Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ron Currie wins Young Lions award

As mentioned a few posts ago, Ron Currie was among the finalists for the New York Public Library's Young Lions fiction prize, awarded to promising writers under thirty-five. He faced some stiff competition but prevailed for his debut collection, God Is Dead, and collected a cool 10 grand. Bravo, Ron.

I blogged about this book last June:

Undoubtedly worth buying and reading.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Resurrectionist by Jack O'Connell

Lots of hype on this one and unquestionably a page-turner, but...

A pharmacist named Sweeney, shattered by an accident that has left his son, Danny, comatose, takes a new job at an esteemed but very strange clinic where the creepy Dr. Peck has successfully revived a small number of coma patients. Danny has been admitted and Dr. Peck believes that he is an excellent candidate for "resurrection." Prior to his accident, Danny was a fanatic for a comic book called
Limbo, the adventures of a troupe of circus freaks and their travails. The chapters alternate between the tale of the freaks, led by a chicken-boy (aptly named Chick) and what unfolds with Sweeney, Danny, Dr. Peck, Peck's daughter, and a whacked-out biker gang called The Abominations.

Confusing? Sure it is but that's not the problem. Between switching back and forth from one story to the other, so much shit happens, it's like O'Connell has tried to cram the book with every damn thing he can think of only to have me wondering, with about 80 pages left, "what the hell is going on and how's he going to pull it together?" Oddly, I figured it out as I was in the half-sleep before dozing off for the night (how appropriate) and he does pull it off, I suppose, but not without leaving the reader absolutely exhausted by his kitchen sink approach.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Slackito ergo suck

Okay, it's not really Latin; more like pidgin Latin but I'm calling myself out: I slack therefore I suck.

I've got two books that I need to write about, both of which I really liked, but it's been busy and I haven't felt all that creative so I haven't written and now I'm feeling that guilt and pressure of not having done so (awww, poor blogger dork--such a burden being you). Kind of like when you DVR a bunch of stuff and you don't really feel like watching TV but you get that nagging sense that the shows are piling up so you better watch them and get them erased as if it really matters, which, of course, it doesn't but this does seem to be a more recent anxiety of mine.

Look soon for posts on the delightful
Just Say Nu?, the delightful follow-up to the delightful Born to Kvetch by the delightful Michael Wex and Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles, a timelier tome, I can't imagine, what with American crapping out on more than 3000 flights last week while their planes were inspected. The book won't be out for a few weeks but it's a good one and one that you will dig.