Narsil wrote:Currently reading David Foster Wallace's The Broom of the System. Such a loss. God damn this man was brilliant. Pales in comparison to Infinite Jest, yet at the same time puts most other stuff to shame.
To be honest I didn't much like Broom. I found it just a couple months after his suicide, recognized the name, and went through it. It had some worthwhile parts to it to be sure (I loved Vlad The Impaler, and Wittgenstein makes me happy) but the whole thing just came off like he was trying way too hard to be really really intelligent instead of saying something of any substance or importance. Infinite Jest is on my to-read list simply because lots of people have recommended it, and I'm hoping it'll be less show-offy. I'm optimistic, because according to Wikipedia he wrote Broom while in college.
On-topic: I'm about 3/4 of the way through Secrets of the Talking Jaguar
by Martin Prechtel. It's one of the strangest and most enchanting things I've ever read, with this pervasive otherness that seems to me like someone speaking from a truly different culture (it's an account of life in an indigenous Mayan village). It would make a completely convincing magic realist novel, but it's a memoir; I'd write the author off as delusional but he writes with impressive articulation. On the back burner is The Good War
by Studs Terkel. I originally got it both because I love Studs and because I thought I needed more background on the cultural influence on WW2 for Gravity's Rainbow. As it turns out, it's also incredibly sad and incredibly entertaining. Very good peek into the culture of the generation now mostly gone. And, of course, on the burner behind that remains the bane of my existence, Gravity's Goddamn Rainbow
by Thomas "Ramblin' Tom" Pynchon. I'm nearing part 4, and at this point I'm not willing to give up.