Full disclosure: Will is a friend of mine, a genius, genius photographer, and a goddamn fearless explorer. I just got this and I am so stupendously exFull disclosure: Will is a friend of mine, a genius, genius photographer, and a goddamn fearless explorer. I just got this and I am so stupendously excited to jealously marvel at all his amazing adventures. ...more
Every year I go to BEA and I fail. I fail because I work in publishing but forget to network for my company, I fail because I am a freelancer and I foEvery year I go to BEA and I fail. I fail because I work in publishing but forget to network for my company, I fail because I am a freelancer and I forget to bring business cards, and I most crucially fail because I never get any of the good books, even though the WHOLE REASON I fail at that other stuff is because I'm trying so hard to get the good books.
But! This year I did not fail!!
That's actually only because I ran into Karen Queen of Goodreads and Greg her co-conspirator, and they—wonderfully, generously, slyly—got me both of the two books I wanted the very most, being, of course, this one and also Furiously Happy.
Thank you Karen! Thank you Greg! I am for once not such a failure!!
From the Millions' "Great 2015 Book Preview":
We at The Millions look forward to reading fellow staff writer Garth Risk Hallberg’s debut novel. It takes place in 1977 New York and culminates in the city’s famed black-out. The Guardian reports, “The polished third-person narration conjures up a cast of characters living in a New York City divided by race and money – the reluctant heirs to a great fortune, two Long Island kids exploring downtown’s nascent punk scene, a gay schoolteacher from rural Georgia, an obsessive magazine reporter, a revolutionary cell planning to set the Bronx ablaze, a trader with a hole on his balance sheet and a detective who is trying to piece together the mystery which connects them all to a shooting in Central Park.”
Hey bookfriends. I'm having a problem and I'm hoping you all could maybe help me out.
This is the thing. One of the biggest holes in my literary knowlHey bookfriends. I'm having a problem and I'm hoping you all could maybe help me out.
This is the thing. One of the biggest holes in my literary knowledge is the Russians. Like all of them. I've read Master & Margarita, but that's it. No War and Peace, no Crime and Punishment, no Dead Souls. Nada. And what I realized upon starting this book -- in an attempt to begin to rectify this glaring lapse -- is that I have somehow also managed to not know anything about the Russians either. Not their plots, not their themes, not who among them is intellectually rigorous or has the most beautiful language or who blathers on and on about nothing for 1.6 million pages.
Because here I am about 1/3 through Anna Karenina and I haaaaaate it. There is nothing about this book that makes it feel to me like a classic, like a paragon of high art, like the literary behemoth that I have assumed it is. It's like a society novel! And it's so boring! Day after day, wading through endless descriptions of Russian social circles and who belongs to which one, agonizing depictions of who wore what to which ball, and treatises and endless descriptions on the life of a farmer.
Um so listen. Given that this book is 1.6 million pages long, and that by reading it I am essentially murdering probably five other books that I might have ever read in my life, can you guys tell me if I need to keep trudging? Does it get better? What is rewarding and important about this book? Why has it endured as a classic for all this time? Why do you love it? Etc....?...more
I bought this in London at the stunning little London Review of Books shop. Books really look different in the UK! It's so strange thinking of how marI bought this in London at the stunning little London Review of Books shop. Books really look different in the UK! It's so strange thinking of how marketing works; I pulled several books off the shelf whose covers made me think I would love them—only to realize that they were books I had hated or had already judged unworthy of my time. Weirdly though, this one is kind of terrible; it looks from the cover like it's going to be a thriller or something, which it most assuredly is not.
All of which I guess is to say that my tastes might be completely different if I lived in London? What an ontologically troubling thought. ...more
I had pretty much dismissed this guy as a doofus after the idiotic Go the Fuck to Sleep took off like goddamn wildfire. But OMG how good does this booI had pretty much dismissed this guy as a doofus after the idiotic Go the Fuck to Sleep took off like goddamn wildfire. But OMG how good does this book sound?? Plus check out this terrific & heartbreaking piece he wrote for the Awl about New York's "War on Graffiti" (which, duh, equals a war on brown people and poor people and the desperate fight for the control of public space). And this one for Salon, hilariously skewering the publishing industry and mocking himself on his author tour? Sold sold sold. Gimme this book now....more