Okay, yes I like Calvino, esp. when I first read him years ago. I read most all of his books in a row in a short period, infatuated with someone talking that way. Recently, though, I went back and started flipping through 'Invisible Cities' and realized that what was going on there really wasn't as much as I remembered. Really, was it that difficult a thing to make? Probably not, and that doesn't really matter either, but I have to say that I don't think the weight here is as much as it becomes in memory as on the page.
I actually also tried to reread 'If on a winter's night a traveler...' the other day and got so frustrated with the opening section that I couldn't even make it through, which was odd, considering that the first time I read it, I read it twice in a row.
Perhaps it is how tastes change, or how I have found things since then that do what he does but even more so: Gert Jonke, for example, or Oisin Curran. Still a great writer in my mind, especially 'Cosmicomics,' but the hype particularly on IC and such I think could use a little flagging.
Really? Is this book really that huge to so many people? I don't get it. I mean, again, this is something that I enjoyed 5 years ago, but I think people put just a touch too much weight on the evidence at hand. Some of these stories here are actually pretty weak on their own, and more covered over by the strong opening, and the way he seems to have nailed the off-the-cuff-but-literary mode so well, making it simply, to me, more accessible and good than it is just good.
Add to this the fact that any other Denis Johnson book I've tried to read outside this one has been so brain numbingly dull I usually gave up in less than 100 pages, and I have to call nuh-uh on this one, at least just a little bit.
This book seriously makes me want to beat myself to death: the voice, the smarmy dick voice. I hate whoever made me touch this.
I'm sorry, I have no idea what there is to like about this book beyond the first 10 pages. You'd think a book about drugdealing white hick kids would be the shit, but repeating the same scene over and over and drawing it into another damn love story makes me want to fight.
I wish McSweeney's would put out another one as good as 'The People of Paper,' that is by far their capital achievement I think. Also 'Happy Baby'.
How this relationship drama with a plotline that could be laid on top of 1 of 10000 other books and movies got so popular with the minimalist post-emo kids, I'll never know. It seems as arbitrary as being all about Dr. Phil.
Also, why do writers often have such bad taste in music?