Fri, 9 Jan 2004

Black Betty, White Butterfly, A Red Death

— SjG @ 4:28 pm

Walter Mosley, Pocket Books.

See Devil in a Blue Dress below. Same goes for these three.

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Mon, 22 Dec 2003

Lies, and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

— SjG @ 4:28 pm

Al Franken, Dutton, 2003.

Pretty much what you’d expect. Slams against the right wing, the conservative media, and the administration. You either love it or hate it, all depending on which side of the fence you’re on.

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Sun, 30 Nov 2003

The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor

— SjG @ 4:26 pm

John Barth, Mariner Books, 1991

Rarely do I read a book and get to the very end still undecided whether I really like it or really dislike it. This, however, is such a book.
Barth interweaves tales of legendary Arabia with modern New England, and does it in a way that’s compelling. Portions such as the narrator’s first experiences of love and sexuality are poignant, believable, and touching. Other portions, such as the endless plot twists in Sindbad’s world, feel too long and, eventually, contrived.

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The Innocent

— SjG @ 4:25 pm

Ian McEwan, Anchor Books, 1999.

Disturbing and compelling, the better parts of this story take place inside the head of a very young British agent in post-war Berlin. The surrounding story (dealing with the historical events and cloak-and-dagger logistics of Project Gold) is interesting, but the real fascination is watching our protagonist make the mistakes of youth, and then much more serious mistakes. As suggested by the title, we delve into innocence in all its meanings, as well as what happens as innocence meets up with experience and evil.

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Sun, 16 Nov 2003

I Thought My Father Was God, and other true stories from NPR’s National Story Project

— SjG @ 4:24 pm

Edited by Paul Auster, 2001, Picador Press.

There are some really good stories here. Some are touching, some are profound. We see that Auster is particularly interested, however, in stories that feature touching coincidences. This wouldn’t bother me, except that after a few, the Twilight-Zone-ish “coincidence … or something deeper?” theme starts to feel hokey.

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