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text 2018-01-06 01:52
Reading progress update: I've read 52 out of 193 pages.
Ice: 50th Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics) - Kate Zambreno,Anna Kavan,Jonathan Lethem

the Forward by Jonathan Lethem warned me: it's weird; the narrative indulges in "causal slippages"; it can feel like Beckett or Kafka; it's hard to define, but call it SF/dystopian if that works for you; and, worst of all, because I don't like the film, its effect resembles that of the film Last Year at Marienbad (continuously recursive).

 

I therefore started this book a wee bit nervous...and yet, and yet...so far I love it!! I guess I'm in the mood for something like this, something like a weird dream. not sure how it will ultimately rank with me, but set against the fact that books written like this usually wear out their welcome with me very fast--eccentricities begin to grate, etc.--is the fact that Ice is rather short, and likely will be wrapping up just when i need logic and linearity in my picks. I repeat: so far, I'm impressed!

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text 2018-01-05 15:00
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 193 pages.
Ice: 50th Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics) - Kate Zambreno,Anna Kavan,Jonathan Lethem

I had never heard of this SF novel from 1967, until I spotted this Penguin Classics/50th Anniversary Edition for sale. that seems odd--big-deal novel celebrating its 50th (hey! cool!), and yet, not on my radar until a month or so ago. must investigate! love the cover.

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review 2017-02-13 00:00
More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers
More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and... More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers - Jonathan Lethem https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/157198453953/more-alive-and-less-lonely-on-books-and

Jonathan Lethem generally provides enough essays in any given collection that are certainly eye-opening and have the tendency to teach us something we did not know. Throughout his writing career he has proven to be adept at this exercise. And in More Alive and Less Lonely this is again the case. However, and for the most part, what actually interests Lethem in this book bores me to death. But when I eventually trudged my way to his essays and reviews on Thomas Berger I was immediately struck with how fortunate I was to have continued reading. And then I happened on the Bob Dylan piece which again made me grateful for not quitting on him. Lethem does that to me. He can win me over in no small measure. With still another 15% of the book to read I found myself sampling kindle editions of Berger’s work and then ordering whole copies to add to my queue to read. And for those moments I was excited again by literature, which is a feeling I get that most agrees with me. Life, in general, is not that way. Often there is much too much reality to deal with. Truth is, I love a good escape. And on this very day I cannot thank Lethem enough for providing me with additional exits from which to choose from.
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review 2017-01-04 23:38
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson,Thomas Ott,Jonathan Lethem

Wow. What a way to start off the year. This was an excellent book.

I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling anything, but this book while not outright scary was certainly plenty unsettling. We are set down in the middle of the lives of Merricat Blackwood, her agoraphobic sister, Constance, and their ailing Uncle Julian. The three are pretty much the village pariahs and have been since the remaining members of their immediate family died due to arsenic poisoning. Since then, Merricat only makes trips into town out of necessity (and has to face the taunts and jeers of the villagers who feel that Constance got away with murder), Constance (who was charged, but acquitted of the poisonings) won't venture further than her beloved garden, and Julian (a survivor of the poisoning), now weak in body and mind obsessively makes notes about the fateful night for a book he's writing.

The delicately balanced life the three have shared for the past six years is upset by the arrival of a cousin, Charles Blackwood.

The author does a fantastic job of setting the mood, you never quite feel comfortable while reading as a general sense of unease begins to gradually amp up to the book's climax.

I won't really say more than that for fear of spoiling, and this is definitely a book best read when one knows as little about the plot as possible.

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text 2017-01-04 00:09
Reading progress update: I've read 58 out of 160 pages.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson,Thomas Ott,Jonathan Lethem
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