Robert's rec, and much appreciated. The opening story ("Strays") far and away my favorite, but it's also a high-water mark for stories generally: bleaRobert's rec, and much appreciated. The opening story ("Strays") far and away my favorite, but it's also a high-water mark for stories generally: bleakly funny prose and plot, and ideas boiled down to images like sharp pebbles, seemingly insignificant but they hit with real sting. (I'm particularly fond of the stray dogs waking the narrator and his brother, scraping their backs along the bottom of the house, right under the boys' bedroom.)
Lovely drawings, a story told entirely through drawings. Besides being gorgeous & lush, they invited extrapolations -- Max and I had a great timeLovely drawings, a story told entirely through drawings. Besides being gorgeous & lush, they invited extrapolations -- Max and I had a great time fleshing out what was going on, who the boy was (and the various other children were). Thanks for the rec, Mme T!...more
This is the most true review ever. In fact, this review is so true, all other reviews will now have a slight whiff of inauthenticity. You'll read themThis is the most true review ever. In fact, this review is so true, all other reviews will now have a slight whiff of inauthenticity. You'll read them and say, well, okay, but did they really read it? I can't really tell. Because I read Reynolds' review which was so very true.
I read New Moon for the first time in the days following the assassination of John Kennedy. I was grieving--shoot, the whole world was grieving. Ooops--shouldn't have said "shoot." That's inappropriate. But it's a sign of the times: nothing seemed appropriate. We didn't know who we were anymore. But New Moon made me fall in love with America, and myself, again. Sure, Vietnam was coming. But for a brief, shining moment, I had New Moon.
But the '60s were a dazzling time, man, and I lost myself. We lost ourselves, I think. It was a time when people went looking for themselves, but I think, in the looking, they lost themselves, too. It was a paradoxical time. It was a time for wrongness, a wrong time.
And then, Watergate. That should have woken us up, but it didn't. We were sleeping so soundly! Not until we read New Moon again. 1975, I was on a plane and Warren Beatty happened to be in first class. I had loved his hair in the pictures I'd seen, so I couldn't help but stare at him through the whole flight. But when he got off, I noticed that he'd left something behind. It was a copy of New Moon.
And I found myself again. Thank you, New Moon!
But then, the '80s. It was a time of greed is good. I lost myself again. It is fair to say--as my Mom often does, with a wry chuckle!--that Mike is always losing himself! Luckily, there is New Moon. I found myself again after the crash of '88, when drinking sterno in a backalley in Boise I came upon a copy of New Moon. That's right.
Suddenly, it was 9/11. Things came crashing down, and by "things" I do mean to make the image of the towers resonate with a more metaphorical understanding of "things" generally in my life, 'cause--you guessed it--my self had gone missing again. But then.
Who knows what the future may hold? As Stephanie Meyer says, the past is not undead--it's not even past. It's still hanging around in rural Washington, waiting to meet you. Thank you, Stephanie, for always bringing me a New Moon! ...more
Enjoyed this tremendously, as a dense lovely object (including the 3-d section), as a dense lovingly-allusive text (even when references to Bulldog DrEnjoyed this tremendously, as a dense lovely object (including the 3-d section), as a dense lovingly-allusive text (even when references to Bulldog Drummond or other bits of English pop arcana eluded this poor American boy's grasp), as a smart and engaging treatise on the uses and pleasures and dangers of pop mythology.
Oh my holy sheesh what a goldurn great book. She opens way up, I had no idea. The affair with Levi--sometimes messin' about while Todd was lying stoneOh my holy sheesh what a goldurn great book. She opens way up, I had no idea. The affair with Levi--sometimes messin' about while Todd was lying stonefaced drunk on the side of the bed--came out of nowhere. (No wonder they're catting after each other in the press now--MEEEE yow!)
Full of revelations. And more importantly heart. And words. And some home truths. But most importantly heart....more
At the time, I was living on an island of about two hundred people, teaching English. A foolish, miserable task--A girlfriend gave me this book once.
