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2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Mon 14 Nov - 9:15


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25 books from 2016 you need to read

Post by sir on Fri 25 Nov - 7:29

25 books from 2016 you need to read

Reading is probably the least sexy part of pop culture. If there is a ranking it would go: keeping up on Peak TV, catching the latest Oscar bait, and hearing the newest band before the rest of the world does. Yet literature is the longest, strongest pillar of culture, pop or not.

Here are 25 works of fiction – in alphabetical order – that made me laugh, cry, shiver, and think.




Another Brooklyn – Jacqueline Woodson
A long lost friend triggers memories that weave together a coming-of-age journey about friendship, loss, and abuse. Woodson is an award-winning children’s book author who wrote this as her adult novel debut, but she writes like a seasoned literary writer. Her prose is very lyrical, which lifts the plot higher than most other authors could have.


The Association of Small Bombs – Karan Mahajan
Mahajan grew up near Dehli and he gives this story the realism it needs and deserves. It’s about the small scale bombing of a Dehli marketplace and the aftermath of it. The author follows a survivor as well as the family of a victim, but interestedly follows the terrorist who committed the act. Mahajan had a difficult time writing from that particular perspective.
You can read my interview with the author here.

Bucky F*cking Dent – David Duchovny
A lot of people might not know the dude who hunted down aliens on The X-Files studied literature at both Princeton and Yale. Duchovny says this isn’t a baseball book, but a story about fathers and sons, as well as a romance set against the hardball backdrop. The titular Dent is a real-life hero or villain, depending on if you’re a Yankees or Red Sox fan, in a tiebreaker game to get into the playoffs in 1978 (Spoiler alert: Dent crushes a homer, and all the hearts in New England, over the Green Monster.) But again, this is about more than baseball. He brilliantly tells this story in an earnest way.

Commonwealth – Ann Patchett
Spanning decades and generations, Patchett’s book is about more than just a family. It’s about what happens when their story isn’t owned by just them anymore. An affair leads to an author taking their secrets and turns them into a bestselling book. The author smartly looks at the blurred lines between private and public lives.


The Fortunes – Peter Ho Davies
The author challenges and examines racial and cultural identity through four unique stories – Gold, Silver, Jade, Pearl. It is deeply reflective and dives into nuanced history, which allows readers to become immersed in Chinese culture. Similar to Jade Chang’s The Wangs vs. the World, The Fortunes asks what it means to be both Chinese and American. This one, however, does it more poignantly.


The Girls – Emma Cline
Cline’s book is heavily influenced by Charles Manson and the girls in his cult. A very similar situation is in the center of this debut novel. The author didn’t just rely on a basic plot to propel this to one of the most hyped books of the year. Cline also wrote with a punch and created well-rounded characters who could star both in an indie-thriller and a summer blockbuster.

Here Comes the Sun – Nicole Dennis-Benn
One of 2015’s most heralded books was A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, an in-depth look into Jamaican life through a very specific scope. Dennis-Benn’s debut views Jamaica through a different lens. Sexuality and freedom are central themes to the novel. It is a story that can be hard to read at time, but allows readers to learn about the disenfranchised lives some lead on the island.

High Dive – Jonathan Lee
Lee’s smartly written story about the 1984 assassination attempt of the British Prime Minister juggles multiple characters and threads in an inmate way. The pacing and dialogue are exceptional, which is obvious from the very beginning. While Wikipedia can tell you the basics of event; however, Lee adds depth through the perspective of numerous top-notch characters.
You can read my interview with the author here.

Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
Two sisters are separated and sent onto two drastically different paths. One is sold into slavery while the other is married off to a British slave owner. Gyasi’s breathtaking and eye-opening novel follows the sisters’ descendants through generations. The debut novel earned the author a spot on the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 honorees in 2016.

Moonglow – Michael Chabon
Presented as a memoir, Chabon’s latest novel explores similar themes he’s written about countless times before like family, history, truth, Judaism. It was inspired by a story his dying grandfather told him as a teenager and dovetails into a large exploration into dualities. Many characters conceal their true self within them.
You can read my interview with the author here.

