Monday, June 27, 2022

Some books I've read 52

American Pastoral by Philip Roth
Slow beginning, then gets better, but for some reason I found it hard to get into this book. Isn't this supposed to be his masterpiece? Portnoy's Complaint is better!

The Sinner and The Saint: Dostoevsky, a Crime and Its Punishment by Kevin Birmingham
A book about Dostoevsky and the writing of Crime and Punishment, and also about the French murdercase that was an inspiration. Time to reread the novel!

Stephen Spielberg by Jim McBride
An okay biography of Spielberg. I believe there is a more recent edition, but I bought the original paperback from 98, so the book ends with his double triumph of Jurassic Park and Schindler's List.

Apropos of Nothing by Woody Allen
Fairly amusing autobiography from the Woodster. The self deprecating style of writing can grate occasionally. And I believe he's innocent in the molestation accusations, but his descriptions of some of his younger female actresses don't help.

Marvel Visionaries: John Romita Sr.
A nice collection of his comics, including Daredevil, Fantastic Four and, of course, Spider-Man. 

The Mighty Thor: The Invasion of Asgard
The Mighty Thor: The Vengeance of Loki
The Mighty Thor: The Wrath of Odin
The Mighty Thor: To Wake the Mangog
The Amazing Spider-Man: With Great Power...
The Amazing Spider-Man: The Sinister Six

Hmm, seem to be going through a Marvel phase these days. The Marvel Masterworks paperbacks in a slightly smaller format is a good way to finally read these early comics. A lot of this, like most of Kirby, I never read before. Early Thor comics are not that interesting, but then Kirby is given full freedom, and look out! I still find the book hard to read. Stan Lee's Shakespearean thee, thou and so on has not aged well. At some point I just look at the pictures. The Spider-Man stories have a charm that survives the occasional overwriting. He works well as a character, and Ditko's art looks great. Thor on the other hand, is there a more boring character? "Thor says thee Nay!" Okay, pal.

Currently reading:
Nightmare Alley by William Lindsay Gresham
Can You Feel The Silence?: Van Morrison by Clinton Heylin