Felicia’s Journey and Incestuous Reading

This morning I finished Felicia’s Journey, a novel by William Trevor. I normally go to Travor for short stories, and this is not only not a short story, but a bit of a psychological thriller to boot. Great, great book. And once again a writer from across the pond disproves the silly American notion that great novels have to be big novels.

Also this month has been much incestuous reading…whenever I return from New York I come bearing presents from my agent and publisher. Two highlights so far from my last journey:

Stephen Dixon’s Old Friends. I haven’t read Dixon before, so this was quite an introduction. Again, like Trevor, a brief novel, but the parallel ends there. I severely disliked both of the characters, but what was cool is that this did not make me dislike the book. A neat trick.

And in nonfiction, Greg Palast’s “Armed Madhouse” was eyeopening, explaining a few key things that have eluded me to date (for instance, it’s not about controling the oil, it’s about controling the price of the oil. It seems obvious upon hearing it, but it’s not as intuitive as you would think). All non-Republicans should read this book prior to the 2008 elections if you’d like to avoid having the election stolen for a third time.

Christian Bauman
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