Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Another winner from Gauld, even though I prefer his longer stories.
Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow by James Sturm and Rich Tommaso
An interesting book and great drawings by Tommaso. It's a shame James Sturm doesn't do more comics, by the way. His last book, Market Day was a masterpiece.
The Ambulance Drivers by James McGrath Morris
A biography about the rise and fall of the friendship between Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos and also their literary accomplishments. As was often the case with Hem, he easily turned on old friends.
L'enfant qui criait au loup av Gunnar Staalesen
His longest novel so far, I believe, but not his best. One coincidence is okay, but two...
Coeurs glacés av Gunnar Staalesen
A better book, but an ending where the killer explains why he did it while holding a gun directed at the detective works maybe less so if you try to keep a more realistic tone.
Somerset: The paintings of John Caple
Big fan of his paintings. Some of the images are reproduced annoyingly small, though.
Ernest Hemingway by Verna Kale. A pretty short biography. I thought maybe it would use some new angle, or look at his work in a new way, but... no, not really.
Unreasonable Hours by Julio Cortazar
His last short story collection. Slightly mixed bag, but a couple of strong stories.
L'astronef Pirate by Guido Crepax
I've gotten a bit hooked on Crepax lately. I especially enjoy his work in the 60s. Some of it, like this book, looks pretty modern, and also quite different from what he did in the mid 70's and onwards.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Monday, September 11, 2017
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Lectures Cortazar gave at UC Berkeley in 1980 about his books, Latin American novels and literature in general. Very interesting, and gives you a very sympathetic image of the man himself.
In the Café of Lost Youth by Patrick Modiano
A bit too French for me. Tant pis.
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
At least 100 pages too long. Gets better in the second half, and has some good ideas but the characters are kind of annoying, constantly shrieking with laughter at their own jokes.
Ernest Hemingway: a biography by Mary V. Dearborn
The first major Hembiography written by a woman. As always with these books, it's a bit hard to get through the last half, Hemingway after 50 when he turned into an asshole, apparently, and lost his ability to judge his own writing. The book asks the interesting question, if Hem's many concussions and head injuries had anything to do with it.
La Boutique Obscure by Georges Perec
His dream diary. Interesting in small doses.
Fun by Paolo Bacilieri
Nice drawings, a strange mix of Chris Ware comics and Chris Ware sketchbooks, and a clever story, but I never really got into it.
Max Fridman: No Pasaran, Rio de Sangre and Sin Ilusion by Vittorio Giardino
Despite the titles, I read these books in French. It's his trilogy about the Spanish Civil War. Giardino is one of the few masters left of realistic cartooning and his stories aren't bad either, as close as you can get to Graham Green in comics.
Parlez-moi de mort and Le cri du vampire drawn by Jordi Bernet
Okay, I'm a fan of Bernet, but these books are from his later period, and though I can still enjoy his masterful brush strokes, it's not really peak material. The stories are pretty weak as well.
Books given up:
Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving, on page 376
Has Irving lost it? I just couldn't care about his characters, and for the first time I actually gave up one of his novels.
Ulysses by James Joyce, on page 76
I'll get back to this book at some point, I'm sure, but I just needed a break. Page after page of what the fuck is he talking about, with some diamonds in between.
Monday, July 3, 2017
"Perhaps not unexpectedly it’s a tremendously warm book, full of life, the kind of life you see around you every day and quite possibly don’t take enough time to stop and gaze on. On the Camino is the kind of book that makes you want to fill your lungs with air and then exhale slowly, the kind of book to savour and appreciate. It’s also one of those lovely reads you sometimes get from an author you’ve followed and liked that hints at whole new potential vistas to come, the kind of book that will have you excited about the books Jason has yet to write."
It turns out, Bookmunch has reviewed lots of my books:
It turns out, Bookmunch has reviewed lots of my books:
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Thursday, May 25, 2017
Saturday, May 20, 2017
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Monday, April 10, 2017
1. I like the classic way it's directed. The camera actually stands still once in a while.
2. It has the best and funniest Stan Lee cameo.
3. I like the whole subplot of Kat Jennings and her intern. They're actually likable.
4. The scene where Loki learns that his mother is dead is actually touching.
5. There are some good jokes in the film, like the scene where Thor hangs up his hammer.
6. The insane, big fight scene at the end, going on in the different spheres, is actually fun, visually inventive and not unnecessarily dragged out.
7. It shows Asgard as a place where people actually live, it's not just a shiny backdrop.
8. I like that the villain is an introvert. I can relate!
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Several good stories. Interestingly, the film Blow-Up has almost nothing to do with the short story.
A Change of Light and Other Stories by Julio Cortazar
One of his later short story collections. Not as good as All Fires the Fire, less Bunuel Twilight Zone, but I especially liked the stories Summer and Second Time Around. Several stories about illness.
Chronopios and Famas by Julio Cortazar
After only a couple of his books, I'm no expert on Cortazar, but it seems like maybe this is him at his most absurd and playful.
A Certain Lucas by Julio Cortazar
Another collection of texts rather than short stories, like C & P, some autobiographical, I would guess.
The Gluyas Williams Gallery
Glorious ligne claire drawings from Williams, especially the full page drawings. Skipped the prose from Robert Benchley
Le tunnel by Ernesto Sabato
I read this in French. Hey, it's only 140 pages. Very funny book, the first half at least, maybe less after that. An Argentine The Stranger.
Looking for the Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic by Alice Kaplan
All you ever wanted to know about this book.
Geniuses Together: American Writers in Paris in the 1920s by Humphrey Carpenter
I already knew some of this stuff, especially the Hemingway anecdotes, but Carpenter also writes about the lesser known expatriates, like John Glassco and Kay Boyle.
Bathing the Lion by Jonathan Carroll
Pretty typical from Carroll. Starts normal, then... weird stuff happens
Gus 4: Happy Clem by Christophe Blain
Blain could draw someone reading the phone book for 100 pages and it would be great.
Les voyeurs by Gabrielle Bell
Found this for 3 euros at Gibert Joseph! Bell is always worth reading.
Demon vol. 1 by Jason Shiga
Darkly hilarious. Jason gave me a signed copy of this book in Angoulême.
Books given up:
The Sea Came in at Midnight by Steve Erickson
At page 88. I found the book to be "edgy" to an almost cartoony degree, with death, drugs and sex from page 1. And it starts with a Kierkegaard quote. I guess Nick Cave asked for too much.
If On a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
At page 94. Just lost interest. I might pick it up again later.