I think maybe you're either a Cormac McCarthy fan, or not. He might not have a mI WANT TO BE A COWBOY.
BUT I DO NOT WANT TO END UP IN A MEXICAN PRISON.
I think maybe you're either a Cormac McCarthy fan, or not. He might not have a middle ground. I 100% am. Until this weekend I thought everyone was a fan, but then I found out some people actually hated The Road, and to me it's one of the best books EVER EVER EVER, so I guess maybe people aren't always into him? It always takes me about 30 pages to get back into his voice, the lack of quotation marks, the colloquialisms, etc. I think when I read, I tend to largely gloss over any description of surroundings and jump right over to the dialogue, but it's harder to find the dialogue right away due to aforementioned lack of quotation marks, so I found myself really trying to pay attention to the descriptions, and, man, they're sort of awesome. Like, I could picture what he was talking about right away, and he doesn't use a lot of words. Very concise. I'm into it.
John Grady Cole reminds me of my grandpa, and also of my favorite cousin a bit. So I loved him without reason, obviously.
I waited awhile to read the last page of this book because I didn't want to be done with it. Luckily it's the first part of a trilogy, so hi ho!...more
When I picked this up at the library, I was thinking of another book, and I also maybe didn't realize it was fiction, even though I was in the fictionWhen I picked this up at the library, I was thinking of another book, and I also maybe didn't realize it was fiction, even though I was in the fiction section. (The sections in my local library branch aren't hard and fast rules so much as general suggestions, largely ignored.) I was already a chapter in when I realized it was written by Kirn, who also wrote Thumbsucker, which I also disliked. For me, he's trying way too hard to be Chuck Palahniuk, and since I can barely tolerate Palahniuk actual, I have even less patience for his imitators. Also, he switches tense into and out of the second person a lot and I had to go back and re-read sections to figure out who the "you" was, and I have no truck for such a poor handle on grammar.
I had a professor mention once that she has a hard time connecting to a written work when she doesn't trust or like the narrator. And ever since she put that into my head, I've had a hard time connecting with a book when I don't connect with the narrator. And Ryan and I couldn't get on the same page. The corporate stuff is a little too heavy handed for me, as well. I think maybe I would have been happier if the whole book had been his conversations with random people on different flights.
Probably my one star rating is a little harsh. If I had more distance from this, or more patience and forgiveness in my personality, I'd probably give it 2 stars. I mean, I finished it. And there were parts that were engaging enough to make me want to see how it ended. But it was a chore. And if I'm going to be totally honest, I feel a special animosity towards this book because I selected to read on my beach vacation, so when it felt like a chore I was extra aware because who wants to do a chore on the beach? ...more
I liked it! It's quirky and weird, and I couldn't put it down. It reminded me of Ghostwritten, but maybe more accessible? In a moment of horribleness,I liked it! It's quirky and weird, and I couldn't put it down. It reminded me of Ghostwritten, but maybe more accessible? In a moment of horribleness, I may have described it to Chris as "the hipster version of Ghostwritten" but I didn't necessarily mean that in a pejorative sense. (Well, okay, I totally did, but after sleeping on it for a night, I'm feeling less negative.)
There's no straightforward narrative or plot, and it's sort of hard to describe what it's "about", but that's a terrible thing to ask about a book, right? The jacket acts like the two principle characters are Sasha and Bennie, and each chapter explores a different character who had some connection to one of those people, weaving through the past, present, and future, although it doesn't really matter "when" the book takes place. You figure it out. I couldn't really tell you what the point was, or explain the story in terms of beginning, middle, end, but I'm fine with that. I enjoyed reading it, and I feel like I could have kept reading it for a long time. There were so many other characters to explore. But this book is probably not for everyone. Especially if you get eye-rolly about meta-whatever modern writing style stuff.
(I thought the PowerPoint chapter would annoy me, but I really, really liked it.)...more
I'm only one story into this book, and I can already tell you that I'm going to be the super annoying person who tells you about all the crazy ways yoI'm only one story into this book, and I can already tell you that I'm going to be the super annoying person who tells you about all the crazy ways you can die after I finish this. Sausage poisoning!
