fiction files redux discussion

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What Are You Reading?

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message 1: by Adrian (new)

Adrian | 253 comments I'm reading & rereading lots of short stories, the autobiography of Salvador Dalí, and entangled in a "webwork" mystery novel by Harry Stephen Keeler. The latter is causing some brain damage.


message 2: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Wow, that looks fascinating. I've never heard of Harry Stephen Keeler. How did you come across him?

Am now reading the 1st book in Javier Marias's "Your Face Tomorrow" triology Fever And Spear. It's bouncing back and forth between story and expository. I find myself alternatly absorbed and drifting off.


message 3: by Jonathan, the skipper (new)

Jonathan | 609 comments Mod
. . . i'm reading stewart o'nan's "emily alone," which comes out next march . . . very much a character portrait, nothing mechanical really moving the story, o'nan is just really good at putting you inside the skin of a character and seeing how they live . . .


message 4: by Adrian (last edited Sep 02, 2010 09:42PM) (new)

Adrian | 253 comments Patty wrote: "Wow, that looks fascinating. I've never heard of Harry Stephen Keeler. How did you come across him?"

The first time I encountered his name was in Bill Pronzini's hilarious account of "alternative" crime fiction, Gun in Cheek. For a while, Keeler had a reputable publisher; but eventually he had to submit his work to the absurd Phoenix Press, which would publish any semi-literate manuscript that might vaguely suggest a mystery.

Here is Pronzini's chapter on that publisher.

The Saga of the Risen Phoenix

I still want to read Hayden Norwood's Death Down East, which is about the unsolved murder of a chicken.


message 5: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
I'm reading Gorky Park, The Art of Description: World into Word, and Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence...

Gorky Park is really, really good.


message 6: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
I'm reading the worst book ever right now: A Prescription for Love


message 7: by Martyn (new)

Martyn | 299 comments I'm reading a biography of Virginia Woolf. This woman just fascinates me... I admire and loathe in equal measure.


message 8: by Christopher, Swanny (new)

Christopher Swann (christopherswann) | 189 comments Mod
Shel wrote: "I'm reading Gorky Park, The Art of Description: World into Word, and Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence...

Gorky Park is really, really good."


FINALLY--someone else who recognizes Gorky Park as a great book! :)


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

It's still the only Arkady Renko book I've read. are the others as good?


message 10: by Christopher, Swanny (new)

Christopher Swann (christopherswann) | 189 comments Mod
Margaret wrote: "It's still the only Arkady Renko book I've read. are the others as good?"

Polar Star is, in my opinion, better. Red Square, the third Renko novel, is quite good, especially for those of us who remember the fall of the Soviet Union. The remaining Renko novels are not as good, although they are more than readable, and Wolves Eat Dogs is the best of the later ones. Haven't read the most recent one yet.


message 11: by Tom (new)

Tom Hansen | 7 comments I'm reading Wayfarersby Knut Hamsun and Brave New World


message 12: by Brian, just a child's imagination (new)

Brian (banoo) | 346 comments Mod
BK...


message 13: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
I'm reading West of Here by Jonathan Evison!! Yep, I was lucky enough to win a round of drunk bingo where the prize was an ARC of JE's new book! Long live Dorkapalooza!

I'm about 200 pages in and really loving it. Seriously Johnny, good work!


message 14: by Jonathan, the skipper (new)

Jonathan | 609 comments Mod
. . . so glad you're enjoying . . . just found out it got a starred review in october's library journal! . . . keeping my fingers crossed for publishers weekly, although i hear it's tough to get starred for two consecutive books . . .


message 15: by Adrian (new)

Adrian | 253 comments Dan wrote: "I'm reading the worst book ever right now: A Prescription for Love"

I'll bet it was still more dramatic than Crossroads of Twilight, where you pray for a typographical error to add some excitement.


message 16: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
Brian wrote: "BK..."

BK Brian?



Oh! I remember now, you're reading The Brothers Karamazov!


message 17: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
Adrian wrote: "Dan wrote: "I'm reading the worst book ever right now: A Prescription for Love"

I'll bet it was still more dramatic than Crossroads of Twilight, where you pray for a typographical error to add some excitement."


Adrian, let me put it this way: if you played a drinking game based on typographical errors in this book, you'd be completely plastered by Chapter 2.


message 18: by Adrian (last edited Sep 07, 2010 04:58PM) (new)

Adrian | 253 comments Dan was grumbling about the typos. They're merely a literary form of folk art. And since the author was probably drunk during most of the writing, the reader should join in.


message 19: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Dan wrote: "I'm reading the worst book ever right now: A Prescription for Love"

Maybe you could fake it, and just read every 3rd page. There isn't an exam after finishing, is there?


message 20: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Adrian wrote: "The first time I encountered his name was in Bill Pronzini's hilarious account of..."

