“I hate malls. They’re like strip clubs for women. All tease and sparkle and the empty promise that if you just drop enough cash, somehow you’ll be fulfilled. The slick, shameless hustle of a shopping mall makes places like Eye Candy look downright charitable by comparison.” But the lack of shock value (and,unfortunately, along with that the lack of surprise in the plotting or delivery) makes...
christa faust, money shot
“I thought of the first time I’d met her, how sweet and raw she’d looked back then, before she’d gotten bleached, implanted, liposucked, French-manicured and Brazilian waxed into this generic, tan, platinum blonde lying here like a broken doll on the cheap beige carpet of a Vegas motel. I remembered helping her pick out the name Zandora Dior and giving her some backdoor hygiene tips for her big...
The Literary Piano: Selected list of novel genres... →
literarypiano: Academic novel Adventure novel American Western novel Anticolonial novel Antidetective novel Antinovel Autobiographical novel Avant-garde novel Baseball novel Bauernroman Bildungsroman Biographical novel Bourgeois novel Cine-roman City novel Comic novel Confessional novel Courtly novel Crime novel Detective novel Diary novel Didactic novel Dime novel ...
“‘It’s still romantic,’ Christine said, ‘falling in love with someone for who she is and what she says and what she believes in. It’s actually much more romantic than her crush on you, which would have to be almost completely physical. You might be nothing like she thinks you are.’” Yes, that’s wish-fulfillment; I suspect that there’s a lot of that behind Lincoln, our hero, who’s sensitive and...
rainbow rowell, attachments
“We were at the bridal shop for our first fitting (yes, already) and I said that sage green is the color of dirty aquarium water. And that polyester crepe smells like B.O. even before you put it on. “And when she told us her wedding song — of course, they’ve already picked their wedding song, and of course, it’s “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong — I said that choosing that...
“The PA system was playing Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds.’” Not entirely sure what to make of this detail, but I kind of think that it’s important. Or at least indicative. Because ‘Three Little Birds’ is playing at the big, official, climactic business dinner — this is a workplace novel, primarily, with a sideline in father/son conflict, literal and metaphorical — where the bosses...
You know where you are with a baseball bat. It’s... →
The Los Angeles Review of Books. Specifically, here, Geoff Nicholson on Buster Keaton, but really: the Los Angeles Review of Books.
thomas e kennedy, falling sideways
“He found himself admiring the firmness of Jalal’s personality, his character, the seeming lack of necessity for conscious consideration of his speech or actions. He was who he was, said what he said, did what he did. At the same time, however, he felt a near irresistible urge to mimic and parody the man. A customer had come in once, and Jes began to serve him without greeting him first, and...
rohan o'grady, let's kill uncle
“But it had been because he had seen it, and if that were possible it was impossible not to believe that one lived in a generation of monsters. Perhaps they weren’t new to this age. Perhaps they had always existed, elementals who formed basis of folktales and medieval superstitions. But how could one reconcile them with a civilisation of television and electronics?” Part of the reason that Let’s...
Forewarned by her mother, she was one little girl who would never be lured into...– Rohan O’Grady, Let’s Kill Uncle | Bloomsbury Group 03.08.11 (orig. 1963)
“Sometimes I could see why Gene and Claire lived the way they did. I could see how it had become important for them. I respected them, the life they led. I loved them. But I was not going to become a doctor or a circus performer or an organic farmer. And no matter what they thought, that was not what they were raising me to do. Those were things they did, not things they really thought were...
“And she felt again what she had always felt in the clinic when she saw patients with sexual-assault injuries. It was what you did to prevent these things that really mattered. Not the collection of evidence and the prosecution. Not the kind of thing they were doing right now.” Much more than the realities of the setting, though, Hoffman’s concerned with violence, specifically violence toward...
“But somehow, in my anticipatory zeal about breaking open the story of this waste site, I got lost. I voluntarily left somewhere I loved because I had become an egomaniac. I honestly believed articles in the newspaper could change the way the world worked. And that meant I could change the way the world worked. And that’s not the healthiest thought for a human being to have.” One of...
cara hoffman, so much pretty
“She thought her blob of features was pretty the way only rich girls could. Expensive shirt and no one notices you have weird-looking tits. Two years of braces and no one remembers that your real teeth were more crooked than the trailer trash you won’t even talk to.” There are a lot of things that Cara Hoffman does well in this book, and one of them is the setting. Part of this book is a crime...
The next day at 9:30 p.m., 40,000 words later, six... →
Last month’s Observer profile on Blake Butler, that wants to show him “as a new kind of fiction writer, one who defies the archetype of the guarded figure alone with a manuscript in a room filled with books,” but instead gives you the idea that he spends his time alone behind a glowing screen, and that There Is No Year was written in nine days, straight through, three years ago...
hndrk: “What do you do when your husband’s autopsy report is on the internet and is deemed a subject worthy of fucking literary criticism?” — Karen Green interview: ‘David Foster Wallace’s suicide turned him into a “celebrity writer dude”, which would have made him wince’ | Books | The Observer
“David Foster Wallace. (43) (43) David Foster Wallace died with a massive and uncompleted manuscript found bathed under light in his garage.” This is the conclusion of a list, 43 people long, found by the son, each its own photo, inside of a box nested in a box nested — well, you get the idea. It’s a listicle, more or less. It’s pastiche Wallace, kind of, with the footnotes riding the...
“1._________________(197136 plays). This song’s title appeared in the son’s iTunes browser as a trail of mangled digits or a blur. The son could not view the details of the track. When the son tried to click the track to play it, iTunes would crash and often so would the computer. He did not know how the song had gotten onto his machine. Sometimes the son was able to mouse over the title when...
“Live audiences frighten me to death. Sharon Tate.” An epigraph, and I’m pretty sure an intentionally tasteless joke, based on the shared knowledge that the thing Sharon Tate is famous for is dying at the hands of the Manson Family (followed by having been married to Roman Polanski; followed by her acting career in the movies).
blake butler, there is no year
“Usually the cable’s crap connection delivered all the channels with a rind of fuzz. The screen would sometimes spurt and bubble with long rips of swish, often in the most important moments of a program, or at least the moments the person watching would most like to see. The cable company had sent several repairmen with no success. Several of the men had fallen off the roof, cracked bones or...
“Even in the absence of a spell, no one ever really knew what went on in anyone else’s bed. No one ever really knew what went on in anyone else’s kitchen, or bathroom, or upstairs hallway. What actually happened there, and what got said. Couples might put on clown wigs, and prance around. Entire families might kneel and chant and eat root soup. Who really knew anything about how other people...
meg wolitzer, the uncoupling
“They often made jokes like this, back and forth; having lived together so long, they found that their humor was interchangeable. Like most couples, they were funny mostly to themselves and each other.” Here’s the thing: The Uncoupling is really quite fine while it’s going on – it’s an enjoyable conceit, making a high school production of Lysistrata exert enough influence on the women of an...
michael crummey, galore
“They were practical and serious and outlandishly foreign. They described the deathly ill as wonderful sick. Anything brittle or fragile or tender was nish, anything out of plumb or uneven was asquish. They called the Adam’s apple a kinkorn, referred to the Devil as Horn Man. They’d once showed the doctor a scarred vellum copy of the Bible that Jabez Trim had cut from a cod’s stomach nearly a...