Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: Hot Pink by Adam Levin

Hot Pink by Adam Levin
256 pages
published by McSweeney's

I haven't read Levin's The Instructions yet but it's on my bookshelf and after reading through a galley of his first story collection, Hot Pink, I'm eager to dive into His Big Book. Though the influence of George Saunders comes through from time to time, Levin's stories are something else entirely. Violence is commonplace. Love is sincere but confusing and misguided. And of course they're all funny.

Review: Habibi by Craig Thompson

Habibi by Craig Thompson
672 pages
published by Pantheon

Brutal and beautiful. The sprawling narrative is a tad overwhelming but forgivably so. But seriously, the artwork is pretty astounding. Thompson is mostly known for his book of equal heft, Blankets, which is a great graphic novel in its own right but Habibi is clearly his most mature and imaginative work to date.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Coming of Age in Hollywood

A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O'Brien
155 pages
published by New York Review of Books (Classics)

The charm of this slim book comes almost entirely from the narrator. He is young, intelligent, brash, observant, funny and a son of Hollywood.

I enjoyed the novel all the way through but the last few chapters is what did it for me. It is essentially a coming-of-age story and O'Brien gives us an ending that is both open ended and undeniably satisfying.

NYRB Classics rock.