It was all sort of downhill after the first story. Some were fairly interesting, but after I picked up on the format, and realized there really wasn't a big reveal at the end of each story I lost interest....more
I started to re-read Lincoln, then Sarah pointed out that Burr is actually the first book in the American Chronicle series, and it makes sense to readI started to re-read Lincoln, then Sarah pointed out that Burr is actually the first book in the American Chronicle series, and it makes sense to read them in order, so let's read this instead.
I didn't like this anywhere near as much as I liked Lincoln, but it's still enjoyable, and Burr's a great character. But that's part of the problem, he seemed the whole time a lot more like a character in a novel to me than an actual historical figure. The fictional first person narrator annoyed me a lot, and I think I got lost a few times with the non-linear plot. Also, I don't know anything about the Revolutionary War, nor about the early years of the United States, so maybe Lincoln was just more approachable to me because I knew more of the context? But, man, Vidal loves to use French phrases in this book, and there's nothing that pulls me out of a story more than a phrase I can't understand. But these are details that might just be annoying to me because everything is annoying to me.
But, yeah, three stars still. Even though I basically just did nothing but bitch about the book, I actually wish it had been longer. I could have used a little more information and context, and I felt like large sections were sort of left out. But maybe that's bc most of Burr's memoirs and notes were lost at sea. Glad to have read it, but also glad to move back on to Lincoln. ...more
I don't think this is a book I would have ever read on my own, but Chris read this first and wanted me to read it too, so I did even though I've neverI don't think this is a book I would have ever read on my own, but Chris read this first and wanted me to read it too, so I did even though I've never really felt a drive to read Don Delillo nor have I ever really cared much about the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory. But I liked this book. It's a good story. Chris really liked it but he was obsessed with the Cold War for awhile, so he could interact with it a little bit more. I had to go read the Wikipedia page on the Bay of Pigs because I couldn't quite remember any of the details.
I never connected to any of the characters, but maybe that was on purpose? I guess the plot was meant to be the focus. In the beginning it feels like there's a lot to keep track of, but maybe that's because I kept Googling everyone's name to see if they were a real person or not. Had I more interest in or knowledge of the subject matter, I think I would have liked this a lot more, but as is, it was worth reading....more
I started reading this book the second I finished The Power Broker, and Patti Smith might be the best antidote to Robert Moses ever. Moses was out ofI started reading this book the second I finished The Power Broker, and Patti Smith might be the best antidote to Robert Moses ever. Moses was out of power in 1968, which is right around the time Smith moved to New York, so in a way it was a perfect transition. I spent a lot of the Power Broker mourning all that NYC could have been, but Just Kids let me celebrate what New York was during the late 60s and 70s. Well, maybe not NYC as a whole, but the little artistic enclave that's forever fascinated me. I know the book really wasn't about New York; it's more about relationships and art and memoirs, but location was just a huge part of the story that you can't really say it's not also a story about New York City. (I'm rambling, but I love to read about New York. This city's got a hold on me.)
I really, really enjoyed reading Just Kids, and to be honest, I didn't really know much about Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe, so they were in a way just characters to me. It was great fun when famous names popped up here and there, especially Todd Rundgren (Zan!). It made me want to sit on the floor and listen to records and draw or write, which is a feeling I've been afraid I've sort of outgrown. It was nice to have it back. Also, there's something magical about staying up all night with someone you've just met but whom you instantly know is going to be part of your life forever.
(I got a little weepy at the end. There was a lot of emotion packed into that book, and at the end, I just sort of needed to bury my head under the covers and have a cry.)...more
I liked this a lot. Some interviews were better than others, but that's to be expected. Some of my favorites were with people I'd never heard of, andI liked this a lot. Some interviews were better than others, but that's to be expected. Some of my favorites were with people I'd never heard of, and with some of the old timers. ...more
Eh, I mean this is pretty schmaltzy and was clearly written just as he was preparing to run for president as an inspirational look back at his formatiEh, I mean this is pretty schmaltzy and was clearly written just as he was preparing to run for president as an inspirational look back at his formative years. I thought it would have a little bit more to it; I think I was ready for some old timey Cleveland nostalgia. Didn't really get that much. Just a bunch of stories about how he had a tough life, but overcame it, and America. I still like the guy a lot, but it ends right before he gets elected to city council, and I guess I wanted more about when he was mayor of Cleveland. ...more