88 books down.
This one was a bit difficult for me to endure. It’s essentially three stories in one. The first, autobiographical, is about an unnamed Irish Lit student. The second story is about a character named John Furriskey, created by a second character named Dermot Trellis, both of which were created by the student. The final story are adaptations of Irish legends involving characters named Finn Mac Cool and Mad King Sweeney.
Follow? Me neither.
I’ve read stories inside stories before (like The French Lieutenant’s Woman), but this one was more difficult to get through.
An example of both the wordiness of the novel and O’Brien’s view on literature. Read more
So here’s where we stand in the 101 Books project.
Before my hiatus, I started At Swim Two Birds, so I’ve made good headway into that and will hopefully finish it up soon. From there, here’s what’s left: Read more
Hey. It’s me. Robert.
How are you?
So this is one of those dumb blog posts where the writer is like “Hey, sorry for not posting in X weeks. But I’m back and going to do better this time.”
Then all the readers are like “Who cares, dude? I forgot you even existed.” Unsubscribe.
Anyone ever heard of this novel? I haven’t, not until I first saw it on the list.
So I’m diving in on this one blind. Wikipedia tells me this novel is about an Irish literature student who doesn’t believe novels should have a beginning or an end, then tells 3 different stories in one book. Sounds very Joyce-esque, right?
Here are a few tidbits about At-Swim Two Birds and its author, Flann O’Brien: Read more
Almost every novel on the Time list is dark in some way. Some more than others, of course, but they all have that element of darkness.
None of them, though, reach the level of The Painted Bird. This novel, y’all, it’s brutal.
Imagine a 6-year-old Jewish kid, abandoned by his parents, witnessing a gauntlet of tortuous events—a young teenager’s eyeballs gouged out, a man falling into a pit of ravenous rats, a woman brutally raped to the point she dies—and that’s just the beginning. Read more
No, I know my posts are sporadicly sporadic–but much to your chagrin, I’m not quitting.
I am, however, taking a small break ( I know what you’re thinking, Isn’t he already doing that?) Yeah, right.
Anyway, I’m going on vacation so no posting…but I will be reading. I just finished The Painted Bird and am starting At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’Brien. If you’re keeping score at home, that will be book #88.
I’ll be back the week of July 11, and I’ll review my 87th book, The Painted Bird.
Thanks for sticking around lately, guys. I really do intend to clear out the cobwebs in here and get back on a regular 3-day a week schedule.
See you guys the week after next.
Did you ever hear the one about Jerzy Kosinski passing off The Painted Bird as a memoir?
Yeah, that kind of happened.
Here’s how our always trustworthy friends at Wikipedia put it: Read more