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Audiobook reviews: The Book of Dust; Turtles All the Way Down; The Midnight Line

In audiobook review, Books, Reviews, Uncategorized on April 22, 2018 at 10:43 am
Dust, Turtles, MidnightJenni Laidman
Chicago Tribune
Nov. 20, 2017

“The Midnight Line” by Lee Child, narrated by Dick Hill, Random House Audio, 13 hours, 6 minutes

Dick Hill is Jack Reacher for audiobook fans. Hill narrated the last 18 of the 22 books in this Lee Child series. Although he missed books two through four, he spoke at the genesis with the first Reacher book, “Killing Floor.” So it pains me to say this, but: It’s time for Hill to go. Somewhere around book 19, “Personal,” Hill’s voice developed a warble. With each successive novel, Reacher sounds less like a tough guy and more like someone’s uncertain grandpa. The problem is more of tone than age. There is little in the books to remind us that Reacher, who fights with the ferocity and experience of a 30-something brawler, is actually 57. But Hill’s narration turns him geriatric. While it is delightful to imagine pops taking on seven outlaw bikers — none of whom so much as scuffs his shoes — it strains even my very elastic credulity when it comes to Jack Reacher. (I also miss the days when Reacher still took an occasional punch.)

More problematic: It’s often difficult to tell who’s talking. Is it Reacher or the private investigator he’s teamed with? Is it Reacher or the general who runs West Point? They are frequently indistinguishable. You can regain a younger Reacher if you speed the playback to 1.25x on your smartphone, but that doesn’t fix the dialogue confusion. Hill is a celebrated narrator, with more than 500 titles to his name and three Audie awards. He’s earned his place among the great voices. But for Jack Reacher, his voice is great no longer.

“The Book of Dust” by Philip Pullman, narrated by Michael Sheen, Listening Library, 13 hours, 7 minutes

“His Dark Materials,” Philip Pullman’s beloved trilogy about the indomitable girl hero, Lyra Belacqua, are full-cast recordings, Technicolor feasts of memorable voices. Lyra’s scrappy breathlessness remains my favorite girl voice, and the rumbling Iorek Byrnison, my favorite bear. So what were they thinking, giving a single actor the “Dark Materials” prequel, “The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage”?

For the rest of this review, plus “Turtles All the Way Down,” follow the link.

Audiobook reviews: Munich, Anatomy of a Scandal, This Could Hurt

In audiobook review, Books, Reviews, Uncategorized on April 22, 2018 at 10:15 am
Anatomy, This, MunichJenni Laidman
Chicago Tribune
April 10, 2018

“Munich” by Robert Harris, narrated by David Rintoul, Random House Audio, 9 hours, 38 minutes

Actor David Rintoul, the narrator of Robert Harris’ thriller, “Munich,” summons a grumbling chorus of voices as the diplomatic maneuvers to prevent World War II unfurl. Not only must Rintoul manage the dry-leaves delivery of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and the beer-hall harshness of Adolf Hitler, he has all the politicians and civil servants at the hearts of the British and German governments to enliven. Rintoul keeps a taut rein on the growing tension as a pair of young men — one German, one English — try to change the course of history.

The story of Chamberlain’s effort to forestall war is so well-worn, it’s lost its edges for many, but Harris’ story snaps the prime minister’s motivations into place. Chamberlain is a wily negotiator, working hard to outflank Hitler. If words could bind a criminal, Chamberlain’s desperate machinations would have changed history. But the prime minister disregarded Hitler’s essence; Paul von Hartmann, temporarily assigned to Hitler’s staff, has information he hopes will change Chamberlain’s course. His only hope of passing it along is a former Oxford friend, Hugh Legat, a low-ranking member of Chamberlain’s staff. Harris, who wrote “Fatherland” and the Cicero Trilogy, is a master of layering detail for tightly plotted, immersive fiction. His two young schemers are positioned to provide an intimate view of the political and defense calculations on both sides of the channel, while on the streets of London, workers scurry with sandbags and shovels to prepare for the worst — the only efforts that, in the end, really mattered.

To read the other reviews, follow the link here.

Governor Praying for Kentucky

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2017 at 9:59 am
after jesus

After lightning struck the Touchdown Jesus statue that was visible from I-75 north of Cincinnati.