The Mothers – Brit Bennett
Coming-of-age stories have a way to connect with readers the way other plots might not be able to. Even though not everyone is a black teenage girl whose mother commits suicide, Bennett’s story is deeply touching. The debut author also created a unique structure by allowing the girl to tell the story as well as a chorus of churchgoers. This collective voice is a divisive technique that can make or break a novel. It made this one.

Mr. Splitfoot – Samantha Hunt
Hunt believes every story is a ghost story in one way or another. This gothic novel presents two different timelines that deal with ghosts, secrets, and hidden treasure. Years ago, Ruth survives a horrendous foster home where she meets Nat. They become best friends, and eventually they hustle people by claiming to be mediums who can talk to dead loved ones. Eventually, Ruth shows back up and locates her long-lost niece Cora. She’s mute now, but convinces her adult niece to walk across upstate New York on a life-altering course where fact and fiction blends and the ghosts of haunted past come crashing back to reality.
You can read my interview with the author here.

News of the World – Paulette Jiles
A historical novel that tells a tried and true story that also avoids cliches is a hard novel to produce. Jiles does it in this post-Civil War tale about a war veteran, a freed slave, and a young orphan. Fans of True Grit will connect with the novel by Jiles, but will never be bored reading about these deeply developed characters who produce great empathy.

Nicotine – Nell Zink
The German-based author’s third novel is about a straight-laced business school graduate from a family of rebels. Circumstances find her in her family’s old home, which has been renamed “Nicotine” by a friendly group of anarchists. The book features Zink’s tremendous prose and sharp wit. It’s beautifully funny and poignant.
You can read my interview with the author here.

The Nix – Nathan Hill
When a presidential nominee gets attacked by his mother, a writer with writer’s block begins a journey of exploration and discovery. Hill’s sprawling debut has been likened to Johnathan Franzen based on its length (600+ pages) and content (family, politics, etc). His ambition is strong, and this novel is a good jumping off point for someone who clearly wants to be the next Great American Novelist.

The Sport of Kings – CE Morgan
This historically rich novel about an important thoroughbred family isn’t just a terrific sports novel. It transcends beyond a horse racing story and touches on themes ranging from racism and class status. Morgan’s lengthy novel offers multiple threads that are all strong by themselves but become a formidable novel once they intertwine.

Swing Time – Zadie Smith
A lot of readers have the opinion that Smith’s prose is polarizing. Some have said, “it’s a good novel, but don’t make it your first Zadie Smith.”  The thing to know about this writer is that she is working on so many different levels that you almost need to read her work twice to fully consume it. This novel is told from the perspective of an unnamed character and her friend Tracey and spans Smith’s native Northwest London to West Africa.

The Throwback Special – Chris Bachelder
Every autumn, 22 men get together to recreate the infamous NFL play where Lawrence Taylor snapped JoeTheismann’s leg in half. You’d be foolish to think this book is just about football, though. Bachelder’s sharp take on modern manhood. There is an undeniable comic charm to the writing in this National Book Award finalist that even anti-sports readers will enjoy.

Today Will Be Different – Maria Semple
Don’t get bogged down by the “this is too similar to Semple’s debut Where’d You Go Bernadette” complaints. The biggest similarity is Semple’s concise prose and the ability to juggle plotlines filled with quirky characters. It would be easy to pigeonhole this under the “chick lit” banner, but that would be a disservice. Reading about Semple’s story about a woman who knows her life is a mess will be a pleasure for anyone.

Tuesday Nights in 1980 – Molly Prentiss
It’s about a three people – an artist, a critic, and a young woman new to New York City – in 1980. Each of the chapters takes place on a Tuesday night, but it doesn’t feel gimmicky at all. Her prose elevates Tuesday Nights incredibly so. That coupled with how interesting she presents the novel is why you need to read this book now.
You can read my interview with the author here.

