I just finished reading John Barth's End Of The Road. I'll be writing some piece of criticism on it for class, but as of right now: Holy living fuck, that was great. The characters are all really unlikeable, but they felt real to me. Yeah, I'll write more elsewhere, but let me state now that it's a really good book, I only mention that the characters are unlikeable bastards as a caveat for a recommendation. And it starts off a little bit slow before it gets going. Still. I finished it in less than twenty-four hours. First novel I've done that with since The Catcher In The Rye, maybe. Partly that's the schedule I'm on, I decided to wrap it up, and it's not a very long book, and I'm probably forgetting something... Now that I think about it I think I had to read Their Eyes Were Watching God really quickly for class. Still. When it gets going, it goes, and when it ends, it breaks fucking teeth. I thought Barth got lumped in with the post-modernists, but that's... It's a novel in the classic mold, really. Whatever. I'll write criticism later... Probably tomorrow, actually.
I also finished Gilbert Hernandez' Palomar today. Lot of characters in that one, and once Beto gets into his idiom, when he did Poison River, things take on levels of density and each panel starts telegraphing more than my brain can process when there's that many characters involved. Other people call it a masterpiece. I think I'd like it more if I were smarter and could process all the information being thrown at me. I guess it peaks with the Duck Feet/Human Diastrophism stories. It's a lot to process.
And the next thing on my self-assigned reading list is 100 Years Of Solitude, which has a ton of characters too, but they're identified by name rather than drawings, and there's a chart and the beginning, so maybe I'll be able to work it out. Before that though, is Tolstoy's Death Of Ivan Ilyich, for the class I take on Saturdays. Plus trying to write coherent praise for The End Of The Road. I don't know who I'd recommend it to, really. As I read it, it struck me that Alex might dig it. But that's it. Mainly I'll just say that I really liked it, and go on the record as that being my opinion.