Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Demonology by Rick Moody

Not too long ago I read Rick Moody's latest novel, The Four Fingers of Death, and I wasn't all that crazy about it. It's ambitious, for sure--three novels in one, using satire and humor to explore themes of ennui and interpersonal relationships (in this case, on the planet Mars), but it just didn't do anything for me. I can't really say why. Helpful, I know. But I loved his earlier work when I first read it--for instance, this collection of short stories, Demonology, which I remember first reading and wanting to do that. One of my favorites in this volume is "Wilkie Fahnstock: The Boxed Set," in which the story of a man's life is told as a series of music tracks and accompanying liner notes. ("Tragedy struck in 1970, when Elise Fahnstock's marriage to Stannard Buchanan Fahnstock ended in acrimonious divorce--to the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water.") It's a pretty good mix.

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