RARA-AVIS: recent reads (and a weird review)

From: sonny (sforstater@yahoo.com)
Date: 28 Jul 2009

  • Next message: Charlie Williams: "RARA-AVIS: Re: recent reads (and a weird review)"

    let's see. i read the 2nd in the joe pitt series by charlie huston. had read the first some time back and liked it, but felt like waiting to continue. i liked this one too and will prolly keep goin in the series but after and decent wait. i like everything i've read by huston so far, which i think is every novel he's written not countin the last 2 (so far) in the pitt series.

    'the skin palace' by jack o'connell. i liked it and am interested in checking out more by him. his stuff, well this book at least, is hard to put in any category. there's mystery and violence. it gets labeled crime i guess. hard boiled? noir? i dunno. but he's worth checking out if you haven't.

    'the guards' by ken bruen. damn good. i'd only read one bruen previously, a brant one. if my memory serves, tho i liked that one, this was even better and i'm sure i'll continue with the taylor series.

    i'm about half way thru 'solomon's vineyard' by latimer and enjoying it.

    i'm 50 pages into 'epitaph for a tramp' by david markson and diggin it. it's a paperback with both 'tramp' and the followup 'dead beat', which i was very happy to find in my library. i'd heard of markson, tho not read him, for his later 'experimental' fiction. wasn't sure what to expect from these, but so far, so good. i read there's a third one with the p.i. harry fallin. anyone familiar?

    one annoying thing about the particular release is what's written on the back cover. "Before achieving critical acclaim as a serious author...." aaarrrrrggggggggh! and continues, '...paid the rent by writing several crime novels."

    so these aren't serious? o he wasn't serious? i dunno if he disowns 'em or it's just the usual crap from the publisher, but it ruines the otherwise excellent packaging with robert mcginnis painting son front and back cover.

    speakin of annoying, in the latest new yorker mag, louis menand reviews pynchon's "inherent vice". now forgetting the actual book for a minute, i found the review strange in that menand, who i've read in the past (revies, articles) and enjoyed writes as if the reader has never read a p.i. book in his life and doesn't know hammett or chandler. he quotes a lot from chandler's famous essay as well as retelling the anecdote about howard hawks askin him who killed the chauffeur.

    maybe menand and/or the editor of the new yorker believe their readers don't know this stuff, but i was surprised. as for the actual book, no surprises. pretty much what you'd expect, from the description. i might check it out, but i'm in no rush. of course i can't afford books, so it's gonna be the library if ever, but there's plenty i'd read ahead of it. i liked 'vineland' and that's what it's closest to as far as pynchon's stuff.

    i assume he writes these types in between the 1000 pagers, either for money, or relaxation or both. it's weird to call it a parody of hard boiled p.i. since pynchon's humor is in all his stuff. are all his books parodies then? not that i've finished any besides vineland and 'lot 49'. i think he can write some of the most beautiful sentences and paragraphs i've ever read, but as far as whole books, i find 'em tough to follow, keep at, get through. mason and dixon is quite possibly his masterpiece and very moving, but the damn old english or american or whatever you call how it's written, tho showing his genius, makes it a bitch to read.

    which reminds me that i saw a comment by max allan collins to a blog post on therapsheet and boy is he not into pynchon goin near the genre!

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