Dystopia & Disruption

Man Booker Long List announced. Dystopia and Disruption themes. Signs of the times to be sure. But. I want to escape all that. Won’t be reading The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner. Clausty on steroids. Not sure about the others on the list. Seems a dark collection.

It’s clearly a good year for Canada’s Michael Ondaatje. His 1992 The English Patient won the Man Booker Golden Prize for the best novel in the past five decades. Just read his latest, Warlight which made this year’s list. A post-World War II story, which was good, but didn’t love it as much as one of my all time faves, The Cat’s Table.

Spring Board

Catapulting into summer from a cool wet spring. Ninety degrees today. It’s on. Curtis Strange gave great commentary of the U.S. Open at Shinnecock where the windy course vaulted many stars out of the weekend and made Phippy whippy. In the end, Koepka survived with a back-to-back trophy hoist. Strange enough. The last one to do that was Curtis.

The Affair is back. And. Another show features the Colletti Winery. If you find it, you’ll know. Jump to book-treks. Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton. Ghosting. Literally. A psychopath with social media savvy can get away with murder. Fooling narcissistic Manhattan millennials with Facebook tagging, photoshopping. Yup. Hiding homicide never easier.

Aside Posts

Killing Eve. BBC America’s mesmerizingly unique love story. Assassin pursued by a British agent. Vice-versa. To dub this a feminist trope would be soul-less and silly at best. It’s an intimate sensuous cold look at raw characters. Sandra Oh. Jodie Comer. Acting, writing uncannily different. In a similar spirit, HBO’s Barry has an edgy ensemble, with laugh-out-loud Russian caricatures. Violent. Ironic. Startling. Jaundiced. Captivating. Both. Must see.

Warlight. A new novel by the brilliant author Michael Ondaatdje. Not as good as one of my all-time favorites The Cat’s Table, 2011. His table metaphors continue, nonetheless. It is a melodic poetic post-WWII tale of a boy abandoned by his parents and left to the care of loving Dickensian rascals. His mother, Rose, worked with one of them on the roof of the Grosvenor House Hotel in London during the war, intercepting enemy communications.

Mansour Ghalibaf of the Hotel Northampton in Table’s Edgehappened to be partner with owners of the Grosvenor House consortium, descendants from those days. As an aside.

City Writes

Recently Joey3Sticks ran into an old customer from Frank Stella men’s clothing store on the UWS. Philip Roth recognized him and they chatted for a bit near the Park on the East Side. RIP. New York authors falling by the wayside. Wolfe now Roth. City benches will miss them.

Still living. Stephen King has a new book, The Outsider. In keeping with his genre. He was in the ‘hood for the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards at the Museum of Natural History and later sighted wearing a tux in the lobby of The Mark Hotel on the UES.

White Wolfe

Author Tom Wolfe. His books stand the test of time. No one ever coined cultures better. Social x-rays. Limousine liberals. Radical chic. The ME generation. University athletics as centers of corruption. Astronauts as heroes of a generation. Wolfe’s white suits and literary legacy live on.

I Am Charlotte Simmons. Bonfire of the Vanities. The Right Stuff. Back to Blood. All-time favorites on the Book-Treks shelf.

It seems that Tom’s first job in journalism was as a reporter at The Springfield Union, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Season Collusion

It’s the first full day of Spring. Yet. Wintry all-day snow. Upper West Side got more than most. Over 8 inches. So. Read Autumn by Ali Smith for tomorrow’s book club:

Collage campus. I didn’t intend to like this book based on its subject matter. Dying old guy and young girl as friends. Yet. I did like it. More for its richness of language, word play, concision of phrasing. And. Daniel’s perspective on life as a collage alum, rather than a college one. An asymmetrically smart relationship. Historical. Topical. Not a story novel. More a literary read.

Green Day

I know. Musical allusions abound. Anyway. That was fast. Virginia out. Busted brackets making more racket than St. Patrick’s Day parade marching bands up Fifth Avenue. Tiger sure didn’t burn up the greens either yesterday. So. Guess it’s dyed beer at the pubs to drown sorrows and boredom. Or read a book. Autumn by Ali Smith next on the book club list. Even though it’s nearly Spring, it’s cold. Yeah. One of those days.

Serpentine Shifts

The Golden GlobesHats off to the few women who represented true individualism by not conforming to walking the red carpet in black. What’s the point when you pose and strut and remain objectified as a pretty thing anyway? Nicole should have thanked her co-star. Male directors need not have been dissed. Misandry is not the answer to bad behavior by a few jerks. Happy about James Franco. Of course. And Seth Meyers was solid.

The Essex Serpent, a novel by Sarah Perry. An amorphous Ness. Meant to be a Victorian Gothic homage, it didn’t quite manage either. Science, medicine, modernity dispelled the gossamer blue fog along a rural estuary where the mythic serpent was reportedly glimpsed. The so-called monster never conjured a terror commensurate with the village’s reaction. Perry draws her characters well. They just didn’t seem to belong in the same story together. A good read, but don’t agree with all the literary accolades.

GOT Books?

Game of Thrones returns. After reviewing the last two episodes of gory wars, exploding bodies, and dogs’ ravenous dinner of Ramsay, Season 7 began. It couldn’t get grosser, could it? Oh yes. How does a library become a cesspool. Literally. There are tomes and turds galore. And.

Speaking of bad reads. Leaving Lucy Pear, Solomon’s “mother load” touted by WaPo, is a dud.

Literary Mind Craft

The Night Ocean, by Paul La Farge. I’m not sure. It kept me rapt. Author clearly had lots of things to work through. Personally. Maybe. Literarily many unfinished stories found their way into this dense work. Sprawling disjointed tales of several complex people in different times and places. Spaces. Told from a woman’s point of view, Marina the shrink, working out her own issues. The author gave her an authentic voice. It begins as her husband Charlie disappears into Agawam Lake in the Berkshires. H.S. Lovecraftian fandom less clear. More context necessary for those not acquainted with this cult of science-fiction-horror genre. Nonetheless. Worth the meandering page-turning journey. Lots to think about. La Farge’s New Yorker view.

Speaking of mind-bending. Twin Peaks so far is a self-indulgent David Lynchian acid trip with no redeeming plot value. Vomitaceous. Literally.