Friday, May 01, 2009

52 books in 52 weeks

11. On the Yard by Malcolm Braley

I could not stop talking about how much I was enjoying this book. I'm sure people tired of my "It's Oz in a book!" refrain, but it is. The characters in this 1967 prison novel are intriguingly complex, and I seriously cannot remember a more gripping climax to a fiction narrative. I was bent on writing a film adaptation, but I see it's already been done. Remake perhaps?

12. Everyone's Pretty by Lydia Millet

Wanting to add another LA text to my research, I picked up this novel - a farcical tale of a porn producer, his Christian martyr sister, and sundry other characters, somehow inevitably including a horny dwarf. The plot is pretty over the top, but then again, it is LA. The quick jumps between character perspective keep the story moving at a compelling pace.

13. Lowboy by John Wray

A 16-year-old paranoid schizophrenic escapes from an institution and rides the New York City subway system on a mission to save the world from global warming by getting laid. I will not mention the obvious comparison everyone else is making. It's a pretty brilliant premise that is executed without needless exposition. One of the blurbs on the back of my copy referred to the novel having the pace of a thriller, and it does, while still respecting the reader's intellect.

14. The Curse of the Appropriate Man by Lynn Freed

I read this collection of stories in one sitting. Freed writes of the lives of women - in the U.S. and South Africa, primarily - who struggle to reconcile their scrabbling toward desire and happiness with the fact they have to live in the world. It seems to be an older world, although most of the stories were initially published in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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