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Friday, March 20, 2015

Wittgenstein's Mistress / D. Markson

A boring one-character novel concerning the standard isolated semi-delusional neurotic loser.

Perhaps I'll read the D.F. Wallace afterword some day, let him discourse to me about all the splendor  I missed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


One of any number of Emperors of Negativity, which is to say, novelists, which is to say people whose worldview prioritizes suffering over happiness, his compulsive technique, which is why he dazzles, simply to contradict every home-truth that crosses his mind.

Read with caution.  Love his art, but do not fall for, do not buy into, his snazzy defeatism.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Red the Fiend / G. Sorrentino

It's a rare novel that has no dialogue; this is gruesome realism with a deeply shocking ending, a story of long-term child persecution concerning a l940s underclass Brooklyn youth, some of the crimes inflicted by his grandmother so awful, so ingeniously diabolical, and so perfectly described that, inexplicably, they come across as hilarious, I mean she's a she-devil from the lowest depths of hell and you're pulling for Red all the time until, sadly, you come to see the core of his character.

Highly recommended but brace yourself.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Dalkey Archive / F. O'Brien

Major disappointment . . . had expected a barrel of laughs and found little more than tepid silliness, fluff, tedium.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Vineland / Pynchon

His signature blend of hyper-realism and comic book nonsense.

I read this some years ago in a cursory way, got nothing out of it; this time around I'm impressed.

A good deal of research on Japan shoveled into the story.