Douglas Coupland – Hey Nostradamus!
This is Coupland’s best since Shampoo
Planet. It features several elements common to Coupland’s
works like teen life, lost love, & broken families. The story
is built around a school shooting & how it affects a survivor who’s
girlfriend was shot & in turn affects everyone in his life. It’s
about his loss of faith & direction. It’s told in four first
person novellas by the dead girlfriend, the lead character, the lead’s
future girlfriend, & the lead’s father.
Brian Eno – A Year with Swollen Appendices
This is Brian Eno’s diary from 1995.
It reads like what it is, complete with stories about his wife, kids, &
weather. It also has several essays (probably 150 pages worth, this
is the “swollen appendices” portion) on music & technology by Eno.
I think you already know whether or not you want to read this without me
telling you anything more.
Joe R. Lansdale – A Fine Dark Line
I read in an interview that Lansdale was
interested in pursuing the writing of more mainstream works rather than
keeping his cult following status. So I guess this is the future.
This is a coming of age murder mystery that is probably the most normal
thing Lansdale has done. It takes place in 1950’s rural Texas &
raises some questions about the social mixings of blacks, lower class whites,
& upper class whites. I’d prefer another book about zombies &
physical violence, but I guess splatterpunk is from more than ten years
ago now anyway….
John O’Brien – Stripper Lessons
This is the third & final John O’Brien
(Leaving Las Vegas,
The Assault on Tony’s)
book I had to read. I’d put it off because the plot of a guy falling
in love with a stripper didn’t appeal to me. But to me the plot really
doesn’t have that much to do with what the book is about. It’s about
getting to a point where life is a dead end, but comfortable (like a cul-de-sac)
& how quickly you can lose what little purpose & safety you have
through no fault of your own. That being said, the ending is almost
upbeat in a really bizarre way.
Chuck Pahlaniuk – Choke
I hear they’re making a movie about this
book. I really don’t see how they can, with the lead character being
a sex addict it would take a lot of creativity to pull it off & get
it into theaters. Besides touching on sexual addiction, there are
twelve step programs, the second coming of Jesus, historic theme parks,
dying parents, medical trivia, & of course choking.
Chuck Pahlaniuk – Survivor
This is about the last survivor of a suicide
cult who goes on to become an evangelist superstar thanks to the molding
of talent agents. It’s probably a more accurate portrait of both
cults (given a somewhat favorable light) & evangelist (as degenerate
as any hollywood star) than the average reader would want to think.
On the opening page it talks about the guy escaping a plane wreck &
the whole book is supposed to give you a clue as to how he will survive
it, but I wasn’t smart enough to figure it out. Can anybody tell
[Answer: The tape player is playing back
to the black box.]