Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Big Catch-Up

I've been neglecting the reading list recaps here, so I'm going to do a quick list of the stuff I've read since I last wrote about the stuff I've read. The stuff I can remember anyway.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz - This one just didn't bowl me over the way I thought it would. I appreciated Diaz's virtuosity, but it wasn't until the last third of the book that I really felt like I was reading something beyond "good."

Continental Drift by Russell Banks - Beautiful, painful, filled with striking grandiose passages that I kept wanting to copy. For my money, Banks captured an immigrant experience much better than Diaz did.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates - Artfully written; sentences I kept going back and reading again just to figure out how he made them seem so effortless.

Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O'Nan - Remarkable in the compassion we feel for this Everyman going through the motions of his work. The pride the character takes in the small details of his thankless job is heartbreaking. I loved this much more than I imagined I would.

The Book of Evidence by John Banville - My first experience with Banville; gripping, frightening, funny and deftly constructed. I can see why he's considered a master.

That's it: just quick impressions that don't do justice to these books, but all I have time for now.

Sunday, July 6, 2008