Was it Valery who called music a naked woman running mad in the pure night?" (96)

Liam, I don't know about you, but I am just plain furious that I never ever grew out of the adolescent male mind-set. You know, that if your only tool is a penis, every problem looks like a vagina. (158)

I say, "It's an atrocity."
"What is?"
"Your life."
"Not as bad as some, which in a way makes it worse, because I have to feel guilty for not being grateful for my atrocity." (175)

I'm a talented loser. The worst kind. Talented losers become self-aware madmen. (201)

I had an overwhelming craving for a quick fuck and a long nap. Nothing new about that, your Honor. I've been horny and tired my whole life. (220)

If you can't be great, be vague. If they don't know what you're trying to achieve, they can't see that you haven't succeeded in achieving it. (239)

... and besides, he said, like a true poet, my most redeeming shortcoming was my ability to commit 100 percent to a bad idea. (252)

I say: Don't name a disease after me. Name one before me and see
if I run into it. I say: I've racked my narrative
for signs of hubris. (255)

The future is some kind of newfangled yesterday I want no part of... (304)

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