By Jenni Laidman

Gov. Matt Bevin recently announced a plan to end violence in Louisville via walking prayer groups.

Gov. Matt Bevin announced his With Prayer All Things Are Possible initiative this week, beginning with the Faith Over Fracking March to end the dominance of low-cost natural gas, which is doing so much damage to Kentucky’s coal mining.

“We’re going to pray that all those fracking wells dry up so that we can restore one of Kentucky’s traditional industries. Our prayers have already pretty much destroyed the Environmental Protection Agency, so we’ve got that covered. Now we just need to get rid of other lower cost fuels,” the governor said Tuesday.

The governor’s office announced that the Faith Over Fracking Prayer Walk will be followed by the Tell God to Stop Moving Those Windmills Walk. A governor’s spokesman said the plan is to go after all alternative fuel methods. “We probably have to leave solar alone,” the spokesman said. “The governor is not convinced that asking God to blot out the sun will be good for our farmers. So it’s a compromise.”

In another sweeping series of cost-saving prayer initiatives, the Governor plans to shut down health departments around the state, and will instead send out prayer teams to every restaurant, so that no Kentuckian be sickened by contaminated food.

“The bible says we can take up serpents and drink poison and not be harmed if we have faith,” Bevin said. “So, if the ground meat is dripping onto the lettuce, and there are mouse turds in the tuna casserole, we believe prayer will make the food safe for Kentuckians to eat, and at a tremendous cost savings.”

Needle exchange programs administered by health departments will be replaced by regular laying on of hands to addicts who report to the needle exchange sites. “At least initially, a daily laying on of hands of the addicted will be required before we eventually put an end to the heroin problem hurting so many of our counties,” the governor acknowledged. “But eventually, we should be drug free.”

The governor’s plan is being applauded by many community activists. Said one activist who asked not to be named, “I’m so glad to see the governor applying faith to the problems of white people. When he introduced his West End prayer walks, I thought that was because he used all Kentucky’s money solving white community problems, so prayer was the only solution he could afford for murders in our community. I mean, if prayer is powerful enough to solve a murder crisis, maybe it’s powerful enough to cover the governor’s mortgage payments. Oh, wait, yeah, now that I think about it, I guess he’s already done that.”


Man Booker: Is this the year of the sure thing?

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2015 at 9:16 am

I shall be bold and announce that this year, for the first time ever, I will agree with the Man Booker judges when, on October 13, they decide which book wins the annual literary prize for novels published in English. I am just that sure, and not only because everyone is betting on the same favorite. Frontrunners often lose. But I’m declaring the American Pharoah effect in honor of the horse that brought home the Triple Crown for the first time in 37 years. That seems an omen for frontrunners. I dare the committee to prove me wrong and pick anything other than A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.

Although A Little Life has a reputation for making grown men weep, it’s a story built on the warm friendships among four men
who met in college. From the start, Yanagihara’s unadorned prose transmits the inevitability of tragedy, with the gradual A Little Liferevelation of the horror-filled childhood of one character, Jude St. Francis. Yanagihara’s characters are, as adults, people of privilege and remarkable success — there’s an Oscar-winning movie star, a powerful attorney, a famous architect, and a celebrated artist. But that bit of unreality recedes in the face of Jude’s suffering, as he tries to manage a life plagued by childhood demons.

Why I’m right: It’s reported to be a 2-to-1 favorite, and who doesn’t like a good cry? The characters are likeable, the relationships deep and worth exploring, and the plot moving, unflagging and unforgettable.

Why I might be wrong: It’s a fairy tale of friendship among people who have it all.

(Doubleday; 720 pages; $30)

Another pairing of tragedy and the bonds between males, in this case boys, is my No. 2 pick for the prize, The Fishermen, a first novel by Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma. Four sons form a tightknit tribe who do everything together. The story, told from the perfectly tuned perspective of 9-year-old Benjamin, feels like a slow motion tumble, where every possible rescue comes into sharp focus The Fishermenjust as it slips beyond reach. The brothers are warned to stay away from the nearby river, but when their father has to leave his family behind to work 1,000 kilometers away, the river calls. They go fishing, and it’s fun. They declare themselves “The Fishermen,” even making up a song to accompany their labors. Returning from a fishing outing one day, the boys encounter the local madman who prophesies the death of the oldest boy. “Ikena, you will swim in a river of red but shall never rise from it again,” he shouts. The boy will be killed, the man says, by a fisherman. The malignant words burrow into the 14-year-old’s thoughts and take over. Ikenna tries to protect himself from the prophecy, and by doing so, unravels all. (304 pages; Little, Brown and Company; $26)

Why I might be wrong and this could win: It has the power of a tragedy and the vividness of a boy’s voice.

