Chat talk and light discussion

Last book you read

Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:08 am

Alfred Hayes, In Love, 1953.

Alfred Hayes (1911-1985) was a British screenwriter, novelist and poet, who worked in Italy and the US. Somewhat forgotten by the general public, but really worth rediscovering, imo.

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Book description

New York in the 1950s. A man on a barstool is telling a story about a woman he met in a bar, early married and soon divorced, her child farmed out to her parents, good-looking, if a little past her prime. They’d gone out, they’d grown close, but as far as he was concerned it didn’t add up to much. He was a busy man. Then one day, out dancing, she runs into a rich awkward lovelorn businessman. He’ll pay for her to be his, pay her a lot. And now the narrator discovers that he is as much in love with her as she is with him, perhaps more, though it will take him a while to realize just how utterly lost he is.

Executed with the cool smoky brilliance of a classic Miles Davis track, In Love is an unequaled exploration of the tethered—and untethered—heart.

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Reviews

One of the greatest, bleakest breakup stories ever told.
—The New York Observer

Like Raymond Carver at his best, novelist-cum-screenwriter Alfred Hayes addresses the human condition and its heartbreaks with brevity and brutal honesty. In Love was Hayes’s fourth novel, and as the story unfolds, there is a dreadful sense that the middle-aged protagonist is heading for disaster by falling in love with a younger girl who “inhabits a world from which he is excluded.” When a rival appears, in the shape of a millionaire with an indecent proposal, the cynicism and misery of the situation become almost unbearable.
—The Guardian

I’ve rarely seen the breakdown of a relationship, in all its banality and pettiness, evoked more vividly. It’s tough, fresh, very lovely, and will stay with you.
—Sadie O. Stein, The Paris Review Daily

A fever chart of an affair records all the fluctuations of feelings which are intimate and intense, expectant and often disabused, cruel and vulnerable, and brings to the heat of passion a cooler scrutiny which comes with its conclusion.... A tour de force.
—Kirkus Reviews

Maybe the old canard that the best love letters are those written when we are out of love goes for the novel too. If so, Alfred Hayes has written a smashing success. In this, his latest novel, he examines some of the states of mind, body, and soul which accompany love, without falling for all that nonsense about affection, intimacy, trust and all the simple pleasures known to people less sophisticated than the characters in his book.
—The New York Times

[A] noirish masterpiece which combines a plot that prefigures Indecent Proposal with the desolate milieu of an Edward Hopper painting.
—The Guardian

In Love is strange, unsettling, cynical and sad. It is a masterpiece. But if you are in love and want to believe, then don’t read it.
—The Times (London)

This is a marvelously well wrought novel; there are not many current books so completely finished in terms of verbal felicities.
—Chicago Tribune

A very remarkable novel; altogether outstanding in the unwavering concentration with which it pursues the problem of the reality of love. The story is stripped down to its bare essentials.... Quite unforgettable.
—John Lehmann, BBC

https://www.nyrb.com/products/in-love?variant=1094929869

Re: Last book you read

Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:30 am

Etta James & David Ritz, Rage To Survive

Fascinating and confronting (auto)biography from the Matriarch of the Blues...

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Description

One of the great women of American music, equally at home singing blues and jazz, Etta regales us with tales of her chaotic childhood, the stars she has known, and her troubled trip to stardom in this mesmerizing autobiography.

Born to a 14-year-old mother and raised by surrogate parents, blues and R&B star James started singing gospel in church at five, was discovered at 14 and had a rapid rise to fame. Nevertheless, her story is a disturbing saga of drug addiction, jail sentences for writing bad checks and stealing prescription drugs, involvements with the wrong men and anger at a disruptive and unstable mother who has refused to reveal who her daughter's father is. It's easy to see why James says she has been ``raging through life.'' She claims it's the rage that keeps her going. Now, at the age of 56, she reports she has kicked the drug habit, reached an understanding with her mother and settled down with her husband and children, letting off steam by dirt biking. Ritz, who has written biographies of Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and Smokey Robinson, spent two years traveling with James and listening to her talk about her life. Here he captures the craziness and the pain.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-679-42328-7

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Re: Last book you read

Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:41 am

Simon Callow`s Orson Welles: One-Man Band. The third volume in Callow`s biographical series on Welles. Here, detailing Welles` fallout in Hollywood and struggle to get the films he wanted to make made, before a move to Europe and a continued investment in independently made films. It's very well-written. Insightful. With new information and a real sense of the author's involvement in his subject.

