Books: Summertime Sound, No One Here Gets Out Alive and A Confederacy Of Dunces

What better way to update my blog again by rambling about some of the books I read lately?

I’ve read Homicide by David Simon for a long time back in March or so. It took me forever, as the book has almost 700 pages in rather small print, and while it’s interesting most of the time, it’s not exactly a quick read. I was curious about this book because I read that The Wire (the TV show) is partially based on it or was written by the same guy. He spent time inside the police force as a journalist, observing them work, and everything that happens in the book actually happened, which is rather mind-boggling, considering how crazy some of those cases were. At any rate, I do recommend this book, but be aware that due to the sheer size of it, it’s quite a commitment. ;)

No One Here Gets Out Alive
No One Here Gets Out Alive

Next, I read That Summertime Sound by Matthew Specktor, which was recommended by Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara fame. There’s actually an audio file of Sara reading from That Summertime Sound, so that made me curious. However, I was not really that intrigued by the book when I finally read it. I feel the story goes in circles and I don’t care about the characters. The protagonist (= the author?) just comes across as whiny. So that’s not a book I’d recommend.

Then I read No One Here Gets Out Alive, which is Jim Morrison’s biography, Jim Morrison of course being the lead singer of The Doors. I really didn’t know much about him or The Doors when I started this book, but wow do I dislike him now. What a completely rude, irresponsible and narcissistic guy that was! Sure, he had a tough upbringing, but geez… I really don’t get why people worship him the way they do. Also, the authors of the book are both big fans of The Doors, and while they’re still rather critical of him, they do write about what an amazing poet Morrison was. I really don’t see it. He’s got nothing on Ani DiFranco.

Words and Music
Words and Music

Next I tried reading Words and Music – A History of Pop in the Shape of a City by Paul Morley, but after he rambled on and on about Kylie Minogue’s hair and endless lists of musicians I’ve never heard of and such for 40+ pages, I finally gave up. Maybe the book is simply too abstract for me, there are some people on who apparently loved it, but I simply couldn’t get into it.

So I moved on to A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, which has been recommended to me more than once, and I’m really enjoying it. The main character is such a rude and awful fellow (kind of like Jim Morrison, hehe) and yet it’s so engaging to read about all the crazy things he does. The book is set in New Orleans and it’s fun to read the various ways of speaking the characters have. I’m almost finished with it and I do recommend it. Sadly, the author committed suicide at age 31. His books have always been rejected while he was still alive.

So, what are you reading?

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