I mean, why not? I couldn't (and you shouldn't) survive on mysteries alone, but this was a fine book for a lazy Sunday. I'll probably read more of thiI mean, why not? I couldn't (and you shouldn't) survive on mysteries alone, but this was a fine book for a lazy Sunday. I'll probably read more of this guy, and i'll probably give all of it like three or four stars, and that's all fine....more
Pretty good. I enjoyed the parts re: Ebert's childhood and/or his philosophy more than I enjoyed his retelling of meeting Lee Marvin or waxing poeticPretty good. I enjoyed the parts re: Ebert's childhood and/or his philosophy more than I enjoyed his retelling of meeting Lee Marvin or waxing poetic about England, so things got a little slowed down in the middle. Rating a memoir feels a little bit like, I don't know, judging the person and not the writing (i meant to come up with a metaphor there, but i haven't even finished my first cup of tea yet), so I'll make it clear: Ebert's said and done plenty of interesting things. Recommended if you're interested in the guy....more
Really Enjoyed: The Northeast Kingdom, The Hens, Rapunzel, Cred Enjoyed: Where He Fell, The JPEG, Chapter One Was Indifferent TowGreat letters section.
Really Enjoyed: The Northeast Kingdom, The Hens, Rapunzel, Cred Enjoyed: Where He Fell, The JPEG, Chapter One Was Indifferent Towards: Of Women and Frogs
Ok and then there were two nonfiction entries and induldge me a little here because I generally want to read interesting/weird/adjective-here fiction when I get my McSwy's in the mail every three months or whatever (I mean ok I don't usually get around to reading it immediately but you're indulging me remember?) and so when there's a couple lengthy nonfiction thingies in here I usually either sigh and plow through or maybe, just maybe, I think about skipping them, but then of course they're always about like someone being treated terribly or like massive amounts of injustice or something along those lines which makes my white guilt grow even more fervent because I can't even be stopped to take like 90 minutes out of my pleasure reading time to read a 100-ish page (with pictures, mind you, that's how awful I am) explanation of how Bedouin villagers are treated in Israel and for that I'm sorry a thousand times over but I just didn't want to read it even though I actually did read it, the whole thing, every last word.
Alright actually the 9/11 one wasn't even lengthy, it was like ten pages. Maybe I'm just no longer up to snuff as a reader of yours, McSweeney's....more
Full disclosure: To my knowledge and/or memory, I have never read anything Dave Lipsky has ever written. That said, he's really intrusive here, especiFull disclosure: To my knowledge and/or memory, I have never read anything Dave Lipsky has ever written. That said, he's really intrusive here, especially in the first 75 or so pages. Things improve towards the end, but this book would've probably been better if it borrowed the subject's own technique for writing interviews in which the reader only gets what the interviewee said. I'm still leaning towards 4 stars on this one, but the alt tag for the fourth star says "really liked it" and that's not quite accurate. Anyway, listening to dave wallace talk is interesting in like 13 ways, including his vocabulary, his regularness (manufactured or not...), his thoughtfulness, and so on and so on. I read the book mostly for an insight into the guy I'm basically calling the best author of my adulthood, and I got some, but what the book really worked as for me was some introspection into what fame does to people....more
I kinda dabbled between four and five stars for this one, because it's sort of hard to give five stars to something that isn't finished. I mean if SerI kinda dabbled between four and five stars for this one, because it's sort of hard to give five stars to something that isn't finished. I mean if Seraut's "la grande jatte" is a five star painting, are preliminary sketches of said painting also five stars? & so I realized there won't be a finished version, which once I cleared the halfway point of the book was a sort of albatrossian concept, because there's all sorts of stuff in The Pale King where one reads it, and if one is familiar with how ol' Dave Wallace works you over as reader, all that stuff makes one think, "oh man, this is going to resolve beautifully/hilariously/adverbially" or whatevers. Only yeah, we have what we have and I'm sadly pondering what-ifs and such. And like this isn't much of a review but it's also not like I can tell you which part of the plots of the book I liked or something because a)it's not done and b)i mean the plot for Infinite Jest could really be boiled down into two sentences so it's not like it's about plot so much as it is about like how words sound beautiful when they're next to one another....more
If nothing else, Hornby's pretty deft with Chekov's gun. The book tidies up so neatly by the end, I'm wondering where it's hiding its housekeeper. WhiIf nothing else, Hornby's pretty deft with Chekov's gun. The book tidies up so neatly by the end, I'm wondering where it's hiding its housekeeper. Which isn't a knock - the fact I read the book in 5 days, something of a land speed record (husker du reference!) for me these days, is maybe what you need to know. The book doesn't have that "ah-ha" punch to the stomach that, say, High Fidelity did for me, but then again, that was 16 years ago. I don't need the "ah-ha" moment, and frankly it'd be kinda weird if Hornby were still trying to write them. In other words, sometimes you read a book that reminds you being a grown-up isn't so bad after all. Nicely done....more
I wanted to like this more than I did, but what I wanted wasn't what the book offered, or even claimed to offer, so it's really all my fault anyway. AI wanted to like this more than I did, but what I wanted wasn't what the book offered, or even claimed to offer, so it's really all my fault anyway. As a (some might say ardent) fan of the author's other project, very little of the stuff dealing w/naturalism was particularly new to me. The anecdotes about how Graffin arrived to this view, however, were interesting, but also not great in number. As with his lyric writing, Graffin can now and then tend towards both the preachy and the prosaic - these are things you're either willing to deal with or you're not, because they're part of the package.
roman a clef for review, if you haven't sussed it out yet: greg graffin is the lead singer of my de facto favorite band, bad religion. He's also a biology professor....more
I usually kinda like the "collection of random stuff" issues of McSwy's, and this one came in a creepy looking cardboard box-cum-head that looks superI usually kinda like the "collection of random stuff" issues of McSwy's, and this one came in a creepy looking cardboard box-cum-head that looks super unsettling on top of my bookcase, so there's one star at least. The Michael Chabon booklet is pretty much the big draw here if you're a Michael Chabon guy, which I mostly am. He digs around in an abandoned novel of his and adds some footnotes (we know how I love footnotes) and so forth, which now that I type it out sounds really boring, but you'll have to trust me. I do, however, sometimes get irked when ol' T.McSwy throws a bunch of ostensible advertisements into a quarterly that isn't particularly cheap. I don't need an excerpt of The Instructions because my wife gave me the book for Christmas. I don't need you to tell me about Voice of Witness because I already know about it. I think I liked some of the other short stories, but I'll be honest here and tell you I read that part while at the in-laws for x-mas and there's therefore a high likelihood that Celtic Thunder was turned to 11 in a 15x15 living room while I was trying to read and so I don't really remember...wait, there was a kid who got to drive a car and his dad was a Dr. and wouldn't ever sugar-coat anything. So I guess I remember that one. Anyway, this is probably a four-star issue if you can handle the aforementioned adverts (that's totally a UK word, isn't it)....more