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead
This winner of the National Book Award for Fiction is gruesome at times. Heartbreaking at others. Above all, it is moving and eye-opening. It’s a historical novel, but with reimagined facts. Most notably: an actual railroad. The functional metaphor drives two characters from slavery in the South to the hopeful freedom in the North. Whitehead’s novel was the most anticipated novel of the year, and it refused to relish title of “the best of” ever since it was published.


You Will Know Me – Megan Abbott
Abbott’s most recent effort proves that thrillers do not need to rely on outlandish twists and turns. The well-plotted story of a gymnast on the verge of stardom before tragedy strikes. It is a murder-mystery that is more than a whodunnit. You Will Know Me is, above all else, a story about a family. Readers of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You will enjoy this one, but should expect a darker plot.


What Belongs to You – Garth Greenwell
The first (of three) parts of this novel was a novella that Greenwell wanted to expand on. It’s about sex, passion, and what it means to be queer today. The book is a beautifully and erotic story about an American teacher in Bulgaria who meets and have a sex with a younger man in a bathroom. The most important thing about this book is how Greenwell writes about such a “taboo” topic. Even though it really shouldn’t be taboo anymore.
You can read my interview with the author here.

What is Yours is Not Yours – Helen Oyeyemi
Though this is the only collection of stories on this list filled with novels, it is no less impactful as any of the others comprising the list. Oyeyemi’s stories cross multiple eras and settings as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities. Keys and locks are a central theme that connect these transcendent stories.

Why We Came to the City – Kristopher Jansma
The author’s sister was diagnosed with cancer in the prime of her life and was taken rapidly and cruelly from the world. Jansma wrote a beautiful book loosely based on his experiences with that. He explores friendship, growing up, and dealing with death all too soon in this sophomore effort. Jansma’s book earnestly reveals how cancer truly affects friends and family and honors those who have been touched by this tragic malady.
You can read my interview with the author here.


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Fri 25 Nov - 7:44


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by sir on Mon 28 Nov - 15:22




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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Mon 28 Nov - 16:45


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by sir on Tue 3 Jan - 1:15

Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny (54/52)
Tracing a father-son relationship left in the weeds is the goal of Duchovny in this surprisingly well-written, quirky novel. Both father and son must come to grips with defining their lives while battling through their own regrets and recriminations. I enjoyed the back and forth dialogue of these characters, especially the layered understanding in the silver hairs. Begs the question, what is keeping you from living? or dying? Great read, impressed.

Books.mrkemp.ca

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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Tue 3 Jan - 2:00


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by sir on Thu 5 Jan - 1:30

Triple B: Best of 2016

Even though it’s taken two grown ass men and gallons of IPA to complete a still small list, the Triple B thought we’d share our favorite reads of 2016.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang





The Vegetarian was one odd duck. On the surface it played itself to be this story about one woman’s vegan revelation, but once the story took hold it took a 180. It’s a story of a midlife crisis that has a midlife crisis.

Bucky F*cking Dent by David Duchovny





Bucky is a decidedly different, but still related by humor to Duchovny’s first book Holy Cow. What essentially starts out to be a story of a father and son bonding, really turns into one of the very best books I’ve ever read. - JT
I couldn’t agree more. Duchovny knocks it out of the park (see what I did there?) with this one. Bucky is also the first time I have genuinely enjoyed listening to the audiobook more than reading the physical thing. Duchovny’s writing, even when shit hits the proverbial fan, never comes off as over the top. It always feels natural. Or maybe I curse too much? Find out for yourself.

- ericksonnat

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling





When I was reading this the only thought that I had was “this is so great, I’m so glad this exists”. And almost five months later I’m still glad it exists, but it certainly doesn’t warrant the five star rating that it got the day I finished it.

We Stand On Guard by Brian K. Vaughan





This one isn’t exactly a surprise for me since Vaughan is my favorite comic writer. From the early days of his X-Men and Y: The Last Man, Vaughan has been writing compelling and interesting stories. Here he writes a story about what might happen if the USA ever invades Canada; it’s scary to just think about.

