Five books I didn't finish over the break


  1. I was relieved when the library loan for In Xanadu expired and it just dropped off my Kindle app. Thank you, technology! I was just interested enough to keep going but Dalryrmple is neither the charming narcissist Bruce Chatwin is nor has Paul Theroux's chilled blood and chuckling eye. The best part was his fiery girlfriend kicking him in the ass part way down the silk road to retrace Marco Polo's steps, but when she left the party, I wanted to follow her out.
  2. I got The Story of the Eye from the campus library in the final hour before the December close of business, feeling a bit evil and indolent in doing so. I imagined reading this perversity at Disney World but left it on my desk and returned it cover unbreached. I've read it before, back when I went through a Cruel French Literature phase decades ago. 
  3. I got Speedboat at the same time as Eye, after reading Tao Lin, David Foster Wallace and HTMLGIANT mention it. I read a little of it at the laundromat but a friend showed up and told me about Baudrillard's Cool Memories, which I instantly wished I was reading instead. 
  4. This is the second time I've given up on the impenetrability of Absalom, Absalom! I'll likely give up on it again sometime in the future.
  5. I texted a friend I was reading this and he texted back "Faulkner is a dick".
  6. Great Days by Donald Barthelme is the one I'll finish, I just didn't. Pretty sure this is my first foray into Barthelme. I kept thinking that it made me want to read everything by Barthelme. I wanted to read enough of it so that the electric buzz of it stayed in my head forever but I'll just set my sights on finishing this one first.