Thursday, July 31, 2008

I've been reading Alistair McCartney's The End of the World Book very slowly, just a few entries at a time, usually before bed. It's really hard to classify: it's sort of a memoir, but it's also sort of like prose-poems or flash fiction. All arranged in alphabetical order. He has hilarious and quirky stories about his family, his life, gay boys, popular culture, politics, dreams, death, etc etc. Here is a sample, that I read to Dean last night, from the Chapter "H":

Holes, Black

As some point humans will no longer use the word boy. Instead, we'll refer to young men as black holes. I love black holes, those stars that can't bear being stars, like a boy who can't bear the weight of being a boy, and so collapses in on himself, sucking everyone and everything that is around him in, all objects. Surely everyone has known a boy like this, a boy from whom nothing, not even light, can escape. Surely everyone has gotten dangerously close to such a boy.

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Now, imagine a couple dozen or so of these little pieces -- some only a sentence or a paragraph long, some one or two pages long at most -- for each letter of the alphabet. And that in their accumulation, you begin to get the faint framework of a memoir, a story, a point of view. It's really pretty amazing. And the perfect bedtime book. Not because it puts you to sleep, but because it sends you off to dreams, and/or other interesting places.

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1 comment:

Premium T. said...

Wow, this is brilliant. I might have to get this book.