Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book of the Month

Remarkable, hilarious and unsettling re-imaginations of reality by "a dynamic writer of extraordinary talent " (Jennifer Levin, New York Times Book Review).
Wallace caused a critical stir with his first novel, The Broom of the System , and this volume of stories is likely to attract equal attention. His publisher talks about post -postmodernism, whatever that means, but there is a highly unusual eye and ear at work here, and an impressive armory of writerly skills. All too often, however, the stories seem like dazzling exercises, show-off pieces designed to provoke applause rather than expressions of a consistent vision. Two stories about the morbidly incestuous world of TV, ``Little Expressionless Animals'' and ``My Appearance,'' catch perfectly the obsessiveness and fatuity of quiz- and talk-show people, and ``Lyndon'' is a tour de force in which the late president looms very large indeed. The title story is an experiment in the outre, about a grotesque Los Angeles yuppie and his punk friends, that seems designed to shock rather than illuminate. In ``Say Never'' Wallace enters an Isaac Bashevis Singer world, though naturally he gives it an odd twist. Wallace has talent to burn, and is an endlessly inventive storyteller, but one wishes he wasn't also such an exhibitionist. - from Publisher Weekly

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