August 17th, 2005

WTF

Aa, kudo nari...

Had originally planned to go home, eat a sandwich or two, and then do some packing, but that didn't happen - phoenixalpha called and suggested we go out for Chinese food and conversation, and since I really haven't seen much of her lately I took her up on it. We wound up going from the New Century in East Bloomington over to Half Price Books in St. Louis Park and then down to the Wal-Mart in Shakopee, which is in the throes of remodeling and has moved just about everything but the registers to a new location. It somewhat resembles the Eagan store, only backwards. Anyway, she picked up reading material for the midnight shift, No-Doz, a water bottle and a lunch box with coolant; I picked up some books I probably could have waited to buy, some starch component and dairy product for breakfasts, and some popcorn and Nutty Bars, the latter of which I needed like a hole in the head. I finished them off along with Harry Turtledove's Drive To The East. Review after the cut.
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Professor Bainbridge liked it better than I did; some of his readers/commenters, not so much. Stacy in particular echoes a lot of my dissatisfaction with the series.
Boss Coffee

This explains why I'm not getting any action when I pray to the "Kill Glenn Reynolds" icon...

Strangely, I'm #1 for "this is not a goddess."

From this post on Ann Althouse's blog.

Also worth checking out: her post on Rolling Stone's list of the top albums of the 1980s. Read the comments for some quality slagging of the list; there's some people on there who definitely know their music.
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unhappy

Another "classic" waste of time?

One of the books I picked up last night was William Faulkner's highly regarded novel The Sound and the Fury. Having wrapped up the new Turtledove novel last night, I packed this one along today, since I usually read something over lunch to give my eyes a break from the computer screen. This is the third Great Novel (after Stendal's The Red and the Black and Sinclair Lewis' Main Street) that I've taken a stab at, and while it's still early I think this one is going to meet the same fate a the first two, namely, tossed aside onto the pile of books to be disposed of.

Perhaps I've been spoiled by my early exposure to the clear prose of writers like Robert Heinlein, William Manchester, and Thomas Wolfe, but having a deaf & dumb retarded man serve as the narrator of a novel strikes me as a rather opaque way to write a novel. The stream of consciousness technique Faulkner uses also makes the story hard to follow, since there's no clear plot line, just a somewhat random series of events that don't seem to connect with each other very well. Maybe it'll make more sense the further I get into it, but I have my doubts. It's certainly not the kind of writing I remember from reading "Barn Burning" all those years ago in high school.
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