A Naked Singularity tricked me. I don’t mean the author, Sergio de la Pava, tricked me. Nor do I mean, Casi, public defender, narrator, tricked me. No, the book itself tricked me. I saw its spine, psychedelic with white and black and fuschia design and lettering. It called to me to pick it up. I did. I read the back and thought, sounds ok. But maybe I just want to read it because the cover is beautiful. I put it down. I would not pick up a 678 page book for $18 by an author I never heard of because it was pretty. I am not that easily seduced. I walked away. But later I wondered about the book. Did I use the book’s length as an excuse? Was I lazy? Was I not giving a new author a chance? I picked up the book at another bookstore and pondered it again. No, still not what I wanted. I thought about it so more. Did I pick it up the second time because it was so pretty? So I looked at it a third time at the first bookstore. This time I reread the blurb and decided it was for me.
The Sense of an Ending requires our attention to our individual senses and feelings. Although the book must end, the title implies that the ending is a feeling and is not concrete or final. The book’s plot and language are not the only things to pay attention to. We are to be aware of our personal interpretations of the book. By placing the ending in the title, Julian Barnes makes the reader conscious of how the novel will end and how Barnes will build up to the ending. Because not only is it about the ending, but the sense, the feeling, the leading up to the ending. You are cognizant of the ending throughout the work. The novel begins in the present reflecting to the past which quickly leads up to the present and the ending. Continue reading →
The most horrifying stories, according to Chuck Palahniuk, are those that could happen. And the greatest monsters are the invisible ones living within us. He explores this in the reincarnation of his novel, Invisible Monsters, now published as Invisible Monsters, Remix. Continue reading →
I first read Irvine Welsh‘s Filth about five years ago and ignored all else but this book. I couldn’t put it down; not sure why; the title says it all – it’s filth. The main character, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson is an asshole; he’s a drug-using sadistic sociopath ‘enforcing’ the law and up for promotion. He takes pleasure in watching other people suffer; he sets people up to destroy their lives. His wife has taken their child and left him. He sleeps with his colleagues’ and friends’ wives and pretends to love them as he is shoving them out the door. He is racist and homophobic and the lead investigator in the homicide of a black journalist. This book should suck, it should make you throw it against the wall and maybe stomp on it. 393 pages with such a vile narrator? And yet, Irvine Welsh pulls it off. He creates this unreliable narrator who is so ridiculously obscene that it’s humorous. Did I mention that Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson also suffers from eczema in his ass and a narrating tapeworm? Continue reading →