the_siobhan: (book skeleton)
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The Silas Stories by WP Kinsella

This is actually a collection of three of Kinsella's books; The Fencepost Chronicles, The Miss Hobbema Pageant and Brother Frank's Gospel Hour.

All three books are a collection of short stories written from the perspective of Silas, a young Cree man who lives in a fictional reserve in Alberta. There are some stories about the reserve residents outsmarting outsiders, and being outsmarted in turn. Some of them are cute, but they aren't terribly original; I recognized a few urban legends and odd news stories turning up. Then he ends the stories with a weird three-person recounting of a rape that left a really bad taste in my mouth.


    


The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
This one showed up in our library, and I took it out to read because it's a book I've heard so much about. It is a fictionalized account of Sinclair's experiences working in a meatpacking yard in Chicago and it was highly regarded by the lefties I used to hang out with because it was directly responsible for major reforms in how food is handled in the US, and also garnered a lot of popular sympathy for the labour movement.

Sinclair was an avowed socialist who worked all his life to better the working and living conditions of a subset of humanity. So I was very disappointed to read this book and discover that he was also a really big fucking racist. Seriously, it's gross as hell.



    


No Exit & Three Other Plays by Jean- Paul Sartre
No Exit is famous for introducing the concept that "Hell is other people". Three very unlikable characters get locked into a room together for all eternity and throughly deserve it.

The other three plays are The Flies, Dirty Hands and The Respectful Prostitute.

A very fast read as plays usually are. I think the first two would be interesting to see on the stage some day, the latter two are much too heavy-handed for my tastes. Possibly a result of their age.


    


Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis

This was another loan.

The main character is a private detective with the world's worst luck for landing in situations that make a person wish that brain bleach is a real thing. The White House Chief of Staff walks into his office one day and hires him to find a powerful artifact that has gone missing. Hijinks ensue.

I used to real Ellis's LJ back when he was posting there. He's brilliant at presenting himself as a curmudgeon who is both possessed of a twisted mind and who is perpetually horrified at how consistently other humans can surpass the wildest shit he can think up.


This book is classic Ellis, demented, fun and ultimately optimistic about people in spite of how awful we are.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-26 08:40 pm (UTC)
sabotabby: (books!)
From: [personal profile] sabotabby
Crooked Little Vein is one of my favourites. I thought you'd enjoy it.

I'm worried at how Sartre's plays may not hold up to the level of brilliance I ascribed to them as a teenager.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-27 09:49 am (UTC)
inulro: (Default)
From: [personal profile] inulro
That Upton Sinclair book has been on my to-read list since forever. Thanks for the warning, I can cross it off.

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