What Are You Reading?

Any F. Scott Fitzgerald fans around here? Recommendations?
Years ago I read Tender is the Night, Gatsby, This Side of Paradise, and The Beautiful and Damned. Your assessment isn't inaccurate. The book I enjoyed the most was Six Tales of the Jazz Age and Other Stories. You might give the short stories a shot. The good news is, if you're still bored, you''ll be bored for a shorter period of time than with the novels. :D
 
Any F. Scott Fitzgerald fans around here? Recommendations?
Four Fists and Bernice Bobs Her Hair are decent but as much for historical insight and technical prowess as for entertainment value. Most of the stories fell flat to me but I like his writing, I just didn't think he was able to take it anywhere. He was just too Princeton. But, he's writing about a world that we seldom really see and tries to say things about the problems of the upper class in a subtle and funny way. No idea whether that helps anything - just my take. I like Joyces early shorts better than Fitzgeralds but the power elite in the jazz age is a good and difficult subject and Fitzgerald is the only one who really tried to tackle em as far as I know.
 
It's a bit difficult to be sympathetic to problems akin to the Bentley not starting and having to take the Bugatti to the Club, or having to play canasta tonight at the Carnegie estate despite having a paper cut on one's taint. I agree that Joyce's portrayal of a similar era, albeit a few years removed and from a very different vantage point and perspective, is far superior.

For some reason, I get a kick out of the trailer for Ted 2, where Ted says: You just said F. Scott Fitzgerald. What did Scott Fitzgerald ever do to you?
 
Recently finished "Visceral Bukowski" by Ben Pleasants. This is one of the good books about Buk, The amazing realization about this book is that Buk was actually into all things German. He didn't have a passing "just kidding" interest in the Nazi's. As far as Pleasants is concerned Buk was actually into the vibe of the Nazi's big time. It seemed like a home sick kind of deal. I highly doubt that Buk would have signed off on all of the plans that the H-guy and his evil cohorts had in mind.

Pleasants claims that our beloved Buk was actually kind of on the run from the FBI after the FBI busted and shut down the German-American Bund. Buk used to go there all the time. This was heavy shit for me to process.

Also finished "The Holy Grail" by A.D. Winans. AD was friends with the Buk-Meister much longer than most people. This book doesn't reveal that much about Buk but A.D. has a pretty good amount of direct quotes from Buk from the many letters they wrote to each other. This was a good book. It covered almost all of Buk's life as AD's friend and a lot about the San Franciso scene.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
This was heavy shit..
Heavy bullshit is what it is. I'm pretty sure Ben Pleasants was a Nazi, so he just wanted to paint someone else that way. You know, so he wouldn't feel so alone.

Pleasants knows a lot. He also fabricates a lot.
 
The amazing realization about this book is that Buk was actually into all things German. He didn't have a passing "just kidding" interest in the Nazi's.
It is not at all amazing that he was into all things German.
Germans did accomplish a lot of great things, especially in the field of arts and sciences. Bukowski was proud of being from Germany, wasn't he. But to make him appear as a Nazi, or a fellow traveler, this idea is so weird, so out of place, that it never occurred to me.
 
Pleasants claims that our beloved Buk was actually kind of on the run from the FBI after the FBI busted and shut down the German-American Bund. Buk used to go there all the time. This was heavy shit for me to process.
Can you imagine if Ben Pleasants and James Franco made a movie about this? Depression-era Bukowski flees from the FBI. He's drifting from one city to another working dead-end jobs and shacking up with women whose husbands are fighting in the Pacific. J. Edgar Hoover has his top G-men hunting for America's No.1 Nazi poet in this thrilling game of cat and mouse. But who is the cat and who is the mouse?

rated pg-13 for partial nudity.
 
It's a bit difficult to be sympathetic to problems akin to the Bentley not starting ...
Well the thing is is that the rich guys are the ones who own everything, so airing their dirty laundry can be a compromising task to say the least. I like him more than most folks nowadays, its safe to say. Certainly more than Hemingway or Celine for example.

But I can see how to most people, he's sort of a literary equivalent to the Dire Straits :hmh:
 

Hosh

hoshomccreesh.com
Anyone read East Bay Grease by Eric Miles Williamson? I'm close to finishing it, and have enjoyed it.
 
I'm currently reading Patrick Wensink's Broken Piano for President (Lazy Fascist, 2012), a copy of the First Printing featuring the Jack Daniel's-style cover art that prompted an attorney for Jack Daniel's Properties, Inc., to send a cease-and-desist letter direct to the Kentucky author, not the Oregon publisher.

I recently revisited George Orwell's 1984 (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1949; Commemorative 1984 Edition with a Preface by Walter Cronkite). Followed it up with a first-time viewing of the movie, 1984 (1984).

