One of the great things about reading, specifically books and even more to the point - fiction, is that it connects us to our imagination and to our ability to really know the characters that we are investing in. Often times knowing them better than many of the people in our daily lives. When I read a good piece of fiction I find myself thinking in the style of the author and the characters. It is as if my life has been set to the rhythms of the book that I've just set down. And no other art form has quite the same effect. There are so many great works out there begging to be read. So let's tackle these books together! Everything from Vonnegut to Plath to Melville to Wallace to Munro.
For the first club in March let's read this inspiration to Bukowski, who was so grateful he wrote the introduction to modern printings. John Fante's Ask the Dust is the third book in the Arthur Bandini series, but considered the most iconic.
From Goodreads: "Ask the Dust is the story of Arturo Bandini, a young writer in 1930s Los Angeles who falls hard for the elusive, mocking, unstable Camilla Lopez, a Mexican waitress. Struggling to survive, he perseveres until, at last, his first novel is published. But the bright light of success is extinguished when Camilla has a nervous breakdown and disappears . . . and Bandini forever rejects the writer's life he fought so hard to attain."
We'll be reading a work from one of the lesser read Nobel laureates, Iceland's Halldor Laxness. It's known for being funny, strange, and haunting.
From Goodreads: "Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness’s Under the Glacier is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, a wryly provocative novel at once earthy and otherworldly. At its outset, the Bishop of Iceland dispatches a young emissary to investigate certain charges against the pastor at Sn?fells Glacier, who, among other things, appears to have given up burying the dead. But once he arrives, the emissary discovers that this dereliction counts only as a mild eccentricity in a community that regards itself as the center of the world and where Creation itself is a work in progress."