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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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Just finished Peter Carey's The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith.

 

Oh. My. God.

 

Fly

(dashing off to the library to borrow the entire Carey oeuvre)

If you liked that, you might like Jack Maggs his retelling of Great Expectations. The True History of the Kelly Gang is generally thought to be his best though I wasn't struck by it. On the other hand I did like The Tax Collector which everyone else hates. So ignore me.

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I recently finished "The David Story," by Robert Alter. It's a recent translation of Samuel and Kings. I haven't read the story in about 20 years. Still fascinating. Alter's annotations are terrific. They not only provide explanations of the story (history, people, places), they provide references to other stories in the Bible and provide very interesting analysis of the writing style. He notes, for example, the changing tones in the writing, how certain passages mirror styles from other books, etc.

 

Because Alter noted a number of times that Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! was one of the best interpretations of David's saga, I decided it was time to read it again. I'm quite bogged down.

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Because Alter noted a number of times that Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! was one of the best interpretations of David's saga, I decided it was time to read it again. I'm quite bogged down.

isn't there a joseph heller book that goes over the david story as well? "god knows"? or am i thinking of someone/something else?

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Because Alter noted a number of times that Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! was one of the best interpretations of David's saga, I decided it was time to read it again.  I'm quite bogged down.

isn't there a joseph heller book that goes over the david story as well? "god knows"? or am i thinking of someone/something else?

No, you're right.

 

GOD KNOWS (1984) was a modern version of the story of King David and an allegory of what it is like for a Jew to survive in a hostile world. David has decided that he has been given one of the best parts of the Bible. "I have suicide, regicide, patricide, homicide, fratricide, infanticide, adultery, incest, hanging, and more decapitations than just Saul's."

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Because Alter noted a number of times that Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! was one of the best interpretations of David's saga, I decided it was time to read it again.  I'm quite bogged down.

isn't there a joseph heller book that goes over the david story as well? "god knows"? or am i thinking of someone/something else?

"God Knows" is hilarious. It's David's autobiography, written just before his death. It's the story of a bitter old man, angry with his God, his sons and his women. He is also furious with Michelangelo for leaving the foreskin on the statute. According to Heller's David, Solomon was an idiot who really intended to cut the baby in half.

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Recently finished "Family Circle" by Susan Braudy, about the Boudins. I think gossip about celebs is a waste of time but I do love gossip about political figures. Unfortunately, the book reads like a second draft much in need of a thorough final editing. I caught so many easy to check and correct errors of fact that I was forced to wonder how many of the gossipy revelations were true. Nevertheless, it made a fascinating read.

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Just completed Finding Betty Crocker, The Sectret Life of America's First Lady of Food by Susan Marks. I was expecting an interesting social history. Instead I got something that read like it came out of the General Mills PR department. Not a single critical analysis to be found. The book puported started out as a Masters Thesis. If this is was serves as scholarly output nowadays, we have a lot to be worried about.

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Derek Walcott's new poem, The Prodigal. Memories of travel, especially in Europe, laid against memories of his St Lucia home. And this provides the context for a reflection on what it is to be a poet writing in a language and tradition not indigenous to the land of his birth. He wonders if his works are still awaiting translation.

 

Lovely evocations of the island landscape, in cadences which come directly from T.S. Eliot, and especially "The Waste Land".

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Imajica, Clive Barker. Like the Rings trilogy, only with sexually-ambiguous sex. And a few other differences, which don't count, because they're not the reason I'm reading the book.

 

Next up is the Chronicles of Narnia, in their entirety. It is apparently my year for the fantastical.

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On the recommendation of a friend, I am reading an intriguing book called The Life Swap, written by Nancy Weber and published in 1974. It is her true account of placing an ad in the Village Voice, asking another woman to swap lives with her for a month.

 

Amazon link with some reviews

 

She's a good writer, and it's fascinating.

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