Tuesday, August 25, 2009

52 books in 52 weeks

24. The Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis

If this book had taken place in California, it would have been perfect for my dissertation on alternative religion. There was something Upton Sinclair-ish about the style, and while I did not find it as uproarious as the blurbs promised, the characters and their intermittent devotion to their sect kept me interested.

25. The Epicure's Lament by Kate Christensen

Why are novels told from the point of view of the misanthropic so damn enjoyable? I could have spent another novel's worth of time with Christensen's narrator. The supporting cast successfully supported, but Hugo Whittier's voice is what kept me from wanting to put the book down. As this was my first Christensen book, I look forward to more.

26. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I almost didn't read past the first few chapters, which is something I practically never do. Zusak has off-putting writerly tics - especially diction that made me check more than once to see if the book had been poorly translated - but the narrator (Death) and the tale of a young German girl during WWII won out in the end. The novel is long, but despite this, it's a quick read.

27. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower

I was certain Tower's debut story collection would not live up to the hype, but it did. Each story opened up an original, singular world that hit just the right notes. Even the one story with a female narrator rang true. Tower's vocal versatility is impressive. More, please.

28. Nobody Move by Denis Johnson

Disappointing. Johnson can be a fantastic writer, and I was often left wondering about his choices in this pulpy thriller. I will say that I was reading it during a particularly nasty bout of insomnia, and the style and action got me through several sleepless nights, so thank you, Mr. Johnson. I'm sorry I didn't like it more.

No comments: