Wise Blood

wise-blood

(by Flannery O’Connor) You can almost hear Father Ted saying, “Those Protestants; up to no good as usual.”. A slight but hysterical piece of southern Grand-Guignol in which O’Connor, in stark muscular prose, shows us why warmer climes tend to grow lusher fruit (viz., the evangelists in northern Queensland, the Spanish Inquisition, etc.).  O’Connor presents her freak show without explanation, comment or censure and you close the book as if you’ve just escaped the weird tent, gasping for air.

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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

who'safraid

(dir. M Nicholls) (1966) Fortify yourself before attending a party at George and Mildreds’. More Albee-inspired drink and depravity with great overheated performances (a big tick in particular for Sandy Dennis).

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Sabbath’s Theater

sabbathstheatre

(by Philip Roth) An extremely funny bucket of filth, King Lear and Fool combined as a depraved and exiled puppeteer, keeping us in suspension, bearing and grinning it and beating a dead whore, alive and cooking….

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Laughter in the Dark

laughterinthedark

(by Vladimir Nabokov) Also known as Kamera obskura, “meant as an elaborate parody” but “one of my worst novels” is in fact a pitilessly cruel, slamming-door joke on a cuckold who is morally, aesthetically and physically blind.

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A Likely Story

alikelystory

(by Donald E Westlake) Very funny tale of hack writer (of “The Pink Garage Gang”, “Coral Sea”, “Golf Courses of America”, etc.) trying to get up a Christmas Book with contributions from various real celebrities that respond with a mixture of indifference, misunderstanding or hideous enthusiasm, while contending with a mother-obsessed editor (‘I’m fine…I’m peachy. Destroyed at f****** lunch with a writer.  Home a basket case.’)  

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