Monday, March 20, 2006


I haven't posted much lately because I have been busy--or depressed--I can't tell. I feel like telling you all about books. I got out of the gates good this year with a quick three: Infinite Jest, Endzone, and the Maltese Falcon. I loved IJ, as I have mentioned; it is now one of my favorites of all time. TMF was also good. Endzone: I did not like. I read White Noise last year (these two are my only D. Delillo experiences). I liked it alright, but was on the fence. What I didn't like about WN, Endzone had in spades and then also in large baggies. The characters seemed really flat--actually, they seemed interchangeable. All, in both novels, talked the same way: fast, witty, smart. But there was no depth. Just cleverness for cleverness's sake. (No offense to the ToF readers who like D.D.)

Then, I hit a patch of four books that I didn't finish. This always puts me off. I used to think that it was because I wasn't ready, or didn't have the time or it was my fault in some way, but I think sometimes I just don't like a book, and therefore, don't care. First, I tried Almanac of the Dead. I read about 70 pages, and I actually think I kind of liked it, but just wasn't in the mood. I will try this one again. Then I picked up Europe Central. I read about 200 pages. This was good too, really good in places, but damn, was it depressing and a struggle to read. I have read some of Vollmann's short stories before, and liked them, and I am curious about him, but this just didn't do it for me. So I stopped. Then I picked up A Million Little Pieces, out of spite. But it in fact sucks big time: true or false; it doesn't matter. Bad is bad. Does crack make you lose the quotation mark and indent keys? I guess so. Then I started the Goldbug Variations. This I did not like and didn't really think it was that good. Richard Powers is supposed to be great, but I wasn't impressed. I'd read the subject matter before in EGB, which I think expressed the ideas better and in a more entertaining way. Then with out that, you just have the story, which I didn't care for. Ruminations on lost love--not my bag of tricks--Wait! Isn't that what my beloved Lolita is? Well, something else then. It reminded me of the Blind Assassin, which I didn't finish either.

Oh shit, 2005 confession time: Clint, I didn't finish Herzog. Same thing; just couldn't get into it.

But then I got Madame Bovary. Hell, yes! MB is the jam. What a perfect book for a lonely Spring Break. I have no complaints. This is how a novel should be: the perfection, the model. Ah! MB has also jumped into my top ten books of all time. The prose is just so perfect (of course, I read it in translation, by French being on par with my drumming and spelling), but I compared a number of translation with the original French text and found the one that seemed the most faithful--and in any case it was great, whoever wrote it.

Now I am almost finished with Foucault's Pendulum. Enjoyable, funny, easy. Really, I am just trying to kill time until Black Swan Green drops. I still have like three weeks. What will I read, or leave unread next? I don't know.

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