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Thursday, March 15, 2007

I'm breaking free, baby!

Comics. Let's just say that them pesky funny books and I are not getting along so well right now. Some might be quick to point out the reasons for that being that I am spending too much time with super heroes. And by reading this blog, you probably might be right in thinking that. But guess what? You are wrong, my friend(s)! Over the past few months, I have read Miss, The Clouds Above, Exterminators Vol. 2, BWS Storyteller: Freebooters, Jonah Hex Vol. 1, the complete Fables collection, and the first couple issues of Vol 1. of the Essential Tomb Of Dracula. There was a few super hero trades in the mix, namely the Daredevil Visionaires that Frank Miller did, along with a Spider-man: Round Robin. A year ago, that would have taken place over the course of two weeks. These days, I'm lucky if I hit those numbers in two months.

Regardless, I am a bit burnt out on comics right now. So I'm not reading them. You heard me. No comics.* For really reals. At least not until I read me a book or two. You remember books, right? The bastard step-brother of the Graphic Novel? They have a picture on the cover, but that's it? Yes. Those things. To start it off, I am finally going to finish Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay which I have been slowly making my way through for the past two years. I know, its ridiculous because it is such a damn good book, that no matter how much I enjoy it, I also find myself putting it down so I can finish that New Excalibur trade I just bought the week before. Imagine that? Comics made me not want to read! Preposterous!

Now that the War is over, I am getting back to my civilian life. Starting with Kavalier & Clay. I am going to finish this fine book. After that? Well, you tell me. Suggest me a book. Any book. I'm leaning towards Fortress Of Solitude or You Don't Love Me by Jonathan Lethem, but I am open to more suggestions. And they don't even have to be semi-comic book related like Chabon and Lethem's works are.

Suggest a book for me!

* I will still be reading the Comic Strips book I have which is really still comics, even if its just a book about comics. And if Wintermen comes out with a new issue, I'll read that, too. Also, I might go WWLA this year, so that means I'll have to buy comics which tends to force me to read them. Just don't quote me on that "no comics!" bit and we should be fine.

11 comments:

gorjus said...

Cousin Spence! I'd stay away from any of Lethem's work--I read Fortress of Solitude and Men and Comics, and then had to set them on fire. They sucked.

However, especially if you're digging Chabon, maybe bop around with one of his short story collections. It's all the fun and less dictionary heavy-lifting!

My favorite recent book was Love is a Mix Tape with Rob Sheffield.

Spencer Carnage said...

My favorite recent book was Love is a Mix Tape with Rob Sheffield.

Does it come with scenester points? Cuz I'm all over it if it does...

Jason said...

Hmmmm...it's been a while since I actually read a prose novel. I have no idea why. I think part of it is that I'm too cheap to pay the $6 in late fees at the library to get myself back into their good graces (yet I'm going to drop $20 on comics on my way home).

Definitely finish Kavalier & Clay, I loved that book and I mowed through it pretty quickly. I think I should crack it open again. The last book I read was World War Z by Max Brooks. It's an "oral history" of the zombie war. I know zombies are over done these days, but I really liked this book and it's very smartly done (no one ever thinks about the long-term difficulties of dealing with zombies - such as roving crowds of them on the ocean floor).

I haven't read the two Lethem novels you mentioned, but I did read Motherless Brooklyn by him and it was really good (plot: Private Eye with Tourette's).

I've been waiting for paperback to read "Love is a Mix-Tape", but everything I've heard is fantastic (and it's a +12 to your hipster quotient, +14 if you read it while wearing a trucker hat).

david brothers said...

Charlie Huston's novels are awesome. I've got the full set, but you can start with either Caught Stealing or Already Dead. The former is a crime tale, the latter is a noir zombie tale.

Both are awesome.

Matthew E said...

I read Lethem's 'Fortress of Solitude' and found it to be pretty okay. He's kind of a Marvel snob, but whatever.

Recommendations. Here are a few that I bet nobody else will recommend to you, but which are great books, fun to read, well worth your time:

Donald E. Westlake's Dancing Aztecs
P.G. Wodehouse's Right Ho, Jeeves
Arturo Perez-Reverte's The Club Dumas
Connie Willis's Passage

Spencer Carnage said...

These are all good choices that are definitely interesting. I should be finished with K & C by this weekend and I'll pick one of these up. Thanks, guys.

googum said...

I have a wife and kids and dogs all demanding attention or love or some damn thing; so it's easier for me to read a pile of comics than end up reading the same page of a novel over and over again.

That said, I'll always make time for Haruki Murakami. Try the Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. It's big, and endearingly strange.

Jason said...

Dammit Spencer! Now you made me go out and buy an actual book! The words, my God, THE WORDS!!!! Why is no one punching each other!?!?!

Spencer Carnage said...

Go read Neil Gaiman's American Gods. There will be lots of punching. From you.

Really, though...which book?

Jason said...

I actually read American Gods a year or so ago. I remember liking it, but not much more.

I bought Blindness by Jose Saramago. I'll post a review when I get through it.

Spencer Carnage said...

I did not enjoy American Gods. It was decent, but it felt like it wasn't going anywhere. Maybe one of these days I'll pick it back up. Probably not though.