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Showing posts from December, 2015

The Best Twelve Books I Read in 2015, Month by Month (plus runners-up and honorable mentions)

One of the Children is Crying ~ Coleman Dowell (1968)

Heavy Daughter Blues ~ Wanda Coleman (1987)

The Book of Dolores ~ William T. Vollmann (2013)

Asylum Piece ~ Anna Kavan (1940)

The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest ~ Anatoli Boukreev & G. Weston DeWalt (1997)

Beyond Life: Dizain des Démiurges ~ James Branch Cabell (1919)

Hell House ~ Richard Matheson (1971)

Metrophage ~ Richard Kadrey (1988)

Literary Outlaw: The Life and Times of William S. Burroughs ~ Ted Morgan (1988, 2012)

'Tis the Season for Ice by Anna Kavan

Ice actually isn't the best book a person could read during the festive Christmas season.  Though, if like me, you find the Christmas season and all its schmaltz and glitter difficult to endure, what with it's incessant and crude consumerism, its sickening good cheer — Ice, then, could be the perfect antidote to Christmas for you.

Other than that time I had open heart surgery in the next-to-last year of the Twentieth Century and, afterwards, in my recovery, was prescribed powerful opioids to manage the impossible throbbing pain, reading Ice by Anna Kavan is the closest I've ever come to being a junkie.  Classic though it is, Junky's got nothing on Ice when it comes to having a vicarious experience of what the long term hallucinatory effects of using heroin must be like upon one's psyche.  Sorry, William S. B., you know I still love you.

Ice is a consummate downer. It is major clinical depression — and maybe madness — incarnate, a deep freeze of the mind and spirit t…