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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
City of Thieves: A Novel - David Benioff Consistently clean, smart prose, and a decent quest novel centered around the WWII siege of St. Petersburg and the search for a dozen eggs. Benioff writes male-male relationships well, and has an ear for clever (but not too clever) dialogue, and cuts across tones (the silly McGuffin of the egg-quest contra the many horrors of starving Piter). This novel is also introduced (before flashback to the central action) as his grandfather's story...

...but I never got too swept up, never felt too engrossed. Despite the quasi-biographical frame, the novel wore like a used suit. Comfortable, but also a bit familiar, perhaps its road or dark-picaresque elements, but perhaps its parallels (despite the very different locale) to Benioff's own first novel (the quite fine _25th Hour_): men doing dirt but fundamentally honorable, finding a way to find themselves and one another, while talking about and around women, with a sense of some impending life-change hanging over the whole. I've read the author's short-story collection, too, and I recall one exemplary story and a bunch that were (merely) solid. This is more like the latter.