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Monday, April 24, 2006

The Book Pile

It grows and grows.
I was making headway until another late night visit to the library...

First the thrill. I picked up Alana Wilcox's book A Grammar of Endings (attracted by the title) read the first sentence, then the first page, then the glance became a marathon. This is a stunningly written book, her language is simply thrilling. After reading and reading so much sort of average stuff, when one reads a terrific writer one feels new running shoes are on the feet, there's no limit to the distance and freedom they offer.

Now perhaps we head down into the mire of the everyday. I finished Invisible Writer, a biography of Joyce Carol Oates -- my original viewpoint remains: prolific but is she great? I basically hate her short stories, having tried three books worth. But then I picked up a couple novels by her and read a bit and liked what I read, so the jury is still out. I will read her in conjunction with Philip Roth. I'm also half way through Local Color by Truman Capote. It ain't no breakfast at Tiffanys. Maybe breakfast at a wholesaler on 47th Street?

And now downward again.

I finshed Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk. What a piece of crap. Crap. CRAP. It's not the idea, that's great. It's not the pseudo-riske quality, I like that when it transcends cliche. No it's the terrible characters, the predictability, the horrifically sophomoric writing. This is the pulp junk of Grisham and King, of Dan Brown, of any of that gigantic army of writers who don't give a shit about putting words together, whose only goal is to offend and shock to tease and stroke. The joke though, is it's not the fact someone sticks rod of candle wax down his wee wee that shocks but Palahniuk's appalling lack of ability to hear the sound of words and sentences that shocks the most. People Magazine reads better than this junk. Now that is a terribly haunting thought.