Wednesday, December 04, 2002

reading habit upgrade

With my evening bus and train home going out of sync, I found time to kill and decided to drop by AFPL. I had a few items on hold, but a casual walk about the new releases and the DVD shelves resulted in me walking out with a tad more loans than I could handle. A mixed bag that should keep my free hours busy.

* DVDs:The Bridges Of Madison County and Flawless

* Haunted/James Herbert

* Sergio Leone: Something to do with death/Christopher Frayling {brief}{review}

* Lullaby/Chuck Palahniuk (just in case you forgot, he wrote Fight Club)

* Step Across the Line/Salman Rushdie (more about this below) {review}

* From a Buick 8/Stephen King (I'm a Stephen King fan, so I was obviously thrilled to see this, although he seems dangerously close to the verge of becoming predictable and assembly-line) {review}

Rushdie's new book is a collection of essays, past and present on topics ranging from his experiences surviving the fatwa, his obsession with The Wizard of Oz, the death of Princess Diana, India, Midnight's Children, being photographed, and titular mystification. His film and music essays contain occasional glimpses of his roots in magic realism, but his non-fiction, for the most part, lacks distinctive style, but is quite readable. He has no earth-shattering observations to make, but fuses creative and critical instinct with his experience to come up with a rather readable collection. I caught him on CSPAN when he was reading from this new collection, and to date, he has been the only person I could stand on CSPAN (even Joe Queenan turned out to be a sad complaining weather bag with precious little to say and relying on the past glories of his Red Lobster... days, his entertaining cynical observations now sounding like senile whines). Perhaps it was his Indian connection. Perhaps it was his British accent. Perhaps both. Did anyone notice that his girlfriend Padma Lakshmi shares her name with the narratee in Rushdie's magnum opus Midnight's Children?

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