I just started reading Beasts Of No Nation by Uzodinma Izweala. I'm about halfway through. I'll get back to all of you.
So far it's very graphic, but quite interesting.
I'm finishing up "Moloka'i" -- about the leper's colony in the early 1900s. It's fiction, though.
At the hour he'd always choose when the shadows were long and the ancient road was shaped before him in the rose and canted light like a dream of the past where the painted ponies and the riders of that lost nation came down out of the north with their faces chalked and their long hair plaited and each armed for war which was their life and the women and children and women with children at the breast all of them pledged in blood and redeemable in blood only. When the wind was in the north you could hear them, the horses and the breath of horses and the horses' hooves that were shod in rawhide and the rattle of lances and the constant drag of the travois poles in the sand like the passing of some enormous serpent and the young boys naked on wild horses jaunty as circus riders and hazing wild horses before them and the dogs trotting with their tongues aloll and foot-slaves following half naked and sorely burdened and above all the low chant of their traveling song which the riders sang as they rode, nation and ghost of nation passing in a soft chorale across that mineral waste to darkness bearing lost to all history and all rememberance like a grail the sum of their secular and transitory and violent lives.
-Cormac McCarthy, All The Pretty Horses
right now, i'm reading Love is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time by Rob Sheffield. It's a heartbreaking chronicle of his relationship with his now-deceased wife that uses their mixtapes as a jumping-off point for each chapter.
other books i have read so far this year:
Finn by Jon Clinch
The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver
Ask Again Later by Jill A. Davis
all were really good imo, so if anyone else has read them, please chime in.
i started The Terror by Dan Simmons but didn't have the time to finish it.
Last edited by ghettojournalist; 08-15-2007 at 09:44 PM.
"That's the most gangster punk rock shit out there."- Z-Trip showing his love for Paul Tollett
I had the total wrong idea in my head about the Rob Sheffield book. You just piqued my curiosity.
I just read Falling Man by Delillo. Does anyone know if there is any truth to the allusions of the performance artist that appears throughout the book? I'd have figured I would have heard of this, but then again there was too much shit to pay attention to at the time.
FYI - the book deals with 9/11
Is it just me,or does starting a new book before finishing the one you were reading feel like a betrayal?I was halfway through the excellent biography of Houdini that I got for X-Mas,but it was a hardcover and I didn't want to lug it around on my trip to Michigan.So I picked up Philip Roth's novel "The Plot Against America" about what would have happened if Lindbergh had been elected President in 1940 instead of Roosevelt.
I love the new book so much,but feel like a dick for abandoning Harry Houdini,just when things were getting interesting...
Originally Posted by God
if the trip from MI is over, then i shall chastize you.
"That's the most gangster punk rock shit out there."- Z-Trip showing his love for Paul Tollett
Well I have finished "Beasts Of No Nation" today. Overall, the book is a very interesting piece on warfare. Specifically the transformation of normal people with normal dreams into these "beasts". How an average person like you can me can be driven to kill and rape. It follows a boy in an unnamed African country who is dragged into a civil war, when a group of rebels raid his village and capture him. It is a first person narrative, but is interesting because it is written in the way the boy would speak and think. He is very innocent and young, so the text is like that as well (for example, you find word are sounding like this not like word in book from city where are teach english so well well.)
It's really short, so it will take like a night or two to get through it.
I think I'm going to read that, Alchemy. Thanks.
I am reading "The Big Nowhere" by James Ellroy and Hemingway's "Green Hills of Africa" concurrently. It doesn't seem to be presenting too much of a problem.
"Green Hills of Africa" is one of those I put down and never picked back up again. I read quite a bit of it though. I would have liked to have known which writer he was dissin in that one part. But all in all Hemmingway is much better when there is a plot. I had the same problem with "Death in the Afternoon".
Yeah, I'm not feeling it as much as his other ones. It's not holding me in a death grip like his best work does.
No, I've read White Jazz, Suicide Hill, My Dark Places, and L.A. Confidential, of course. I go back and forth on his stuff. I enjoy his work but sometimes feel like it's just too much language. Too much banter, not enough exposition. But that might just be. I've been avoiding The Black Dahlia though because I thought the movie was so much crap. Thoughts?
But throughout the book, there is this performance artist who harnesses himself to buildings and bridges throughout the city after the attacks and falls. His attire and position directly mimics the horrible photograph of the man jumping from the buildings. (You all know the one where his knee is bent and he's in a suit.) I am curious if the performance artist really existed or if he is just someone whom Delillo created.
It's a construct, algunz. But it's based on this.
