When I start reading something like Bukowski (or Hunter S Thompson or Irvine Welsh), my lovely spouse always listens so patiently while I tell her about the book I’m currently in the middle of. Then she looks at me with that beautiful, quizzical smile and asks me why I torture myself this way.
Technically, the publication date on David Foster Wallace’s Something to Do with Paying Attention is 2022, because it is an extract from Wallace’s unfinished novel, The Pale King — specifically a monologue from one character that stands on its own as a novella.
Ethan Frome is one of the shortest classics you can read. My Penguin Classics edition clocks in at only ninety-nine pages. However, despite the length it is a powerful and sharp narrative full of symbolism, depth, and atmosphere.
There’s no doubt that when I think of spooky stories, I think of Ray Bradbury. His narratives are referenced time and time again and have influenced countless writers in turn.
Any anthology usually ends up being a mixed bag in terms of content. There will be things you like and things you don’t. When a famous artist, writer, or illustrator that you admire is asked to select stories for an anthology it can be an extra special experience.
I was first exposed to Nightmare Alley via TCM’s Noir Alley and the 1947 film starring Tyrone Power in one of his few villain roles. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, though it is a lot different from the novel.
The Catcher in the Rye is much maligned. Accused of being misogynist, homophobic, and other horrible things, it’s a book that many people have a very strong opinion about one way or another.
He details stories that float around the county, amongst the men working the fields, and also the stories that women trade while they sew around the dining room table and children play around their feet. Those stories mark time. They are shared county history.
Hiroshima follows the stories of six individuals who lived through the bomb — a clerk, a seamstress, a doctor, a minister, a surgeon, and a Catholic priest initially from Germany. There are five chapters each with six sections — one for each person.