Born To Run is really The Essential Bruce Springsteen, by His Hand and in His Voice (even if it isn’t, and it probably is; even if – and because – it could use a stronger editor.) What a book – a tour de force rock ‘n’ roll memoir/deconstruction. Here’s the rock star who decided he WOULDN’T die before he got old, because he sorta liked living.
Wecker’s debut novel is set in New York City, 1899. She spins a yarn about a golem, a clay creature brought to life by a Hebrew mystic, and a jinni, a creature made of fire. Both supernatural creatures find themselves hiding among poor immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York, an ambience rendered affectionately by Wecker. The novel unspools like a fable, gradually accumulating moral force as Wecker’s plot threads gather together in a complex design.
1) State of the Island
2) Why College Should Not Be Free
3) Irish Marriage
4) Sarah and the Bullies
5) An Imaginary Conversation
6) Signal to Noise
7) The Girl on the Train
8) The Girl With All the Gifts
9) Green Eggs and Ham
The Girl on the Train is selling like gangbusters, and has been optioned as a movie. It reads like a movie treatment already, without any joy of language. And it may yet become a good movie – I’d like to see three creative actresses develop these characters beyond what Hawkins could.
I’m not a zombie aficionado – I don’t watch The Walking Dead, and I can’t make it through any of George Romero’s movies. I squirm at the classic horror stories – Frankenstein, Dracula, etc. But damn if I didn’t love The Girl With All the Gifts, damn if it didn’t bring tears to my eyes, damn if it’s not a beautifully written novel about what it means to be human.
I hated this novel so much I never wrote about it. Now, I see that Fox has a new show called Wayward Pines. Of course Fox wanted this book – it’s set in a town ruled by a fascist oligarchy. The surprise twist at the end is that it’s all good! (Since it’s Fox, it won’t come as much of a surprise.)
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