Wednesday, June 07, 2006

what I'm reading now

"Flicker" by Theodore Roszak, which is weirdly gripping but extremely different from another of his novels which I loved.

I read Roszak's "The Devil and Daniel Silverman" without putting it down one second more than necessary a couple of years ago. I loaned it to a friend who never gave it back, and I ended up buying a second copy for myself. Yes, I liked it that much that I bought it twice. It's the story of an atheist, gay Jewish liberal stranded by a snowstorm at a Bible college in the midwest, very dark and very witty. "Flicker" is very different, written in a completely distinct style. While "The Devil" was written with a light, nearly campy hand, "Flicker" is very dense, with long, clause-laden sentences which often need to be read more than once. It's (at least so far) a tale of two cinemaphiles's discovery of the neglected oeuvre of a dead German director, heavy on the film theory and history of early moviemaking. I can tell it's building towards something, but it's not predictable what will occur.

I also just read with great pleasure the latest trade paperback collecting "Gotham Central" comics by Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka, "Unresolved Targets." Amazing art, snappy dialogue, realistic characters: another incredible graphic novel. I never followed a DC comic before I found "Gotham Central", but I'm hooked. I can't get enough of "Gotham Central." For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it's a hardboiled police procedural, in comic form, which follows realistic, stressed-out cops from Gotham who are sick of Batman taking all the glory. Some of them are corrupt, others are closeted, some are drunks: they're all beautifully drawn and fully-rounded, complex characters.

UPDATE: I just finished "Flicker", and what a haunting ending it has. A great, dense, imaginative book.

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