Thursday, October 26, 2006

On the Nightstand

A quick buzz through some recent readin':

Saturday, Ian McEwan - This didn't have the intricacies or scope of his excellent Atonement, but the forced limitations (the action all takes place within one day) have their own pleasures, and I liked how he was able to craft such an obviously post-9/11 novel that didn't feel gimmicky or unnatural. And I'm not sure that anyone else writing today can craft a sentence like McEwan.

Bono: In Conversation, Michka Assayas - This series of interviews with my favorite rock singer didn't hit me as hard as it did Lefty, but I did fin it an engaging, illuminating read. You get the sense that Bono has a very well-honed realization of just how ridiculous he can come across, and more importantly that he just doesn't care. His impassioned likening of the crisis in Africa to a modern-day Holocaust, to a moral tragedy that easily surpasses it, and one that we are just as morally implicit in ignoring as those who looked the other way then is stark, discomfiting, and damn hard to argue with.

House of M - Brian Michael Bendis - The library finally coughed this one up. Not great, but an entertaining enough "alternate future." The stuff with Steve Rogers as a lonely old man was quite effective, I thought, and I like how the seeds of Planet Hulk and Civil War are clearly visible.

All Aunt Hagar's Children, Edward P. Jones - Jones' recently released collection of short stories is an exquisite, beautiful thing (and I'm only halfway through). The more of Jones I read, the more I become convinced that he's going to be read, studied, and lionized, not just in the years and decades, but centuries to come. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but I can't help it - I honestly believe that readers in the 2100s will be reading him like we do Shakespeare today.

Until Whenever

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