Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Meandering through the latest fiction


Trying to make sense of the latest fiction is never easy.  Bemused by Jonathon Safran Foer's latest effort, Tree of Codes.  Seems to take post-modernism to another level, as he literally dissects Bruno Schultz's The Street of Crocodiles, which had been made into a stop-action animation feature by the Quay Brothers some years before. 

What are some of the books others have been reading or perusing lately?  Doesn't necessarily have to deal with American history.

17 comments:

  1. Fiction I'm thinking about reading (in the near future in no particular order):

    Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
    Generations of Winter by Vassily Aksyonov
    The Riders by Tim Winton
    A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche
    Call It Sleep by Henry Roth

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  2. ''Curtains For Three'' by Rex Stout:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NA6M5O/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B002TCT2KG&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0XXZFAYJ1N7DAD2CVYPZ

    these three are not among the very best in the series

    Fat man Wolfe is one of my favorite characters as he and I have so much in common: both love to eat, read, and sit around. The difference being he was a lot wealthier than I am and he didn't particularly like women (shame on him!).

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  3. I can vouch for Generations of Winter. Excellent book.

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  4. That Tree of Codes looks amazing! The Foer family must all be geniuses. One brother just published a book on becoming a champion memory contestant (I'm assuming that's one sign of some sort of genius).

    I keep saying I want to take a break and read some fiction, but I've been reading a lot of correspondence and 19th c. reports. Books I've picked up recently include Parini's Last Station about Tolstoy and his Passage of HM about Melville. And the Carey that I just ordered last week. I have a couple trips coming up so would be nice to have a novel along for a change of pace.

    And I still have that new translation of Dr. Zhivago on the stack. Somewhere in my subconscious there's still a strong connection to Russian literature.

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  5. I've been on a non-fiction run of late but my fiction to read plie has a slim short story collection by James Salter"Last Night" a collection of Barry Hannah short stories"Long,Last,Happy"The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson.Grinos by Charles Portis and my first Austen"Mansfield Park" I also have a jones to reread "Recapitulation" by Wallace Stegner.All but the Hannah I bought myself.Hannah was a X-mas gift from a brother.

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  6. JAbel: I have an unread copy of Recapitulation. I take it you think highly of it since you contemplate reading it again.

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  7. My wife started reading a Lithuanian translation of "The Shack." I was disappointed to find out this is primarily a Christian tract disguised as a horror story,

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/24/books/24shack.html

    This and the Millennium series, which I promised myself not to read, top the bookseller lists here.

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  8. I'm sure they top the lists here too.....

    Rick, if you haven't read Big Rock Candy Mountain you should start with that (this one picks up the same characters). Until I became so stuck on Moby Dick, I was sure BRCM was the great American novel (i.e., American story) people always talked about but could never identify.

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  9. I didn't know Recapitulation was a kind of sequel.

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  10. Yes it takes place years later involving one of the sons returning to Salt Lake City for a funeral.It jumps between the psent and the past seamlessly.It was the first Stegner I read but Avrds is probably right in reading BRCM first.

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  11. I read Recapitulation per your recommendation, and sort of vaguely recall that you liked this one better than BRCM.

    I'm the first to admit that Big Rock Candy Mountain isn't necessarily a great novel -- it's a big messy old fashioned novel -- but I still think it's a great book about America. I've read it three or four times and love it more each time. But then I live in the West, and actually lived in Great Falls as a kid for awhile, which is where some of the book takes place.

    There's something that really gets at the idea of the American Dream in it that's hard to resist.

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  12. I like Stegner a lot. I particularly liked Angle of Repose. Haven't read Recapitulation though.

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  13. Angle of Repose is a beautiful book.I've read all the Stegner novels and for some reason that one wound up last several years ago.I'm glad I waited to read that one last but it wasn't by any design on my part.

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  14. Avrds,I don't know that I like it better but it was my first Stegner and as you say BRCM is a big messy book and the sequel is a much neater package.

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  15. Not sure if this will show up for you(most recent books on Goodreads website):

    http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/335523-marti-lewis?shelf=read&sort=date_read

    This week I've been reading Walter Mondale's memoir. It was a Christmas gift from my brother and my first paper book read in a while. Font is light and smallish, which makes me miss reading on the kindle. I put it down for a couple of days.

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  16. Find myself reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Murakami, who is all the rage in Vilnius. I think every one of his books has been translated into Lithuanian. Not quite sure what the fuss is all about, but I am enjoying this book much more than I did Norwegian Wood.

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