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About ejp626

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  1. Now reading...

    I definitely felt The Good Soldier was a bit too drawn out this time around and a bit too needlessly convoluted. We get the gist of what happened by p 50 or even sooner, and then the rest is sort of a baroque filling in of a lot of details and much more back story. Which would be fine if some of it didn't seem just so repetitive. The last few pages do redeem it a fair bit where we finally get a sense that the narrator isn't quite the angel he often portrays himself as. It's still a solid book, but I wasn't blown away by it as I was in my 20s. Carr's A Month in the Country next, and I am also trying to wrap up Fontane's Irretrievable (NYRB). I compared Irretrievable and No Way Back (Penguin) and finally plumped for the (older) translation published by NYRB.
  2. Now reading...

    I'm finding I have no particular interest in any of the characters in Lucky Jim and don't care what happens to them. (Furthermore, David Lodge writes much more pointed satire of academia.) I'll finish it, as it is fairly short, but I am already looking ahead to The Good Soldier, which I liked very much in my 20s, so I hope I still feel the same now.
  3. Walter Becker of Steely Dan dies at 67

    RIP I saw them once after they started touring again after a long layoff. Amazing show. Fagen says the show (current tour) will go on, but obviously it will never be the same.
  4. In terms of the music, definitely Andrew Hill, though that was one I assembled from the individual BN CDs. In terms of the big black boxes, probably Elvin Jones, followed by the Farmer-Golson Sextet. In terms of Selects, probably Hutcherson, Andrew Hill (not solo), and Akiyoshi. It is true, I don't really listen to these (and the others I own) as much as I expected when I bought them, but I do bring them out from time to time.
  5. R.I.P. John Abercrombie

    RIP. I have enjoyed many of his recordings. My two faves (at the moment at least) are Gateway and Class Trip. I'll have to spin them today.
  6. What Are You Watching

    Yesterday, I watched the partial eclipse for a couple of minutes, then had to go back into a meeting. Apparently, Buffalo gets a full eclipse in 2024 and Toronto will be 90-95%, so that will be cool.
  7. Now reading...

    Humor dates quickly, that's for sure. I found J.P. Donleavy unbearable. I have somewhat higher hopes for Amis. Thinking back, I did find Murdoch's Under the Net quite amusing. I think I am slightly more in tune with her, but not with Muriel Spark, whose work I just don't enjoy.
  8. I finally, finally picked up my copies of the Basie/Young and Beehive sets (bought when the alarming email circulated). Just starting to listen to them now. Some really great music obviously. I will note that on my Beehive set the middle CD in each case has the teeth of death (basically worse than I've seen before). So be warned. Even knowing this is an issue and trying to shave the teeth down, I'm still pretty sure I'll end up cracking one of the discs. I plan to rip the box, and then will probably never take it out again.
  9. Now reading...

    Slight detour into Bowles's The Sheltering Sky. Many, many years ago I got a few chapters in and set it aside for some reason. I should wrap it up this afternoon and then Gide's The Vatican Cellars. Probably Lucky Jim after that. Hard to believe, but I never got around to this one before.
  10. It was nice but even 5 years ago, you got about 50% talk, 50% music with Benny (and Lou Donaldson). Now it is about 25% music. Still definitely worth it to see one of the last giants (and these at least were new stories for me). He did play "Horizon Ahead" off a fairly recently album, and the rest were his standards - "Whisper Not" and "I Remember Clifford." They closed with Coltrane's Mr PC, taken at a fairly fast clip.
  11. In Chicago for a couple of days and saw that Benny Golson is at the Jazz Showcase. I am going to try to catch the 8 o'clock show tonight!
  12. Now reading...

    Just wrapped up The Sound and the Fury. Even though I read it before and knew broadly what happened, it was a challenge. While Benjy's thoughts are completely jumbled, Quentin's (in the 2nd section) jump around nearly as much. It is only the second half where there is a more linear narrative. Also Camara Laye's The Radiance of the King, which in many ways is an African-version of Kafka's The Castle. Oddly one review claims that The Radiance of the King starts off with an epigraph from Kafka, though certainly not in my edition (Vintage). If I can borrow it from the library I'll try to get the NYRB edition to check out Toni Morrison's introduction. Gide's The Vatican Cellars next and then Fontane. I have to decide whether to go with the NYRB translation of Irretrievable or No Way Back (on Penguin).
  13. Now reading...

    Unless is Shields' last completed novel. It is a fairly straight-forward tale about a family in crisis with some allusions to Bellow's Herzog (the narrator also writes long (sometimes imaginary) letters to notable public figures).
  14. Now reading...

    What do you think so far? I've heard good things about it, and expect to get to it in Sept.
  15. Now reading...

    Halfway into Wuthering Heights. For me it is a more successful novel than Jane Eyre, which didn't do a lot for me in the end, though I still am not that interested in the characters here. I do find it fairly strange that these two families act as if there isn't a larger world outside with which they can interact and from which they can find partners. Most other novels, including Jane Eyre, show a bit of socializing with neighbors further afield and even the occasional trip into town. These folks (in Wuthering Heights) all act as if they are stuck in M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. Re-reading Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury after this. Then Gide's The Vatican Cellars.