Sunday, July 24, 2011

Good, new, great

Just finished a couple great new(-ish) books!

Martin Amis's The Pregnant Widow (Vintage, 384 pgs, $12.76) -- Like nearly anything written by the younger Amis, The Pregnant Widow is a splash of language, a badinage of ideas, and really good time. This one -- his latest and most accessible in recent memory -- is about sex: the sexual revolution, the biological act, pornography, fantasy, you name it. And of course, it's all imbued with Amis's telltale panache and penchant for good storytelling and better prose. An intimate book, but one which you'll breeze through! As insightful as it is ecstatic!

Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad (Anchor, 352 pgs, $11.96) -- A hopscotching, genre-twisting, time-bender of a novel that's been the talk of town for a while now (Pulitzer winner, etc.). Truly, it lives up to the hype. Designed as a collection of stories (in every shape and size: graphs, newspaper clippings, all of it) which dances around the decades long drama of a group of friends and colleagues, A Visit From the Goon Squad does that rare thing that very few novels ever even dream of. While stretching the narrative form into something which truly captures our generation (a generation of soundbytes, cultural ADD, artistic sterility, surveillance, and ever-present technological amplification) it also details, through the minutia and character's lives the hopes and fears of this same generation. An excellent, excellent novel.