Short Book Reviews

Blockade Billy By Stephen King
Save yourself the money. Bring a small thermos of your favourite beverage and maybe a cookie or some crackers, go to Chapters, spend an hour and a half, and read the book from the shelf. And, the second story Morality was published in Esquire last summer and it wasn’t so good.

2666 By Roberto Bolano
You will have to trust me and trust the writer. It gets better as you get through it. I’m not through it yet, but it’s getting better.

Heart Shaped Box By Joe Hill
Horns By Joe Hill
For those not in the know, Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. Yeah, no shit. I think he full name is Joesph Hillstrom King or some such thing ; named after some 60s activist. Whatever the case, Hear Shaped Box was gripping and Horns is shaping up to much the same.

Lolita:Annotated By Vladimir, Nabokov
I say the annotated version because anyone who thinks that writing a good novel is easy, read the notes to this bad boy and wonder how the hell he constructed the damned thing in the first place. It has alot more to do than just Lolita (whose character’s name is actually Charlotte Haze).

Blaze By Richard Bachman
Who, for the record, is actually Stephen King. This one is the best book he’s published in a long time, Bachman or otherwise.

Lisey’s Story By Stephen King
I once sold all of my Stephen King because he upset me so bad and then I wrote a letter of apology after reading On Writing and then re-reading The Dark Tower starting with The Wizard And Glass. I then went back out and repurchased what I could. I sold some first editions, too.
At any rate, Lisey’s Story, to me, seems like an attempt to create a kind of Dreamworld a la H.P. Lovecraft. And he does it and make a decent love story in the bargain. I really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed re-reading it via an audiobook, narrated by Mare Winningham.

Mrs Dalloway By Virginia Woolf
I bought it on a whim when shopping with my wife – it cost me less than two dollars. Gripped me from start to finish. Her stream of consciousness technique works really well, and in her writer’s notes, she explains it as creating tunnels to connect her characters. I can also see where she said of Ulysses that she couldn’t get past either the third or the fourth episode. The rest just wasn’t her cup of tea. I can see that from reading this.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo By Steig Larsson
Bought it for something to read when I was sitting by the pool in Mexico this past February. Didn’t make it past the third page. Third page. I finished Thomas Pynchon’s novel V instead.

Crying of Lot 49 By Thomas Pynchon
Inherent Vice By Thomas Pynchon
Funny that Nabokov went to the same college as James Joyce and that Pynchon audited one of Nabokov’s literature classes (Nabokov‘s wife said that he had good handwriting ; why he was submitting assignments if he was auditing a class and why she was checking out his handwriting is a subject for more research).
Crying of Lot 49 is the most accessible of all of his works. Anyone who’s a fan of Star Trek and they see the the warp drive was designed and build by Yoyodyne Systems had best go to a used bookstore and spend a couple of dollars and maybe a month of your life to understand.
Inherent Vice is psychedelic noir ; the first novel of it’s kind. In reading it, I kind of see it has being a reference to The Age of Aquarius in the 60s, references to Atlantis and the lost continent of Mu and using it as an allegory for the perfect world that the hippies were all fighting for. Plus, it has zombies.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

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