I must admit that prior to reading this book, I’d only known Stefan Zweig’s work through its influence on The Grand Budapest Hotel – which is a fairly enormous watering-down of his importance on my part.
Turns out Zweig’s writing is much more than just the inspiration for some lovely cinema. Journeys is a collection of the writer’s work, translated by Will Stone, spanning four decades, all of which specifically relate to travel. (more…)
From what I gather of other reviewers’ feelings, the general position on this volume of the 100 Bullets saga – issues 59 through 80 – is confusion. A feeling of confusion over what’s going on, where and – in some cases – when.
I think this is fairly on the money, but I’d add in one important substitution: it’s not confusion.
Not Thanos, but close enough for our purposes.
It’s chaos. (This is, after all, the Land of Lono.) (more…)
When I was a small boy I remember my father having a bookshelf full of hardbacks. And the one I remember most clearly, for some reason, is Shōgun, James Clavell’s 1100-page whopper. I can still recall the smell of it.
I had always been mystified by the book. I remember it being on Dad’s nightstand, with a golf-club bookmark through it. I remember its cover as the first place I ever saw the handle of a Japanese sword. And when I was older, I remember finding endless copies of it at op-shops, usually for somewhere around the two-buck mark. (more…)
It’s time to descend, once more, into the world of noir. Bullets, broads, and a buttload of blood. But this is 100 Bullets so by this point in the collection, your squeamishness has either seen you tap out, or your enthusiasm has you fired up for what’s coming.
You know how sometimes you can leave a book on the to-read pile for a little too long?
How the excitement you had about reading the thing – the “Ooh! Can’t wait to get to that one!” anticipation – somehow becomes bigger than you’d intended, thus creating an expectation that the book can’t possibly surpass?
It’s time for ghetto arsekickers, Italian-descent mobsters, the neon of gambling, the prick of the needle and the luck of the draw. It’s time for losers who think they’re winners, and winners who’ve got fuck-all. And it’s time for a briefcase of untraceable bullets.
Oh yeah. And cock-suckin’ birds.
Guess it’s time for another load of 100 Bullets then.
His works are among the first I came to when I began reading weirder literature, and so I feel great affection for him. I loved his strangeness, and then – later – I loved his plainer works, his more natural narratives. And perhaps, above all, his non-fiction titles.
And every time he puts out a new one, I snap it up. Because in each title is the kernel of hope that I’ll be dazzled the way I was when I first grabbed hold of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Kind of akin to how I keep buying albums by bands I idolised in university, in the hope that their albums will spark the joy I’ve been seeking since undergrad days. (more…)
What would you do if you were cornered by a craggy-looking dude with a briefcase? A briefcase that’s meant for you? A briefcase that contains some papers, a pristine gun and a number of untraceable bullets? With the assurance that anything you did with those items would be completely free from legal consequence?
DON’T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE, MOTHERFUCKER.
(I mean aside from whacking your most hated YouTube celebrity repeatedly.) (more…)