It’s Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort



I think this is my only non-fiction read of the year. A memoir by this Minnesota mom and radio host, It’s Okay to Laugh is funny and honest and easily one of the most entertaining memoirs to ever hit shelves.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates





How can I put this nicely? 2016 was a fucked up year. Who would have thought America would be fighting a war they (wrongly) thought they had won nearly 60 years ago? Between the World and Me is a series of essays written by Ta-Nehisi Coates to his son about race, his experience as a Black man, and its effect on the world. This book will shock you, scare you, make you sick, but it will also make you want to change.


Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives by Gary Younge





What better to follow up a book about race in America than a book about gun violence in America? Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives tells the story of an “ordinary” day in November of 2013. When I say “ordinary”, I mean ordinary to us, the reader. This day isn’t ordinary to the ten families changed in this book. Here’s how it shakes down: ten children between the ages of nine and nineteen were killed in one 24-hour period by a gun, one way or the other. I know what you’re thinking: “this fricken left wing, anti-gun, rope smokin, hippie trying to push some agenda on me!? Eh-eh!” (think Stone Cold Steve Austin on the middle turnbuckle slamming two beers together and pouring them all of his face). Let’s be clear: I’m the kind of guy that likes to kick back with the bros, throw down a few brewskies and take some target practice, but this book scared the living shit out of me and 

Might Morphin Power Rangers, Vol. 1 by Kyle Higgins (Author), Hendry Prasetya (Illustrations), Steve Orlando (With).



Go Go Power Rangers! Naaa naaa naa naaaa naaa (epic guitar shreddage emanating from deep within) How much convincing do you need? The motha effin Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are back and cooler than ever! While the story isn’t all that new (roughly based on the first season of MMPP) and filled to the brim with nostalgia, Angel Grove has never felt so fresh. If you’re at all interested in seeing the upcoming series reboot in theatres, make sure you catch up on your reading first!

Catalyst (Star Wars): A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno





Until Disney got their hands on it, I’ve never been over the top crazy about the Star Wars franchise. That being said, with all of the attention the new movies have been receiving I found it only natural that I turn into a rabid, force lovin’ fan. Full of action and adventure, Catalyst helped set the grandiose stage that is Rogue One and I couldn’t be more thankful that I gave it a try.

Beardebookboys.com

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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Thu 5 Jan - 2:13


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by Duchovny on Thu 5 Jan - 6:43

thanks
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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Sun 22 Jan - 1:35



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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by sir on Sun 22 Jan - 1:40

Thanks

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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by Duchovny on Sun 22 Jan - 2:16

thanks
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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by sir on Mon 30 Jan - 5:54






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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Mon 30 Jan - 6:10


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by sir on Tue 7 Feb - 1:23

Bucky F*cking Dent: A Novel Paperback – April 11, 2017



The New York Times bestselling author David Duchovny is back

Ted Fullilove, aka Mr. Peanut, is not like other Ivy League grads. He shares an apartment with Goldberg, his beloved battery-operated fish, sleeps on a bed littered with yellow legal pads penned with what he hopes will be the next great American Novel, and spends the waning days of the Carter administration at Yankee Stadium, waxing poetic while slinging peanuts to pay the rent.

When Ted hears the news that his estranged father, Marty, is dying of lung cancer, he immediately moves back into his childhood home, where a whirlwind of revelations ensues. The browbeating absentee father of Ted’s youth tries to make up for lost time, but his health dips drastically whenever his beloved Red Sox lose. And so, with help from Mariana―the Nuyorican grief counselor with whom Ted promptly falls in love―and a crew of neighborhood old-timers, Ted orchestrates the illusion of a Boston winning streak, enabling Marty and the Red Sox to reverse the Curse of the Bambino and cruise their way to World Series victory. Well, sort of.

David Duchovny’s richly drawn Bucky F*cking Dent explores the bonds between fathers and sons and the age-old rivalry between Yankee fans and the Fenway faithful, and grapples with our urgent need to persevere―and risk everything―in the name of love. Culminating in that fateful moment in October of ’78 when the mighty Bucky Dent hit his way into baseball history with the unlikeliest of home runs, this tender, insightful, and hilarious novel demonstrates how life truly belongs to the losers, and that the long shots are the ones worth betting on.

