Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reading Log

Mar 14, 2010 05:49AM

Read another Tim Hall story collection: Triumph of the Won't. This doesn't feature as much the wickedly inventive satire of One Damn Thing After Another but it does demonstrate Hall's mastery of plot and characterization in more conventional fictive modes. The sly hipness of the quasi-autobiographical narrators is basically the same in these pieces as in the later book and it's definitely very much worth reading as that one was.

Mar 16, 2010 05:12AM

I found Blake Butler's novel in stories, Scorch Atlas, less successful artistically than his other book, Ever. There are several quite brilliant sections ("The Gown From Mother's Stomach" and "The Ruined Child" for example) but there are several long stretches of writing that seemed too much to be striving to reformulate the style and ideas of the later works of Beckett (The Unnamable, How it Is and the Nohow On triolgy). Perhaps Scorch Atlas represents a young writer not yet fully emerged from the shadow of his influences though I'm just assuming the fictions in this book predate the maturer and more original work of Ever, a book that does indeed bode well for Butler's future .


  1. Andy, thank you for such thoughtful, intelligent, and refreshingly frank reviews.

  2. Thank you for the kind words Ethel. Your appreciation is the icing on the cake because doing this blog is so much fun!