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nasty novels


Lady

Table Magic

For lunch, Lady tries
soothing world stresses
by serving middle eastern lentil soup
with Israeli salad.

Works for me,
the tomatoes and mint
are our first harvest
from our first community garden plot.

– Smith, 7.11.2014

Am on page 154 of John Updike’s “Rabbit at Rest” (1990) . . . I’ve read many a fine book by Mr Updike, and some say this is his masterpiece. It is quite well written — but it’s a novel of the failed. Rabbit Angstrom is unpleasant and I do not enjoy his company. Will finish because I read the first three Rabbit books long ago and am curious if he saves this one somehow.

Put my finger on it – recently reread Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” (1866) and Sartre’s “Nausea” (1938) and both those main characters whine about life the entire book, just like Rabbit. If they’d make me care for these characters somehow then the ride would be worth it, but I don’t care about these people.

An unpleasant novel that does work is Leonard Cohen’s second, “Beautiful Losers” (1966). His sole living character in the story is perverse, unpleasant, psychotic . . . didn’t enjoy the story nor care for the characters, yet somehow two years after rereading it, it still stirs my mind, so there’s something there I haven’t yet identified.

Another nasty novel that works quite well is William S. Burroughs’ “Naked Lunch” (1959). Sick and original, sticks with one.


scamp – foto by Lady K

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