With National Poetry Month done and gone, it's time to get back to the novel -- especially because so many great ones have come out in the last month or so.
Here are a few littering my bedside!:
The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall (W.W. Norton, $21.65, hardcover) -- Like the ultra-watchable, insanely believable Big Love on HBO, The Lonely Polygamist is a dramatic, always surprising, and consistently hilarious saga about the logistical and spiritual mechanics of polygamist life. Among other things, it's written well and has a lot to say about underground bombs...........um, awesome....
The Book of Evidence by John Banville (Vintage, $12.00) -- Part Bellow, part Camus, part Michael Cunningham, Banville is one of the best and still, very much himself. And I like this older Banville novel, too. It's a dark, fixing book written for those enjoy wry smiles and harbor steely stomachs; 'gruesome' is its middle name and 'calculating' its last. Beautiful, still, as well.
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes (Atlantic Monthly Press, $19.96, hardcover) -- Matterhorn is a big book, figuratively, literally, pretty much any way you hold up to light. And surprisingly, it's also a debut. I'm not real far in it -- just 40 pages or so -- and can readily admit that it's taken a hold of me. (Two words: penile leeches. ). And oh yea, it's about Vietnam and written by a former Marine who's spent 30 years in his attic making it one of the most riveting, comprehensive and peerless books about a subject so many great authors have already explored. How Marlantes found the room, or the acumen, to take over that conversation is beyond me, but thank god for it.
WHAT'S ON YOUR BEDSIDE?