Also read Thomas More's Utopia (1516; Paul Turner translation published by Penguin Classics in 1965), Mykle Hansen's I, Slutbot (Eraserhead Press, 2014), Joseph Campbell's The Inner Reaches of Outer Space (Harper & Row, 1986), and Paul Strathern's Descartes in 90 Minutes (Ivan R. Dee, Inc., 1996).
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
[...] I recently revisited George Orwell's 1984 (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1949; Commemorative 1984 Edition with a Preface by Walter Cronkite). Followed it up with a first-time viewing of the movie, 1984 (1984).
Same here, I went to Jura earlier this year ( Orwell wrote 1984 there in 1947/48) it's pretty desolate to be honest (unless you like birdwatching or Whisky), he rented a house from a London friend.

I should have done more research, because it was impossible for me to get near the house, my car would only go so far, it's single track road on the island, then it gets so bad you need a 4x4 for about 4 more miles.I didn't have enough time to walk it without missing the last ferry.
I could understand his need for isolation and privacy, but in 1948 it must have been truly grim with real hardship, why he didn't go to some equally private but lovely french or Italian place especially with his tuberculosis. But then it wouldn't have been the great, dark masterpiece of a book it is perhaps. :)
 
Interesting that you made that pilgrimage. I found 1984 to be transportive on the revisitation. Suspension of disbelief was the natural setting. Terrifying, tender-hearted, truespeak stuff. Jura around Orwell's rented house sounds like an I. Bergman film. How adventurous of you, Skygazer. "I didn't have enough time to walk it without missing the last ferry." Intriguing.
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
Well, adventures sounds a lot better than mishaps, thank you.:)
Finishing 1984 was Orwell's driving passion, for a lot of the time he was seriously ill, being on Jura wasn't a good idea, no electricity, calour gas for the stove and peat for the fire, but he loved it there. He had lived in much worse conditions previously though.

1984 was a nightmare for him, he spent a lot of time in Hairmyers hospital being lifted off the island, carried on smoking throughout (but stopping wasn't usually first on the list in those days even in hospitals) he did receive treatment with Streptomycin there by special consent, he reacted badly to it. (it was still at the trial stage in the UK) it had massive success in the States and ushered in chemotherapy for the treatment of TB, (instead of fresh air and sanatoriums) but Orwell was just too late to benefit. He did live to see the success of the book by a few months before he died. aged 46.
 
Just finished the collection of John Fante Letters, some of which are dull but others that show his genius. The entirety gives great frame of reference to his novels, and it was interesting to re read Wait until Spring Bandini, and Dreams from Bunker Hill just now after the letters.
 
087685479X.jpg


the story is a bit boring and slow
near the end now
hoping the effort pays off
kind of like a boring fuck
just hoping the orgasm will be good

regardless...very well written
It's well written and a good story, slow all the time, and you feel like your waiting waiting waiting, and then nothing. Hard to say if it was a waste of time or not, because its enthralling while you're reading but when it's over its just... what? that's it? OK I guess...
 
Last edited:

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
I read Love goes to buildings on fire.

My memory for-a books though, she ain't-a so good (read that like a cartoon Italian pizza maker might talk), but I seem to remember some interesting connections were made in there. You can't go wrong with anything NYC in the 1970s.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
I found it charming.

But then I could leave. If I'd been stuck there I may have felt differently.

But really, the awful conditions of the city are part of what kept rents low enough so broke young people could afford to live there. And that inspired a lot of new music, so there's that. Same thing was happening in London at the same time.
 
the awful conditions of the city are part of what kept rents low enough so broke young people could afford to live there. And that inspired a lot of new music, so there's that. Same thing was happening in London at the same time.
Same thing happening in London as what is happening in New York now too. But it's great because it makes lots of money. Speaking of which, apparently 1977 was the year in which there was most financial equality in the UK. That's progress for you.
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis. Very good. It got a little confusing trying to follow who was narrating when but it didn't stop me. Great book, yet depressing. I mean, come on, it's set mostly in a WWII concentration camp for crying out loud.
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Fourth Of July Creek by Smith Henderson. It's the story of a social worker in rural Montana trying to help folks who really don't want his help. The protagonist has problems of his own and things do get a wee-bit melodramatic in spots but the story is well-paced. There is also a fascinating character who is a nut-job survivalist anticipating the Apocalypse but Henderson manages to give him a sympathetic portrayal anyway. The theme here is family - both immediate and societal - and all the threats posed against them. Especially the self-imposed ones.
 
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, a gruesome western novel, about halfway through and it definitely takes a while to get into his style, what with no quotation marks at all and a bit of choppy sentences. Once you're used to it he's a pretty good read. It definitely keeps my interest, he leaves a lot up to the reader, and most of his stories are just stories from some deep, dark, and secluded places in America.

I've read a few of his other novels, and Child of God sticks out as well, a dark, gruesome tale of an "accused" rapist in the Appalachians.
 
Well somewhere off in the beginning Lester gets off an accusation of rape from some girl he saw in the woods. I thought it was funny because that was included in the synopsis on the back of the book about being accused of rape, when a simple accusation of rape seems trivial compared to the insanely savage other shit he does.
 
Top