A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Jamaican author Marlon James, is No. 3 on my Man Booker list. To read it is to be A Brief Historybombarded with violence, assaulted by a horde of voices, and buried in stories—stories that left me desperately searching for a narrative. Several characters act as narrators—a dead politician, a CIA agent, an obnoxious Rolling Stone reporter, several Jamaican gangsters, young men transformed into coke-addled bloodthirsty thugs, and a woman caught in the storm when she shows up just as gang leader Josey Wales and company shoots The Singer. The book is based on events in Jamaican history, including the shooting of reggae star Bob Marley in 1976. It also incorporates the rise of a Jamaican gang that, by the 1980s, controlled the crack trade in New York and Miami. Reading it is a challenge. It’s exasperating and confusing, raw and violent, and overrun with wicked, empty people. It’s also smart, daring, and as things finally — mostly — come together, breathtaking.

Why I might be wrong and this could win: Few writers take such gambles. Fewer still can pull them off.

My No. 4 pick for the prize, The Year of the Runaways by British novelist Sunjeev Sahota, is about men living on the margins, and one woman, Narindar, whose act of compassion ruptures her tranquil life and destroys her faith. The men, Tochi, Randeep,Year of the Runaways and Avtar, are illegal Indian migrants in Sheffield, England. They live in circumstances so desperate, friendships are too costly to keep. The men run the hopeless treadmill of underpaid, physically brutal or menial jobs, for employers who view them as interchangeable pieces, and sometimes, property. The litany of hardships is awful and riveting. Yet the book lacks a sense of intimacy for much of its length, and does not find its heart until its final chapters, when Narindar and Tochi, an “untouchable” whose family was brutally slaughtered in sectarian violence in India, are forced together by circumstances, an event that marks the turning point in both lives.

Why I might be wrong and this could win: Well-developed characters with wrenching stories make an almost political statement about what it means to be a migrant in the West.

I won’t lie. I have no idea what my No. 5 pick is about. In Satin Island, author Tom McCarthy, who was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2010 for his novel, C, is telling us something about modern life. He says many clever things, and explores several intriguing Satin Islandobsessions — parachute accidents, oil spills—to no clear end. I’m so uncertain about all this, I’m going to tell you how the book ends: His character, U — and there’s really only one character — decides not to take the Staten Island Ferry. That’s it. Staten Island is —have you guessed it? — Satin Island. It came to U in a dream, appearing as a giant and beautiful trash incineration plant amid mountains of garbage, representing the true expression of our culture. I think. U makes this discovery while working as an in-house ethnologist for a big, anomalous company where he’s assigned to write, “The First and Last word of the Age,” as his contribution to the firm’s nebulous project of earth-shaking importance. And then other things happen. If I’ve given away too much, I apologize.

Why I might be wrong and this could win: Many, many people are much smarter than I am and may understand this. It offers all kinds of tidbits to think about, and some moments buzzing with insight.

Anne Tyler’s characters don’t change so much as dig themselves deeper in A Spool of Blue Thread, my No. 6 pick for the Man Booker. The story revolves around an unexpected homecoming by misfit son, Denny. Denny has skipped years of holiday Spool of Bluegatherings, blames his parents for most everything wrong in his life, and resents his siblings. No surprise that no one quite believes him when he announces he’s returned to help the folks, Red and Abby. Red recently suffered a heart attack, and Abby’s memory is on the fritz. The problem is, Denny’s brother Stem has already moved in. Family tensions bubble along until boiling over in a fistfight between the brothers. Tyler is a master at finding the unhappy underside of family life and portraying the loveable, or in Denny’s case, the unlovable, loser. Yet somehow these parental anxieties, sibling resentments and sly observations of both don’t add up to much. Tyler’s familiarity with family foibles feels just too familiar, and there’s not much new to say about the fact that Mom liked you best.

