Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Callisto by Torsten Krol

Torsten Krol, whoever you are, I loved Callisto. Published under a bizarre pseudonym, this raucous novel was described as a modern-day Catch-22. Protagonist, Odell Deefus, is the unluckiest bumbler to ever have his car breakdown on a country road. Deefus stumbles from a murder scene, into espionage and finally spends time in a terrorist holding cell before his travels end. This crazy novel entertains.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Welcome to the Departure Lounge by Meg Federico

Meg Federico applies her journalistic flair to chronicle the hilarious and heartbreaking escapades of her 80-year-old mother and step-father. Caring for aging parents is a subject on my mind a lot these days, and Federico made me grateful for the fact that at least my mother hasn’t woken up in a hospital screaming, “I demand an autopsy”. At least not yet!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

I like to read along with my students when they are reading their self-selected American novels, so I chose Geek Love, a novel I have picked up and put back down many times in the bookstore. I would describe it as a cross between John Irving and Chuck Palahniuk, heavy on the Palahniuk. I was alternately fascinated and disgusted by this story about a family of circus freaks and their freakish behaviors. Crystal Lil and Art Binewski breed an assortment of children - Arturo the Aqua Boy who performs from a tank; Siamese twins who play four-handed piano; Oly, the narrator, who is an albino dwarf; and Chick, who they initially try to leave on the side of the road because he is "normal" just as his telekinetic powers are revealed. I've read some pretty weird fiction, but this National Book Award Finalist is way, way out there.