"The unnamed main character, a 63 year old street dude, is admirably, deeply drawn. A massively intelligent and probable schizophrenic who lives under a bridge, spouts French, algebraically calculates when social security will catch up to him, and uses words like temerarious. It’s a choppy, but poetic, read because Unnamed speaks just like my missus: in big fat, run-on gibberish. ‘Pseudo-senility this ain’t. All too aware. Dementia in reverse. The floridity of your vegetative process. Confusion as regards sedulity.’ Feels Beat, right? Just when readers might despair that this is an incoherent mess, Nisbet sets a powerful hook by having his nameless character accept $5000 in an envelope. Turns out he’s a hit man who literally measures hits in martinis. Push through the first 20 pages; your reward is a rollicking, if unclean-feeling, experience.”
Basically, Babbs lives in a museum. It’s funny that the guy who always played the lighthearted counterweight to Kesey is now the Prankster’s myth builder, spending his days among his artifacts, spouting off quotes that he attributes to Kesey—even though I’m pretty sure he makes them up on the spot.
In evidence here is some of the finest journalism in the American cannon, at once celebrating, flogging and observing the varieties of mankind. Some of it – like John Steinbeck’s reporting from the Okie camps of California – was indeed written when there were more newspapers and more people to read them. But much here is of our own day and age – Jim Dwyer in the New York Times on the fight to survive in the burning Twin Towers; Jeffrey Zaslow writing on Randy Pausch’s “last lecture” in the Wall Street Journal – reminding that there is still great journalism to be had, and whether you read it on your iPad or in print does not matter much.
Robert Seidman’s MOMENTS CAPTURED is on sale today! #bookbirthday http://goo.gl/Fo230
From Booklist: The life and exploits of pioneering photographer Eadweard Muybridge are examined in delectable detail in"Seidman’s engrossing novel. The realities of Muybridge’s professional tasks and historic achievements are set against the personal temptations of Holly Hughes, the fictional lover and muse Seidman invents. An internationally acclaimed dancer, Hughes is a zealously outspoken proponent of free love and women’s
rights, and her passion for both spurs an equally intense drive in Muybridge to break new ground in stopaction
photographic techniques. He is given the perfect opportunity by California’s grandiose former governor, Leland Stanford, when Stanford accepts the challenge to provide photographic proof that his champion racehorse gallops at such a pace that he is temporarily airborne. Although Muybridge’s creativity and ambition are instrumental in transforming photography from an exclusively static medium into motion pictures, his personal life devolves into sordid scandal when he murders Hughes’ former lover, in a variation of the crime Muybridge actually did commit. Seidman combines brisk pacing and bold passions to dynamically illuminate a crucial chapter in America’s artistic and technological history.”
The Believer Logger: "Pigs don’t have to pay rent in a barn because they’re the ones that are getting butchered." An interview with Cole...
I met Cole Stryker at a secret party last summer, just before his first book came out, called Epic Win for Anonymous. Cole described Epic Win as a cultural study of trolling, 4chan, memes and the hacker darlings known as Anonymous. Invitees were asked not to bring a guest, not to tweet,…
"What infernally dull reading an author’s life makes. It’s all right as long as you are still struggling but once you have become financially sound there is nothing to say." — P.G. Wodehouse (Letter to Denis Mackail, 22 July 1955).
Happy birthday to Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, born today in 1881. If you haven’t discovered the delightful genius of Plum, do yourself a favor and pick up one of his books today.