A couple of notes on a lazy Thursday evening as the sun sets over the Pacific….
I have a new piece on KPBS’s Culture Lust blog. I briefly discuss the virtues of Pynchon, Reif Larsen, and Ron Currie, although, if you’re reading the Catapult, you know my feelings on those gentlemen already. Regardless, I’m happy to be contributing to Angela’s site again, even if it’s only this one time – although, of course I’m hoping it’s not.
The Millions, an awesome lit-blog with tons of great content, has been running a series on the Best Fiction of the Millenium So Far – number 1 will be announced Friday morning.(*Update: it’s The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.*) The panel that put this thing together is like a who’s who of hipster authors, critics, editors, and bookies, including the likes of Gary Shteyngart, Benjamin Kunkel, Elise Blackwell, Patrick Brown from Vroman’s bookstore, David Ulin from the LA Times, Margot Livesey, Arthur Phillips, Joshua Ferris, and, oh yeah, Reif Larsen. There are some primo-quality books on the list, things I’ve been blabbing about for years – Fortress of Solitude at #17, Middlesex #16, The Road at a somewhat surprisingly low #6, 2666 in at #4, and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas at #3. And the contributors’ short review pieces are revealing, insightful, and compelling for just about each – check it out.
And to again plug the Warwick’s blog – we are fully up and running now, with new posts by fellow Warwickians Heather (our resident paranormal fiction expert – someone has to be) and Scott Ehrig-Burgess, who wrote a brilliant bit on Kazuo Ishiguro’s new book, Nocturnes. I also have a piece on Margaret Atwood, Lethem, and Auster with a little more Coetzee-bashing. We’re also on Twitter – warwicksbooks – and Facebook, if you’re so inclined to have anything to do with that.
I’m also midway through Jess Walter’s new novel, The Financial Lives of the Poets and it is absolutely, riotously hilarious. There were definitely flashes of very dark humor in Citizen Vince & even The Zero, but nothing like this. I had no idea the man had such a capacity for black humor. Stay tuned…