I have been staring at these words for three or four months now, and I still find myself unable to reason them out. Every connection that I try to make leads to new disjunctions.
See a Problem?
We are talking about Freshman Comp. Not simply the names of crimes, but their substance: details, concrete information. If it was one hundred years old, or two hundred years old? One wants to face the writer and demand: Que sais-tu? What do you actually know? No real characters emerge in the three hundred pages that follow this paragraph. Now, this story and his ancestral link to it seem particularly important to Moody.
In early life he had accidentally killed a beloved friend; and from that day till the hour of his own death, he hid his face from men. By the time I finished reading it, I was convinced the book was itself the sin. It is sort of refreshing, I guess, to see a straight white male taking a hard p.
The Two Words No Memoir Writer Should Ever Use
They make up a separate nation. I do not mean to say that Moody is racist, sexist, or homophobic. I mean to say only that he is a bad writer. But bad writing has consequences. It is so awful that it is easy to see the book as in league with the very crimes that it seeks to redress. Here, as in the books that preceded it, the language that Moody employs is so fundamentally imprecise that it cannot help but tell untruths. Freight trains ran through it like blood cells, carrying unpronounceable compounds and toxins.
The metaphor works fine here. What does not work is the description. There is a certain poignancy to these stereotypical generalities and slipshod metaphors: they speak of the difficulty of individual expression, of the homogenization and the simplification of life by the very tools that seek to understand its complexity. There are any number of problems with this book, but in the end it always comes back to the prose. You could call it an ever-widening gap between signifier and signified, or you could call it lies.
Or you could just call it what it is, which is bullshit. And yet there is that urgency I mentioned before, the hysterical desire to be heard. These boys have their own little club going, and like all clubs it is defined as much by its gate-crashers as by its blue-blood members. The fact that critics obsess over a black writer such as Whitehead writing in a postmodern pop idiom only serves to reinforce the idea that there is something de facto segregational about the style that he has chosen as his own. Again, this is not meant to malign the aforementioned writers.
This is a tradition that has systematically divested itself of any ability to comment on anything other than its own inability to comment on anything, a malaise that only David Foster Wallace has the good sense to lament. I can think of no more urgent reason to write books today than out of an overwhelming sense of despair at the state of the world.
It is also the most urgent reason to write book reviews. When I wrote my last review for this magazine, anthrax was traveling through the U.
- On Writing Memoir: Why You Shouldn't Use a Pseudonym - Alana Saltz.
- Supernatural Gifts.
- The Strangers and a Secret.
- Feuer und Glas - Der Pakt: Roman (Brigitte Riebe bei Heyne fliegt 1) (German Edition)!
Postal Service and smart bombs were decimating Afghanistan; now we are waiting to find out if Pakistan and India are going to fight the first tactical nuclear war. Global warming, overpopulation, the worldwide AIDS epidemic, the ever-increasing distance between supposedly democratic governments and their electorates, the decimation of culture after culture by the relentless spread of the Disneyfied garbage of the American entertainment complex, and the incredibly sad, horrible, hopelessness-inducing fact that people still cannot say what they really mean to each other after seven or so millennia of human civilization: life really sucks right now.
I am not claiming things are any worse than they have ever been, merely that there is genuine cause for sadness, and no writer strikes me as more despondent about the state of the world than Rick Moody. Hold your right hand out in front of you, palm facing you, fingers spread, then bend your middle finger at the knuckle. Now try bowling a cricket ball held between thumb and middle finger. That it is still in print, after several bestselling years, would also be a surprise to him.
And he had to do it all with boring, boring Arsenal. Ashe is black, Democrat, bookish, skinny; Graebner the opposite. Every sportswriter ever has played the sport-is-life-and-life-is-sport card. In this slim volume, which punches far beyond its weight, McPhee plays it best of all.
- The Workhouse Girl.
- Primary Sidebar?
- Support Us.
- Wonderwalks: The Trails of New Jersey Audubon?
- See a Problem?.
- Les égarés (Littérature Française) (French Edition).
He had fallen hard for soccer after the World Cup and moved to Italy to document the fairy tale. Instead: corruption, cocaine smuggling, car crashes and conspiracy to go with the calcio. The author, who wrote for Esquire , New York magazine and Vogue , understood these rascals because he admired and shared their qualities.
Little Henry, Happy at Last
But this book is not on this list because of just one chapter. Burns was the right choice to decode Diego in the post- Fever Pitch wave of sportswriting. As the former FT man in Buenos Aires, he knew Argentina and its favourite son perhaps better than any other English-language writer. Also: mafia, money, mayhem.
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
Burns weaves it all together magnificently. Reng and Enke were planning to write a book together; Reng wrote it alone after Enke killed himself in November Three months peviously, Enke had kept goal for Germany for the last time. Three years earlier, his two-year-old daughter died after lifelong heart problems. More than once, the pressure of top-level football had come down hard. Once read, never forgotten. Williams, former editor of Melody Maker and chief sportswriter of The Guardian , is both the man you want over your shoulder when playing HQ Trivia and the sort of writer who can make you listen to, or care about, someone you had no interest in before reading his take on them.
Of course, Senna is beloved; even more so since the documentary biopic. Squires has just completed his fourth season of football cartoons for The Guardian , with no sign of let-up in quality or hilarity. After all, what is sport if not mostly mediocrity punctuated by rare moments of glory and despair? Hughes has neither of those. Very funny stuff. Now you know about as much about Stewart as did his son Gary when the old man died. This book triumphantly redresses his oversight. Type keyword s to search. Addicted by Tony Adams Adams was still a regular for Arsenal and England when his jaw-droppingly frank autobiography was published at the start of the —99 season.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below.