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Blindness (Blindness, #1)
Or, "There Will Be Poop."

I was not surprised to read that advocates of the blind picketed the movie made from this novel; when 200-some patients are q...more
not set
Apr 06, 2011
Lucky Jim
Way, way funnier than 'Lord Jim.'

This book is funny in a very modern way - you can see types of jokes in every scene that had hardly, as far as I kno...more
not set
Jul 08, 2013
Jesus' Son
God damn. I love Denis Johnson.

The narrator of these stories are amoral and adrift, addicted to drugs or recovering, yet they possess a clarity of pu...more
Apr 16, 2012
Apr 16, 2012
One thing that stood out: Richards is way, way quicker to forgive himself than anyone else. His bitterness against Brian Jones, the Stones co-founder...more
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Jan 09, 2011
The Original of Laura
If you bought this book for $ are an all-day sucker. There can't be more than 40 pages worth of material. The book's real appeal to me, though...more
not set
May 04, 2012
The Awakener: A Memoir of Jack Kerouac and the Fifties
Endearing and sort of pointless. Weaver had a love affair with Kerouac that lasted less than two months. She also slept with Lenny Bruce once. Boom! M...more
not set
Jan 20, 2012
The Flame Alphabet
This is why I don't usually look at the Goodreads rating before I read a book. I never would have guessed The Flame Alphabet would be sub-3, though it...more
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May 13, 2012
The New York Trilogy
Three anti-detective novels, stories that bravely resist genre staples like action and reversals. Monotony seems to be Auster's favorite device. It's...more
not set
Jul 15, 2012
All the King's Men
I didn't know a lot about All the King's Men before reading it, but one thing that I especially didn't know was just how noirish it is. Narrator Jack...more
Apr 16, 2012
Mar 27, 2012
God Bless America: Stories
Almond's protagonists are sleezes, skeezes, confused kids, and naturally I'm drawn to these stories despite his penchant for melodramatic...more
not set
May 04, 2012
Tree of Smoke
It takes a few hundred pages for Tree of Smoke to find its rhythm and its power, but my patience was rewarded. The novel shifts points-of-view between...more
Jan 13, 2012
Dec 20, 2011
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Like any good comic book, each chapter moves the action forward. Sounds simple but too often isn't the case with novels. The characters are likable an...more
Apr 13, 2011
Apr 06, 2011
After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam
"The Karbala story has endured and strengthened not least because it reaches deep into questions of morality--of idealism versus pragmatism, purity ve...more
Oct 10, 2011
Sep 19, 2011
Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain: A Biography
Written in 1966, it reads a little dry these days. I wish Kaplan had delved more into Clemens' personal demons and/or the content of his literature an...more
not set
Apr 18, 2011
Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
The "bloodlands" are the areas between Germany and Russia that were occupied alternately by the Soviets and Nazi Germany during World War II. Snyder i...more
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Sep 27, 2011
I found home much less compelling than Gilead. That was this book's Pulitzer-winning predecessor, which is set in the same time and place but has a di...more
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Mar 08, 2010
Conversation in the Cathedral
An ethical question: can I mark a book as read and rate it after only, in fact, reading 1/3 of it?

I think so, at least for novels. If you finish a nov...more
Dec 13, 2011
Apr 06, 2011
Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace
Lipsky basically transcribes the tape-recordings from a roadtrip he took with DFW in 1996 as a reporter for Rolling Stone. His original contributions...more
Aug 05, 2010
May 25, 2010
A 300-page combination autobiography, lyrics booklet, and coffee-table book. It works best as the latter: it's about that size, and ornately designed...more
Sep 16, 2011
Nov 29, 2010
Inherent Vice
The plot of Inherent Vice--a noir novel that follows private-eye Doc Costello through a conspiracy of murder, drugs, corruption, blah blah blah &c...more
not set
Aug 22, 2010
Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba & Then Lost it to the Revolution
Interesting history, poorly written. As someone who- like many Americans- has always found the mob fascinating as an historical sidenote, it was inter...more
Feb 15, 2011
Jul 11, 2010
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Joan Didion gave us the phrase "We tell ourselves stories in order to live," one that finds endless renewal for me whenever I think of it. And while t...more
Oct 13, 2011
Mar 08, 2010
I didn't get anything from this book I couldn't have gotten from a long feature article in a newspaper. In order for a book to be literary nonfiction...more
not set
Nov 15, 2010
Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone
Galeano tells the history of the world in 600 stories over 300 pages. The title is not for nothing: the stories he sets out to tell--of the have-nots,...more
Sep 27, 2011
Sep 13, 2011
A Field Guide to Sprawl
Sprawl explained through aerial photographs and definitions of terms like "zoomburb," "snout house," and "duck," most of which are loaded with disdain...more
not set
Jul 15, 2012
Wilderness and the American Mind
I was a little disappointed given this book's monumental status. A more apt title would be "Wilderness and American Attitudes"- Nash's technique is mo...more
Jul 02, 2011
May 25, 2010
Play It as It Lays
I find Didion's fiction sterile--technically solid, but missing something vital.

Unsentimentality is one thing, but it feels like Didion doesn't care...more
not set
Sep 19, 2012
Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life: A Book by and for the Fanatics Among Us
Hilarious. Almond's memoirs of his life as a Drooling (music) Fanatic. Strikes perfect note between insider (sort of) knowledge, personal insights, an...more
Nov 15, 2010
Nov 10, 2010
The Sense of an Ending
"I know this much: that there is objective time, but also subjective time, the kind you wear on the inside of your wrist, next to where the pulse lies...more
not set
Jul 15, 2012
The Fifties
The Fifties starts "In the beginning, that era was dominated by the shadow of a man no longer there--Franklin D Roosevelt." The phrasing is fitting be...more
Nov 05, 2011
Apr 06, 2011
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