On Chisel Beach is Ian McEwan’s novella about a couple’s wedding night. While there are flashbacks to the couple’s life before they met and their earlier relationship, the majority of the novel takes place in the space of a few hours in and around their hotel room. McEwan uses this delicate moment, the one [...]
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes is a slim novel of memory, mis-memory, and self-perception.
Where was I? Oh, yes, to Margherita, other children look like Bianca. Margherita is also Greta, and has played the role of Gretel. Captain Blicero moves through his own space. Greta once heard talk about “F-Gerat.” There is a seance with curtains of Imoplex G, the fabric of the future.
Slothrop falls off the boat [...]
Part Three of Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow is a bit long, so here are the first fifteen or so sections. Things get a little confusing for a while, but still there is an atmosphere of a comical espionage story.
Slothrop is now in the Zone, home of the rockets. Enzian is introduced as the head of Schwarzkommando [...]
Tim’s Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes is a history of the CIA as seen from a moral perspective. This is problematic as spying is not an ethical, or even legal, business; spies who are caught often face the death penalty for treason. As a result, it is probably no surprise that the CIA and its men fall short in Weiner’s estimation.
Don DeLillo has always been a big gap in my reading. For whatever reason, there was always something I wanted to read more whenever DeLillo’s name passed in front of me. But it was time I got to know something about the man and so I decided to start small with Pafko at the Wall, [...]
In looking through my books, I thought it would be interesting to compile a list of American authors who have contributed to the formation of the modern novel. I took a stab at listing authors and then looked them up on Bookscan to see what their biggest novel was (I may have taken a liberty [...]
Great stories happen to those who know how to tell them. This sums up my respect for Hunter S. Thompson. I read his books in junior high and went slack-jawed at his gonzo lifestyle. He felt like the patron saint of breaking out from the bureaucratic, life killing nonsense, infested with an anger over what [...]
The Middlesteins is the story of a Jewish family living in the suburbs of the mid-west. It centers around Edie, a grandmother whose habit of finding comfort in food has led to a weight problem that affects her entire family. There are points of humor, but for the most part it is a touching portrait [...]
In 1973, Robert Altman remade Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. The film set Chandler’s noir story of a moral private investigator in an amoral contemporary Los Angeles. Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice makes a similar move, placing the archetype PI, the last good man, in psychedelic California. He drifts through the crime world in a haze [...]