World’s End by T.C. Boyle

Mike’s review

This isn’t a recent read. I found these notes while cleaning up my desk. Joe Hill has been tweeting about reading 50 books this year so I decided to go back through here and see how many I’ve read. (It’s nice to have this little archive. Even if no one reads this blog, it’s nice to have some sort of proof of the relationship of these books and my brain since I no longer have physical copies of anything.) Assuming I can finish David Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (120ish pages left and I have to do laundry today) in the next week, I’ll read 12 this year. That seems sad for someone who spent much of the year working less than full-time and does not have children. I mean, 2 of those 12 was Infinite Jest, but (ironically?) it only took me a couple weeks. I know I spent more time on the act of writing this year than I ever have before (Scenic Utah, out soon!), but it still seems sad. Then again, I’ve probably read this within the confines of this year, so it’ll actually be 13 and more than 1 a month does seem better. Statistics! (If only I could count all the times I’ve read my own work over and over and over.)

Okay, no more bullshit, that’s it.

“Sick with history” (this sentence goes on to ruin itself, but there is a nice callback later)

Between the time and point of view shifts, everyone’s similar names and Boyle’s (trademarked?) use of superfluous (irony?) syllables, it took me a while to figure out what was happening, but I think, 115 pages in, I have it now.

I’m daydreaming of losing my foot and  a coworker (who was an awful, terrible human being) spoke of “a bum’s nasty-cut foot. He’s definitely losing it soon.”

“self-serving fear” Sure, fear is self-serving, but it’s still pretty unusual to think of it as such. Or is it only “can be self-serving?” If my friend chooses to drive drunk and I fear for him, how much of that is self-serving? (I don’t know what this is about now, but it must have been relevant at the time to the book, so it’s going up here.)

Val’s response

Thanks for posting a few reviews this month. I have been out of pocket saving the world and my mind. Reading. Alternating between over and undersharing on the Web — today’s existential crisis of the collective psyche…

Twelve books in a year is perfect for a book of the month club. Maybe we should rename this blog: BOTM. hehe just kidding. But I do feel like this is our personal book club. I have taken many of your reccommendations and enjoyed them. Notably Murakami (Norwegian Wood is on my list soon).

Are you counting Jest as two books or did you read it twice? There’s a book out now about personal reading stats called “One for the Books” I got as a galley pdf but can’t figure out how to get on my kindle so can’t read it at the moment. Won’t read books for fun on my computer. I only read books I’m working on on the laptop.

Like UTAH, SCENIC! I need to read this print galley. I am excited to read it on paper in book form. I may keep a pencil at my side and some post-it tabs but intend to just read it for pleasure this time. If we counted that to our tallies I’ve read it through I think only once this year, and once last year. It’s great you read your work over and over because I know a lot of writers just leave a jumble of words in their wake for posterity and good luck/woe to the reader who finds it (or is paid to comb it out… yikes).

So I am intrigued by this Joe Hill character and hopefully I will find his tweets soon (did you follow him on our HOL twit acct), meantime I have reserved Horns as an ebook from library so will read it when it becomes available to me.

Also got 2 by Tim O’Brien lined up.

I might read TC Boyle, read him in the New Yorker and liked it.

Baby is crying on my ankle with yellow paint on her face so I will leave you…replying to Freedom review soon too, thx—


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