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mrchrn

I can't remember books

Hi I used to read a lot but they never really fully stuck with me but I vaguely remember bits of them and that's okay.

Currently reading

Collected Fictions
Jorge Luis Borges, Andrew Hurley
The Complete Stories of J. G. Ballard
J.G. Ballard, Martin Amis

Spontaneous

Spontaneous - Joe Harris, Brett Weldele "Babylon" is not a ‘story’ about a guy who goes through some ‘conflicts’ and Learns About Life. Instead, it’s an intense description of a young man with schizophrenia who returns to his partially burned down Texan hometown and lives there until he can live there no more. It’s written with beauty and economy, and it captures a mindstate and an environment perfectly.Babylon is a fantastic example of a kind of Zola-esque empirical fiction: a kind of simulation. A completely realized character enters a bizarre but credible environment and threatens to throw it out of stasis. The intruder must be dealt with, like a virus. It’s a very bold story telling technique, and it is accomplished with enormous style. Gree also pulls off the difficult feat of portraying an increasingly hallucinatory and numbed lead character without alienating the reader. His rituals and the imprint he makes on the town define him, even as he seems to withdraw further from his own life.It’s a weird pleasure to sightsee a crippled world while a man slowly dies in it, but it is an unforgettable pleasure all the same. And I didn’t even mention how funny it is at times. You’ll see.

Scumble (Beaumont Family, Book 2)

Scumble - Ingrid Law A great book perfectly capturing the struggles with the alternating madness and banality of life.It's also funny. Things like the throwaway lines about Morrissey or Munchausen’s had me laughing aloud: the dialog combines the exhausted humor of a night that never ends with the polish that a truly first rate writer brings.The book leaves off with no particular conclusion, moral or solution. But life goes on. And that – and this book- is as marvelous as any comet.

Antwerp

Antwerp - Roberto Bolano Do it yourself novel kit for your brain.

La Carte Et Le Territoire (French Edition)

La Carte Et Le Territoire (French Edition) - Michel Houellebecq Not gimmicky enough.

Diamond Bay

Diamond Bay - Linda Howard Like Neil Gaiman reimagining Stephen King (but funny)Don't judge this book by its opening paragraphs which parody the worst of fantasy fiction; judge it by the rest of the book that skillfully mingles the disappointments of everyday reality with the possibility of escape to another world through the world of writing. The lead character is perfectly confused as he enters the castle of the book-crazed witch. A lot of stories struggle to show how a regular person might feel when thrown into a world where the normal rules don't apply but this one pulls it off. A fast, funny and occasionally furious ride into a domain of witches, bears and irritating tourists. Recommended.

2666 (Narrativas Hispanicas) (Spanish Edition)

2666 - Roberto Bolaño A life-changing masterpiece. Yeah! How about that?Mishima+Proust+Borges+Stearne+presumably pure Bolaño [haven't read any of his stuff before]

Charcoal

Charcoal - Oli Johns Is it good? Yeah, it’s very good. He has stripped away the layer of self satire of his previous [pseudonymous] novel “Benny Platonov” and it might be uncomfortable for some people to read a book that is lacking almost entirely in pretension. Yeah, a book where the lead character spends a lot of his time trying to invent a new philosophy [or possibly two] and rubbishing great writers and living in a little fairy tale, but it’s not pretentious.Anyway, look. There are a lot of books, y’know. The ones I like more than the others are the ones that reach a beautiful compromise with meaninglessness. This is one of those books.

Sand Chronicles, Vol. 5

Sand Chronicles, Vol. 5 - Hinako Ashihara A great book perfectly capturing the struggles with the alternating madness and banality of life.In some ways the banter and the quirks of the characters make it hard to see them suffer. But, that said… hey, it is only a book and the characters are very funny. Things like the throwaway lines about Morrissey or Munchausen’s had me laughing aloud: the dialog combines the exhausted humor of a night that never ends with the polish that a truly first rate writer brings.The book leaves off with no particular conclusion, moral or solution. But life goes on. And that – and this book- is as marvelous as any comet.

Pattern Recognition

Pattern Recognition - William Gibson The first third is great but then it loses energy with each passing page until by the end it feels like we are both relieved to be done.

Concrete Underground

Concrete Underground - Moxie Mezcal ‘Concrete Underground’ knocked me out. It takes the noir plot and loops it into a feedback cycle until it breaks. It embraces the implausibility of the hero and squeezes horror out of it. Fast, sexy fun is laid on top of a growing layer of scar tissue on human faces until you can’t tell the difference anymore. It wears its influences on its sleeve and even walks you through them, but it makes something new out of them. A true 21st century novel.