Thursday, June 4, 2009

Post War And Peace Reading

After Henry, by Joan Didion. She can write. And the essay on '88 Dukakis campaign is sadly relevant. Bonus feature: reading about that '88 campaign sent me back to Bloom County and its essential query during that race: vote for the wimp? Or vote for the shrimp? Unrevised blog bonus feature: multiple colons within a single sentence.

The Given Day, by Dennis Lehane. The opening chapter -- a prologue, really -- is excellent. Give yourself twenty minutes in a bookstore and read it. The rest of the book never hits the same height, but remains compelling. In that respect (but no other), it reminds me of DeLillo's Underworld, which opens with the 1951 Giants-Dodgers pennant race and Cotter Martin, Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover colliding in a brilliant 50-page setpiece and spends another 750 pages never quite getting as good.

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