Bucky F*cking Dent is a singular tale that brims with the mirth, poignancy, and profound solitude of modern life.

Amazon.com

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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Tue 7 Feb - 1:54


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by sir on Mon 6 Mar - 2:05

Ted Fullilove, aka Mr. Peanut, is not like other Ivy League grads. He shares an apartment with Goldberg, his beloved battery-operated fish; sleeps on a bed littered with yellow legal pads penned with what he hopes will be the next great American novel; and spends the waning malaise-filled days of the Carter administration at Yankee Stadium, waxing poetic while slinging peanuts to pay the rent. When Ted hears the news that his estranged father, Marty, is dying of lung cancer, he immediately moves back into his childhood home, where a whirlwind of revelations ensues. The browbeating absentee father of his youth is living to make up for lost time, but his health dips drastically whenever his beloved Red Sox lose. And so, with help from a crew of neighborhood old-timers and the lovely Mariana - Marty\'s Nuyorican grief counselor - Ted orchestrates the illusion of a Sox winning streak, enabling Marty and the Red Sox to reverse the Curse of the Bambino and cruise their way to World Series victory. Well, sort of. David Duchovny\'s richly drawn Bucky F*cking Dent is a story of the bond between fathers and sons, Yankee fans, and the Fenway faithful and grapples with the urgent need to find our story in an age of irony and artifice. Culminating in that fateful moment in October of \'78 when the meek Bucky Dent hit his way into baseball history with the unlikeliest of home runs, this tragicomic novel demonstrates that life truly belongs to the losers - that the long shots are the ones worth betting on. Bucky F*cking Dent is a singular tale 


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Mon 6 Mar - 2:27


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Mon 6 Mar - 3:46

Stack Overflow: Best Books of 2016

Posted on 9 January, 2017 by Jonathan H. Liu

I always like to look back on what I read in the previous year, because it reminds me of things I enjoyed, things I learned, things that surprised me. In today’s Stack Overflow, a few of us take a look at our favorite books of 2016.

Sophie Brown’s Picks

In contrast to Robin, my 2016 was probably one of my most book-filled in recent years. I found myself reading a lot of sci-fi, which I must admit isn’t all that extraordinary for me in general, but seemed particularly notable in a year when my subconscious apparently also wanted to be in any galaxy or reality that wasn’t this one.



Despite reading as an escape, I found myself particularly enamored with several books that focused on politics, or at least the repercussions of it. Claudia Grey’s Bloodline, a look at the rise of the First Order against the backdrop of squabbling, divisive, post-Empire politics was by far one of the best Star Wars novels I have ever read, while Cecelia Ahern’s Flawed was a disturbing and chilling vision of a future that was frighteningly easy to imagine. In lighter fare, I really enjoyed Crucible by Grey Keyes, the prequel novel to the Independence Day: Resurgence, the second movie in the series. While the movie itself was, admittedly, a let-down even for die-hard fans of the franchise (does two movies count as a franchise?), Crucible was easily its far more enjoyable sibling.



In terms of non-fiction, my favorites covered a fairly wide spectrum. Kyle Schwartz’s I Wish My Teacher Knew offered a sobering look inside America’s classrooms and shone a light on the issues faced therein by children and staff alike. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer, while perhaps needing an editor with a firmer hand, told an incredible story of ordinary people (if librarians could ever be classified as ordinary) leading a small, yet culturally vital fight against terrorism and Hadley Freeman’s Life Moves Pretty Fast explored the lessons you can learn from popular eighties movies, inspiring me to consider the messages I took away from my own cinematic favourites a decade later.


The final book I wanted to add here was one that genuinely surprised me. I read David Duchovny’s second novel – Bucky F*cking Dent – solely because of its author. Being British, I have never even seen a baseball game, let alone have any emotional connection with the game or its history. I didn’t even know who Bucky Dent was. Yet this book painted an incredibly sensitive, evocative portrait of the relationship between an elderly, ill father and his estranged son, a relationship they share with baseball itself. This is an author writing about his passion, and it shows. It’s a book about far more than just baseball, and it’s one I plan to read again many times in the future.


