July 30, 2004


Jimmy Beck

I'd do both of you if I weren't so old, tired and hetero...


god help us if there's blogger slash fanfic.

Old Hag

Congrats, my highly blogshared darling.


Maud Newton cracked the whip.

"Get down, bitches," she roared over the white noise generator. "You call yourself literate?"

TEV and Dr. Mabuse covered their loins. They had read neither Jonathan Ames nor Ann Cummins. They would pay the price. The price of literary lust. After all, every litblogger has his harsh mistress.

"You're not leaving this motel room until you've posted a 3,000 word analysis. Gratis!"

"Yes, ma'am," muttered TEV.

"I can't hear you," whispered Maud.

The whip cracked. Mabuse crawled on all fours, his welted rump shivering beneath the 300 thread count duvet, while TEV started typing.

Then a rectangular shaft of light killed the darkness. And that's when the posse walked through the door. There was CAAF, dressed in a mask and a tangerine muumuu, Sarah Weinman, donning a Sherlock Holmes cap and prepared to force the two men (and Birnbaum, Jimmy Beck and Moby -- once, they found the motel room) to wear tartan while offering a summary of Ian Rankin novels, and the Old Hag, who had an uncanny way to get the two men to say "Motherfucker" in ecstacy.

"Their asses will be sore tonight," said the Old Hag.

"Maybe. But neither of their dicks are as huge as Teachout's," said Sarah.


Me and my big mouth...


Oh my!


You have outdone yourself, my friend. I may never sleep again.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • The Elegant Variation is "Fowler’s (1926, 1965) term for the inept writer’s overstrained efforts at freshness or vividness of expression. Prose guilty of elegant variation calls attention to itself and doesn’t permit its ideas to seem naturally clear. It typically seeks fancy new words for familiar things, and it scrambles for synonyms in order to avoid at all costs repeating a word, even though repetition might be the natural, normal thing to do: The audience had a certain bovine placidity, instead of The audience was as placid as cows. Elegant variation is often the rock, and a stereotype, a cliché, or a tired metaphor the hard place between which inexperienced or foolish writers come to grief. The familiar middle ground in treating these homely topics is almost always the safest. In untrained or unrestrained hands, a thesaurus can be dangerous."


  • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald


    Penelope Fitzgerald's second novel is the tale of Florence Green, a widow who seeks, in the late 1950s, to bring a bookstore to an isolated British town, encountering all manner of obstacles, including incompetent builders, vindictive gentry, small minded bankers, an irritable poltergeist, but, above all, a town that might not, in fact, want a bookshop. Fitzgerald's prose is spare but evocative – there's no wasted effort and her work reminds one of Hemingway's dictum that every word should fight for its right to be on the page. Florence is an engaging creation, stubbornly committed to her plan even as uncertainty regarding the wisdom of the enterprise gnaws at her. But The Bookshop concerns itself, finally, with the astonishing vindictiveness of which provincials are capable, and, as so much English fiction must, it grapples with the inevitabilities of class. It's a dense marvel at 123 pages, a book you won't want to – or be able to – rush through.
  • The Rider by Tim Krabbe


    Tim Krabbé's superb 1978 memoir-cum-novel is the single best book we've read about cycling, a book that will come closer to bringing you inside a grueling road race than anything else out there. A kilometer-by-kilometer look at just what is required to endure some of the most grueling terrain in the world, Krabbé explains the tactics, the choices and – above all – the grinding, endless, excruciating pain that every cyclist faces and makes it heart-pounding rather than expository or tedious. No writer has better captured both the agony and the determination to ride through the agony. He's an elegant stylist (ably served by Sam Garrett's fine translation) and The Rider manages to be that rarest hybrid – an authentic, accurate book about cycling that's a pleasure to read. "Non-racers," he writes. "The emptiness of those lives shocks me."