In an effort to finish more books and oil my rusty writing machine, I’m currently reading three things:
Jesus’ Son by Dennis Johnson // I’m fascinated with the way that this collection of stories written in short, terse sentences has the ability to give me nightmares and also make me nauseous. While that sounds bad, it’s not. I read this when I was 19 or so and remember being fascinated then too. But it was for far different reasons.
Now that I have finished this again, I can say that I really appreciate Johnson’s writing style. To compare it to Hemingway would be easy, so I won’t. But it definitely achieves a sense of feeling that I didn’t notice or care about earlier in life. If I were pushed to write a short review of it, all I would need to say is- It’s Pretty Vacant.
V. by Thomas Pynchon // The first novel written by one my favorite word-ists. I’ve been intimidated by its heavy weight for far too long and got a nice push to get going on it. It’ll be a nice first step towards conquering the beast.
Nausea byJean Paul Sartre // I’m reading this because Jesus’ Son has made me nauseous and also because it was mentioned in the short preface to Ted Chiangs’ novelette, “Understand.” JPS was my age when he wrote it too, so…there’s that.
Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson // Since V. is proving to be exhausting, I’ve opened this up. We read a short section in one of my early English classes and thought that I would reroute myself back to the cyber punk genre. So far it’s pretty funny and weightless.
A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter // Taking more breaks from all of the large books that I’m reading to read something quick. Stoked to turn the final page of something. Oh, what a feeling. Maybe I should stop adding books to this list. Dammit.
Apparently I thought I was going to finish this in April. It took me until June 23rd. Lost interest and less time to read caused me to take a little longer.
This is another book written in short, terse sentences. Good descriptors, blunt imagery as the affect of word choice, and written from an interesting point of view. Character study that, based on the limitations of the narrator, wasn’t too holistic.
Albeit, I found it a tad repetitive and (maybe) due to the time in between reads, I found it temporally complicated. It seemed like a linear narrative was intended, it just didn’t play out that way. I found that to be a little messy. But….Intention of the author? My own misconception? Both possibilities. Either way, I don’think uncovering a finite timeline would have made the book more enjoyable.
Overall, it was a good read. I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it. But I’ll tell you….I’m really glad I can fully move on to something else.
Wish me luck and…an improved ability to sleep.