Thanks, Adrian. Very much enjoyed reading that site.


message 21: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
Tom wrote: "I'm reading Wayfarersby Knut Hamsun and Brave New World"

I've never read any Hamsum besides Hunger. How is Wayfarers?


message 22: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
Jonathan wrote: ". . . so glad you're enjoying . . . just found out it got a starred review in october's library journal! . . . keeping my fingers crossed for publishers weekly, although i hear it's tough to get st..."

I'd like to say that Cookie, JWJ and I had something to do with that library journal review but even we don't have that sort of power!


message 23: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
Patty wrote: "Dan wrote: "I'm reading the worst book ever right now: A Prescription for Love"

Maybe you could fake it, and just read every 3rd page. There isn't an exam after finishing, is there?"


I finished it and read every stupid word. I like Shel's idea of a typographical error drinking game using this book. Though even if we substituted water for booze we'd likely die from hyper-hydration.

I'm am glad to have moved on to Summer Crossing by Capote. There is something so light and nice about his prose.


message 24: by Elizabeth, bubbles (new)

Elizabeth (RedBrick) | 221 comments Mod
I am reading Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. Is there a Pynchon fan out there who might want to discuss The Crying of Lot 49? I just finished it and couldn't help feeling that I must be missing something.


message 25: by Adrian (new)

Adrian | 253 comments It's too late to enter the Prescription for Love Trivia Contest, but I wonder if any of you slackers can answer #4.

1. What color and type of car does Dr. Travis Anderson drive?

2. What floor in the hospital was Nicole Head Nurse of?

3. On what lake was Nicole’s Aunt & Uncle’s house located?

4. What is the name of Nicole’s horse on Mackinac Island?

5. What location was the scene of the first lovemaking session between Travis and Nicole?



message 26: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
Adrian wrote: "It's too late to enter the Prescription for Love Trivia Contest, but I wonder if any of you slackers can answer #4.


I'm not happy about knowing this but the answer is, "Royal Squire"


message 27: by Adrian (last edited Sep 08, 2010 06:26PM) (new)

Adrian | 253 comments You know you're gonna have to face it, you're prescripted for love




message 28: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
Bwahahaha!


message 29: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
#5: Mackinac Island.


message 30: by Christopher, Swanny (new)

Christopher Swann (christopherswann) | 189 comments Mod
Adrian for the win.

I'm reading David Liss's A Spectacle of Coruption and finding it every bit as good as A Conspiracy of Paper and The Whiskey Rebels--historical fiction with just enough history and a lot of intrigue, plus a great character in Benjamin Weaver.


message 31: by Ry (new)

Ry (downeyr) | 173 comments I'm reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace--by about 300 pages the longest book I've ever read--and one of the best so far! The longer I read this book and the deeper I delve into the story and language, the more depressed I feel that David Foster Wallace took his own life. He is definitely an author whose presence we need in this day and age.


message 32: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Ry wrote: "I'm reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace--by about 300 pages the longest book I've ever read--and one of the best so far! The longer I read this book and the deeper I delve into the story ..."

I agree that we need his contribution, and thank goodness that he gave it to us before he left. Try not to get too bogged down in the way he ended his life, and focus on the totally kick ass things he did while he was here.


message 33: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Chris wrote: "Adrian for the win.

I'm reading David Liss's A Spectacle of Coruption and finding it every bit as good as A Conspiracy of Paper and The Whiskey Rebels--historical fiction with just enough history ..."


I've only read Consipiracy of Paper, and I've got Whiskey Rebels in the queu. Glad to know they are all of the same quality. I like David's writting very much. By the way, where is he? Has anyone heard from him?


message 34: by Jonathan, the skipper (new)

Jonathan | 609 comments Mod
. . . i e-mailed DL a couple months ago, and he was doing a project with marvel comics . . . i'm gonna' try to talk him in to driving up to austin when i'm there in late february . . .


message 35: by Elizabeth, bubbles (last edited Sep 12, 2010 12:40PM) (new)

Elizabeth (RedBrick) | 221 comments Mod
Ry wrote: "I'm reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace--by about 300 pages the longest book I've ever read--and one of the best so far! The longer I read this book and the deeper I delve into the story ..."

I found this group by searching 'Infinite Jest.' It is such a great, white knuckle ride.

I have heard of a companion book that gives instructions about how to read each of the 28 story lines separately and chronologically. I'd love to find away to experience it again in a different way.

Thanks to those here who posted background info on his Author page.


message 36: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
I'm finishing Ghostwritten by David Mitchell. I just need a weekend to mope that I am not brillant as he is...book review to follow.


message 37: by Adrian (new)

Adrian | 253 comments Bonus points to anyone who can use all of these words correctly in a poem. Bonus-bonus points if you can make your poem about A Prescription for Love.

