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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
Tree of Smoke - Denis Johnson I think I've gotta give this another go, with much more attention. I think I've been angry that every book isn't the revelation that _Jesus' Son_ was, and so my enthusiasm for them may be more muted than they deserve.

Still, my read of this was that it worked like gangbusters on the sentence-level, but the thing was a mess--and not the good kind of disorienting, confounding, complicating mess, but an overheated yet undercooked kind of mess--in terms of its narrative. For every grand bit, you got a couple smaller bits of pontificating. More smoke than tree, maybe. Still, it was better than _Already Dead_, which struck me as two hundred pages too long, great in strobe-flashes of scenes and lines that penetrate but epilepsy-inducing over such length. Maybe not that much better. (Besides Jesus, I really loved _Name of the World_ and dig his short fiction emerging spottily over the last few years--particularly the riveting "Train Dreams." Maybe I prefer him distilled?)

I have never read _Angels_, but a review of _Tree_ said that a character repeats ... so maybe I'll go back and read the shorter one, get a running start on the behemoth.