Why I might be wrong and this could win: Tyler is admired as a deft observer of the intricacies of the American family. More compelling to me, for the past two years, Man Booker judges have picked the book I liked least as the winner. They could do so again, American Pharoah be damned.

Here is a selection of articles I wrote for Medscape Medical News

In Uncategorized on December 6, 2013 at 8:58 am

Here is a selection of articles I wrote for Medscape Medical News

The Medscape stories are directed towards a medical audience. If your PhD or medical degree is at the cleaners this week, you might not find them the most scintillating stuff. They’re heavy on statistics and jargon, and the titles of researchers and physicians go on forever, per Medscape style.  I like writing them not because they challenge my writing chops — chops don’t seem desirable here — but because they challenge my brain and demand a lot of care to execute. Since my PhD has been at the cleaners for — well, forever — I dare not mess around with them or take shortcuts. Writing them is a regular lesson in careful thinking.

Oh, and I keep getting a little message from WordPress that there might be an ad on this page. I doubt that will happen, unless there’s an advertiser out there who wants to reach my five friends. But let me know if you do see an ad; I’m curious who would be desperate enough to use this space.

Easy to Swallow

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2013 at 8:31 am
Into the Bowels
of Bowels
with Mary Roach

MOUTHIf someone took a notion to ask author Mary Roach to perform, say, stomach surgery, she would probably also remove much of the large intestine, the gall bladder and at least one kidney, all with the excuse that it was just so interesting.

That’s the kind of crazy logic that holds together Roach’s newest book, “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal,” as it comfortably slides from a meditation on cat food tasters (“The average rating, I am gobsmacked to report, fell between ‘liked mildly’ and ‘neither like nor dislike’ “) to accounts of explosive colonoscopies, to a discourse on cow farts (they don’t), to a product that keeps flatulence from smelling, which somehow also manages to include the story of how the photograph of a friend’s 1980s band reemerged on a greeting card years later with the heading, “Greetings from the Dork Club.”

Like the perfect dinner guest full of entertaining conversation — or wait, given the subject, lets delay this until dinner is over — Roach rolls out one surprising story after another. She matches the dinner wit’s great timing with her impressive mastery of the comic footnote. Take a discussion of megacolons, a phenomenon caused by something called Hirschsprung’s disease. Hirschsprung’s robs the lower digestive tract of its ability to keep things moving, forcing the organ to distend to painful proportions. The megacolon of a man named J.W. grew so large that, upon seeing it at the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, Roach thinks, “It wears the same size jeans as me.” It left poor J.W. looking like “the bastard offspring of Humpty Dumpty and Olive Oyl,” she says.Roach tells us J.W. spent part of his life as “The Balloon Man” in a freak show exhibit in Philadelphia’s old Ninth & Arch Museum, alongside such oddities as the “Minnesota Wooly Baby.” Then this footnote: “Oddly, the exhibit chosen for billboarding on the building’s exterior was ‘Young Women Basketball Players.'”

 Here’s the rest of the review.

Get Smart!

In Get Smart Quest, Uncategorized on January 25, 2013 at 7:14 am
A Quest Is Born
Shoes were smart long before phones caught up.

Shoes were smart long before phones caught up.

You are stuck with the smarts you are born with. That’s what most of us were taught about our intellectual capabilities. The only way to change your IQ is to damage it. Sniff a little glue. Suffer blunt force trauma. Experiment with oxygen deprivation.

Beyond that, your cognitive inheritance is fixed. You are born with an IQ number and you will die with that IQ number, and your only hope is persuasive self-delusion. If you are among the lucky ones, you are born with a high number representing a brain that spills complex calculations and creative deductions as numerous as the offspring of promiscuous fruit flies. If you are like everyone else, you satisfy yourself with the hope that you are above average, even if just a little. And, if you are one of those who know your IQ score, the number you tell your friends is definitely higher than 120. (Did you ever meet anyone who knew her IQ and said it was 101? People with 101 IQs are not smart enough to know their number.)

But for the last several years, neurologists have been talking about something called brain plasticity — the idea that your brain has wiggle room in the smarts department. At first, the claims were modest: Rats kept in a cage with lots of toys and friends had more connection points between their neurons than rats kept in a cage with sawdust. Great news for all you cage dwellers. Since that study, the promise has grown beyond consideration of your cage mates. And money-making schemes have grown apace, working to leverage any optimism against the desperate boomer fear of losing one’s marbles.