What David Foster Wallace Circled in His Dictionary


message 38: by Patty, free birdeaucrat (new)

Patty | 896 comments Mod
Adrian wrote: "Bonus points to anyone who can use all of these words correctly in a poem. Bonus-bonus points if you can make your poem about A Prescription for Love.

What David Foster Wallace Circled in His Dict..."


Please no.


message 39: by Adrian (new)

Adrian | 253 comments Elizabeth wrote: "I am reading Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. Is there a Pynchon fan out there who might want to discuss The Crying of Lot 49?"

This group is primarily for the discussion of important romance authors, but I've found these two books to be helpful when reading Pynchon:

A Companion to the Crying of Lot 49

A Gravity's Rainbow Companion: Sources And Contexts for Pynchon's Novel


message 40: by Dan, deadpan man (new)

Dan | 640 comments Mod
Elizabeth wrote: "I have heard of a companion book that gives instructions about how to read each of the 28 story lines separately and chronologically. I'd love to find away to experience it again in a different way. "

If you remember the title of this book be sure to let us know. There are a good deal of DFW fans in these parts, myself included.


message 41: by Elizabeth, bubbles (last edited Sep 12, 2010 06:26PM) (new)

Elizabeth (RedBrick) | 221 comments Mod
Dan wrote: If you remember the title...

Crossposted to the author page.... Elegant Complexity A Study of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest by Greg Carlisle


message 42: by Robert (new)

Robert Corbett (robcrowe00) | 169 comments Is there any positive reason that people here have put themselves through A Prescription for Love? Looking for a good romance, but I have finished all of Nicholas Sparks.

What I am reading now are A Grave Tattoo and The Passage. The latter is taking longer than it should, but perhaps that is me. I hope to finish both and maybe Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi in Sisters, Or next week.


message 43: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
Who wants to explain our group's history with A Prescription for Love to Robert? I think someone else could do it with much more humor than me!


message 44: by Patrick, The Special School Bus Rider (last edited Sep 14, 2010 02:22PM) (new)

Patrick (horrorshow) | 269 comments Mod
It started when the author outsmarted Jon Evision who ran the orginal fiction files three times in a row by posting her book after Jon removes it and he started this ironic love in for that book to punish the rest of us for laughing about it.

Although to be honest, I liked the fight of the doctors over who gets to have coffee with the nurse in question and the line, "Aha! There's the notorious sponge that continues to elude me!" regarding a patient when the bad guy doctor was looking at the X ray of the latest medical instruments he mistakenly stitched up inside. This kind of a writer makes me proud that I am from PA, NOT from Alto, Michigan. Pure genius. :)


message 45: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
Perfect, Dan. Totally, absolutely perfect.

I made a feeble attempt to describe this on FB and ended up just linking back to the group. :)


message 46: by Adrian (new)

Adrian | 253 comments Yeah, but the Prescription gal was relatively meek compared to some of the aggressive authors who stalked the first (pre-meltdown) Fiction Files. I'm thinking of that guy who kept reappearing and demanding that we read his romantic fighting adventures as a bisexual kickboxer.

Hmmm ... I'm exploring the "metasexual" erotica of Marco Vassi, so maybe I'd be willing to look at it now. But I don't think I could simultaneously kickbox a man & woman while they were attempting to molest me.


message 47: by Shel, ad astra per aspera (last edited Sep 15, 2010 05:30AM) (new)

Shel (shelbybower) | 946 comments Mod
I've been meaning to pick that up, Adrian -- how are you liking it?


message 48: by Adrian (new)

Adrian | 253 comments It's meta-interesting and yet I'm not finding myself metasexually aroused. Kinda meta-blah-blah-blah after you've been reading for a bit.


message 49: by Elizabeth, bubbles (new)

Elizabeth (RedBrick) | 221 comments Mod
Adrian wrote: "...fighting adventures..."

I had to follow a car for more than an hour in traffic the other day that had the licence plate KICKBXN.

Maybe it was him? Is there really anyone else in 2010 who is that interested in Kickboxing?

I do remember seeing this: Kickboxer! and I probably had on a shoulder padded leather bomber jacket and keds.


message 50: by Kerry, flame-haired janeite (new)

Kerry Dunn (kerryanndunn) | 886 comments Mod
Kickboxing makes me think of Lloyd Dobbler:

"A career? I've thought about this quite a bit sir and I would have to say considering what's waiting out there for me, I don't want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career. I dont want to sell anything bought or processed or buy anything sold or processed or repair anything sold, bought or processed as a career. I dont want to do that. My father's in the army. He wants me to join, but I can't work for that corporation, so what I've been doing lately is kick-boxing, which is a new sport...as far as career longevity, I dont really know. I cant figure it all out tonight, sir, so I'm just gonna hang with your daughter."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEgu7j...


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