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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Wed July 22, 2020 4:22 am 
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Keeping it going:

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High-octane paranoia deranges a writer and fuels a dangerous plan to return home at the tail end of El Salvador’s long civil war.

Is the plan a dream or a nightmare?

Is he courageous, foolhardy, or just plain dumb?

Is the bubbling brew of horrors and threats actual or imagined?

After he seeks relief for liver pain through hypnosis (while drinking more than ever, despite the treatments), his few impulse-control mechanisms rapidly dissolve, and reality only rarely intrudes on his cogitations. Harebrained murder plots, half-mad arguments, hysterical rants: the narrative escalates at a maniacal pace, infused with Horacio Castellanos Moya’s uniquely outlandish and acerbic sense of humor.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Wed July 22, 2020 11:01 pm 
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BurtReynolds wrote:
BurtReynolds wrote:
Backing up a bit.
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Backing up a bit.
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Backing up a bit.
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Fundamentally, my position is one of harm reduction.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Wed July 22, 2020 11:38 pm 
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Simple Torture wrote:
Keeping it going:

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Quote:
High-octane paranoia deranges a writer and fuels a dangerous plan to return home at the tail end of El Salvador’s long civil war.

Is the plan a dream or a nightmare?

Is he courageous, foolhardy, or just plain dumb?

Is the bubbling brew of horrors and threats actual or imagined?

After he seeks relief for liver pain through hypnosis (while drinking more than ever, despite the treatments), his few impulse-control mechanisms rapidly dissolve, and reality only rarely intrudes on his cogitations. Harebrained murder plots, half-mad arguments, hysterical rants: the narrative escalates at a maniacal pace, infused with Horacio Castellanos Moya’s uniquely outlandish and acerbic sense of humor.


How was El Asco?


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Wed July 22, 2020 11:40 pm 
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Mickey wrote:
Simple Torture wrote:
Keeping it going:

Image

Quote:
High-octane paranoia deranges a writer and fuels a dangerous plan to return home at the tail end of El Salvador’s long civil war.

Is the plan a dream or a nightmare?

Is he courageous, foolhardy, or just plain dumb?

Is the bubbling brew of horrors and threats actual or imagined?

After he seeks relief for liver pain through hypnosis (while drinking more than ever, despite the treatments), his few impulse-control mechanisms rapidly dissolve, and reality only rarely intrudes on his cogitations. Harebrained murder plots, half-mad arguments, hysterical rants: the narrative escalates at a maniacal pace, infused with Horacio Castellanos Moya’s uniquely outlandish and acerbic sense of humor.


How was El Asco?

I liked it, especially all the time he spent shitting on MBAs.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Thu July 23, 2020 7:25 pm 
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Rounding things out. These have been a nice distraction from the exam reading I've also been doing but, mercifully, not posting here.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Fri July 24, 2020 6:51 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun July 26, 2020 6:33 pm 
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So... turns out Zadie Smith can really fucking write, huh?

Holy shit.

Reading 'On Beauty' and it's wonderful!


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Tue July 28, 2020 4:00 am 
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I've had this book on my to-read list for more than 10 years. I forget why I was even interested; probably heard an interview with the author on the radio. Let's give it a whirl!

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Viking marauders descend on a much-plundered island, hoping some mayhem will shake off the winter blahs. A man is booted out of his home after his wife discovers that the print of a bare foot on the inside of his car's windshield doesn't match her own. Teenage cousins, drugged by summer, meet with a reckoning in the woods. A boy runs off to the carnival after his stepfather bites him in a brawl. Wells Tower's version of America is touched with the seamy splendor of the dropout, the misfit: failed inventors, boozy dreamers, hapless fathers, wayward sons. With electric prose and savage wit, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned is a profound new collection of stories.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Tue July 28, 2020 4:03 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Thu July 30, 2020 10:56 pm 
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About halfway through
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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sat August 08, 2020 3:36 am 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
So... turns out Zadie Smith can really fucking write, huh?

