Friday, December 06, 2002

I can dispense with two of the books I've read from the aforementioned Chronicle list pretty quickly, and at once. Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing In America and Ishmael Reed's Yellow Back Radio Broke Down are both experimental '60s novels. Brautigan writes about both the topic and apparently also a character named "Trout Fishing in America" in a series of brief and only somewhat related meditations. Reed deconstructs American racial and progressivist ideologies and histories in his "anti-Western" novel. These are both quick reads, and I was happy to dispense with both quickly, as neither really caught my fancy. I appreciate what Reed is doing but it's been done better elsewhere by others, and works better as academic prose or a movie than in a novel where it's hard to keep anything straight--though I suppose that's the idea. Brautigan's book is appealing as nature writing and is almost poetic at times, but again I can't say that I enjoyed the experience of reading such a disjointed book. So I wouldn't recommend either of these books unless disjointed, experimental prose is your bag, or if you're particularly interested in the subject matter.

In addition to the reading list, my other ongoing "project" of sorts is that I decided that I wanted to work my way through my CDs, so I am taking them alphabetically. I have a 288-CD wallet that holds them all, and a 24-CD wallet that goes in my car, where most of my music-listening takes place. Thus I've been loading up the 24, and today I finished the second batch, meaning that I've gone from ABBA to John Denver thus far. (Yes, I also have some artists in there that other people might actually like.) Part of the idea is to shake up my usual small rotation of heavily-used CDs, and part is to see if pruning needs to happen. And inevitably part of it is trying to figure out what I was thinking about when I bought some of these things. I mean, OK, it's possible that what I really need to do is find myself a brand new lover, but does that mean that I really needed Dead or Alive's Greatest Hits?!

Speaking of bizarro popular culture (and, frankly, when am I not?), if you ever need to kill some time in Wal-Mart while your oil's being changed, I highly recommend the 2 for $10 DVD bin. Today I saw, in addition to such "classics" as Switch, House Party 2 and Protocol, two things particularly jumped out. One was the strong presence of films from the Burt Reynolds ouevre--specifically, Stroker Ace, Hooper, and Sharky's Machine. The other was seeing at least half a dozen copies of Dead Bang. If this title doesn't ring a bell, I'll start describing it, and you tell me when it just sounds horrible and unwatchable. Ready? "Don Johnson stars as..." That's what I thought. If you're really curious, it's a 1989 movie based on the premise that people liked Miami Vice, so maybe they'll like a movie where Don Johnson plays a cop. If you're morbidly curious, click here.

Until next time, I'll be here singing quietly to myself.

"Your sweet nature darling was too hard to swallow, I made my decision, I'm leaving tomorrow..."

No comments: