My Literary Girlfriend

January 26, 2010

I can’t say enough good things about Patricia Highsmith. I doubt that we would have got on as friends – her apparent bipolar personality combined with an abiding alcoholism would have made that difficult. But her beautiful mastery of both words and plot earn her a portrait in my mental Hall of Fame. I just finished Ripley’s Game, the penultimate story in her five tales about the laconic sociopath, and I was blown away by her ability to coldly document a family man’s slide into a part-time job as a mob assassin. Ripley is Dexter before there was a Dexter. Check out the WW Norton reprints of this series; they have really nice covers.

P.S. You can get them at BMV. I bought mine for $2.99.

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“The Road” in 2010

January 4, 2010

Yeah, so I haven’t written in awhile. Honestly, working through my personal backlog of books has made me a bit ashamed of the mediocre titles I’ve purchased over the past few years. Many of them are so ‘blah’ that I can’t bring myself to even document my reaction to them.

Thank goodness for Santa, who provided me with a copy of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. I’ve stayed away from McCarthy in general, mainly because of a particular bad review of his body of work from the Atlantic Monthly a few years ago. Though this story does start out slow, it turns into a total page-turner after the first third. I was so gripped by the daily push for survival by Man and Boy that I finished the book in about a day.

It is truly a book for our dark times. I even agree with George Monbiot that it may be read as a classic environmental jeremiad. Check it out for yourself.