Wow, it's been a while.
I don't know exactly why I stopped blogging. It's not (like some of my previous absences) that I haven't been reading, because I have been. And reading some really, really great stuff to. Like Lightening by Jean Eschenoz, and AnimalInside by Lazslo Krasnahorkai. And most definitely Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49 (What the hell took me so long to get to Pynchon????)
One potential contributing factor to my blogging break was the fact that in the past six or seven months or so, I have discovered a number of really friggin awesome book review sites, and I just can't compete. I have review anxiety. That and work has been...taxing.
Discovering these new review sites, though, not only completely made me feel inadequate, it also made my reading list EXPLODE. So...to update you, here are some mini-reviews. (I expect a review of Juan Jose Saer's Scars to come next week…)
AnimalInside - amazing. Just find a copy and read it
Tiger's Wife - Includes some interesting fantastical elements, but works better viewed as a YA novel. Even for a first outing for the author, I thought it was lacking.
Austerlitz - Left me asking Shawn (fueled by some whiskey) if he would have put Brendan on a kindertransport, leading to an unproductive conversation.
Everything that Rises Must Converge - The final piece in my O'Connor trilogy that I've been working through for years. I definitely enjoyed the short novels Wise Blood and The Violent Bare It Away more than this one, but for a Southern lady, O'Connor was NUTS in a really fantastic way.
Principles of Uncertainty - This is the inside of my mind in book form.
Red Shift & Dream of Scipio - Kind of a long story. My friend Steve recommended Dream of Scipio, which oddly sounded like Red Shift which I had just acquired. In reality they are nothing alike, and I enjoyed Dream of Scipio much more than Red Shift. In fact, I really didn't like Red Shift. Dream of Scipio made me feel really, really sad and I'm not sure why - I should be pretty immune to it by now, I would think.
Roseanna - Swedish detective fiction pre-Steig Larsson. There were actually a lot of plot points that were similar, and I'm not sure if that's because detective fiction is that formulaic or it's a Swedish thing, or if it's Larsson's problem.