Sunday, September 23, 2012

Graveyard Special - Book Review

The first line of James Lileks' Graveyard Special is worth the price of admission alone:
I poured the coffee, Dick wrecked the eggs.
I've been a longtime fan of James Lileks and I'd go just about anywhere he'd take me.  Essentially a light mystery, it's really Lileks' fictional remembrance of his college days in late 1980 in Dinky Town in Minneapolis.  Interweaving actual events with his plot-line, Lileks takes us for a nice little tour of this special place and time in his life, casting off memorable one-liners like he does in his columns and blog.  Novelist isn't Lileks primary profession - yes, yes, I know, he's published novels before but that's been a long time and the samples I've ready show he had yet to develop his novelist skills -  and it shows it parts with some lagging action and only mildly confusing plot-age.  The first in a promised series of linked novels, he's bound to improve.  I liked his asides on pop culture - the music of the time, the transition from pinball to video games - and the portrait of his protagonists parents was especially loving.  All this and a smashing climax with a Zamboni.   What else could you ask for?

 (This was second experience with Kindle reading and, like my first Kindle experience, it was equally meh.  I'll blame it on using my iPhone Kindle - after all, thousands of Kindle users can't be wrong, can they? - because who wants to read a book on their phone?  I do, apparently, since I haven't yet sprung for an actual Kindle.  But my limited experiences with this e-reader technology have been underwhelming.  I frankly don't see what the Kindle fuss is all about.  Sure, I got Graveyard Special at a good price and I was able to carry it around with me wherever I carried my phone but it turns out I carry my phone to all the same places I would have carried a dead-tree book.  Now I'm stuck with it.  I can't toss it up in the attic where stacks of other books gather dust or sell it at a discount book store or give it away as a gift to someone.  It just sits there on my phone.  Now what?)

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