Saturday, November 19, 2005


Speaking of Pelosi (and I try to do that as infrequently as possible) John Miller at NRO has done some very dirty work on our behalf. Even I am surprised how badly the minority leader writes fiction.

I'm reading John Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga these days. I'm not too far into yet to lay it aside and return to Gravity's Rainbow, which I had to put down for a bit just for sanity's sake. Although something of a wonder to his contemporaries, Galsworthy's reputation has steadily declined since his death in 1933. In my view, the decline is not entirely without justification.

Pynchon is something else, entirely. Prior to Gravity's Rainbow, I had only read Vineland, a book that, due to having read it during Mock Trial Nationals, I will forever associate with the great city of San Antonio. At the time of its release, there was much talk about Gravity's Rainbow being to the second half of the 20th Century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. That talk, it seems to me, was -- and remains -- terribly well-founded. It takes some time to pick up the rythym of Pynchon's prose, but it is a very worthwhile endeavor.

Also currently near the top of the to-read pile is Volokhonsky and Pevear's new translation of Dostoevsky's The Gambler (the two have previously done fabulous work with the Brothers K, Demons, C&P, The Idiot, Notes and The Adolescent), Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, Dan Simmons's Illium, and Stephen King's Wastelands.

What am I most looking forward to, though, is Peter F. Hamilton's forthcoming Judas Unchained, which picks up where Pandora's Star left off. It's been all I can do to hold off ordering this from Amazon UK, where it was published in October. I don't read bunches of science fiction, but, back in July, Instapundit put me on the trail of Pandora's Star and I'm glad I gave it a chance.