I decided to see if any of this adds up. Starting this month, I will be locked in a cage with toys and friends. No, OK, not really. Rather, I will begin my Get Smart Quest. I’m undergoing testing to find out just how smart (or not) I am. (I never did know my IQ number. Not a good sign.) When the tests are done, I’ll start trying to improve my brain power.

Of course, I can’t really be totally scientific about this, and n = 1 is just the start of my problems – n being the number of individuals in the study, and 1 being too low to reach statistical significance. Despite the barrier, I intend to try everything, and talk to the folks on the front lines of this research.  Let’s see if it does me any good.

So stay tuned.

Oh, and by the way, do you know your IQ score? What is it?

Not quite the Smart I'm looking for...

Not quite the Smart I’m looking for…

The Tao of Poodle

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2012 at 9:15 am


Tula was a black standard poodle who embodied the notion of irrational exuberance.

For her, everything was exciting and worthy of comment. A ride in the car was the most fun thing in the whole world. A walk in the neighborhood was the most fun thing in the whole world. The chance to catch a tennis ball was the most fun thing in the whole world.

You get the picture.

If I had her out for a walk, and she saw someone she knew, it was pointless to try to hang onto her. I’d let go of her leash and she would race to her friend and greet them like the last time she saw them they were dying and she had not expected them to make it. She loved our neighbors.

She knew our names and if I said, “Go get Joey,” she knew to run to my husband. “Go get Gramma” sent her to my mother-in-law.

We took her on trips and she would spend five, six hours or more standing in the back of the SUV, looking out the window to see what was coming next. She greeted cows with a lowing sound. Horses too brought an excited moo.

She loved to make noise. No salesman ever remained on our front stoop when she answered the door with her deep bark and long white canines. Had the visitor simply stepped inside, she would have brought him a tennis ball. But she looked intimidating.

Her only enemy was UPS, and she would sound the alarm not only when the brown van came to the house, but when we passed a UPS van in the car.

Near the end of July I noticed a funny wheeze in her breathing. I figured I was over-reacting when I took her to the vet.  I was not. He sent us straight to the animal hospital. There Tula stayed, the victim of a hole in her lung that allowed air to leak into her chest cavity. Trapped there, the air compressed her lungs to the size of paperback novels. The vets put in chest tubes so the air could escape, and we waited for her to heal. Every day they would measure the air in her chest cavity. Each day there was a little less. She was getting better. I was glad she was in good hands, but leaving her in the hospital was wrenching.

She wanted the family together at all times. I called her our Family Values Dog. If I left her food bowl in the living room, and Joey and I were in our offices, she would run out to the living room, grab a mouthful of food, and pick an office to chew in. She didn’t like the separate offices.

I am an early riser, and my husband sleeps later. So she’d get up with me, and when she heard sounds of stirring from the bedroom, she’d stand at the bedroom door to be let in to see Joey. If I didn’t go in with her, she’d stand in the bedroom and stare back at me in my office until I got the message.

A week into her hospital stay, the air stopped escaping. When no air accumulated two days in a row, they let us take Tula home. I had to keep her quiet, so I kept her in the office was me, where she couldn’t see out the window. One day she started barking and growling, begging to get out. Puzzled, we walked to the front door together. Parked two doors down? The UPS truck. She had heard her enemy approaching. No question, I thought, she’s getting better.

But by the end of the week, she was wheezing again. This time our vet withdrew the air with a syringe. “Take her home,” he said. “Maybe this will do the trick.” In a day, I could tell it wasn’t working. The next morning, when I didn’t follow her into the bedroom to wake Joey, she came back to my office, grabbed me by the wrist, and led me to the bedroom. We should be together, she said.

Two days later, the wheeze was back.

That evening we took her for a ride in the country to see the horses and cows. At bed time we put couch cushions on the floor and slept beside her. I called the vet in the morning, but before we took her in, we went to the park where she and I spent so many Saturdays and played a little fetch. She still wanted to play. Nothing could stop her. Then we took her to the vet and said goodbye. She would have been eight in October. We are still grieving.

But I’m also conscious of the lessons this large-hearted dog taught me with her unmatched joie di vive. I want to share them with you.

