Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Friday I finished Erasure by Percival Everett, which was really, really funny. It's about a well-respected and willfully obscure black author who writes dense articles and books deconstructing other works. Monk (using a pseudonym) writes a parody of a successful novel (included in its entirety) the country hails as an authentic example of African American literature which, to his chagrin, is published to great acclaim and earns him a ridiculous amount of well-needed money. The irony is that no one realizes his book is a vicious work of satire. Everyone buys into it: the publisher, the big time producer who buys the movie rights, even his fellow judges on the National Book Award committee (who hilariously chide him for not endorsing the book - "I would think you'd be happy to have the story of your people so vividly portrayed"). Along the way he ruminates on the state of race relations in this country and in his own experience, uncovers some family secrets, and discovers some uncomfortable truths about himself.

Saturday I read Shattering Glass by Gail Giles, a nice, creepy young adult book about a group of popular guys who decide to make the class loser popular. Each chapter begins with short interview responses from several years in the future, commenting on the tragic event that closes the book, which gradually is revealed to have irrevocably changed each of them. It's no Project X, but it's pretty well done.

Then Sunday I read Gone For Good by Harlan Coben, which I will admit totally got me. Pretty much every single twist came as a complete shock. In a good way. I love that I've found another thriller author who can surprise me. Anyway. This book is about a guy whose older brother disappeared eleven years ago after being accused of rape and murder. At the funeral of his mother, he discovers proof that his brother is still alive and he begins looking for him, setting in motion a series of dangerous events.

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