What are you reading?

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Thompson
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Re: What are you reading?

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Just like Bukowski’s wife and Townes Van Zandt’s wife, they just sniff around after the money, after the royalties. It’s truly sickening.
“Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money.” — Harry Caray

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Re: What are you reading?

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I got this book in the mail today. Oh man, I thought, it’s Kentucky Outlaw. No, it’s this literary criticism book of noir writers. Good writers mind you, very good writers. I Don’t Want To Read That. I don’t give a shit about what critics have to say because number one they can’t write and number two they miss the whole point. You take a poem like A Home to Crouch In, for instance. How can anybody critique that? It’s pure emotion, it’s a moment in time that’s recorded in a poem. But more than that, you see, it’s an emotion that is so universal, yet so simple, that it hits you right in the gut, and believe it or not, no matter how sad it is, it doesn’t feel sad somehow, it feels different. It’s the
way the words go, the rhythm. You can’t critique that.
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Re: What are you reading?

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Thompson wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2023 11:15 pm
I got this book in the mail today. Oh man, I thought, it’s Kentucky Outlaw. No, it’s this literary criticism book of noir writers. Good writers mind you, very good writers. I Don’t Want To Read That. I don’t give a shit about what critics have to say because number one they can’t write and number two they miss the whole point. You take a poem like A Home to Crouch In, for instance. How can anybody critique that? It’s pure emotion, it’s a moment in time that’s recorded in a poem. But more than that, you see, it’s an emotion that is so universal, yet so simple, that it hits you right in the gut, and believe it or not, no matter how sad it is, it doesn’t feel sad somehow, it feels different. It’s the
way the words go, the rhythm. You can’t critique that.
Those who can, write. Those who can, critique. I always found it bit amusing, even as a child, that Shirley Jackson's husband was a critic. Yes, I read everything she wrote (we had the bookmobile) by the time I was eight or nine. The lady died relatively young,
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Re: What are you reading?

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Just finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy. By far and away the best post-apocalyptic world story I've ever read. Most of these types of stories have large groups of people running around in working cars with gasoline and the parts to keep them in working order. Of course, large groups of people would be killed by infectious diseases fairly quick in a post-apocalyptic world and all the auto parts stores would be looted making it impossible to keep your cars running. There's only about a week or two of refined gasoline/diesel in the world as it is now, but these fuckers in these other stories keep waging war like they've still got an American Pentagon budget to buy all the fuel and ammo they ever need. Oh, and those muscular bodies would be looking like Iggy Pop after not having access to Dianabol and protein shakes.

This book is about a man and very young son making it in the world, constantly on the move looking for food. They almost never run into other people, and the only vehicle in the book is a diesel truck that is barely making it anymore (and it doesn't belong to them, it's people passing by on the road). They're emaciated, wearing stinky rags for clothing and making shoes out of rags (another thing the other post-apocalyptic guys miss - their guys are running around in good leather boots). Another bit of realism that caught me by surprise - you can't see where you're walking at night in a post-apocalyptic world when the new moon is hidden behind ever present atmospheric ash. If you happen to find yourself away from your campsite and not able to get back in time to start a fire you are in deep shit.

At the end of this story it looked like McCarthy was going to pull a Deus ex machina and I literally groaned when I saw it coming. But it wasn't that at all. McCarthy is one of my favorite story tellers.

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Re: What are you reading?

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^^^ I think there`s a movie on prime baesd on that book.

I read Matt Sorum`s biography on our flights. We landed when I got to the point where he cries in some AA kind of meeting and became a lame loser.
Maybe I`ll read the last 50 pages next week. I think there`s a relapse going to happen but I`m not entirely sure
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Re: What are you reading?

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Golly gee, there is no way I could find my way through a Cormac McCarthy novel. I tried The Road and soon was on the side of it with my thumb sticking out. I suppose you can follow Pynchon too.
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Re: What are you reading?

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Thompson wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2023 10:39 am
Golly gee, there is no way I could find my way through a Cormac McCarthy novel. I tried The Road and soon was on the side of it with my thumb sticking out. I suppose you can follow Pynchon too.
No, I abandoned Mason and Dixon. It still sits there taking up a big chunk of shelf space and taunting me.

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Re: What are you reading?

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Hugh wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2023 8:05 pm
Just finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy. By far and away the best post-apocalyptic world story I've ever read.
He wrote some of the bleakest stuff I've ever read. I liked The Road, Child of God, Blood Meridian and Outter Dark. Less bleak but still favorites of mine are No Country for Old Men and Suttree.

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Re: What are you reading?

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scream ale wrote:
Sun Oct 01, 2023 5:21 pm
Hugh wrote:
Fri Sep 29, 2023 8:05 pm
Just finished The Road by Cormac McCarthy. By far and away the best post-apocalyptic world story I've ever read.
He wrote some of the bleakest stuff I've ever read. I liked The Road, Child of God, Blood Meridian and Outter Dark. Less bleak but still favorites of mine are No Country for Old Men and Suttree.

Wow! I can’t believe you guys can read him. I know you’re not bullshitting. I can’t do it man, I don’t see it. But you know I’m almost blind, very close to blind.
“Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money.” — Harry Caray

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Re: What are you reading?

