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Showing posts from August, 2015

Exhuming The Body by William Sansom

Considering William Sansom's short fiction was once widely anthologized in frighteningly titled story collections (e.g., London Tales of Terror, Ghosts in Country Houses, The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, as well as several installments of The Pan Book of Horror Stories), with a novel named The Body, readers already acquainted with his better known, more diminutive, phantasmal forebears, could understandably conclude that Sansom's first novel The Body was likewise macabre.  Honest mistake, that. And perhaps also disappointing for those mystic connoisseurs of the obscure with a taste for Sansom's peculiar style of understated extravagance -- a style similar to yet not quite as distilled as that of those refined denizens of the fin de siècle, nor as baroque as the later Lovecraft crowds he was often lumped in with (peruse any of the table of contents of one of the dozens of anthologies Sansom contributed to in order to better see my point) -- who naturall…

Arnošt Lustig's autograph (Lovely Green Eyes)

Recently found this signed copy at the Bookman in Orange, in near fine condition, affordably priced.  Not a huge Arnošt Lustig fan here. But grabbed this, one of his last works of fiction, Lovely Green Eyes, on somewhat of a whim, and I'm glad I did. Like his contemporary Raymond Federman, Arnošt Lustig's oeuvre was the Holocaust, and I've yet to read a novel or memoir about it that wasn't able to put my own life into purest perspective whenever I'd let its petty dramas and difficulties get me down.











more autographs

Metrophage by Richard Kadrey

A few weeks ago I was in Pacific Grove and sauntered into what I thought was a coffee place (it was) but turned out to also be a bookstore -- Bookworks!  Pretty cool feeling to find a bookstore when you weren't even looking for one.  So, after enjoying our coffee and croissants, spent some time browsing the small shop.  I knew right away that Bookworks of Pacific Grove was an awesome bookshop when I saw the lone copy of Infinite Jest and its fat blue spine (the tenth anniversary edition) occupying a large slot in the bottom shelf of the CLASSICS section in-between the glossy sheen of brand new trade paperback copies of Lew Wallace's Ben Hur and Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men.  I told the gentleman manning the register how cool I thought it was that they stocked Infinite Jest in the CLASSICS section and he smiled, nodded, and replied that "it comes and goes often".

Another book that comes and goes with even more frequency than Infinite Jest from the …

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

I'm not appalled at all by the political incorrectness and sheer irresponsible lunacy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.Saying so, however, can't help but show, I fear, that the responsible-citizen side-of-me believes I should be appalled; that I should absolutely and incontrovertibly loathe Hunter S. Thompson's Savage Journey To The Heart Of The American Dream.  And yet I don't.  I treasure my posh, mylar-protected, Modern Library hardcover first printing of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.  A book, I suspect, that has induced more side splitting, spittle spraying, laughter per page, in others -- I know it has in me -- than any other book in history.

We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers . . . and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls…