Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Dr. No by Percival Everett


Odd but addictive, in Percival Everett fashion. A little AUSTIN POWERS, a smackerel of THE THIRD POLICEMAN. The mathematics of nothing combined with a billionaire who wants to become an evil James Bondish villiain. The book is more farcical than compelling, but I couldn't put it down. Like THE TREES, it reads quickly, in a couple of hours.

Never trust a laugh you can spell. Or something like that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Rule of the Bone by Russell Banks


Delightful, mysterious, swerving coming-of-age novel. The second half and the immersion into reggae and Jamaican mysticism caught me completely by suprise.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Matilda by Roald Dahl


Liked it. Liked Tim Minchin's 2023 musical better.

Getting Lost by Annie Ernaux

 Annie Ernaux in New Yorker profile talks about old age (she will be 82), and how "I will never remember my old age."

I found it compelling reading and tore through this, but must admit it was the sex I was interested in and not incessant longing and sadness. She limits the scope of her diary entries very much to the story of her affair with the Russian man, S., who is 35 years old to her 48. And S. does not come off well -- boorish and anti-intellectual, a Stalin fan. We hear almost nothing of her two children, though they're often in the apartment with her. She refers to her other great passions mostly by the year in which they happen. I'm interested in reading the other memoir to see what depth they lend to this story, in my memory.

It's not much of a story, just a layer of egocentric suffering. Yet I know that it is through this layer of suffering that I communicate with the rest of humanity. [169, 7 Stories Press Edition]

Yesterday, it came to me with a certainty that I write my love stories and live my books, in a perpetual round dance. [171]

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Ted Kennedy: A Life by John A. Farrell


The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz


Liked this a great deal. Very different from THE PLOT until the middle of the book where, indeed, there is a rather large plot swerve. The concept of triplets as never before recorded -- including how many persons that actually implies.  The high-art, wealthy milieu gets a bit wearying, but Korelitz' prose is glittering, at least.

Monday, January 09, 2023

The Trees by Percival Everett


Never read a book like this before! Racial injustice and a history of lynching in the U.S. - and dozens of small-town characters, each quickly and indelibly sketched. 

It reads so quickly you almost forget the heaviness of the theme.

The structure - very short chapter 1-3 pages - lend an extraordinary quickening to the plot, and it is a breathless style, following a classic detective/police procedural model.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Kill 'Em and Leave by James McBride


Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver


Loving this, DAVID COPPERFIELD cast in Appalachia, voice of a young foster child/orphan, opioid addiction and coal country poverty. High school football world skillfully sketched by Kingsolver. Pre-sad that it's almost over (300+ pages in).

Really wonderful, enjoyable reading. Hard to remember a long (500+ pages) novel that I relished as much. Wise and sweeping and loving, a mutli-dimensional panorama of southern Virginia, TN and KY that I've certainly never seen before.

Getting clean is like taking care of a sick person, versus being the sick person. They get all the points for bravery, but they're locked in. You have to get up every morning and decide again, in the cold lonely light of day, am I brave enough to stick this out? [p. 509]

Featured Post

Buy my books.

Buy the books on Amazon, and watch videos of some readings.   Please.