Saturday, March 8

Next time I'll buy it

"In the year 2021 a multinational fleet—experimenting with untested weapons technology—pitched through time, crash-landing in 1942. The world is thrown into chaos as Roosevelt, Hitler, Churchill, Tojo, and Stalin scramble to adapt to new, high-tech killing tools, and twenty-first-century ways of war."

That, my friends, is what I read just now in the grocery store checkout line when I picked up a copy of Final Impact, The Axis of Time Trilogy, Book 3. I didn't buy it, worried that perhaps I needed to first read books 1 and 2 to get the full impact(!), but I now regret it. One Amazon reviewer calls the book "Fair but unrealistic." To which I say, What could possibly be more realistic than a multinational fleet—experimenting with untested weapons technology—crash-landing in 1942?

Friday, March 7

Bros. K glass half...Russian

Ok, no it's fully Russian. Man oh man this book is Russian! I know this because I'm still reading it. No, I have not given up. This post is not really substantial, I just wanted to announce that it is March 6th and I am halfway done, and I feel pretty good about that. Thing is long.

Ok one thought: people were super dramatic before they had TV to watch.

Thursday, March 6

George W. Bush Presidential Library

More here.

Nazi Literature in the Americas

The Washington Post reviews the latest Roberto BolaƱo book to be translated to English:
The book purports to be a biographical dictionary gathering 30 brief accounts of poets, novelists and editors (all fictional) who espouse fascist or extremely right-wing political views. While several meet violent ends, most are simply deluded sentimentalists and frustrated litterateurs. They come from all the Latin American countries, but at least a half-dozen are citizens of these United States, including the fanatical preacher Rory Long, the poet and football player Jim O'Bannon, the science fiction writer J.M.S. Hill and the founder of the Aryan Brotherhood, Thomas R. Murchison, alias The Texan.

Wednesday, March 5


I know Tony Millionaire from his Illustrations of The Believer, the McSweeney's lit mag beloved by the 'Loop. Apparently he writes full-on comics as well. Jesse Thorn (best known for his work on our comments boards) interviews this wealthy gent on his radio program, The Sound of Young America (syntax for radio programs...anyone?). I haven't listened yet, but I would wager it's an interesting interview. Tune your radio dial to "Internet."

Monday, March 3

Ah, Millhauser! There's someone I should read

The parody biography is my genre of choice. I picked up Edwin Mullhouse at the library several months ago but quickly put it back. I shall have to pick it up again .... and read it before I put it back. Here the Times reviews Millhauser's latest short story collection and closes with the following assessment of Mullhouse:
Millhauser began his unusual voyage in 1972 with the parody biography “Edwin Mullhouse: The Life and Death of an American Writer 1943-1954,” supposedly written by Mullhouse’s precocious contemporary Jeffrey Cartwright. All the themes Millhauser would work in later years can be found in that first book: the unstable self, the knife’s-edge difference between reality and dreams, the power of hysterical young people. The way Millhauser conveyed a suburban world where the quiet slippage of the self was a greater threat than violence hardly fit that era. His characters didn’t turn on or tune in. They lived under the indifferent Connecticut sky, moored to reality by their thoughts and their books. is here!

About this episode: We "travel" across the world with some of the country's best novelists. This episode features fiction that takes us to the Lower East Side of New York, a midwestern college campus, the bustling stock exchange of Shanghai, and the neon streets of Las Vegas.

50 states of literature

Two recent additions to the Spectator's 50 books for 50 states project.

Nancy Lord’s short stories, collected in The Man Who Swam With Beavers, despite spanning years, locations, and all sorts of protagonists (both human and animal), are connected by their basis in Eskimo folktales and their evocation, both figurative and literal, of the Alaskan wilderness.

Barbara Kingsolver, of
The Poisonwood Bible fame, wrote The Bean Trees about finding salvation in an ostensibly barren situation—appropriately, this low-key debut novel is set in Arizona.