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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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I saw him talking about the book on TV. It didn't appeal to me. Sounded like another Fukiyama-type theory of everything. I am suspicious of such things; history tends to go its own sweet way regardless. (Oops, I guess that lumps me in with Mr Taibi - but I see no practical alternative but to reject at least some books before reading them. The next Harry Potter's on the "no" list too).

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I think the latter qualification is your downfall.

 

Thanks for asking, I am currently reading Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann. The ironismus is heavy, but I will learn a little about Europe in the twentieth century from it.

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For some strange reason, I have not ever read The Grass Crown by Colleen McCollough, although I passionately read The First Man of Rome and Caesar's Women. I really admire her way of bringing the ancient back to life--particularly her unwinding the labyrinth of Roman calendars, voting, families, and "bloody friggin' bloodlines".

 

Reminds me of my favorite Robert Graves. I Claudius, Claudius the God, and My Shipmate Hercules (the slyest and funniest telling of the Argonauts journeying,yet).

 

Considering her stuff is usually at least 700 pages, I will have good downtime reading. I also picked up her The October Horse, and A Creed For the Third Millenium. Busy me.

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(Oops, I guess that lumps me in with Mr Taibi - but I see no practical alternative but to reject at least some books before reading them. The next Harry Potter's on the "no" list too).

A fine practice for the casual reader, but I expect a bit more from a critic who is penning a review of the rejected material.

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i have rarely been impressed by friedman either. i wonder what the career path to op-ed pundit is--i might have been good at it. i have lots of ideas about everything, many of them reasonable-sounding.

I am not sure what the career path is to op-ed pundit, but don't ask Friedman, that's not his job. He is the foreign affairs columnist.

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