Saturday, March 10, 2007

March Driveby update

The Ides of March are almost upon us and I'm slipping in a driveby update...

Recent Reads:
Brian Keene's GHOUL
I'll admit, I'm a sucker when it comes to coming of age stories. Stephen King's The Body (movie version was Stand by Me), King's It. Lorenzo Carcaterra's Sleepers... all of them took me hook, line and sinker and remain some of my favorite books today. When it's done correctly, there's something so magical about capturing that era of life... it makes my heart bleed nostalgia and long for a time when things were simpler; when summer vacation stretched on and on... when the worst we had to worry about was math homework and school yard bullies, and mortgages, relationships and the burden of responsibility that comes with being an adult had yet to weigh us down.

With GHOUL, Keene does it with the deft and accomplished hand of a writer who has wanted to write this story for a long time. The friendship between the three main characters ring true with the kind of loyalty most often only children are able to offer. But the real horror that Keene reveals is not the Ghoul from the title, but the horrors that go on behind closed doors.

Go read GHOUL. It's available in bookstores everywhere. You won't be disappointed.

I'd received Skipp's book a while back and it migrated near the top of my to be read pile right away. I knew once I got started, I wouldn't be able to stop, so I waited until I had enough time to dedicate to its proper enjoyment. Skipp's prose is like a strong but well aged bourbon; it needs to be savored and enjoyed to be certain, but at the same time, it makes you gluttinous and greedy enough that you won't stop drinking til the last drop is gone.

THE LONG LAST CALL is fast paced and has more hooks in it than a fisherman's tackle box. With the back drop of a strip club, it's sexy as hell, and when things get kicking along, the combination of sex and gore make you uncomfortable in your chair... but damn it's an enjoyable feeling. No surprise, Skipp delivers as always.

If you can find a copy, go get it.

Ernest Hemingway's THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
If I was younger, I could blame my english teachers for not introducing me to Hemingway, but I can't. I've been out of school for more than a few years and have no one to point fingers at but that guy in the mirror. This is the first thing by Hemingway I've ready, and already I feel ashamed by my inaction. I can see why it's considered a classic and why it won the Pulitzer. My initial reaction was wonder at how in the hell he was going to write an entire novella about some old man in a fishing boat. His descriptions paint unbelievable pictures, but even more... the sensory details actually create the world he's telling us about and I found myself immersed into the world, physically and emotionally. He's not called Papa for nothing.

The Strokes - First Impressions of Earth
Each time I listen to this, I like it more. From the first track, You Only Live Once, which is fucking amazing, to the sexy, deep bass lines of Juicebox, high pitched riffs of Heart in a Cage, and the last track, Red Light, this cd kicks more ass than a donkey.

Chris Cornell - Unplugged in Sweden
Call Me a Dog, Like a Stone, un-fucking-believable covers of Michael Jackon's Billie Jean, and Zepplin's Thank You...
Cornell at his finest. Stripped down, nothing but him, a mic, and an acoustic.

Go be good.
Talk to you all soon...


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