Saturday, June 29, 2019

Svetislav Bsara, The Cyclist Conspiracy (1987)

Here's a Serbian novel published by Open Letter Books, also responsible for The Museum of Eterna's Novel and The Island of Point Nemo. I really like this press in theory--let's introduce some foreign novels of note to the English-speaking world--and yet the first of those was a mild disappointment to me and the latter just fucking awful. Is the third time the charm?
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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What's the late Jack Chick up to?

As you may remember if you're a long-time reader, I used to be sort of obsessed with Chick tracts, but it's been a long time. I guess that sort of irony stopped appealing to me, more or less. And yet, I'm still subscribed to the site, so I get notifications about new tracts, so I figured, okay, fine, let's see what they're up to lately. The site's been redesigned since I was last there, but you'll be glad to know that they still have most if not all of the old classics available. So let's take a look at "Tell Me About It!"
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Sunday, June 23, 2019

John Crowley, Ka: Dar Oakley in the Ruin of Ymir (2017)

Here's a novel by John Crowley, the author of--among other things--the epic Little, Big and the flawed but fascinating four-volume Ægypt Cycle, which asks the question: what if Renaissance cosmology was actually true at the time; it just later became not-true and never-had-been-true? I want to reread it. It's really cool. Anyway, this is his first work of fantasy since that was finished in 2007, so it's a notable thing. It had been on my radar for a long time, and now I've read it. Hey!
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Sunday, June 09, 2019

Mario Vargas Llosa, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1977)

Well, here we have this, which is a book what I read. It's an in part semi-autobiographical thing in which the narrator, named Mario Vargas, okay okay, is an eighteen-year-old aspiring writer working editing news bulletins for a radio station. "Aunt Julia" is his thirty-two-year-old divorced aunt (no biological relation) with whom he starts a relations; "the scriptwriter" is Pedro Camacho, a Bolivian who's been brought into Peru to bring his tireless work to the local radio soap operas (you might think from the title that the two are related in some way, but they're really not). Every other chapter is an unrelated story which, it quickly transpires, is an episode of one of Camacho's many serials. These start out normal but become strange as the scriptwriter starts to lose it, and characters from serials start getting mixed up and changing names and roles and everything, sometimes within the chapter. So the book is about the narrator and his relationships with these two characters.
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