Saturday, 8 May 2010

March marched on, and April came – she didn’t.

This set sat unopened for weeks. Am not sure if my time was better spent away.
I have much to say but not right now, cause i can't think. It's either too quiet - or too noisy.
depends on how you look at it...
So most of the notes are extracts, 'cut n paste' from various reviews.
you get the message.

Philip Roth. Indignation is a good though sometimes confounding read with the odd subtle turn, as a reviewer wrote: "Indignation is a deceptively short book, written in a style in which limpidity conceals darkness."

Jonathan Lethem. Chronic City. From a review: “The acclaimed author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude returns with a roar with this gorgeous, searing portrayal of Manhattanites wrapped in their own delusions, desires, and lies.” I pretty much prefer Lethem’s earlier books.

Herman Wouk. A hole in texas. I take this to be Wouk’s attempt at mainstream fiction. The New York Times says the 88-year old Wouk "spins it into a crackling yarn and writes with an enduring vigor that whippersnappers might envy."

Allan Massie. Charlemagne and Roland. Third in Dark Ages series. As in the previous books, the story is told by a narrator, instructing a young emperor in the ideals of kingship by telling him tales of the great men of the past and their adversities. Massie is a mighty story teller who with his knowledge plays fast with both fact and fiction, but he never plays loose. He displays so much learning and sympathy that one seeks the wisdom that lies beneath.

Toni Morrison. Sula. ‘Sula’ another acclaimed Morrison book, is described as "...a satire on binary thinking, which glories in paradox and ambiguity." I think I’ll leave it there.

Dostoevsky. The house of the dead. about a man serving a prison sentence for murder. It is not an account of imprisonment and system of law but the author's own experiences. on his fellow inmates their personalities, their culture, their way of life and way of thinking to great effect, Its a story of love for humanity, of resurrection from despair, and of a man's final reconciliation with his own life

Martin Amis. Yellow Dog is described as “...readable, amusing and clever, which gives it a head start on the majority of modern novels.” Another reviewer wrote: “...contains moments of comedy aimed at generating discomfort as well as laughter. a tightly constructed novel, bristling with ideas and allusions. Overall the flaws are frequently eclipsed by moments of brilliance.” Still another reviewer: “it is a bad book in the most ordinary of terms. Poorly integrated, pointless, and, for a satire, not very funny, ...Yellow Dog isn't a scandal; it's just kind of crummy.”

John Updike. My father’s tears. Updike’s distinguished writing career spanned more than half a century. It's only fitting that in My Father's Tears, his final, posthumously published collection of short stories, he turns that gaze — bent upon both precision and beauty — to death. not his best, but they are a lesson in love.

Previous notes:
Don DeLillo's 'Underworld' is a bit disjointed but this acclaimed book is a snapshot of american culture and needs a bit of patience to enjoy.

Stephen Mitchell. Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh was written a thousand years before the Iliad and the Bible. This is a very readable and entertaining version that one can finish in one sitting (or one lie-down in my case). The author uses “a loose, non-iambic, non-alliterative tetrametre...”, which I like. I also like that it refers to existing translations. The biblical story of Noah and the flood is very similar to one in this ancient Babylonian tale. This has apparently disturbed some Christians.

Music guide.

I dig Neil Young
I dig Bonnie Raitt
I think the dirt band is grand...
as Kristofferson said:
If you don't like Hank Williams...
you can kiss my ----ocks...
('you can kiss my donkey' i think he said).

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