The Tao of Tula

1. Everything is funner when everyone is together.

2. Making someone else very happy is the best way to make yourself very happy.

3. Each morning, remind everyone around you how special they are to you.

4. Greet all friends with great enthusiasm.

5. Sometimes, when everyone else is busy, it’s nice to just sit and feel the sun on your back.

6. Drop everything if you might catch a bunny.

7. When you love someone, you can say anything with just a few gestures and sounds.

8. When choosing between toys, always select the one that makes the most noise. Everyone will want to hear you enjoy yourself.

9. Running is better than walking. Walking is better than sitting.

10. Don’t miss an opportunity to play.

11. Now is everything.

On September 7 we adopted four-year-old Phoebe from Carolina Poodle Rescue. Like Tula, she’s a black standard, but a good fifteen pounds smaller. Unlike Tula, she is quiet, and loves to wind her body around my legs like a cat. She has her own spirit, her own rules for living, her own lessons to teach us.

I just hope we’re smart enough to learn them quickly. We’re working on it. I’ll let you know.

(photos by Joey Harrison)

Man Booker Predictions

In Uncategorized on October 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Here’s a link to the story I wrote for the Chicago Tribune with my Man Booker predictions. I’ll know in a few minutes how wildly off-base I was.

By Jenni Laidman10:28 a.m. CDT, October 16, 2012

Some literary awards are like Christmas presents. They simply appear under the tree. We’re all thrilled by the surprise — or in the case of the 2012 Pulitzer for fiction, not so thrilled by the missing present. The Man Booker Prize — for books written by citizens of the U.K. Commonwealth, Ireland or Zimbabwe — is different. No one need run downstairs on Tuesday when the winner is announced to see what’s waiting and hope it fits and isn’t hideous. It’s more like the Oscars. The judges announce the dozen or so books considered prize contenders in July. A month before the award, the Man Booker folks release a short list of finalists, the half-dozen books from which the winner will be selected. It’s a reader-participation opportunity. I could use another month to read them all, but if I’m diligent, I can be part of the process. I don’t get a vote. God help us, we do not need a People’s Choice Award for literature. (We already have one — the best-sellers list.) But I do earn debating rights and the smug satisfaction of being in the literary know. In England. Where they have those smart accents.

(the rest of the story:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/books/ct-prj-1014-man-booker-20121016,0,5097917.story?page=1 )

Start with Narcopolis

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2012 at 11:01 am

Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis, a Man Booker longlister

OK, I need to quit moping about the low number of Man Booker longlist books available in the United States and start reading.

Here’s what we’ve decided to read thus far, and the order in which we will read them:

1. Narcopolis
2. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
3) Skios

Not providing a longer list is a stall tactic, while we anticipate the MASSIVE CLOUT of my MIGHTY BLOG will SHAME THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY into setting these books free in the United States. We are also arguing about whether we will buy the few physical books one can quaintly send away for, but which are unavailable for download.

You’ll notice Bring Up the Bodies is not yet on our list. Expect it to show up as late as we can push it. Dan Campbell and I have both read it already, so I want to wait until the last possible minute before rereading it.

Now onto …

NARCOPOLIS by Jeet Thayil
Is there a trend here? Aren’t there a growing number of books about India? I can easily think of a half dozen I’ve read in recent years, most recently the nonfiction narrative by Katherine BooBehind the Beautiful Forevers. And did you notice the number of Man Booker winners with Indian themes or about India, including the Best Man Booker Winner of All Time as Decided by a Prestigious Panel of Judges?

Not that the winner’s list of past years predicts anything …  but I had to laugh when Jake Goretzki tweeted yesterday, “My tip for a dead cert #ManBookerPrize victory? Call your novel ‘The Sea, the Sea, the Sea.”

It would complete the trifecta, like Pluto completed the solar system for awhile there. There was John Banville’s The Sea in 2005, and Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea in 1978.


I think Goretzki is onto something.


Anyway, here’s are a very few thoughts on Narcopolis so far.
Don’t worry, no spoilers here:


Me: Dan, did you feel breathless after reading the prologue?
Dan: I did….talk about breakneck pacing!! I kept looking for a period, whilst gulping for air.


So, we’re waiting. Read the book, tell us what you think. Really. We want to listen.
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