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"My education was the liberty I had to read indiscriminately and all the time, with my eyes hanging out."


— Dylan Thomas

Reader's Link - April 2013 Staff Picks Archive


Anti Social Behavior Order

Lionel Asbo: state of England

Title: Lionel Asbo: state of England
By: Martin Amis

Step inside the wacky, Rabelaisian world of Lionel “Li” Asbo (Anti Social Behavior Order) and his 5 brothers-- John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Stuart--sperm donors scattered far and wide. Li, a frequent guest of Her Majesty's home for society's scoundrels, skates through life pilfering, scamming, and murdering the English language. Unhappily, it has devolved upon Li to father his orphaned nephew, Des, a bright-eyed, intellectually hungry, word happy adolescent looking for love and the opportunity for a college education. A weirdly loyal and fond relationship exists between these two disparate creatures, and, in spite of Li's attempts to shape Des into his own moral disorder, Des remains himself.

This is a riotously funny book, a satirical look at society's foibles with exuberant language, idiosyncratic ideals, but all in all hugely likeable characters.

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Posted by libwolf on April 30, 2013 at 1:32 p.m.
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Not for the faint of heart

American Psycho

Title: American Psycho
By: Brett Easton Ellis

When a book incites controversy, as was the case with American Psycho when it was originally published in the early 90’s, my instinct is to read it. I am not a squeamish reader, and I decided that I could handle a novel that has been denounced as not only completely vile and immoral, but also moronic and artless. I was taken aback when I actually had to force myself to continue reading. Turning the page required physical effort. My eyes blurred as though begging me to stop.

American Psycho is a first-person narrative from the perspective of Patrick Bateman, a Wall St. executive in his mid-twenties, impeccable dresser, and psychopath. This book is the darkest of black comedy: Bateman, an irredeemable human being, is the only one of his friends who objects to racist jokes or mentions issues like poverty or the impending threat of nuclear war. Yet he only seems to do these things because of the horrified reaction he gets from his soulless yuppie “friends.”

Entire chapters composed of a single paragraph outline every piece of furniture and technology in Bateman’s living room. Every character’s outfit is listed in its entirety, designer and all, every time they interact with him. The same clinical point of view is employed when Bateman stabs a homeless man to death or dismembers a prostitute. It was not the gruesome, meticulously detailed scenes of homicide that turned me off, not even the detached tone used to describe the murders. It is the painful attention to minute detail that makes the writing so dense and difficult to read. Yet it is also this aspect of the novel that makes it so satisfying. Bateman’s total contempt for every thing and every one and the consistently nihilistic perspective American Psycho offers proved challenging for me as a reader. Still, Ellis’s prowess as a writer and his masterful handling of utter depravity as comedy prevailed in the end.

This book is not for the faint of heart, and even readers who are believe they are brave enough to endure nearly 400 pages of emotionless evil might not emerge unscathed.

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Posted by lopezm on April 29, 2013 at 1:14 p.m.
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Tartine Bread

Tartine Bread

Title: Tartine Bread
By: Chad Robertson

A visually pleasing cookbook, and collection of recipes focusing on bread, especially of Tartine Bakery in San Fransisco. Fun to read, inspiring and tasty!

View similarly tagged posts: non-fiction
Posted by JB Reader on April 1, 2013 at 8 a.m.
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