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Just finished James Thurber HIs Life and Times. I'd read somewhere that Thurber was a notorious obnoxious drunk so I wanted to read his biography. Unfortunately, this one by Harrison McKinney downplays his drunkenness. You are still able to get the gist of it, nearly everybody who knew Thurber the last years of his life said how obnoxious he was when drunk. But they all make sure to point out - only while drunk. McKinney makes a subtle attempt to blame Thurber's obnoxious behavior on a brain tumor, but unless it's a brain tumor that only kicks in when he was drunk then his explanation falls flat. McKinney also says that Thurber was a great conversationalist, keeping people entertained all night with his witty talk until 4 in the morning. Let's make something perfectly clear - I don't care what McKinney or anybody else says about Thurber's charming wit, nobody wants to sit and listen to a drunk dominate the conversation all night. Ask any of the Skype regulars. This book was actually more of a personality rehabilitation than a biography. There was a biography that came out before this one (McKinney doesn't mention the title) and it upset Thurber's widow so much she became physically ill. She was going to attempt to sue, but was advised she had very little chance of success. Nearly all of Thurber's lifelong friends abandoned him there at the end. Even the ones that didn't were cool to him. There was an amusing anecdote in here where Thurber, after he'd lost his eyesight, was feeling his way down a hall at the New Yorker offices and a young intern stepped aside to let him pass - and stuck out her tongue at him.

He crashed a party at Robert Benchley's home one night and started acting like an asshole and Benchley said to him, "Everybody was having a good time until you showed up Jamie. Be a good boy and run along now." Thurber became a regular at Costello's Restaurant in his later years and other regulars began avoiding it because he was there.

I wonder about these obnoxious drunks. Bukowski lost a few friendships too. But back when I used to drink at bars I never treated anybody rudely when drunk. I drink alone at home now so there's no one for me to be obnoxious to even if I wanted to be. The stupidest drunken behavior I engage in is making karaoke videos. So these obnoxious drunks can not lay 100% of the blame on the booze. A big part of it is their own assholish self.

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Re: What are you reading?

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It`s the wifes of my former friends. They don`t want their husbands to be reminded how the word "Fun" is spelled.
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Re: What are you reading?

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Thurber is too close to Gerber. Baby food. Gross. I just farted and I'm gagging. Reading is important.

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Re: What are you reading?

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A Drinking Life by Pete Hamill. He was a reporter, writer, cartoonist. He grew up on the streets of NYC and makes a big deal of his Irish heritage and the drinking that goes along with it. I went in to this memoir thinking it would be like so many other memoirs about drinking writers - how they all found god and AA and therapy and quit drinking. Well, he did quit drinking, but he didn't make a big show of it. He wasn't calling up friends and families bawling about how he needed help and wanted to quit. He was at a bar on New Years Eve and just decided it was all bullshit - the fakeness that goes on in bars, saying the same things over and over and acting like you're happy to see a bunch of assholes. He just quit without all the aplomb. While you have to respect that (quitting without making a show of it), it would have been better if he'd just discovered drinking alone. You don't have to go to bars to drink. You can sit alone in a room and enjoy the booze for what it does - gets you loaded. You don't need the yammering idiots on the barstools next to you to enjoy booze. He gave up on many enjoyable nights of drunkenness because he never realized it was not the booze that was the problem - it was the people.

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Re: What are you reading?

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Just finished a biography of Dashiell Hammett. You'll remember him as the writer of The Maltese Falcon, the creator of Sam Spade. He was also a cantankerous drunk. A couple dining in a restaurant said he started throwing silverware at them from across the dining room. He would hit his daughter Mary when they would get drunk together. He would go on the wagon sometimes, it said he once went 14 months without drinking.

He made enormous amounts of money from his books/movies and he was known for lending money to pretty much anybody who asked. They would come to his apartment and he would treat them like shit if he was drunk, but he would give it to them anyway. After he was put on the list of Communists after WW II he was hounded and even jailed for refusing to answer questions. His publisher stopped publishing his books and libraries pulled them from their shelves. The IRS went after him for back taxes and put liens on him but since he had no income they got nothing. He died penniless.

This is one of the sadder biographies I've read. That communist which hunt ruined him. It was funny reading the FBI files when the FBI was asking the army where Hammett was. The army didn't know because they had him by his real name Samuel Dashiell Hammett and the FBI was asking for Dashiell Hammett. It took some informant in the army with Hammett to report where he was.

He had volunteered for the army in WW II as an old man (he was also in the army during WW I) and he worked putting out a newspaper. This was part of what the witch hunt used against him - they said he only volunteered so he could put out communist propaganda with his paper. If there was any communist propaganda in the paper the book didn't reprint it. I doubt if there was. If there was they would have confronted him with it at the hearings.

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Re: What are you reading?

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He had a famous wife too, no? I like his writing very much. He’s easy to read. He’s fast. The other guy, Chandler is like being stuck in the mud on a rainy night. The Maltese Falcon was first published as a serial in Black Mask Magazine. I have that series in The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories. There were changes of course from the five part serial to the actual novel. Still, good stuff.
“Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money.” — Harry Caray

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