2008-05-28

2008-05-09

One Man's Chorus


'Infinitely readable,' Publishers Weekly declared about ONE MAN'S CHORUS and damned if this isn't one of the most effortless books I've ever read.

Ben Forkner waded through the collection of Anthony Burgess's essays, written over two decades, about everything from his ex-patriot existence in Monaco, critics, Graham Greene, the Gaudiness of Gaudi and a whole essay dedicated to "The Jew and the Joke."

Burgess writes beautifully, with great insight and with every opinion thoroughly and humorously laid bare for the reader.

From "Winterreise":

"I do not enjoy expatiating on the bad past, but, unfortunately, I belong to a generation that lived through it and lost much--- particularly years in which otherwise it would have been a pleasure to be young. Later generations have learned to interpret that bad past in a comforting way. I remember, when covering the World Cup in West Berlin, I sat down outside a Bierstube called Der Moby Dick. Nobody came to serve me, so, after a half-hour of waiting, I went inside and asked why. The young man who ran the place told me, in admirable English of course, "Because you are of the generation that started the war." In fact, it was the previous generation that had started it---my generation merely fought in it---but I took the point and retired gracefully and beerless."

This book is perfect read an essay at a time as a palate cleanser between books or on a trip. Burgess paints a vivid picture of the places he has been and the people he has meet. His thoughts on literature are delightful. It has gone out of print but enough copies exist to make this a wonderful buy.

2008-05-04

Demon Seed


Arbus seeds. More lethal than castor beans. Often used for jewelry, thus their nickname, rosary beads.