Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Mezzanine

by Nicholson Baker

Thank you to whomever recommended I read The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker: intricately crafted, delicately structured, infinite yet contained, constrained, discrete — the novelistic equivalent of a ship in a bottle.

I've enjoyed a number of the author's other books, but if you've read some you'll also know that liking one of his is no guarantee of liking others. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Boy Detective Fails

by Joe Meno

A difficult book to like. While part of me wants to understand and empathize, I can't at the moment recall any fictional portrayals of the experience of mental illness that have really clicked with me, and remembering this books makes me wonder if any ever could. I really didn't care for it all, and I'm surprised that I actually finished it.

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

by Tucker Max

Terribly crass, but I liked it. Probably a weakness of character on my part, but sometimes I can be charmed by a smarmy frat boy who at least has some storytelling talent and some funny hijinx to relate. I don't know or care how much of it is true, and I don't care that I don't care. Imagine if David Sedaris were a bro. I chalk it up to bullshitting, as in talking without any real regard for truthfulness. I just put in a hold request for the sequel (he's got three books now), and I'm probably going to watch the movie of this one someday. Hell, I've even written my own zine collection of drinking stories called Blackout: The Search for Rock Bottom. Sue me... and screw you.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

by David Mitchell

Another amazing book by one of my favorite authors. Quite different from his two(?) other books I've read, but still soooo good. It's historical fiction set in the time when the West was just barely interacting with Japan, and that only commercially under very controlled conditions. Throw in a forbidden romance and some Japanese almost-mythology, and the result is a deeply fascinating and dramatic story with wonderfully complex characters.

Highly recommended.