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Just finished Ask the Dust by John Fante, a slim novel which didn't live up to the extravagant praise I've heard from Bukowski fans. Henry Miller and Hubert Selby did this kind of thing much better.

I'm currently reading Middlesex, has anyone else read it? I remember it being discussed elsewhere and people were criticizing the fact that it won the pulitzer prize. Maybe not Pulitzer Prize worthy

Several of the pieces in Paris to the Moon appeared earlier as Gopnik's monthly Letters from Paris to The New Yorker. His use of adjectives to describe the weather, the neighborhood, etc impressed me

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2 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Holy shit.  I read that — that very edition — when I was maybe 12.  I snuck it off my parents’ bookshelf:    I wasn’t supposed to be reading books like that.

Really all I remember about it was the cover.


I recently found a picture of the cover of Andrew Halloran’s first novel as a mass market (gay appeal) paperback. I’ll post it if I can find it again. And he’s so serious.

I felt bad because Moore had serious intentions, but hardly had the chance to develop into a writer who could execute them.

Incidentally, I found this copy online for $4 (plus shipping) and it is absolutely mint. As new. Must be used.

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My parents didn’t have anything salacious in the house. I did get into trouble as a young teenager for borrowing what my father deemed inappropriate books from the library.

The one I remember upset him, and I am not even joking, was Sartre’s The Age of Reason. There was a BBC television version he might have been aware of.

He didn’t have the awareness to think: well that’s a little adult, but hey he’s reading Sartre.

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1 hour ago, StephanieL said:

My mom left Judith Krantz novels lying around.

I had to acquire those on my own, ditto Danielle Steele, Jackie Collins and VC Andrews. Too lowbrow for our fancy bookshelves. Plenty of Tom Robbins, though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I finished Ottessa Moshfegh's most recent novel Lapvona a couple of weeks ago, and have been pondering my reaction. Her three novels featuring (more or less) contemporary female main characters -- Eileen, My Year of Rest and Recreation and Death in Her Hands -- were all remarkable. Grim, maniacal but also very funny. Her earlier novella McGlue, set in 19th century New York with a male central character, was violent and funny and very well written.

So Lapvona. It has levels of visceral cruelty -- ultra-violence -- that far exceed anything in the other works. It's an excruciating read at times, reminding me of Selby's notorious The Room. The thing is, Selby (and Sade, for that matter) is depicting horror in the service of sincerely held beliefs he wishes to communicate with urgency.

Moshfegh just seems to be getting her kicks. I am uncomfortable with this book. I do still have her short stories to read.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My Christmas Nero Wolfe story was “Immune to Murder,” hugely entertaining but outrageously unfair, the solution based on facts about brook trout not vouchsafed to the reader and very improbably vouchsafed to Wolfe. But there’s a massive clue lying around anyway. 

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