Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Monday, July 10, 2006

Failure of the Day: Summer Literature Round-Up

In case anyone is interested, Jpod might be the worst novel ever written. Coupland has never been a great writer; he was mostly only cloyingly clever and had a finger/pulse thing going on a with a specific area of culture, but even that’s completed obliterated with this terrible book. He should have called it The Book of Failed Gambits. He should have called it Culture Has Passed Me By and I’m Pretending. He should have called it Look! Microserfs Again! Or Let’s All Stay in 1995!

Everyman was OK. Roth distilled himself nicely into a 6 ounce glass of everclear—too intense to actually drink, and so strong and flammable you can die from it in a myriad of ways. Not pleasant but gets the job done. Should have been called Death of a Penis.

Black Swan Green, to no one’s surprise, left me breathless and starry. Mitchell rockets up to number three on my all-time favorite authors list, behind only Vonnegut and Amis.

I never got more than a couple of pages into King Dork. I may try again—I read those couple pages at 3 AM in the midst of severe insomnia and had to switch to another book because it was annoying me.

On the other hand, I am very much looking forward to Winkie, which I just ordered and which should arrive in time for the vacation. If it’s half as good as its Publishers Weekly review, it’ll be the book of the summer.


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