Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Wednesday Book Report
This is what I'm reading right now.
Or this. Or rather a mix of them both, since the edition I have is neither of the ones featured above. Mine is actually a lot uglier. But it's a good book. Richard Russo has always been one of Jesper's guys. When our books met about ten years ago, there were new aquaintances to be made on both sides. I was happy to get closer to Paul Auster (Tom Wolfe not so much) and Jesper enjoyed being introduced to mr John Le Carré (Laura Ingalls Wilder not so much). Then there were all those perfectly interesting ones that you just didn't pick up. Jesper had lots of Men with him: Hemingway, Don DeLillo, Raymond Carver, Martin Amis... There was no end to the parade of Great Writers Who Happen To Be Men. And I got a little bored.
So mr Russo never stood a chance, until a couple of days ago when I really needed a good book and picked Empire Falls out among the hundreds of willing Men Who Write About Men. And it's a great read! I've laughed out loud on the subway a couple of times already. Or at least giggled. (There's a lot of flatulence in chapter one and I'm about as mature as my fiveyearold son when it comes to that.)
Empire Falls tells the story of Miles Roby, a fortysomething man too nice for his own good (he refers to himself as having a "natural propensity for shit-eating"). His wife Janine has recently left him for The Silver Fox, owner of the local gym, and discovered orgasms. His father walks around with food in his beard and the parish priest has lost it completely and screams "peckerhead" as soon as Miles enters the rectory. The light of his life, teenage daughter Tick, seems troubled beyond the usual puberty angst and his brother David keeps pushing Miles to get his life started. Highly entertaining, great dialogue, I warmly recommend it.
Leo would love this book. He gives in to anything New England. But how about you, what are you reading right now?