And the answer, said the judge. If God meant to interfere in the degeneracy of mankind would he not have done so by now? Wolves cull themselves, man. What other creature could? And is the race of man not more predacious yet? The way of the world is to bloom and to flower and die but in the affairs of men there is no waning and the noon of his expression signals the onset of night. His spirit is exhausted at the peak of its achievement. His meridian is at once his darkening and the evening of his day. He loves games? Let him play for stakes. This you see here, these ruins wondered at by tribes of savages, do you not think that this will be again? Aye. And again. With other people, with other sons.
-Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
Last time. Then I'm switching authors.
For a good friend:
I do like it that way, she said. You got that part right.
It don't take long to get a taste for it, does it?
No, she said. It don't.
Well, it ain't as simple as it sounds. You'll see.
Why is that.
There's always somebody knows where you're at. Knows where and why. For the most part.
Are you talkin about God?
No. I'm talkin about you.
She ate. Well, she said. You'd be in a fix if you didnt know where you was at.
I don't know. Would you?
I don't know.
Suppose you was someplace that you didnt know where it was. The real thing you wouldnt know was where someplace else was. Or how far it was. It wouldnt change nothin about where you was at.
She thought about that. I try not to think about stuff like that, she said.
You think when you get to California you'll kind of start over.
Them's my intentions.
I think maybe that's the point. There's a road going to California and there's one comin back. But the best way would be just to show up there.
Show up there.
You mean and not know how you got there?
Yeah. And not know how you got there.
I don't know how you'd do that.
I don't either. That's the point.
She ate. She looked around. Can I get some coffee? she said.
You can get anything you want. You got money.
She looked at him. I guess I ain't sure what the point is, she said.
The point is there ain't no point.
No. I mean what you said. About knowin where you are.
He looked at her. After a while he said: Itís not about knowin where you are. Itís about thinkin you got there without takin anything with you. Your notions about startin over. Or anybodyís. You donít start over. Thatís what itís about. Every step you take is forever. You cant make it go away. None of it. You understand what Iím sayin?
I think so.
I know you donít but let me try one more time. You think when you wake up in the morning yesterday donít count. But yesterday is all that does count. What else is there? Your life is made out of the days itís made out of. Nothin else. You might think you could run away and change your name and I donít know what all. Start over. And then one mornin you wake up and look at the ceiling and guess whoís layin there?
You understand what Iím sayin?
I understand that. I been there.
Yeah, I know you have.
-Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
Swamped, hence the absence. Thanks for asking. Classes started a week ago and I've got a new job on campus that's keeping me insanely busy. Plus it's the year of my qualifying exams and dissertation research, so I've been meeting to negotiate with my faculty committee more than I'd like. I'm now officially tired of responsibility.
I just read Chuck Klosterman's IV and I read Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs last month. I'm really excited I found him. He's funny and concise and he inspires me. But no one told me about him. WHY DIDN'T ANY OF YOU TELL ME ABOUT HIM?
I also read 1984 for the first time last week. Our culture has been so steeped in that book that I felt like I'd already read it even though I hadn't. It was very compelling.
I just finished (tonight) some girly book called Some Like it Hot. It was terrible. Yesterday I finished a book called Room for Love about a woman that looks for men by pretending to be interested in renting an apartment from them. It was okay. I read girl books like I drink water - they go fast.
How can there be a thread about great books and authors without one mention of PAUL AUSTER? That's like having a thread about good music and nobody mentioning Radiohead. WHAT THE FUCK, PEOPLE? If there is anyone on this board who hasn't read "The New York Trilogy" by Auster, you need to do so. Right now. And then read everything else he ever wrote.
I am currently reading "Notes from Underground" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I've read everything by Bukowski and Fante and I fancied something similar, and they always namecheck Dostoyevsky, so I figured I'd give it a try. I'm about 100 pages in and it's actually pretty disappointing so far. He shares the same misanthropism and nihilism as Buk and Fante, but without the immediacy of their sparkling prose. So instead of identifying with the main character, I just find myself wishing he wasn't such an asshole. Still, maybe it'll get better.
I've also been working on my own novel (which has been in progress for like 3 years) and I'm about 30,000 words in but it's pretty disheartening and I am wondering whether to just stop completely. Basically it's a story about a guy in a band and a bunch of shit that happens to him and the people close to him, drawing from a lot of my own experiences as well as a parody of someone like Pete Doherty. I think it'd be a good read, but perhaps not a great book, so I'm losing the will to write it.
"The first time I heard the new single off the Bravery album, I actually cried, and I do not even remember the name of that damn song. It reminded me of this girl I am in love with." - kroqken