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Library Loot

November 1, 2009

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

 


Great Apes by Will Self

When artist, Simon Dykes wakes after a late night of routine debauchery, he discovers that his world has changed beyond recognition. His girlfriend, Sarah, has turned into a chimpanzee. And, to Simon’s appalled surprise, so has the rest of humanity. Simon, under the bizarre delusion that he is ‘human’, is confined to an emergency psychiatric ward. There he becomes of considerable interest to eminent psychologist and chimp, Dr Zack Busner. For with this fascinating case, Busner thinks may finally make his reputation as a truly great ape.

 

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon

This title is describes as part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon. Private eye Doc Sportello comes, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era as free love slips away and paranoia creeps in with the L.A. fog. It’s been awhile since Doc Sportello has seen his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly out of nowhere she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. It is easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that ‘love’ is another of those words going around at the moment, like ‘trip’ or ‘groovy’, except that this one usually leads to trouble. Despite which he soon finds himself drawn into a bizarre tangle of motives and passions whose cast of characters includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, a tenor sax player working undercover, an ex-con with a swastika tattoo and a fondness for Ethel Merman, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists. In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there…or…if you were there, then you…or, wait, is it.

Alasdair Gray: A Secretary’s Biography by Rodge Glass

‘Alasdair Gray was not always the rapidly ageing, fat Glasgow pedestrian he likes to describe on the inside leaf of his books. There was once a time when he was young. A time when he was really rather thin. Many years when he went unpublished and unrecognised. This book aims to document, as faithfully as possible, that journey from son of a box-maker, encouraged to paint, write and do whatever made him feel good, to septuagenarian “little grey deity” (as Will Self has called him). For the first time in his life, Alasdair claims to be completely satisfied and well-paid (he lived in debt until 1990), and now lives a settled, happy day-to-day existence with Morag, painting his mural at the Oran Mor arts centre five minutes walk from his home most days, while (at the time of writing) taking occasional periods off for writing several books. Aside from work, Gray’s pleasures include daytime whisky, giving money away, reading books by people he doesn’t have to meet and “having my way”. This book will look in depth at the people, events, books, paintings, plays, poems and circumstances that conspired to make the man as he is today.’ RODGE GLASS Suiting form to subject, Rodge Glass has brought the inventive techniques of Gray’s fiction to bear on the biographer’s role. Mixing a chronological narrative of his subject’s life (at the rate of one chapter per decade) with his own diaries of meeting, getting to know and working with the artist, writer and campaigner, narrative and diaries eventually dovetail in a riotous final chapter on the publication of Alasdair Gray’s latest novel, Old Men in Love, in October 2007.

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2009 2:04 pm

    I haven’t heard of any of these. They all sound rather….odd. But I certainly hope you enjoy them!

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