A Head Full Of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

Paul Tremblay’s A Head Full Of Ghosts is a beautiful novel, a post-modern tale of demonic possession that leaves you questioning where truth lies in our surreal/unreal world. Publisher William Morrow sums up A Head Full Of Ghosts: The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie […]

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

 A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole is funny, wise, and as close to a perfect novel as you’re likely to find. Protagonist Ignatius C. Reilly is a bloated buffoon, a man-baby who lives with his mother, has a troubled digestive valve that causes him to burp and fart with great frequency, and possesses […]

The Croning by Laird Barron

Something amazing happens in Laird Barron’s The Croning. The hero saves the day simply by forgetting to act. He agrees to let his mind rot away (perhaps the most terrifying fate of all) while his witchy woman makes off with their newborn grandchild. That’s the happiest ending possible in this twisted tale that combines the legend […]

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a slow literary slog. This 1967 novel, considered a landmark work of Latin American magical realist fiction, is a major drudge. It felt like it took me 100 years to read. I couldn’t find my way around the Buendia family tree and all its weird, gnarled branches. […]

Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates

Reading Bellefleur by Joyce Carol Oates is like slipping into a fever dream. It’s all dark winter mood and brooding atmosphere in this novel.    Bellefleur covers three generations of the Bellefleur family over the course of more than 200 years. Ms. Oates builds this long, sprawling novel with long, sprawling sentences filled with parenthetical asides and a […]

Digitize Salinger and Other Literary Pursuits

I was going through a “Why Didn’t I Read This in High School?” phase, and J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye was up next on my reading list. I was eager to download a copy of Salinger’s classic novel onto my Kindle. I’m a firm backer of the digital publishing revolution, since ebooks let […]

Hollywood by Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski‘s intrepid hero / alter ego Hank Chinaski is back in this funny satire of Tinsel Town in the late 1980s. Culled from his experience writing the screenplay for the film Barfly, Bukowski’s Hollywood rips into the shallowness of show business. The plot twists are so absurd, the characters so vapid and vain, they […]