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The Metamorphosis
3.78
it was amazing
Endlessly dissected, ripped apart, its guts laid out on a slab, sewn back together, reconstructed, reinterpreted, misunderstood, misinterpreted, parod ...more
Feb 03, 2009
Dec 19, 2008
 
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch
4.25
really liked it
It is really hard to write good literary satire. Simple fact is that often satire goes too far over to the side of parody. When it crosses that line, ...more
Aug 04, 2008
Apr 12, 2008
 
The Summer Book
4.09
really liked it
You have to applaud simplicity in writing. It is the hardest thing for a writer to achieve. That sense of keeping the book ‘small’ for lack of a bette ...more
Nov 08, 2008
Aug 16, 2008
 
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
4.22
really liked it
I can’t help but feel like a jackass for coming to the game so late. It has been over ten years since Civilwarland in Bad Decline was first published ...more
Apr 12, 2008
Mar 26, 2008
 
The Face of Another
3.78
really liked it
It is not surprising that readers, even if they are devout fans of Kōbō Abe, don’t take to The Face of Another in the same manner as The Woman in the ...more
not set
Feb 05, 2012
 
The Death of Bunny Munro
3.43
really liked it
What a difference twenty years makes. Nick Cave’s first novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel, which was released in 1989, opens with:

“Three greasy brother
...more
Oct 14, 2009
Sep 22, 2009
 
Molloy
4.10
it was amazing
There are certain great novels that trap you in a character’s head. Smothering you, allowing for no air other than the dank pollution of a character’s ...more
May 25, 2015
Jul 03, 2014
 
The Moon and the Bonfires
3.78
it was amazing
How can a story so grim and violent and heartbreaking be so so beautiful and soulful at the same time? It’s an amazing juggling act Pavese pulled off ...more
not set
Apr 22, 2012
 
I Spit on Your Graves
3.68
it was amazing
When Jean d’ Halluin first published I Spit On Your Graves in 1946, he was looking for a bestseller to kickstart his new imprint, Editions du Scorpion ...more
Jul 17, 2008
Apr 26, 2008
 
Nine Stories
4.19
did not like it
I always felt Salinger was overrated. Nine Stories is a perfect example of this. This really is the birth of New Yorker upper-crust fiction and for th ...more
Feb 10, 2010
Jan 30, 2010
 
How the Other Half Lives
3.77
really liked it
Perhaps the scariest part about reading Jacob Riis’s How The Other Half Lives is how much of it still rings true. The New York City of his time is not ...more
Jun 21, 2014
Mar 23, 2014
 
Swedish Death Metal
4.24
really liked it
When explaining my love of Swedish death metal to non-fans, I always fall back on one main point that suddenly piques their curiosity. Death Metal is ...more
Jan 12, 2009
Nov 16, 2008
 
Dirty Snow
3.95
it was amazing
The subtitle of Dirty Snow should have been, Take That Camus! While not a specific counter-punch to Camus’ L’Étranger, Simenon’s dark story of a murde ...more
Apr 08, 2012
Dec 02, 2009
 
Jesus' Son: Stories
4.15
it was amazing
It’s probably no accident that so many of Denis Johnson’s characters find themselves in cars heading to nowhere. The misfits and sinners that populate ...more
Jan 2013
Mar 25, 2013
 
Child of God
3.86
it was amazing
"We never sold any of his books."—Albert Erskine, Cormac McCarthy's original editor at Random House.

Is it any wonder? Released in 1973, Child of God p
...more
Sep 24, 2014
Sep 05, 2014
 
Elmer Gantry
3.98
it was amazing
Sinclair Lewis' writing always sticks with me. Perhaps it is because he so wonderfully savaged American culture, laying out all its ills, prejudices, ...more
not set
Feb 26, 2008
 
The Erasers
3.80
it was amazing
In an odd twist of fate, Alain Robbe-Grillet died the same week that I finally finished reading his debut novel, The Erasers. I don’t ascribe any impo ...more
Feb 2008
Feb 15, 2008
 
The Rebels
3.37
it was amazing
I was lucky enough to read Sándor Márai’s The Rebels while traveling through Budapest, Bratislava, and Prague. This was part of my standing rule of re ...more
May 30, 2009
Mar 09, 2008
 
The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake
4.15
really liked it
I'm going to give all the credit to author Alan Beard who tipped me off to Breece D'J Pancake. I'll have to eat crow that a Brit new more about Pancak ...more
Aug 22, 2014
Jun 25, 2014
 
The Violent Bear It Away
4.14
really liked it
You could view The Violent Bear it Away as a companion novel to Flannery O’Connor’s earlier Wise Blood. The are the only two novels O’Connor published ...more
Dec 21, 2014
Jul 03, 2014
 
As I Lay Dying
3.72
it was amazing
It’s almost impossible to discuss As I Lay Dying without bringing up the book that immediately preceded it -- The Sound and the Fury. Published one ye ...more
not set
Jun 09, 2013
 
Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness: Four Short Novels
3.92
it was amazing
What a way to finish up my tour of the great Japanese writers of the 20th century. It’s not often you can call a writer brave. Generally it’s reserved ...more
Sep 17, 2010
Dec 06, 2009
 
A Sport and a Pastime
3.71
really liked it
Jesuachristo, the prose! More than any other writer I have read, Salter could do so much with so little. He has a scalpel-like precision with his pros ...more
not set
Nov 30, 2009
 
How to Catch a Coyote
3.95
really liked it
How do you survive a family? That is what is at the heart of How to Catch a Coyote. In Christy Crutchfield’s first novel, she lays everything out for ...more
not set
Jun 20, 2015
 
The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg
3.84
it was amazing
Some books have a way of coming back. They are not of their time necessarily. But at their core is the human comedy which never grows stale or loses i ...more
Oct 13, 2008
Sep 17, 2008
 
The Day of Judgment
4.20
it was amazing
Certain novels are of a place. In the case of The Day of Judgment, that place is Sardinia. Or more specifically, the small city of Nuoro, Salvatore Sa ...more
Jul 21, 2012
Apr 22, 2012
 
Single Stroke Seven
3.96
really liked it
There’s a great moment in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Demons (or The Possessed or The Devils depending on which translation you’ve read) where a group of pseu ...more
not set
Dec 12, 2015
 
The Woman in the Dunes
3.90
it was amazing
Next up in my run through of the great Post-War Japanese literary giants, is Kōbō Abe. (You can check out my review of Shusaku Endo’s Silence here).

I
...more
Jun 06, 2010
Aug 16, 2008
 
Dusk and Other Stories
4.02
really liked it
It is a sad commentary on the state of the short story when a collection such as this is allowed to go out of print. After all, Dusk and Other Stories ...more
Nov 10, 2009
Aug 11, 2009
 
Coyote
3.84
it was amazing
I’m not giving anything away when I say Coyote is about a missing child. It’s the first thing you find out in the first line of Colin Winnette’s new n ...more
not set
Jan 29, 2015
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