Monday, September 28, 2009


So at the end of year last year I announced I was in a "good book vortex," where everything I picked up was a good, satisfying read. Of course, right after saying that, I didn't read anything good for like six months. Ah, hubris, thy name is Clowncar.

Anyway. I'm back on the horse.

Finished Dave Eggar's Zeitoun this weekend. Very good book. Elegant and understated (the only other book of his I've read, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, was a great read but not one that the words "elegant" or "understated" would easily apply). It's a non-fiction account of one man's experiences in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. It'll get you pissed off at the Bush administration all over again. Fun! It's my firm belief that Katrina, even more than the Iraqi war, will go down as the defining parable for the heartlessness and avarice of the Bush years.

Also finished an audiobook, Chuck Palahniuk's Rant. I've been doing a lot of driving for work these past two weeks and Palahniuk seemed like the perfect fit for an audiobook. He's not a great writer but he's certainly an entertaining one. He's good enough to make me wish he'd put his books through one more rewrite. Some great ideas bouncing around in there among the unfinished plotlines and holes in logic. The thing about the Halloween party haunted house was good enough to make me wish I'd of thought of it myself.


meno said...

I was unable to finish "A Heartbreaking Work....."

Funny how we are all different.

ArtSparker said...

I've heard good things about the Eggers book. He is quite an interesting character, He has a established a tutoring center in San Francisco in which professional artists and writers work one on one with middle school students. who then publish books which are avaialble in the shop portion of the storefront, which is made to look like a pirate's cave.

Eric said...

I push Eggers into a group of authors I don't care to read, all of whom I associate with being stuck in a cubicle. Ferris, even Chabon, chief among them. I suspected I was missing out on something when I heard about Zeitoun on The Rumpus.

Clowncar said...

Everyone is different, meno, but I'm always right. Seriously, this one is better. Give it a try.

He seems like a energetic and engaged guy, Art. I had a subscription to his McSweeney's for years. Each issue was like a new toy. One was a box of comic books. One had a CD to listen to as you read.

Eric, that first book was pretty self-indulgent, though I gotta admit I enjoyed it. This one is really quite restrained.

And I wouldn't lump Chabon in with those other guys. He's better. Ever read Werewolves In Their Youth? A stunning story.