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« January, 2002 »
An Unfortunate Woman

Lovers of Brautigan will love this posthumously published rambly tale of the second to last year of his life where he travelled and talked to people and broke his leg ["Dragons" he would say when someone asked him what had happened] and ruminated on the mysteries of his and others' lives. The language is rich and sumptuously poetic and the chapters are short and picaresque. I found myself sad that there would be no more books from him, and this book seemed like a good coda to a remarkable life.

Impossible Things

The cover of this book is what kept me from reading it for weeks. Sort of like how A Wrinkle in Time put me off because of the unicorn. Connie Willis is top notch. A bit on the sentimental side, a great writer facile in many genres, she tells a good story and has a really creative mind. She writes small introductions to the stories here along the line of “I always liked those wacky caper movies...” and then whips out this story that is at once wacky caper and science fiction of some sort. Really impressive. The main story, about the last dog on earth, and the last Winnebago, is heart-wrenching.

All Tomorrow’s Parties

I have said, and will say again, that reading Gibson is like reading romance novels for smart people. His books are interesting, engaging, use big words, and have very few hooks you can dig your memory into when you reflect back on your reading experience. They seem to be about stories rather than ideas. That is not a problem at all, just an observation. Although this one has a lot of really neat cyberfuture trappings, it’s really a story about cops and robbers and attainment and loss. Great themes and a really readable book, but each day that passes between when I finished it and when I recall it, I remember less and less about it.

Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron

Ick. I like icky things, generally, and this graphic novel is no exception. A stunning cast of freaks and weirdos including the potato girl, the dog with no orifices, and the weird conspiracy obsessed characters. And, of course, the snuff filmmakers who are the impetus for the main character to get sucked into a seamy world of underground weirdness. Not for the squeamish. Dan Clowes also did Ghost World, much more mainstream palatable.

The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many

I really wish Chomsky included bibliographies. This is an older book of his, a short interview with David Barsamian, in which he tackles issues of class and globalism. Chomsky sees more truths as self-evident than I do. Not that I disagree, I just wish I knew where his sources came from. Barsamian gets Chomsky to talk about the dangers of internationalism and the mechanisms by which the rich maintain power and the disenfrachised stay poor and oppressed. A short easy primer on 21st century class consciousness.