Monday, August 21, 2006

Book that changed my life? I'm thinking of three ones in particular. The first is "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, which I read on the way to the Indianapolis Children's Science Museum when I was 12. I think it made me see how our world resembled this dystopian one, and it made me oppose some of the negative things I saw in our society, like consumerism/advertising. The second would be the short story collection "City Life" and the story "Game" by Donald Barthelme. This was my real introduction to postmodernism and experimental literature. I think it was a big brain opener for me. The third would be "The Splinter Factory" by Jeffrey McDaniel. Hearing him read, then reading his book, turned me on to writing outside my depressing, confessional mode. I've read more than once? "The Broom of the System" by David Foster Wallace. It's just very, very funny. Like Monty Python, but even smarter. "What Narcassism Means to Me" by Tony Hoagland (truly gets to what it's like being a guy) and "The Crying of Lot 49" too (love the crazy psychiatrist). I'd want on a desert island? I think I'd like a big book, like "Don Quixote," the collected works of Shakespeare, Donald Barthelme or Raymond Carver's collected stories, or "Infinite Jest." I guess though, in my heart I could infintely reread "V" by Pynchon and "The Third Policeman" by Flann O'Brien and not get bored. Book made me laugh? Anything by Tom Perrotta. Especially "The Wishbones." Very sympathetic characters and funny dialogue. And anything by Tony Hoagland and Richard Brautigan! Book made me cry? I'm going to be honest: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" I identified a lot with the main character. Yes, it is a teen book. I wish had been written? A book showing how we can live forever. I wish had never been written? "The Protocols Of The Meetings of the Learned Elders Of Zion." One of the most malicious books ever written, infinitely harmful. I'm currently reading? "The Sighted Singer" by Allen Grossman and Mark Halliday. Great dialogue about the writing/meaning of contemporary poetry. Also, "Mad Magazine," "Simpsons" comics, issues of "FHM" and "Sports Illustrated," and assorted Frank O'Hara poems from his collected. I've been meaning to read? Too many to count. Maybe Means' new short story collection, "The Secret Goldfish." Or Billy Collins' first poetry collection, now republished. I know -- "Gravity's Rainbow" Nope, I never will get to it.

2 Comments:

Blogger J Martin said...

Man, Don. You make me want to read more faster.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Don said...

Much of this stuff I haven't read recently. I haven't had the attention span for it -- just poetry, mostly.

8:27 AM  

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