What Are You Reading?

New Grub Street by George Gissing published 1891 always try and get through a classic? once a year usually struggle, but chomped my way through this one, set in London's Publishing land of the late 19th Century with a group of writers facing both success and failure.
Moving ,funny, heartbreaking and feels very contemporary and fresh.
Anybody reading this or planning to? Was released a few weeks ago. Cover image would make a sick poster...

In keeping with my usual "nothing or just about everything" philosophy, I'm deep into Archie Hill's A Cage of Shadows, Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front (3rd read since about 1985) and Sylvia Plath's The Collected Poems. I'm also musing about a dichotomously comparative essay on Sylvia Plath and our own Henry Charles Bukowski. Sounds absolutely daft, dunnit? You'd be surprised. But probably won't be when I don't get around to actually writing it.
Recently finished:
Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler, part of my every-so-often re-reading of all 7 Marlowe novels. He certainly practiced what he preached, i.e., a consummate stylist. Some great lines/passages as usual.

Disturbing the Peace by Richard Yates, my penultimate book of the 7 Yates novels. I've read that this novel "was dismissed by critics as his weakest book" but this may be my second favorite, after Revolutionary Road. Following the breakdown of an alcoholic was riveting and sad. And the fact that it's based on Yate's actual breakdown made it more poignant/harrowing.

Next up:
Young Hearts Crying by Richard Yates. This is my last of the 7 Yates novels to be read. I almost don't want to start it for that reason...
Just finished "The Story of the Eye" by Georges Bataille...and I have absolutely no idea why this book is deemed important. After a few weeks of exploring "subversive" French literature, reading Salo by De Sade and Journey by Celine this month, I've concluded that it isn't something I'm into. Journey and Salo left me extremely bored and outside of their historical context I'm not sure what has made these books endure like they have. Story of the Eye left me disinterested and outside of its link to Bataille and his other more important philosophical writings I'm not sure what the big deal is. I was ecstatic to find a copy of Pierre Guyotat's out of print "Eden Eden Eden" which chronicles his experience being imprisoned in a literal fucking hole in the ground for something like three months after attempting to abandon the military during the Algerian war. But of course when I received it...it was in French so I guess that's that. Vive Le France!
Is there anyone who can maybe tell me what I'm missing here or what went over my head?
Hi Hooch, with very little prodding, I could agree with you. After reading Road, I was blown away by the quality of the prose. But after Peace, I was blown away by the writing (of course) and the brutal honesty and rawness.

I just also picked up the Twayne's Author series book on Yates for $4 off of ebay in nice shape (sans DJ).
Just finished this. Robert Evans was a heavy hitter in New Hollywood. Tight with Nicholson, Polanski, Beatty... Produced Rosemary's Baby, Godfather, Chinatown... Was head of production at Paramount when he was 30. Had A LOT of wives too. McQueen stole one of them (Ali MacGraw) and then McQueen tried to take custody of their kid. Lawyers got involved and Evans brought in some muscle. There was a phonebook thick dossier of background info on McQueen - when McQueen and his lawyer saw it they turned ashen and left and never bothered Evans again. Would love to know what was in that stack of papers.

He also had a great term for a lot of $$$ - he called it "fuck you money."

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“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Reading The Rage by Gene Kerrigan & loving it. Read one other of his, The Midnight Choir. It's great as well.
I’m trying to get through Lolita right now. I really don’t see the genius in the prose, it’s too... flowery for me. However, it is definitely an interesting concept. I’m having a thing I've had with books like Gravity’s Rainbow and Naked Lunch, where I get really bored at times reading them, but the concept and themes of the book are interesting enough to keep me going back to it until I finish it, unlike some other underwhelming books which I have put down indefinitely. It’ll probably be the same case with Lolita.

I also finally got and finished Dangling in the Tournefortia. I really liked it. It has some of the greatest Bukowski poems I have read, although it also has some of the more pointless ones (that the great ones definitely made up for).

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Finished Stoner by John Williams, over X-mas.

I can accept and agree with some of the criticisms of this touted "Greatest Novel Ever Written That You've Never Heard Of," but I was still blown away by it. At the moment, it's entered my top 10...
Well I got back from London 2 months ago where I bought 11 books. And 6 of them are Bukowski. I read the thread "the Tragic Rape.." yesterday and it cleared things up for me.

I bought:
Burning in Water
You Get So Alone
Post Office
Notes of a Dirty Old Man
What Matters Most

I already own the Essential Bukowski and Play the Piano. And I really love them.

But getting back to the tragic rape, while Burning in Water was a good read, I couldn't F,,, finish What Matters Most. I found it dull, unrelated to Bukowski and started flipping pages around looking for something that will make me feel anything other than disconnect??‍♀️
I'm not used to reading like this, I don't like missing out on pages and leaving stories unfinished but boy that Martin guy really did a number on this.. I'm just happy he didn't ruin the rest of the Bukowski books I own.

I also recently finished Now and Then by Gil Scott Heron, it's breif, and if you liked his last album 'I'm New Here' you'd enjoy it.

Now I'm trying to decide which book to read from the ones I bought in London.

Btw thanks for reminding me of Chuck Palahniuk, I wanted to get Invisible Monsters for a long time and it slipped my mind!


Founding member

Saw the author on the Joe Rogan podcast. Very well written. The story of Cynthia Ann Parker (captured as a child by Comanches and fully assimilated, became the mother of the last great Comanche chief Quanah Parker, later relocated by Texas Rangers into white society against her will) is truly insane and very tragic in many ways.

I've read many of Dick's stories over the years, but have not seen the show yet. Thanks for the reminder.
That cover is freaking' me out...

I set out in 2020 with a plan to read (and re-read) as many PKD books and only PKD books as possible. I wanted to dial into his paranoia and see where my head went after days and weeks of nothing but his stories. I caught major shit from the lady because I was not reading "literature" but some of his stuff is just plain wild and if you try to relay a storyline to somebody you end up sounding like a person in need of a psychiatric evaluation.

I was 11 PKD books deep mid-March and then life here started looking like a PKD story - people hunkered down, masks in public, run on supplies, people a block ahead seeing you on a walk and crossing the street, etc.

I am 100% on the e-book bandwagon and found software that allows me to purchase a digital copy, strip the DRM, and most importantly change the cover. This is the last book I finished. Hoping everybody stays safe...

I'm debating with myself if I should start reading this again. I got past the first chapter, which was really good I must say, but didn’t finish it (yes! because of the length). However, I really fucking liked Los Detectives Salvajes (The Savage Detectives) by Bolaño, so I don’t know.

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