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Surprisingly Good Books, Part Two

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – This year, I’ve read a fair number of YA novels with contemporary settings, but this was one of the first of them. It was also the best. The novel’s triumph is its self-aware voice. The narrator is a teenager who’s suffering from cancer. And she’s a […]

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I would like to read a dull plotless novel, because all the plotless novels I’ve read have been too awesome

            I don’t think that any novel is really “plotless”. As long as you’ve got a character who moves around and performs actions, then there’s a plot. Normally, the term “plotless” is used in a pejorative sense, to refer to novels or films in which the action doesn’t increase in intensity […]

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One of the few times I’ve read about Africa without being made to feel sorry for anyone

So, a week ago, I was reading David Markson’s Last Novel (which was predictably fascinating, in a very annoying and highly pleasurable way) and I came across the little factoid: I think A Bend in the River is much, much better than Conrad Pronounced the humility-drenched author of A Bend in the River And somehow, […]

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This Is Not A Novel

One of the bestest book blogs ever is Mumpsimus, where Matt Cheney does the kind of posting that I have rarely been able to find, the kind of posting that allows me to hold out some hope that I can sometimes manage to glean something interesting from this here internet (well, other than who my […]

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