Sometimes when reading a Cormac McCarthy novel I can’t help but wonder what kind of man he is, what kind of man would create such bleak and miserable worlds? This is pointless since I know from his biography that he is to all appearances a genial and downright nice human being. And perhaps writing books like this helps him in that regard, serves as a form of exorcism, his demons expelled onto paper allowing him go on living peacefully. But these are just useless random thoughts, the sort that float up when reading McCarthy. The book tells the tale of […]
Do you remember how the last third of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn made you hate Tom Sawyer? Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Robert Coover takes Mark Twain’s iconic characters, ages them about 30 years, places them in Deadwood just before America’s centennial, and uses them to expose the ignorance, violence and cruelty at the heart of America’s westward expansion. If The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was mostly an adventure story for boys, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a story of the loss of innocence, Huck Out West depicts innocence as being trampled over and over again. Coover […]
Sometimes, when you read a book, you can’t help but picture the story in your head, almost as if it were a movie. And sometimes, you get the feeling that a book was pretty much written so that it could eventually become a movie. That’s not a knock against the writers who produce books like that really. I just feel like some books are written so that they can someday be watched instead of read. And I fell like The Sisters Brothers is one of those books. So evocative of a specific time and place in our world, I could […]
East of the Mississippi and as far west as they eye can see, right up until you hit the mountains themselves, is the Devil’s territory. And he protects his own.
It’s so funny, as I’m reading this series for the first time, to see the (very) polarizing opinions about each book. One person gives it up after the first thirty pages of the first book because it’s so fucking weird, the next wants to read all of them in a mad, passionate frenzy. One person thinks book two is the greatest (me), another thinks it’s boring as shit (an opinion I can’t understand). Yet another counts this here book as their favorite and reviles book four. Etc, etc. I find this fascinating, and for me, it’s evidence that King has a […]
I wrote my initial little placeholder review where I promised to have a full review up for this book by the afternoon approximately five minutes before I learned that Carrie Fisher had died, and to be up front about it, that news has completely done a wampus on my head, and the review I’d been planning on writing is now not going to happen, because my brain just wants to be sad right now. I don’t know what I’m about to write about this crazy book. In many ways, this book is about addiction, but it’s also about finding redemption […]
So maybe you’ve heard this old story about how to boil a frog. You dump a frog in boiling water, he’s going to jump right out. You put cool water in the pot with lil froggie and slowly heat it up while he’s inside? Maybe he won’t sit there and boil to death. He’ll jump out eventually if things get too hot. But he’s gonna stay in there a good long while if you play your cards right. It’s a useful little anecdote; can be used for all sorts of fun metaphorical purposes. For instance, I believe I once heard […]
I’m not quite sure what I was expecting when I picked up Into Dust, but it was not at all what I wanted or will ever want. To be fair, this is book five in a series and oh boy do you need to have read all five of those novels. In the interests of perfect honestly, I didn’t completely finish this book, I read the first half and last chapter. I’m still completely confused as to what exactly is going on. I bought it because I’m a sucker, SUCKER, for westerns featuring Montana and I thought with a series […]