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by sir on Mon 6 Mar - 3:54

Thanks

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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by Duchovny on Mon 6 Mar - 5:37

thanks
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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by sir on Tue 7 Mar - 8:52

Bucky F*cking Dent
David Duchovny



Ted Fullilove, aka Mr. Peanut, is not like other Ivy League grads. He shares an apartment with Goldberg, his beloved battery-operated fish, sleeps on a bed littered with yellow legal pads penned with what he hopes will be the next great American novel, and spends the waning malaise-filled days of the Carter administration at Yankee Stadium, waxing poetic while slinging peanuts to pay the rent.

This is Bucky F*cking Dent, David Duchovny’s new novel, a richly drawn story of the bond between fathers and sons, of Yankee fans and the Fenway faithful, that grapples with the urgent need to find our story in an age of irony and artifice.



You could start cheering during the last line—Jose, does that star-spangled ba-an-ner yet wa-ave. O’er the la-and of the freeeeeeeeee … But not before. Before was disrespectful. It was a fine line that everyone, 60,000 people when Boston was in town, just knew intuitively. Like don’t stare at other people in an elevator, look at the numbers flashing. No eye contact. The intuitive rules of the world that were a mystery only to retards, psycho killers, and children.

The old joke is that the last words of the national anthem are “play ball!” An oldie, but a goodie. The impossible-to-sing “song” came to an end, and the noise of the crowd swelled like it was one happily anxious beast. The game was about to begin, and it was Africa-hot up here in the cheap seats, the blue seats. It was 80 percent Latino in Ted’s peanut dominion, 55 percent Puerto Rican, 25 percent Dominican, and about 20 percent other. The other were mostly Irish and Italian. All his people. It was easy to think of these as the “cheap seats,” and, for sure, they were so far removed from the field of play that there was a discernible lag between the sight of a ball being hit and the crack of the bat. Like a badly dubbed Japanese film. But rather than removed, Ted liked to think of the vantage point as Olympian, that they were all gods on high watching the ant-sized humans play their silly games. So this is where he worked. Yankee Stadium throwing peanuts to mostly men who thought it was funny to call him “Jose” like the first words of the Spanglish version of the national anthem, or Mr. Peanut. Some even called him Ted.

He would rather not to be called Ted. Though he liked his job and it paid the bills, kinda, while he wrote, he was a little ashamed that a man his age, with his education, New York private school, Ivy League, had to throw legumes at people to make ends meet. Yet he actually preferred a job like this that was so far away from what he “should” be doing, falling so spectacularly short of any expectation, that people might think he was doing it ’cause he was a “character,” or ’cause he loved it, or that he was one of those genius, irreverent motherfuckers who thumbed his nose at the world and just generally didn’t give a shit. Rather than be thought of as a failure, which is how he thought of himself, he liked to be thought of as an eccentric. That quirky dude with a BA in English literature from Columbia who works as a peanut vendor in Yankee Stadium while he slaves away on the great American novel. He is so counterculture. He is so down with the workers and the proles. I love that guy. Wallace Stevens selling insurance. Nathaniel Hawthorne punching the clock at the customs house. Jack London among the great unwashed with a handful of nuts in his hand.

Even so, he took pride in his accuracy. He was not a good athlete, as his father used to remind him daily growing up. He threw “like a girl,” the old man said. And it was true, he did not have Reggie Jackson’s arm, or even Mickey Rivers’s chicken wing. If Ted was gonna get a candy bar named after him, it would probably be the Chunky. But over the years, he had honed his awkward throwing motion into a slapstick cannon of admirable accuracy. Even though he looked like he was doing a combo of waving goodbye and slapping frantically at a mosquito, he could consistently hit a raised hand from twenty rows away. The fans loved his uniquely ugly expertise and loved to give him a tough target and celebrate when he nailed it. He could go behind the back. He could go through the legs. His co-worker, Mungo, he of the Coke-bottle lenses and bowling forearm guard, who broke five feet only because of the orthopedic four-inch rubber heel on his left club foot black shoe, sold the not-always-so-cold beer in Ted’s section, and would always keep fantasy stats on Ted’s delivery percentage: 63 attempts, 40 hits, 57 within 3 feet. That kind of stuff. Like batting average, slugging percentage, and ERA for vendors.

