Bitchin' Blog Posts
: Literary Fiction
by Candy | March 12, 2007 | Monday at 10:04 pm | 4 Comments
This is one of the most charming and weird books I’ve ever read. It’s a whirl of short stories about sex, love, family, death and life, all told from the perspectives of a mind-boggling array of animals. Screw lions and tigers and bears—this book features, among other things, homicidal scorpions, lions in love with antelopes, freakishly intelligent lab rats, megalomaniacal ants, incestuous sponges, narcissistic snails and former-K9-unit-turned-Buddhist-monk dogs.
But these animals are merely different incarnations of a cast of recurring characters. Viskovitz, our protagonist, is eternally in search of his perfect love, Ljuba, and along the way, he’s helped (or hindered) by his friends Petrovic, Zucotic and Lopez. The stories are all fantastically witty and bawdy, though most are also more than a little bit morbid; a couple even feature happy endings. Different stories tweak different storytelling conventions; the story about the scorpion is a delightful parody of gunslinger Westerns, for example, while the story about the dog is a hilarious send-up of crime thrillers in the style of The Usual Suspects.
The author, Alessandro Boffa, is a biologist by training, and he doesn’t bother…
read more »
by Candy | October 20, 2005 | Thursday at 6:21 pm | 44 Comments
Oh my God. Never has a book sagged so much in the middle. I mean, seriously, it droops more than the bits ‘n pieces you’ll see in Bust a Nut in Grandma’s Butt.
Pity, because it started out with so much promise. The Historian, I mean, not Bust a Nut in Grandma’s Butt.
Warning: You know how annoying I am when I write reviews, what with talking in detail about the plot and all? Well, it’s going to be EVEN WORSE with this one, because dear Lord, so many bits I want to make fun of that I can’t do without giving away details. So be warned: check out the hidden text only if you don’t care about spoilers, or if you’ve read this book already.
read more »
by Candy | August 24, 2005 | Wednesday at 5:53 pm | 5 Comments
Dude tries to stop some young thugs from beating up a sweet young thang on the tube. Dude gets the crap kicked out of him. Dude falls into a coma. Dude enters into an incredibly self-conscious reverie as he attempts to wake himself up from said coma.
And there we have the entirety of Alex Garland’s The Coma. Not all stories with simple plots are brief or insubstantial, but both are true for this book. And when I say brief, I mean brief. It’s only 208 pages, it’s a smaller-than-average hardcover book, every chapter starts with a woodcut illustration, and the font is big. If you’re a book size queen, you’ll barely notice this tiny tome.
That’s not to say it’s a bad book. It’s just that, as a whole, the story was obvious and, well, kind of juvenile. If a precocious high-school kid had been given a writing assignment about the nature of consciousness, she might’ve come up with something like this.
The concept itself is pretty damn cool, but if you were made to suffer through Descartes or Waking Life at some point in…
read more »