Holy shit.

Reading 'On Beauty' and it's wonderful!

ahem


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sat August 08, 2020 2:09 pm 
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Strat wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
So... turns out Zadie Smith can really fucking write, huh?

Holy shit.

Reading 'On Beauty' and it's wonderful!

ahem

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun August 09, 2020 1:57 am 
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Simple Torture wrote:
I've had this book on my to-read list for more than 10 years. I forget why I was even interested; probably heard an interview with the author on the radio. Let's give it a whirl!

Image

Quote:
Viking marauders descend on a much-plundered island, hoping some mayhem will shake off the winter blahs. A man is booted out of his home after his wife discovers that the print of a bare foot on the inside of his car's windshield doesn't match her own. Teenage cousins, drugged by summer, meet with a reckoning in the woods. A boy runs off to the carnival after his stepfather bites him in a brawl. Wells Tower's version of America is touched with the seamy splendor of the dropout, the misfit: failed inventors, boozy dreamers, hapless fathers, wayward sons. With electric prose and savage wit, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned is a profound new collection of stories.

Years ago I saw David Sedaris read one of his books at a Borders. After he read a chapter and did some q&a, he recommended this book. A really good collection, and to my knowledge, the only book Wells Tower has put out.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun August 09, 2020 5:44 am 
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I routinely cite that collection as a publishing/marketing mystery--all of the stories are eminently forgettable except for the last one, which is the only one that breaks from the like, mid-century model of brooding domestic strife by being about Vikings. That last story totally fucking rules, but the book itself sucks.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Wed August 12, 2020 1:43 pm 
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Just finished
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"I want to see the whole picture--as nearly as I can. I don't want to put on the blinders of 'good and bad,' and limit my vision."-- In Dubious Battle



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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Wed August 12, 2020 7:13 pm 
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Has anyone here read the Ali Smith quartet? I'm thinking of picking up Autumn once I'm done with the Ferrante.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Wed August 12, 2020 7:19 pm 
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I love JS but never read this. What’d you think?


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Wed August 12, 2020 8:21 pm 
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Oh also:

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Thu August 13, 2020 6:51 pm 
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tragabigzanda wrote:
I love JS but never read this. What’d you think?

I think it totally depends on how interested you are in a description of the Russian people in 1947. In the last two years I've read a decent amount of Russian fiction and historical accounts of Russia from revolution to present, so I was curious of the picture Steinbeck would paint of it. The book itself is short, just over 200 pages, but probably could have easily been reduced by half without losing much. I think that's mostly because there was only so much they were able to do and they spent most of their time alternating between total boredom waiting to go somewhere and being overwhelmed with exhaustion by doing so much in such a short span of time. The Russia that he describes feels very different than the histories I've read--yes, extremely bureaucratic but ultimately with happy, hard-working, well-fed people. He states throughout the book his intention for the trip and the book to be apolitical. It doesn't focus on any political personalities at all, except insofar as what people say about them. I enjoyed his observations on the Stalin's status among the people and it made me curious to learn more about what everyday citizens felt as de-Stalinization took place less than a decade after Steinbeck's trip.

tl;dr, if you are interested in every day Russian life in 1947 (or at least the every day lives of Russians that the Kremlin allowed Steinbeck to visit), then it's worth a quick read. If not, it certainly isn't essential Steinbeck, although it will be an interesting point of comparison when I finally read Travels with Charley.

I'm being intentionally vague in case you want to read it, but I'd be happy to sketch out the major takeaways if you want.

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"I want to see the whole picture--as nearly as I can. I don't want to put on the blinders of 'good and bad,' and limit my vision."-- In Dubious Battle



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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Thu August 13, 2020 7:15 pm 
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digster wrote:
I bailed on this a few years back, giving it another shot.

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I enjoyed this, though the ending left me fairly cold. I wanted to make sure I got it in before the movie, and having read it I'm surprised they're splitting it into two movies (provided they're just adapting this film rather than using stuff from the sequels.

Moving on:

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