At the time, I was living on an island of about two hundred people, teaching English. A foolish, miserable task--the kind of "good-for-you" intervention bound up in so many good intentions that the inevitable crass exploitation and inadequate resourcing and nonexistent long-term vision and full-on horseshit stupidity seem, in hindsight, a necessary cosmic counter-balancing. Ostensibly, I was teaching English and helping the other English teachers improve curriculum. Instead, the other English teachers wised up--let the fucking American handle this shit, and let's hit the lagoon, while the fishing is fine--and I struggled to piece together an elementary curriculum for non-English speakers who'd never heard anyone fluent in English speak. No television, except when the local generator was fired up, and the vhs hooked in, so that we could watch "Best of the Best" and "Best of the Best 2" for a quarter. Two or three radios, which only got Armed Forces Network. One communication radio, intermittently functioning, which I got on once a week to talk to pals distributed around the islands over 40,000 some square miles. I got mail once a week, if the plane showed up, if the weather was good, if I actually got any mail. I could run around the island, by which I mean quite literally I could run around the island. We periodically hit a dry patch where few fish came in, and breadfruit weren't in season, so we ate canned food and rice and coconuts, and when the canned food ran out we ate rice and coconuts. I lost about 60 pounds. I sank into periodic depressions. I certainly got along with everyone, and drank tons of instant coffee hanging out with the guys, but I wasn't really connecting -- except with one guy, a really great person who I was starting to become good friends with, and then he died of tuberculosis. Those periods of depression became more like exclamation points.
Twice a year, during the two years I was there, I got into the "main island." (Let's describe that in some other post.) During those trips, I drank excessively. Took up smoking despite having never had any interest in smoking (even leaping straight to Kool Menthols, 'cause as I believe Denis Leary put it if you inhale excessively on a Menthol it feels like your eyes are bleeding). Stayed out to all hours. Fell in love with everyone I met. And at the end of one stay, I began dating (okay, let's call it "dating" as well as dating) a very nice, sweet, good-intentioned English teacher like myself. We had a whirlwind of hyperbolic romantic passion, before we both headed to our respective islands.
Months passed. Mail, infrequent, the occasional too-public radio conversation. I had been there... oh, maybe 18 months. I was seriously losing it. And I wrote this sweet, wonderful, well-intentioned woman a cri de coeur, a howl of anguish and existential fear and self-loathing ... and she sent me this book. Oh, she also sent me a very moving, sweet, well-intentioned letter, explaining what the book meant, and how it might help me. She really was a great person. But I read this book and wanted to immediately begin gassing hippies. I turned from self-loathing into a fairly aggressive other-loather. I realized that this task I'd taken on really wasn't for me. A couple weeks later, I left the island and the gig, for good.
We broke up, too. I wasn't even sure how to say anything ... the book flabbergasted me. But, in a way, I guess, it saved me. ...more
**spoiler alert** My favorite thing about this book are its blurbs. And by favorite, I mean only thing.
Seriously--Lori Singer! Bill Cosby! The creato**spoiler alert** My favorite thing about this book are its blurbs. And by favorite, I mean only thing.
Seriously--Lori Singer! Bill Cosby! The creator of Kate & Allie! And the ne plus ultra, Alec Baldwin: "Black is a serious writer in the old sense, in the absolute sense." I have no idea what that means, but I seriously love it, love it in the old sense, in the absolute sense.
Want a review? Lawyer dies suspiciously. Firm ne'er-do-well and hardboiled scamp gets in the frame with the police. Scamp also trades barbs with firm whippersnapper/hottie. They hate one another, until they love one another, and then sleep with one another, on a cross-country trail, as runners jump over them. Ooops. Spoiler.
Sleazy death leads to conspiracy. Conspiracy is rather tediously developed, but that is in keeping with the prose, which is rather tediously tough and "funny." "Funny" in the old sense, like a smell. Plot develops until the last few pages, when it goes ape-shit. Want another spoiler? It's in the title, so what the hell: what's really behind the conspiracy is not just big business and government cover-up. It's the imminent death of the world via asteroid! Didn't see that coming, did you? ...more