Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reading Log

May 10, 2010 05:14 AM

Just finished David Peak's The Rocket's Red Glare and was quite disappointed. It wasn't at all what I expected given the almost unanimous praise for high literary merit his previous book,Museum of Fucked, received. The new book is a Y/A fantasy/adventure novel with all the plot and character cliches associated with that genre and with no apparent pretention to any artistic quality as a work of fiction. Very light, mindless entertainment which, I suppose, is OK once in a great while. 2/5 stars.

May 23, 2010 12:05 AM
1047987Ken Sparling's new book, Book, continues his fascinating literary project of narrative fragmentation but this time the dislocations from paragraph to paragraph of character, plot, scene, timeframe, etc., are even more profound. Consequently my disorientation, as a reader, became more pervasive in this than in Sparling's previous books. While still highly interesting at the level of individual sentences and paragraphs due to the extraordinary imagination at work, I missed the accumulating sense of familiarization with who the characters are and what's going on that's gained in reading the earlier books. The weird flights of fancy and powerful emotional content is still there but the parts didn't add up to as meaningful a whole as my favorite Sparling books: Untitled, For Those Whom God Has Blessed With Fingers and Hush Up and Listen Stinky Poo Butt.

May 23, 2010 12:20 AM

Daniel Bailey's The Drunk Sonnets and Jimmy Chen's Typewriter are two very worthwhile chapbooks from Magic Helicopter Press. The first is a cycle of 53 sonnets on themes of social alienation and, of course, booze, done in a very lively and amusing style and read more like 1st person narrative prose poems than traditional sonnets. The second is a cycle of flash fictions on the theme of internet culture and the attendant isolation and loneliness of those consumed by it. These pieces by Chen are excellent examples of inventive imagination coupled with dry wit and biting satire. Very amusing stuff.

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