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Albert Camus: The Stranger

I’m way behind on my Camus.  The Stranger (1942) is the first one I’ve read.  Right alongside this ignorance is the fact that I know nothing about Camus, other than the general knowledge that he was an existentialist (thought he disputes this – and who’s word are we going to take?) and that…

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Richard Yates: Eleven Kinds of Loneliness

I’m planning on working through Yates’s work in order of publication, so the second book on the docket is Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (1962), his book of short stories written mostly in the 50s before Revolutionary Road was published.  You may have seen on my post for Revolutionary Road some…

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Aleksandar Hemon: The Lazarus Project

My first stop on this year’s National Book Award finalists (and maybe my last since I have yet to acquire one of the other books) is The Lazarus Project (2008), by an author who has a very interesting history.  Apparently in 1992 he left Sarajevo to visit Chicago, planning to…

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Vladimir Nabokov: Lolita

This is an interesting project to take on.  Many people believe that Lolita is a book somehow sympathetic to pedophiles.  Sure, they may say, it probably is written well, but does that excuse the content?  Can you get around all the filth just because it is poetic?  Doesn’t that, in…

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Cormac McCarthy: All the Pretty Horses

As the National Book Award longlist is being announced today, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight one of my favorite past winners: Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses (1992).  I have still read only two other books by McCarthy: The Road and No Country for Old Men.  I have…

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Philip Roth: The Counterlife

Before you read the book: After I read American Pastoral I realized that if I planned on reading all of Roth’s “Zuckerman” books in order, I’d already failed, having skipped The Counterlife (1986).  Oh well.  It actually doesn’t throw anything off at all.  There’s little continuity between The Counterlife and the…

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Patrick McGrath: Asylum

Before you read the book: A few weeks ago when I realized that October was just around the corner (I’m always behind on this stuff these days), I decided to look for a good literary creepy book with loads of atmosphere.  Hence, my venture to Patrick McGrath.  Here’s yet another well…

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Paul Auster: The New York Trilogy

Before you read the book: It seems that by writing these reviews I’m actually making my ignorance increasingly apparent.  See, this is the first book by Paul Auster that I’ve read.  Thankfully, I can (sort of) say that I’ve read three of Auster’s books as this is a “trilogy.”  Here…

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Martin Amis: Time’s Arrow

Before you read the book: A few months back I read Amis’s Night Train, and it has stuck in my mind more than most other books I’ve read this year.  In those comments, Stewart from booklit recommended Time’s Arrow.  I admit, I had first put this book off as a gimmicky,…