Truthful speaking would be a simple way to tell the truth, if the truth were simple and could be told.

18 March 2009

A Book I Want to Read

I haven't actually read anything by John Wray quite yet -- he only has two books out thus far: The Right Hand of Sleep and Canaan's Tongue -- though I have been meaning to and there have been times I've been at the library and had copies of either of those under my arms, which were shoved out of the way for some other thing eventually, but his newest novel sounds incredible. Starred review from Publisher's Weekly, the top of the list of Amazon's best of March '09.... Here are some reviews, reprinted without permission or MLA format:

I'm not the first and certainly won't be the last reader to herald Lowboy
for the subtle homage it pays to one of the best-known
in 20th century fiction, or to envy and delight in its masterful
vision of New York City as seen from its darkest, most primal places. What's
most seductive for me about John Wray's third novel--and arguably the one that
puts him squarely on the map alongside contemporary luminaries like Joseph
O'Neill, Jonathan Lethem, and Junot Diaz--is how skillfully it maps the mind's
mysterious terrain. This isn't exactly uncharted land: John Wray's Will
Heller--a.k.a. Lowboy--is a paranoid schizophrenic who, certain of both his own
dysfunction and of the world's imminent collapse by way of global warming, could
easily remind you of Ken Kesey, but Wray handles that subtext delicately and is
careful to make Will's mission to "cool down" and save the world feel
single-minded without being moralistic. Wray invokes all the classic elements of
a mystery in the telling, and that's what makes this novel such a searing read.
As Will rides the subway in pursuit of a final solution to the crisis at hand,
we meet (among others) Will's mother Violet, an Austrian by birth with an
inscrutable intensity that gives the story a decidedly noir feel; Ali Lateef,
the unflappable detective investigating Will's disappearance whose touch of
brilliance always seems in danger of being snuffed out; and Emily Wallace, the
young woman at the heart of Will's tragic odyssey. The novel moves seamlessly
between Will's fits and starts below ground and Violet and Ali's equally
staccato investigation of each other above. This kind of pacing is the stuff we
crave (and we think you will, too)--the kind that draws you in so unawares that
before you know it, it's past midnight and you're down to the last page.

Atop that, I found, via YouTube, a great reading, very blogotheque or whatever that is, where John Wray reads his book on the actual subway (it was apparently written there, too; a romantic guesture, I presume).

I also like the further premise of this video:

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