Wednesday, September 21, 2011

This Pig Wants to Party

Maurice Sendak has a new book. I've put a new link to an interview I heard yesterday under Audio. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Not Starring Kirk Cameron

Setting a date for the Rapture is a tricky business. For the characters of The Leftovers, being left behind is even trickier. In Mapleton, the Sudden Departure has come and gone (Tom Perrotta has chosen October 14th if you're curious). Nora loses her two children and husband. Jill loses her best friend. Everyone loses Adam Sandler.

Those who remain struggle to cope. Some join cults. Jill's mom joins a group called the Guilty Remnant. Dressing themselves in white, they quit talking and take up smoking. Some follow YouTube prophets. Jill's brother Tom becomes a disciple of Holy Wayne and follows the movement to San Francisco. Some obsess over why they weren't chosen. Reverend Jamison circulates a vindictive newsletter revealing the sins of those who disappeared.

And of course others continue their annual pilgrimage to the mall for Christmas presents.

Though Perrotta's take on events is unique, he does fall back on a time-honored storyline. In the end, the salvation of at least one of his characters comes from a newborn under a starry sky.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

He Forgot His Wife

When my grandparents lived in Arkansas, we used to make the six hour road trip to visit two or three times a year. Our rewards for that much time in a car were afternoons spent listening to my grandmother's stories, a bag of Snickers in the produce drawer, and a coffee table stacked with magazines. My mom and I would settle in on the sofas catching up on Hollywood gossip and the latest his side/her side drama of the advice columns.

My fascination, some might say morbid curiosity, with marriage (troubled or not) led me to pick up a new novel by Carol Edgarian. In Three Stages of Amazement, we are thrown into the marriage of Lena and Charlie. And from the first paragraph, we are almost certain this marriage can't be saved. His failing startup, a baby with medical issues, and an ex-boyfriend (Italian ex-boyfriend) are but some of the factors pulling their relationship asunder.

The others? Well, you'd be amazed. And you might need a Snickers to get you through it all.