By this point in life I’ve stuffed so much material down my gullet I feel I am hard to impress. When it comes to new books and music in particular, I can go many moons without feeling The Sledgehammer of Wow. But yesterday I felt it twice:
Blueberry Boat by The Fiery Furnaces dispays a level on ongoing invention that one expected from Brian Wilson circa 1968.
Susannah Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell: A Novel has been called a “Harry Potter for grown-ups”; it starts by asking whether magic has disappeared in England. Only rarely have I been captivated so quickly and so deeply by a novel of our time. Read the ever-insightful Henry Farrell (CrookedTimber.org) on this wonderful book. Here is another good review, also courtesy of Henry; here is a Slate.com review.
On a sadder note, Johnny Ramone has passed away. “Twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours to go, I wanna be sedated…!”