Fight Club and the Disenchanted Middle Class

fight clubIn the “Afterword” to the book, which I can’t believe I am just now reading (I’ve read and enjoyed others of his, and this was one of my favorite movies of all time), Palahniuk talks about the making of the book and the environment leading up to its creation.  Specifically, he says in part: Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter I- “[I]n him broods already a taste for mindless violence”

Introduction
Back to the beginning…The year is 1847.  The Leonids refers to a prolific meteor shower, occurring in the month of November, the most famous in recent history having occurred in 1833.  This is the year the main character in the book, known only as “the kid,” was born.  He is 14 now.

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Blood Meridian, Epilogue- “[B]ones and the gatherers of bones and those who do not gather”

stone on fireDunces!  The epilogue is brief, just a single paragraph, but I think it merits its own analysis.  The first line provides: “In the dawn there is a man progressing over the plain by means of holes which he is making in the ground.” (p. 337).  The dawn?  Is this dawn of the next morning?  The dawn of time?  Who is this man? Continue reading

Blood Meridian Chapter XXIII, Part II- “This night thy soul may be required of thee.”

dancing bear blood meridian book review dunce academyIntroduction

So here it is, the second half of the last chapter in the book.  The kid, now 45, is in a riotous saloon in Griffin, Texas, known in the area for its whores and evil.  At the center of all of this, probably not surprising to any of our readers, is the judge.  “Watching him across the layered smoke in the yellow light was the judge.” (p. 325).  What will happen? Continue reading

Blood Meridian Chapter XXIII, Part I- “I knowed we’d bury him on this prairie.”

buffalo bones blood meridian book review chapter review cormac mccarthy dunce academyIntroduction

Time continues to pass.  This chapter begins in the later winter of 1878.  Born in 1833, the “kid” is 45.  He’s in the north Texas plains.  It’s cold and windy.  He goes to set up camp for the night, and as soon as gets his fire going, he notices another fire across the way.  Like his, it warmed one man alone. Continue reading

Scandinavian Crime Fiction

the forgotten girlsI am just about finished with Sara Blaedel’s The Forgotten Girls.  As crime fiction goes, it is pretty standard fare.  What I didn’t realize until after I started reading it, however, is that Blaedel is from Denmark.  And looking back, the last several crime fiction books I’ve read have also been from that part of the world: Stieg Larsson and his Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Series (Sweden); Jo Nesbø and his Detective Harry Hole series (Norway); and maybe not exactly crime fiction, but along these same lines, Herman Koch (born in the Netherlands, but having spent some time in Finland)(I recently devoured both The Dinner and Summer House With Swimming Pool. Excellent!). Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter XXII- “Our animosities were formed and waiting before ever we two met”

angry wolf 1 dunce academy wolves blood meridianMore time passes in this chapter than in any other chapter in the book (save maybe the first, when we go from the kid’s birth to the present).  We learn some interesting things in this chapter.  For one, we learn the age of the kid.  Referred to only as “the kid” throughout the novel, we have no way of knowing how old he actually is.  Until now.  Though years and some historical events have been mentioned.  Recall the first page of the book: “Night of your birth.  Thirty-three.  The Leonids they were called.” (p. 3).  What does thirty-three mean?  1933?  1833?  Well, it’s the latter, as the “Leonids” reference would provide. Continue reading

Blood Meridian, Chapter XX: “Creatures surpassing all description “

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.comWhen last we left our fearless heroes, the ferry crossing had become an extremely dangerous place to be a white man.  The natives are pissed and looking for blood.  This chapter kicks off with just two from the band of scalp hunters, the kid and Toadvine, trying to escape, and battling as they go.  At some point the kid took an arrow to the leg, and it is up against his leg, making it slow and painful going.  But as he himself points out, what choice does he have but to go on? Continue reading

Books on Work

In the spirit of the magic book recommender, let me just briefly recommend five books to be read together if you’re feeling stuck in your career or mid-lifey or just wanting to vibe on the disconnect of today’s society and find yourself wondering “how did I get here, and why do I stay?”

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