Catfish Hunter was pitching today. Ted dug that name. Baseball had a rich tradition of ready-made awesome monikers. Van Lingle Mungo. Baby Doll Jacobson. Heinie Manush. Chief Bender. Enos Slaughter. Satchel Paige. Urban Shocker. Mickey Mantle. Art Shamsky. Piano Legs Hickman. Minnie Minoso. Cupid Childs. Willie Mays. Like a history of the United States told only through names, a true American arithmoi, a Book of Numbers. It was a strange year, though, because the Boston Red Sox, longtime Yankee rivals, but in effect more like a tragicomic foil to the reigning kings, the Washington Generals to the Yankees’ Harlem Globetrotters, were having a great year and looking like they would finally break the curse of the Babe. The Sox had traded Babe Ruth, already the best player in the game, in 1918 to the Yankees for cash. The owner of the Sox, Harry Frazee, wanted to bankroll a musical or something. Was it No, No, Nanette? Ruth went on to become an American hero, a hard-living, hot-dog-inhaling Paul Bunyan in pinstripes who led the Yankees to many a pennant and World Series victory, whose success had conjured Yankee Stadium out of the barren hinterlands of the Bronx: The House That Ruth Built in 1923, where Ted stood today. And the Sox had not won since. Not one pennant. Sixty years of futility looking up in the standings at the hairy ass of the Yankees.

It was mid-June, but already hotter than July. The peanuts did fly, the beer did flow, and the Catfish did hurl. During the few lulls in the game when people were not calling for him, Ted would usually grab the dull sawed-off pencil from behind his right ear and jot down stray thoughts. To be filed later. Alphabetically, of course. Thoughts for the novel he was presently working on, or the next one, or the one that he had all but given up on last year. Writing was not the problem, finishing was. Works in progress with titles like “Mr. Ne’er-Do-Well” (536 pages), “Wherever There Are Two” (660 pages of an outline), “Death by Now” (1,171 pages weighing over 12 pounds), or “Miss Subways” (402 pages and counting). All that would never see the light of day outside of Ted’s Bronx one-bedroom walk-up tenement apartment. Maybe today he would stumble upon a thought that would unleash the true word horde, that would unlock a puzzle, that would unblock him from himself, from his inability to compete and complete.

He remembered Coleridge, in the Vale of Chamouni, had written, “Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star…?” And that seemed to him the truest, saddest line in all of literature. Can you, man, find the poetry to keep the sun from rising, like a mountain, blocking its inevitable ascent for a few more moments? Can you, who call yourself a writer, find the words that will have an actual influence on the real and natural world? Magic passwords—shazzam, open sesame, scoddy waddy doo dah—warriors lurking in the Trojan horse of words. The implicit answer to Coleridge’s question was: Hell, no. If the answer were yes, he would never have asked the question. The writer will never make something happen in the world. In fact, the act of writing may be in itself the final admission that one is powerless in reality. Shit, that would surely suck.

Ted was thinking about his own powerlessness and ol’ S. T. Coleridge, that opium-toking, Xanadu-loving, Alps-hiking freakazoid, as he sat scribbling on a paper bag some names that might work as magic charms to make time or a woman stay, to spark a story, to make him the man he wanted to be—Napoleon Lajoie Vida Blue Thurman Munson Open Sesame …

The game passed by in its own sweet timelessness, and then it was over. Boston 5, New York 3. Another Yankee loss in this strange-feeling year.



Fsgworkinprogress.com

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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by jade1013 on Tue 7 Mar - 8:53


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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

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Re: 2016/04/05 - Bucky F*cking Dent

Post by Duchovny on Wed 26 Apr - 11:16

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