I've been reading Crime and Punishment, a crime novel by this Russian kid named Fyodor something. It’s not bad. I look forward to seeing more of his stuff. Ha ha. Actually, ever since The Gulag Archipelago, I’ve tended to steer clear of the great Russian writers. Not that they’re not great; they are. But […]
So long, Mr. Bradbury.
Everybody has their favorite Ray Bradbury books. Mine are Dandelion Wine, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The October Country. But he never wrote anything that wasn’t pure magic. I never read anything by him that didn’t make me want to go out and write something myself. Of course, it’s never as easy as […]
Just don’t call it a mystery novel
I love mystery novels, to the extent that for quite awhile I read nothing else. I was a little embarrassed by it, too. People would talk about the serious books they had on the nightstand and then ask what I’d been reading. They’d mention something like Anna Karenina and I’d cough into my fist […]
Where I’m writing from
I stayed up too late last night reading some stories by Raymond Carver. They’re so short you decide to go on to the next one, and then the next. Then it’s 2 a.m. and you realize that a person who is slightly prone to depression should probably not read so many of them in […]
A couple of books worth reading
In the absence of any other likely topic, here’s what I’ve been reading over the last few days: Tomato Red, Daniel Woodrell’s 1998 novel about a white-trash loser in the Ozarks, is right up there with the excellent Winter’s Bone, which I once strongly recommended to the wife’s book group. They demurred, perhaps because […]
When talent is a license to steal
I‘m a so-so writer, but I’ve never been even slightly tempted to plagiarize. There’s the integrity thing, of course. There’s also the certainty of getting caught, in the age of the Internet and in the fullness of time. All in all, I’ve considered it way too much to risk for the dim promise of […]
Who might stand the test of time?
My fatuous poll pitting Charles Dickens against three of today’s big-name crime writers proved less than nothing, but it did elicit an interesting comment from Sally Crawford of Blogging for London: Which of today’s writers might endure as long as Dickens? My short answer would be “none of the above.” But let’s think about […]