Good Reading Company

The Company ManThe Company Man by Robert Jackson Bennett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Until I was invited to an author reading at the local Barnes and Noble, I had never heard of Robert Jackson Bennett. I checked him out online and what I found piqued my interest enough to read one of his novels before the event.

I got the invitation on Sunday and the reading was on Wednesday so in the interest of time I bought a kindle edition of The Company Man on Sunday. I am not sure why I picked that one over the other 2 or 3 I saw, but it worked out well as I had a good time reading the book.

He mixed genres that I like and struck emotional and storytelling chords that resonated with me. That said for some reason I don’t go overboard in my praise which I sometimes do after an enjoyable reading experience (which this was).

I am probably unfair, but my mind (that tricky little devil) did sometimes identify the genre strands a little too precisely. I thought I could label the Philip Marlowe character, the HP Lovecraft section and even the Sookie Stackhouse seasoning. So it is probably unfair, after all there are plenty of hard boiled detectives that came after Marlow and Sookie certainly wasn’t the first character to be overwhelmed by telepathic overload, and who hasn’t imagined some ancient entity buried in the earth's depths. But that is just how my mind worked and even with that occasional distraction I had a good time.

On a side note I wonder if literary people debate where genre turns into cliché? Maybe that is what tripped me up, I wasn’t quite sure if the story was getting a little too close to this possible line.

In any case, I bought his new book at the reading and got it signed and it if it wasn’t quite so long I might have jumped right in. But I thought The Company Man was definitely good enough to encourage me to read another Bennett novel.

The Wordspace Dallas (http://www.wordspace.us/WSblog/) reading event was small but pleasant and those Wordspace people asked some kick-ass questions which got some great answers from the author. I didn’t ask anything since any question I had would have been something juvenile like “What does the ending of your book mean?” So it was better that I kept quiet.

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I Finally Finish Reading A Book

SurvivorSurvivor by Chuck Palahniuk

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has probably been more than 10 years since I last read a Chuck Palahniuk book. Yet I tell people I really liked the two I read way back then. I am not sure why, but after a few weeks of a reading funk where all “currently reading” books seemed uninteresting, I came home yesterday and decided to read Survivor which has been my my bookshelf for 8 to 10 years.

A good choice for spending the bulk of two evenings in a room by yourself and just read. I wonder why  I don't do it more often.

Any-hoooo... the “feel” of Survivor reminds me of how I remember Fight Club feeling, Even though I've forgotten enough of that book that I can't know if what I remember is the book or the movie. But with no real analysis or evidence, I proclaim Survivor a good book but not a great book. Interesting, funny, with characters I want to know more about.

Maybe the thing about my somewhat faint praise is that while I found the characters and plot engaging, I kind of felt like the author was not telling us all about the characters, mainly I wanted to know and get more from the narrator, Tender Branson.

But even now, I am talking myself out of that judgment since the psychological hobbling he got as a child restricts his range of emotional dept. So really that is part of the store of a survivor.There, I upped my rating a star just now.

I recommend it and I want to read more of his and if I get enough gumption I won't wait another decade to read another Palahniuk book.

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