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Author Archive: "Gerry"

League of Somebodies

Imagine if Katherine Dunn had written The Fortress of Solitude while misreading Susan Faludi's Stiffed after a three-day laudanum binge. Fathers and sons, heroes and villains: they're pretty much the same thing in this darkly funny yet touching (and highly original) novel.


Zazen

There were several books I liked this year that I expected to like (such as Murakami's 1Q84), but this book came out of nowhere and absolutely floored me. Zazen is a brutally honest story about the heartbreak that follows the failure of idealism. However, don't be put off by that description, as there is an astringent wit at play here and gallows humor on nearly every page, making Zazen the perfect manifesto for these Occupy (insert location) times.


Habibi

In Habibi, Craig Thompson strides into a minefield and emerges with an abundance of love, presenting a graphic novel of such dazzling scope, it took nearly seven years to create.


Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter

If you've ever said to yourself (or your significant other), "as soon as I finish this level, I'll go to bed," you have to read Extra Lives. It's not so much a defense of video games as a willingness to explore the impact they have, for good and ill, in the author's (and by extension the reader's) life. Gamers and non-gamers alike will be engrossed by Bissell's self-deprecating sense of humor, as well as his compelling narrative skills.


The Devil All the Time

In The Devil All the Time, Pollock mixes equal parts Tod Browning (Freaks) and Davis Grubb (The Night of the Hunter) to concoct an entirely original work that is as heartfelt as it is visceral. Simply put, it's an astonishing debut novel.


West of Here

Through vividly realized characters scattered across a century’s worth of compelling narrative, West of Here is a book that impeccably captures the spirit of the Pacific Northwest as a place where identities are discovered and destinies are forged.


Just Kids

In her memoir Just Kids, Smith chronicles her lifelong friendship with artist Robert Mapplethorpe. A gifted wordsmith, she's vividly observant and sometimes painfully self-aware, with a voice possessed not only of yearning but also of experience.


Kraken

Miéville takes a walk on the Lovecraftian side in this tale of a giant squid and the forces that seek to control it. Kraken will please Miéville's die-hard fans and garner him new ones.


The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Picking up mere moments after the cliffhanger ending of The Girl Who Played with Fire, this final book in Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy brings the adventures of Salander and Blomkvist to a thunderous and satisfying conclusion.


Chronic City

Chase is a former child actor rediscovering fame as the fiancé of an astronaut stranded in space. With a cast that includes a ghostwriter, a minor NYC bureaucrat, a grizzled pop critic, and a tiger that randomly appears throughout Manhattan, Chronic City is vintage Lethem: a deft concoction of urban anxiety set adrift in a constantly reshaping psychological topography.


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