In the end, this was a good book. Although, clearly the author is into some crazy shit. Like music that consists of nothing but feedback and chickens....moreIn the end, this was a good book. Although, clearly the author is into some crazy shit. Like music that consists of nothing but feedback and chickens. (less)
Not a ton of ground-breaking analysis here (and if I have to sit through one more explanation of Davenport translations, I swear to God), but the writ...moreNot a ton of ground-breaking analysis here (and if I have to sit through one more explanation of Davenport translations, I swear to God), but the writing is very nice, and each pennant race makes for a great little short story.
"Years later, [Dressen] told Red Barber that the only thing he would have done differently would have been to put Campanella in to catch despite his injury, "because he would have gotten Newcombe through"--who knows, perhaps with a tissue transplant."
"The Satchel Paige...who was so carefree and confident that he was known to wave his defense off the field and retire the batters without the aid of fielders."
"Revered by Zimmer as a gamer, Hobson played the field despite bone chips that locked up his elbow when he threw and--cringe!--had to be rearranged after each play. He made 43 errors, was 21 runs below average, and fielded .899, becoming the first regular to break the .900 barrier since 1916, when gloves were little more than padded mittens."(less)
I like Chuck Klosterman. I think it's hip not to like him now, but I don't really give a shit. His Wilco profile was fun, as was his Radiohead piece....moreI like Chuck Klosterman. I think it's hip not to like him now, but I don't really give a shit. His Wilco profile was fun, as was his Radiohead piece. I wasn't crazy about some of his "theories," but his terrific profile of the Rock Cruise (a Carnival cruise featuring performances by Journey, Styx, and REO Speedwagon) had me giggling like crazy.
As I read this book, I started to think about how the entire magazine industry exists solely to prop up the entertainment industry, featuring profiles of whoever has a new movie or album out. Without one, the other would likely crumble. I suppose that if I must read another piece probing the inner-workings of some hack rock band, I'd prefer it be Mr. Klosterman doing the probing. (less)
I had high hopes for this book. I really only know Price's work from films (Clockers, Life Lessons (which is the first part of New York Stories)) and...moreI had high hopes for this book. I really only know Price's work from films (Clockers, Life Lessons (which is the first part of New York Stories)) and TV (The Wire), but I was looking forward to reading a book of his. I got a galley of this one (due out in March) and figured I'd give it a shot.
Lush Life follows several characters around the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the wake of a murder. The characters are well drawn and three dimensional, even some of the minor characters (I'm thinking of a beat cop of Chinese descent who appears at various points in the book). It's not hard to see why Price can successfully write for a show as complex as The Wire.
My complaint with this book really comes down to personal taste. The character I was least convinced by (and, therefore, least compelled by) was the father of the murder victim, who stumbles around this foreign neighborhood trying to avoid putting his life together by solving the murder. Price is fascinated by the man's grief, but I found him tiresome after only a few scenes. Perhaps this is because I'm still relatively young and don't have a kid of my own, but I couldn't access his grief. Unfortunately for me, the book lingered on him for huge stretches at a time.
Lush Life is evocatively written, bringing to life a specific slice of New York, one that represents the conflict many cities face, as the tide of gentrification pushes into more and more neighborhoods. It's worth a read, especially if you're a fan of The Wire (there's a hotel in the book named The Landsman), but it didn't set my world on fire.(less)
If I were allowed to read only one cookbook (that's read, not necessarily make the recipes) this one would be it. Bourdain has that rare ability to co...moreIf I were allowed to read only one cookbook (that's read, not necessarily make the recipes) this one would be it. Bourdain has that rare ability to condescend to you and motivate you to try something new at the same time. It's a mix found in the finest drill instructors, high school math teachers, and apparently, celebrity chefs.
As a side note, I went to Les Halles in NYC in June of this year, and my meal SUCKED! My steak was tough, the fries, about which he rhapsodizes for page after page in this very book, were underwhelming, and the place had all the ambiance of a Denny's. I hear he isn't around there anymore. Too bad. Still one of the people I'd like to have a meal with. (less)
What a book. Here's another book with problems, sometimes big problems, involving voice and narrative perspective. And you know what? I didn't care a...moreWhat a book. Here's another book with problems, sometimes big problems, involving voice and narrative perspective. And you know what? I didn't care a lick. It's a terrific read, just bravado storytelling. The term page-turner gets thrown around a lot, but this is the real thing, the genuine article.
This is the saga of the Chance family (see, Duncan lays it on pretty thick everywhere in this book, including the characters' last names), told in detail, from the narrator's earliest childhood memories of sitting on his father's lap while his father reads the sports section, into adulthood. The brothers in question here are Everett, Peter, Irwin, and Kincaid, and by the end of the book, I got to feeling like they were my brothers.
There are moments when the book gets a little corny. If there was even a hint of irony in it, I missed it. In fact, I'm tempted to say it's a melodrama. But the truth is that I haven't had this much fun reading a book in a long time, and that includes Tom Drury's The End of Vandalism, which I loved. I can't say that this big mess of a novel is for everyone. I know some people won't be able to get past the occasional technical issues and the sometimes cheesy tone, but those who can will find an amazing story waiting for them.
And I haven't read Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov, after which, I'm assuming, this book is fashioned (there are direct references to the Dostoevsky that I'm afraid went sailing right past me. I don't even know what the plot of that book is). So I'm thinking I may have to hunker down with that at some point this summer. But for now, I'm going to read some smaller books.
Thanks to Robert for giving me this terrific novel. I owe you another one.(less)