Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Quick Reviews

My bought pile outpaces my read pile about a factor of about ten. It's a common thing. Easier to buy than to read. Lots of people form a 'to read' queue on the shelf, the bedside table or wherever. And then you end up reading in patches. Word grazing. So -

One Hundred and Forty Five Stories in a Small Box: Hard to Admit and Harder to Escape, How the Water Feels to the Fishes, and Minor Robberies.

That title is almost as long as some of the stories. These are a revelation to me. Flash as it should be done. Each one a whole, an aphorism entire unto itself, like a hedgehog.

How It Ended by Jay McInerney

You know how you walk into a room and Grandad starts up all his stories about drugs and girls and fast cars? This is exactly like that. The old man's tales are full of holes and rambling exposition, but he knows how to conjur up a world in a fireplace, that's for sure.

Party in the Blitz by Elias Canetti

Who would have guessed it? Bertrand Russell, while being spectacularly clever, looked exactly like a goat and acted like one too.

Emily Anderson: 'Love, The Frontier', in McSweeney's 25

The journal of a young woman looking for love in the wild west. Grand overture indeed, but I mention it mostly because of the clementines. 'Celementines' are women who live in a shed. The acquiesce in men's desires for a security trade-off. Some women do that. It's true. Switch on MTV and what do you see? Celementines.

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