Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stacey D'erasmo in a Black Hole with a bunch of galleys.

I had a dream last night in which I am walking down a city block and about ten kittens are running towards me and what do I do? what do I do in this dreamy dream? I TURN AROUND AND WALK IN THE OTHER DIRECTION My evil, silly dream-self walks away from a bunch of eager kittens. gah.

1. Am currently reading Stacey D'erasmo's forthcoming novel with the unfortunate title The Sky Below. It's about a gay, Gabriel, and his best friend Sarah and their journey through college in Arizona to their life in NYC. The writing is kind of shallow and the time span so far (I'm halfway through) is so vast it doesn't allow much for exploration. There are some very lovely scenes from Gabe's childhood in Maine and swamp adventures with his sister in Florida, though. It came to mind that this book could be about my friendship with certain other bookseller whose name begins with a J and ends with an N, you know because he's of that gay persuasion and my name is Sarah, but then there's a situation with a platonic bath and it pretty much all went out the window. However, after sharing info with J----N on the plot development, I'm relatively certain that "the platonic bath" will remain a staple insult/inappropriate proposition for the indefinite future.

2. Also, on the current reading list is Black Hole by Charles Burns. Love it/can't read it before bed or all dreams become nightmares in which people have tails and these tails break off at the tip with an unsettling cracking noise. Godsave loves the drawings of the insides of the various apartments, also Burns' ability to portray kids smoking reefer in a real way. I like how he draws water and relating to the teenage girl who goes with the wrong guys and ends up sleeping in a tent in the woods. The depth of setting is the black hole. Walked down to the lake with Godsave and a thermos of saucy hot chocolate last night. I think this adventure was partly inspired by this novel and contained a grain of anticipation for running into some kids with "the bug" along the spookedy ravine trail.

3. Don't Cry by Mary Gaitskill. I really enjoy these stories, but much like the Miranda July, it is difficult to read many in succession, at one time, for it leads to a bleeding together of plot and character. Also, her tendency to write dryly about sex and deviancy, is something to be taken in small doses and generally a style I disdain.

4. Current galley waiting list:
One DOA One on the Way by Mary Robison
Book of Clouds (title already one strike against it) by Chloe Aridjis
Invite by Glen Pourciau
the Art of the Commonplace: the Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry
not a galley but at the top of the pile is Starman: Night and Day.

Im gonna go make some bacon pancakes now.


jordan said...

i am outing you as a liar!

bacon pancakes, my ass.

Brian said...

I'm hoping for the Starman Omnibus, of which one volume exists and a second is forthcoming. I think it would make a great gift on Nov. 5th.

sarah marine said...

bacon pancakes, my ass!? I thought the title of my forthcoming e-chapbook of proto-post-feminist-realist-experi-surrealnatural poetry was top secret!

and brian, Im still trying to get into Starman. Its very different from the comic books Ive read. We all need to get to Foundation soon to discuss...

Brian said...

I can't get to Foundation this week due to childcare gunk and a trip to Chicago, but you can simulate the experience by drinking a beer in a smokey closet full of Hawaiian shirts while reading the following:

Starman improves as it goes along, finding its voice and a kind of Faulknerian obsession with the ways the (superhero) past informs the (superhero) present. James Robinson also wrote a fantastic DC graphic novel called "The Golden Age" which maps post-war superheroes onto the conservative political climate of the late 40's and 50's. Rather than utilizing superheroes as metaphors for adolescent power fantasies, Robinson -- when he's good -- uses them as metaphors for idealism and nostalgia.

Foundation next week, though.

davidetommaso said...

[David Thomas, HMH rep] You're not the only one on the fence about the D'erasmo. I'd only read a small portion before PW gave it a star review, so I got the ARC out right away to R. @ Unabridged Books. He REALLY didn't like it. Didn't compel me to finish it. Thanks for the Charles Burns reminder. I don't see it around many bookstores, and keep forgetting to pick it up.

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