Good news. We went to see I, Tonya last night, and surprise! Bobby Cannavale was in it, which makes this photo super relevant.
Ok where was I? Oh right, The Dark Dark. Man, I love the way this woman writes. This collection was really weird and twisted and gripping. There were some elements of magical realism here and there and they didn’t quite work for me. I think I just like her writing so much that I felt like those elements were a distraction. I don’t know, I think I like magical realism but I always seem to be saying that it isn’t working for me, so maybe I don’t like it as much as I think I do. Anyway, the last story was so inventive and cool, it was a story within a story within a story etc. I’ve never seen anything quite like that before and I loved it.
Salt Houses was just about flawless. Multigenerational saga set mostly in the Middle East. Honestly, I loved every character, every storyline, everything about this. It did take me a little bit to get into but I think that was mostly me; I was a little distracted this week and felt like I kept rushing through my reading time. Strong recommend here, this was a home run.
The Dinner Party needed to be really good, because I have already read two mediocre Joshua Ferris books based on my love for his first novel, Then We Came to the End. It’s been many years, and probably hundreds of books, since I read that one and it’s still a standout for me. It is also my favorite use of first person plural narration. Much as I loved that book, his next two were disappointments, and if this one disappointed too, I’d be done with him. These are short stories, and like most collections, it’s a bit up and down, but there are enough good ones to make it worthwhile. The last one was especially haunting; it was so funny for most of it and then it took such a dark turn. Toxic masculinity is a hell of a drug. This is a good collection, I can see why it’s on so many people’s best of 2017 lists.
Speaking of best of 2017 lists, I hadn’t really felt interested in Borne, but so many people have been raving about it, it kept coming up on my radar. Finally I came across a best of 2017 list on Twitter that had 24 books I loved, and exactly one book I hadn’t read. So, fine, I’m in. I’m liking it fine so far but it’s been easy to put down. It’s good to branch out, but when I’m done with this I definitely will be craving a modern angsty WASPy New England family saga, ie my literary version of comfort food. I’m all ears if anyone has any suggestions!