Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wolf in White Van

Hulk write book titles now.  Wolf on white van sound cool too.  Maybe wolf have rising moon in background?  Sound awesome.  Wolf in White Van was not on my radar but recommended by a friend and is, well, a weird book.  Our narrator is the designer of a role playing game in which your moves are done through old-school snail mail and the designer tells you what happens next.  That sounds oddly appealing to me.  You get fun mail and play a game that takes a month to do two moves. My mail consists of Reach magazines and those moves are no fun, no fun at all.  

Not to get all "Comic Book Guy" on you, but part of this book talks about an area I know all too well and frankly, John Darnielle really blows it.  Dude, just get someone to read your draft if you don't know something.  QUIT GUESSING, FOOL. It's probably a good thing I'm not an equine expert because I read so many books with horses.   I'm sure I would be like, "Ah, that breed did not exist in that time period, and if I'm not mistaken, which I'm not, that character did not transport himself via a time machine. Thank you."

I have two friends that liked this book, but for some reason it was so not my thing. It's a pretty depressing character study with no wizards (despite the nerdy references), no snacking and the plot is told "backwards." Its one of those books, either you get it or don't. I also don't like the author's music (he's a fairly famous indie musician), especially his voice, because it is what I can only describe as "punchable."

Drinks: This book reminded me of a recipe in Jane and Michael Stern's book called Square Meals, which is as much a history of war-time food and eating than say a typical cookbook, but it is pretty funny and fascinating (especially if you are food nerd like me). I remember they wrote something like: "Are you ever having a bad day, and just want to make it worse? Well, drink Crust Coffee."  So this is the the basic recipe:  Take toast crusts or ends, not burnt (heaven forbid) and put those in a pitcher with enough hot water to cover them and let steep until cool. Strain and sweeten to taste. Enjoy?

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Bone Clocks

This novel has more texture than a 90's art installation piece.  The Bone Clocks is part fantasy, satire, dsytopian tale, modern fiction and some new genres I'm not even sure what they are. It's told from multiple points of view, it has an insane amount of names, it takes place on multiple continents and is set in the past and the future.  It has inside jokes that I knew were inside jokes but didn't quite get. In that respect…well, its quite British.  Quite.

One character is a British author named Crispin Hershey.  Crispin is a weird name for Americans.  For me, it does not exactly conjure up super sexy images but, you know, maybe it could work.  Steven Soderbergh could make a sequel to Magic Mike called Magic Crispin.  Announcer: "Ladies, put down your tea cozies and give it up for CRISPIN!!"  (Crispin, fat, middle-aged, pale author comes out in a smoking jacket and pipe) Crispin: "Well, isn't this droll."

I liked The Bone Clocks but be prepared for a challenge.  Instead of one long ride, prepare yourself to go the carnival instead.  Oh, we are going to go on the Scrambler for a while, and now the Ferris Wheel, oh, and a little detour on some Aaron Sorkin section also known as The Teacups.  Eventually you get back on the big coaster but you feel a little dizzy.  It's like that.

I actually had the flu for a bit when I was reading this, so my drink of choice was an irresponsible amount of Nyquil. I think it would make sense to drink with a classy, masculine winter drink.  The Chancellor:  2 oz. blended Scotch, 1 oz. ruby port, 1/2 oz. french vermouth,  2 dashes of orange bitters.  Stir well with cracked ice, strain and serve in a cocktail glass.