Wednesday, December 03, 2003

It's been a while since the first book and usually I would have 5 or so books for the list but for one reason or another it's been slow going lately. After The Thin Man I started and then took a break from Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley to read Girl with Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace. I read Infinite Jest last summer and it was such a consuming experience that it's taken me this long to feel like I can go back to read some of his other work. I'm not a huge fan of short stories though. I don't have anything specific against them, I just tend to prefer longer works of fiction. I like getting involved, lost in a world, and I find that easier with novels. Of course, I could just be reading the wrong short stories. That would seem to be the case here - not that these are the wrong short stories - far from it. Rather, they put many of the ones I've read previously to shame. There are some stellar works here, each with a different writing style on display. I am a little in awe of DFW's talent. He manages such effortlessly beautiful phrases and images, like the "heavily slender briefcase" from "Luckily the Account Representative Knew CPR" or the two children holding onto a fencepost in the first entry. The stories are compelling and populated with real celebrities like Alex Trebek and David Letterman, or LBJ, who only add to the richness of the stories by bringing along their real world backstories and baggage. These will be stories to which I will return, I think.

Next: I will eventually finish Mary, Queen of Scots...

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