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Re: Last book you read

Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:48 am

Thank you, Greystoke, for joining the reading party :-)

Re: Last book you read

Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:59 am

Stvimpe wrote:Thank you, Greystoke, for joining the reading party :-)


I do like to read.

Re: Last book you read

Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:17 am

Me too.

I'm happy you joined, hence the smiley. Didn't mean to suggest anything else. Just to avoid any possible misunderstanding.

Re: Last book you read

Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:24 am

Stvimpe wrote:Me too.

I'm happy you joined, hence the smiley. Didn't mean to suggest anything else. Just to avoid any possible misunderstanding.


Not at all. :)

Re: Last book you read

Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:52 pm

Catch 22, by Joseph Heller.

Re: Last book you read

Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:10 pm

Elvis and the Memphis Mafia... ::rocks

Re: Last book you read

Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:57 pm

Just re-read this lovely little novel by Truman Capote.

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Re: Last book you read

Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:19 am

complete prison diaries by Jeffrey Archer some 1050 pages!~

Re: Last book you read

Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:52 pm

.

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FICTION
NOVEL


Johan Harstad
Max, Mischa and the Tet Offensive
Max, Mischa og Tetoffensiven


Gyldendal 2015
1086 Pages


Friendship, exile, love, war and art: Johan Harstad’s breathtaking new epic has it all.

Max Hansen is sleepless in the Midwest. He is a theatre director on tour across the US. It’s possible that he has turned into an American. He hasn’t been home for over 20 years.
If it was up to him he would never have left the place he was born, a suburb to Stavanger on the west coast of Norway, where kids could make as much noise as they wanted while their fathers were working on the oil rigs in the North Sea, and where a heavy silence descended on the houses when they returned. But no one gets what they want.

Max, Mischa and the Tet Offensive is a novel about the applicability of Vietnamese guerilla warfare in everyday life, about those who have been to war and those who have demonstrated against them: about hyperrealist paintings of washing machines and girls who look like Shelley Duvall; about the sun out on Fire Island and a sought-after working copy of Apocalypse Now. But more than anything this is a novel about the question anyone who has ever left home sooner or later has to ask himself: How long do you have to be away before it becomes too late to go home?

Source: http://norla.no/en/books/683


I'm on page 388 of 1086 now and it's hard to put it away. What a writer! Sentences of 1,5 pages long are no exception. It reads like a riding train. Can't stop. And nothing really happens. It just eases along. The book reminds me a tiny bit of the film "Boyhood". Just a description of everyday life. Fantastic.


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Re: Last book you read

Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:42 am

Just completed the book, "It's in the Book, Bob!" It's a story of the professional life of Bob Eubanks. I have been a fan of his since I was a kid. The book describes his years of work on TV which are well know, but also speaks to his work on radio and the music business which was quite interesting and exciting.

rlj

Re: Last book you read

Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:36 am

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I could NOT put this down.

Re: Last book you read

Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:15 pm

Rob wrote:Image

I could NOT put this down.


I'm reading a book on the history of glue. Same thing, can't put it down.

Re: Last book you read

Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:15 pm

mike edwards66 wrote:
Rob wrote:Image

I could NOT put this down.


I'm reading a book on the history of glue. Same thing, can't put it down.

This should be made a sticky.

Re: Last book you read

Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:16 pm

I just finished the latest biography of Richard Nixon and the authorized biography of Neil Armstrong. Now I'm working my way through The Burglary. It's about a group of people who broke into an FBI field office in Media, PA in 1971 and stole every document in the office and then disbursed them to newspapers and select Senators and Congressmen. Pretty interesting.