Verbatim: A Novel

Notes on an unconventional book

On books to review

The mail doesn’t just bring bills; it brings books I’ll have the pleasure to read and then write on in the near future.








The top two titles are: Sam Savage’s The Way of the Dog; and The End of Oulipo?, by Lauren Elkin and Scott Esposito. Savage is a good writer, of tense and short novels that cleave to one figure (rat or person) in ways that can be harrowing; speculation on the future of Oulipo should be interesting. When I first read Strindberg in university the intensity of his plays surprised me, so I’m glad to have a biography of him. Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco are the co-creators of DDDR, presenting economic end-times (or so it appears) for certain parts of the united states, in text and illustrations. Lazy Bastardism is Carmine Starnino’s take on poetry and criticism in canada. He’s usually vigorous, so I hope to see the same thing here. The near-title to a classic, Moby-Duck, is a non-fiction work tracing bath toys that were lost at sea. It’s by Donovan Hohn. Lastly, Gert Jonke is an austrian writer who died in 2009. More of his fiction is coming out into english, thanks to Dalkey and also Ariadne. I’m looking forward to a novel with such a title as Awakening to the Great Sleep War.


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