Wednesday, July 21, 2010

At the Counter

John Steppenwolf:

OK, so you got me into it as well - this must be "Summer Book Club" or whatever, but 'Tash gave me one from one of her buddies, some guy called Oz Shelach, she said it reminded her of the year she spent training with Mossad in Tel Aviv, and while the book isn't about the war,

it is political, because hey, it's Israel - everything's political - down to basic survival.

It's called Picnic Grounds, a Novel in Fragments but it doesn't read like a novel, more like just a collection of one page vignettes about people who live in Isreal, people who lived in Israel, people who died in Israel. The narrator uses "we" when telling the stories - that kind of draws you into the stories, these fragments of lives. It's spare writing, I guess you would call it - I heard that term somewhere.

Niall Carter: I think a true literarti would call it "Hemingway-esque."

John Steppenwolf: If "literarti" means "stuck up book reader," then yeah, I guess so. Yeah, I did like that - it's like he just let the stories BE stories, didn't try to embellish them or make them more grandiose: he just told the stories. Kind of like the Z&T just tells stories.

Niall Carter: In fragments.

John Steppenwolf: Yeah, and another thing . . .

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