Really enjoyed KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL by Anthony Bourdain. He’s an entertaining writer and if you like the show No Reservations you’re gonna love this book. I could always tell he lived quite a wild life, but it really comes through that the 70s were just as crazy a time as you imagine the late 60s were.
Night Games (1926) by Arthur Schnitzler
I am reading UNDERWORLD by Don DeLillo… but I really can’t stand these postmodern diatribes against middle class conformity and materialism. Okay, that’s to simplistic of an interpretation…I actually think DeLillo is a great writer:
eg: They were a society of indigents substituting without heat light or water. They were nuclear families with toys and pets, junkies who roamed at night in dead men’s Reeboks. She knew who they were through assimilation, through the ingestion of messages that riddled the streets. They were foragers and gatherers, can redeemers, the people who yawned through subway cars with paper cups. p.242.
But for some reason guys like Roth and DeLillio and Updike and Ford and Auster etc., and all their stories of middle-class and middle-aged men (who seem to be either writers or college professors), who cheat on their wives and contemplate the nature of reality just don’t interest me all that much.
Joe And Karen:
I tend to agree with your sentiments concerning literature of the middle class/mundane. But the one solid exception I’d like to put out there is “Something Happened” by Joseph Heller. The absolute detail of the narrator’s psychology feels like something pulled out of the magical ether, rather than something a human being actually thought up. One of the most devastating books I’ve ever read.
Currently reading Christopher Moore’s Fool.
Merry Wives of Windsor – Shax
Bolo: That sounds interesting, especially the “magical ether” part.
I guess of all the post-moderns I mentioned Paul Auster is my favorite. I especially liked “Timbuktu” from, even though he recycled a lot of material (as he often does).
I have been wanting to read “The Plot Against America” from Roth. If any one has read it before, I would like to hear what you think.
Like to agree with Bolo. I found this book in a second-hand bookshop when I was fifteen. Read it once and it blew me away. Gave it out on loan – never saw it again.
The Plot Against America is very good. If you want to read Roth firing on all cylinders though: Sabbath’s Theater and Operation Shylock.
I’ve just started Dhalgren. Anyone read it?
George Orwell -1984
James Joyce – Ulysses
Thanks for the recommendation Neil and Bolo, I think I might have to put “Something Happened” on my mental reading list.
Michael Lewis – The Great Short.
I’m probably the only one on this forum reading this type of stuff for fun lol.
Still working on MASON & DIXON, managed to squeeze in a reading of Ishiguro’s NEVER LET ME GO, a very finely written novel that should make an interesting film.
Film: The Critic’s Choice (2001)
While still working on Danielewski’s Only Revolutions.
just finished Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain (better than I expected, actually) and just started re-reading Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago.
don’t feel alone, I also read business and financial history for fun.
Mason & Dixon certainly is not a bad book, but it was the only one that I finished and said to myself, “Pynchon, was this really worth the joke?” It’s good, but I didn’t like it.
I’m reading Jonathan Letham’s Chronic City, have temporarily suspended Saramago’s All the Names.
Polaris, yeah, I can see where you’re coming from, but I like MASON & DIXON a lot, this is my 4th reading. It is probably my favorite Pynchon, actually.
Pynchon has officially lost me with Inherent Vice.
. . . I’m on to Denis Johnson’s Tree of Smoke.
Inherent Vice is great. It’s his whole style refashioned into a more tongue-in-cheek pulp mode. With sentiments like, “And I don’t even know who my client is or if I’m getting paid” and the ending where the character literally disappears into a fog (that for the first time isn’t marijuana), it was pure Pynchon in a much more playful way.
Yeah, Johnson did a very similar thing in Nobody Move, which was published a few months earlier. No sale.
What do you mean “similar thing?” You mean Johnson tried something Pynchonesque in a pulp mode, Johnson tried something Johnson in a pulp mode, or Johnson’s book and Pynchon’s book take on similar directionless investigation and symbolic fogs?
Something Johnson in a pulp mode. Though his was less Raymond Chandler, more Jim Thompson .
INHERENT VICE felt more like Pynchon than Thompson. I dug it on a first read, wasn’t as taken on the second read. Still good fun, though. I’m so afraid of having to plow through AGAINST THE DAY again…
I meant that Johnson’s was sorta a riff on Thompson, Pynchon’s was sorta a riff on Chandler (or maybe Ross McDonald) . . . though in attitude it’s closer to Altman’s The Long Goodbye. It (and Johnson’s too, for that matter) struck me as very clever but too calculated.
Oh, I see, sorry, misread. Yeah, INHERENT DAY was much more Chandleresque, but I thought it was a much more successful update of Chandler than Altman’s unfortunate LONG GOODBYE. (Yeah, Roscoe has problems with that accepted classic, too!)
The thing that I’m liking about Pynchon’s last couple of novels, including what I can remember of AGAINST THE DAY, is the sadness that seems to be possessing his characters, there’s an emotional dimension that seems to be missing from the vast GRAVITY’S RAINBOW, as brilliant as it is.
anyone read klaus kinski’s memoir ‘all i need is love’?
i heard it discussed in hbo comedy series ‘bored to death’ and thought it sounded really interesting