39 Following

Another fine mess

Reader fan critic teacher reader fan.

Currently reading

Ottessa Moshfegh
Knife Fight and Other Struggles
David Nickle
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Andrew Solomon
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)
Derek Bok
Dissident Gardens
Jonathan Lethem
Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s
Kim Newman
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick
Complete Novels
Dashiell Hammett, Steven Marcus
More Than It Hurts You - Darin Strauss A comment below hints at some of my concerns as I got underway, and the book never really broke from its initial, out-of-the-gate stride. A fast read, and casually engaging, but its ambitious ingredients (the sweep of a social-issues canvas, the page-turner, the incisive character satire) never synthesized into a satisfying meal.

Besides its indebtedness to Franzen and Wolfe, there were explicit head-nods to Amis and to Bellow, hints of Atwood at her sliest and sharpest. All great people to steal from, to emulate, but this felt more like karaoke (or maybe, at best, a good cover band) of such stuff.

I could probably waste more of your time trying to diagnose the novel's weaknesses or defending my relative disengagement, but... this is another book (like Wroblewski's recent, much-loved [b:Edgar Sawtelle|2731276|The Story of Edgar Sawtelle A Novel|David Wroblewski|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PsNz9BbHL._SL75_.jpg|2168242]) that I think just wasn't my cup of joe. Taken as a dark-comic melodrama, it's probably a pretty fine read, and my "recommended to" tag-line was meant sincerely, not dismissively. But I came in expecting something more psychologically and socially incisive, and with a lot more top-spin in the prose.