The Ecology of Fear (almost done)
A light, fast, fascinating book about Los Angeles and its plights. Part natural history, part political analysis, it is, in some ways, a worthy successor to Cadillac Desert, more sweeping in topic and survey, while mono-focused on Southern California. I’m going to read the rest of Mike Davis’ books. more
Daemonomania (just started)
John Crowley is an amazingly lyrical writer, beautiful stuff, and he cast a dark mood all his own. I remember being enscrolled by Little, Big, and then never finishing it. Perhaps this odd, elegant book will be the same. As I drifted off last night, reading on last page, the evocative images felt more akin to DeLillo, or Thomas Mann, then the genre typical (and defining) urban fantasy of de Lint.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (just finished)
Moving like fish beneath the water, quickly darting away when you lean over to get a look at them, there are serious themes at work in this book. And I cheerfully ignored them. Chabon is a great writer whose prime purpose in Amazing is to a tell a story; a story with vivid, lovable characters playing out against a back drop of comic book history; a urban grit storytelling infused with the enthusiastic bubble of the pulps. We are, in fact, given tacit permission to lean back, and enjoy this story about escape in all its varied forms, which made me me feel much more comfortable about scarfing it down like so much candy.
When, in the home stretch, the book turns grim, and then is dusted with a faintly sprinkling of the surrealist touches of magical realism, I wondered if I had misread Chabon’s complicity. Perhaps I was supposed to wonder about the parallels of Clay and the golem, or the 2 great escapes from Prague, or reckon with the ever present issues of father and manhood. But I didn’t, and you don’t have to either.