Sunday, June 25, 2023

The Wrecking Crew by Kent Hartman


Randy: The Full and Complete Unedited Biography and Memoir of the Amazing Life and Times of Randy S. by Mike Sacks


If I read a stupid book, does that make me stupid too?

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown


Ridiculously bald melodramatic writing style covers a hyperactive conspiracy plot over the course of about 24 hours. Still, the wealth of historical detail is pleasing.  Brown would make a great tour guide of Vatican City and Rome.

Science itself created half the problems it was trying to solve.

I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moorer


The car sped forward. Glued to the windshield, in the form of the rearview mirror, was a little landscape painting of the very recent past. [122]

But nothing was Lily's home, though he did not say this. It was not her fault that her sudden hectic love was always like that- a flash mob that emerged from nowhere, a dance that twisted out of anonymous movement, then receded back into the crowd, which was sometimes shouting, "The whole world is watching" and sometimes "Free Barabbas." [135]

Damnably unsatisfactory novel. Moore's sentences, as regularly described, are jewel-like: hilarious and bracing and perceptive. I could read them infinitely. But the stories - if I can call them that - go nowhere: a present tense narrative about a trouble relationship between a man and his suicidal female partner, who seems to die early but won't go away (or shut up), and a historical narrative conveyed in a couple of letters from a woman to her (dead?) sister, in the aftermath of the civil war. The man in the present tense seems to find a copy of the Civil War correspondence, but that's it for resonance, as far as I could tell. And the present tense tale of the man driving his (dead?) wife across the country in a car also falls flat. Or maybe I'm just bitchy. 

Anyway, endless quotable sentences. I'd pull some out and type them up here, but there are a dozen on every page. Lorrie Moore is something else.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan


Another understated, gorgeous story. A coal vendor rescues a girl from a convent, after reviewing, in almost total silence, the quality of his own life and feeling urgency about what was left to do.

Monday, June 12, 2023

A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry


The further adventures of the native American adopted daughter of the two gay civil war soldiers from DAYS WITHOUT END. A little wandering in the prose but that is how Barry does it and if you stick around he always delivers.

How was I so lucky to have those good-as-woman men? Only a woman knows how to live I believe because a man is too hasty, too half-cocked, mostly. That half-cocked gun hurts at random. [48]

about drinking whiskey: Two glasses heaven, three glasses hell. [62]

A wagon of thought that drove itself on and on and myself only the hapless rider...The stream reaches another stream and they mingle their waters as natural as you like, that was what it seemed. [175-175]

Paradais by Fernanda Melchor


Good, compact, harrowing story of two young men so beliquored and frustrated sexually and financially that they embark on a murderous spree among the upper class in Mexico.

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Collected Works of Charles Portis


Finally getting to him, on my mind for years, recently re-watched the TRUE GRIT remake, so, yeah, here we go.

NORWOOD great, reminded me of Flannery O'Connor and Nelson Algren, little Mark Twain maybe.

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