Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from March, 2010

Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga by Stephen Davis

Read this book twenty-five years ago. It's no longer in my possession, so I can't cite it verbatim. I should also fully disclose that I'm a dork. In the mid 1980s, when The Thompson Twins, Duran Duran, and the A-Ha's of the New-Ro or New Wave world (whatever the hip kids called their hip music then) ruled radio airwaves, I wore my dated, feathered, long blond locks parted down the middle with pride, and without fail wore faded denim and checkered flannel too.  Dork extraordinaire. I proselytized Zeppelin-this and Zeppelin-that to anyone who would listen -- which meant I spoke of Led Zeppelin to mostly nobody. But now, thanks to blogger.com, I can speak to literally single digits of you.

Stephen Davis wrote a biographic masterpiece for Zeppelin fans who'd fallen in love with the band years after their breakup (and for those who were fans all along during their '70s heyday) and yet who were both starved for band information besides album liner notes and whatever …

Shock Treatment by Karen Finley

Kathy Ackeresque, reading Shock Treatment by Karen Finley has proven effective in combatting intense cases of Major Misogyny, Homophobic Personality Disorder, and Greedy Asshole Syndrome (GAS).

Do not read Shock Treatment if you're easily repulsed by in-your-face provocation, or can't stand ultra edgy spoken word performance monologues and poetry set down on paper: vignettes of disturbingly dysfunctional relationships, as violent at times, as the most violent of video games (only, unfortunately, the vignettes are mostly real, unlike the silly video games), or have non-subversive, politically conservative sensibilities, and are readily off-put having your beliefs satirically steamrolled by an artist who's the spitting image of the antithesis of Ann Coulter.

Ask your doctor before reading Shock Treatment if your heart is healthy enough for wild text:

"I drive down to Wall Street and break into the Exchange. I go up to all the traders and cut off all of their balls. …

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

NEWS ALERT: Indie bookshops are closing left and right at alarmingly rapid rates everywhere; in both big cities like Chicago and English villages like Hardborough, the latter the quaint setting for Penelope Fitzgerald's, Man Booker shortlisted, second novel, The Bookshop; they're being shut down, the bookshops, as if they were sweatshops run by misers, seemingly every time you scan the morning headlines of Shelf Awareness.


Old news, bookstore closures? It wasn't old news in 1978, when Penelope Fitzgerald published The Bookshop, perhaps adding prescience to the poignancy already in glowing abundance in these bittersweet, but ravenously delectable pages about a courageous, recent widow's dream to do something (and to be somebody) different: Independent for the first time in her life: A bookseller. Brave woman.

Florence Green (a pity her last name is so descriptively apt concerning her business acumen), itching for adventure and a means of making her own way in the …

Finnegans Wake Fake by James Joyce

odis ufjnms pqoiskj as sjhhsug iufjv eisls oiucmb; odus jfbxa hu hu opsldks; I ytrmnbdks ytqlk doguri asdpoi a sviei syu ivngd rmhd rlsp ewpom emjs lowp ajsh. usyt sjbn cwirs qwpop suug ap uiuuis wislg e geir jsipocj!!! odis ufjnms pqoiskj as sjhhsug iufjv eisls oiucmb; odus jfbxa hu hu opsldks; what a colossal waste of unparalled talent! I ytrmnbdks ytqlk doguri asdpoi a sviei syu ivngd rmhd rlsp ewpom emjs lowp ajsh. usyt sjbn cwirs qwpop suug ap uiuuis wislg e geir jsipocj!!! odis ufjnms pqoiskj as sjhhsug iufjv eisls. It's irritating looking for meaning when there is none--isn't it! oiucmb; odus jfbxa hu hu opsldks; I ytrmnbdks ytqlk doguri asdpoi a sviei syu ivngd rmhd rlsp ewpom emjs lowp ajsh. usyt sjbn cwirs qwpop suug ap uiuuis wislg e geir jsipocj!!! odis ufjnms pqoiskj as sjhhsug iufjv eisls oiucmb; odus jfbxa hu hu opsldks; I'm all for experimental fiction and the implementation of an invented language or hard to understand dialects & colloquiali…

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I've long resisted reading The Road. I read The Stand, read Swan Song, and On The Beach, been there done that post-apocalyptically. Saw all the Mad Max movies too, and Planet Of The Apes, Damnation Alley, and The Day After. So why read The Road?

I could leave it at that and skate by free. But then you'd never know the deeper, darker, more troubling reasons for my avoidance of The Road. So maybe it's time I stopped running and face the muzak. 

See, my name is EnriqueFreeque, and I'm a snobaholic.

"Hi, EnriqueFreeque!"

I refused reading The Road because... Because... Just say it, Dude, this is the first step in your recovery by admitting your powerlessness over snobbishness... Because Oprah Winfrey read it and loved it. Loved it so much, in fact, she somehow persuaded its hermitic, up-until-then-monosyllabic responding author to actually talk about it, The Road -- on TV of all places! -- and did so, as far as I can tell, without holding a gun to his head.…

A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans

(**part XXXVII of my series investigating fictional works about the devil**)



Do demons exist? Is a person automatically deluded for believing demons exist? Is demonic possession ever a viable diagnosis or can psychiatry adequately explain the oftentimes bizarre phenomena associated with those alleged to be possessed in its gargantuan compendium of itemized psychological disorders as voluminous as there are verses in the Bible?

Justin Evans' first novel, A Good and Happy Child pivots around this historically polemical debate, pitting in one corner, the empiricists with their Thorazine and mental institutions, versus the religious with their stoles and exorcising incantations in the other. Yet, despite the infinitely wide philosophical worldview divide, A Good and Happy Child remains relatively neutral choosing a side to cheer for, in its clever and crisp first person narrative, despite a devilishly delightful book cover which could convey otherwise, its obvious opinion on the ma…