Friday, May 2, 2014

"Lost" Classics of Fiction: Last Exit to Brooklyn, Feast of Snakes, Jesus' Son

In the glutted sea of literature, many books well worth reading are lost to the shifting tides before they've had their chance to shine. "Lost" Classics of Fiction, by library staff member Bill Cleary, seeks to drag these books up from the depths by introducing them to new readers. Adventurous and curious readers: read on!

Click to find this book in our catalogue.
Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.
Release: 1964
Genre: Satire


Selby's overwhelmingly powerful account of working class denizens living on the Brooklyn waterfront of the early 1960's is a series of vignettes dealing with one urban horror after another. Written in the local and colorful dialect of the neighborhood, the novel was the subject of a banned book campaign that seemingly only added to its notoriety. It also managed to influence a generation of above and underground writers that is still felt today in a more permissive literary social setting. By no means for the faint of heart, Last Exit to Brooklyn remains, waiting for the reader that wants . . . dares . . . to dive a little deeper into America's very dark heart.

Click to find this book in our catalogue.
A Feast of Snakes by Harry Crews
Released: January 1, 1976
Genre: Fiction


Southern weirdness at its most grand is on display as cult author Crews details a dead end Georgia town and its annual Rattlesnake Roundup Festival. Though the nastiness on the page is unrelenting, the dramatic momentum is as tightly wound as kudzu. Greed leads to adultery to treachery to madness and finally mass murder. Not in the least your typical southern gothic weirdness, this book might have had even Flannery O'Connor flinging it across the front porch halfway through. But maybe not. Fun times for the intrepid only.

Click to find this book in our catalogue.
Jesus' Son, stories by Denis Johnson
Released: December 1992
Genre: Short stories


Set up as a collection of very short stories that link down and out characters together, Johnson's description of drug addicts living and maybe loving in Iowa is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious. You'll never look at your favorite town dive bar the same way again after reading what goes on in this local watering hole, The Vine, the central meeting point of the bleak happenings. Gorgeously understated writing slides along the plot developments, such as they are, almost like the withering of unwatered flowers. The book is very short and like its central characters, leaves you craving. A beautiful downer.

No comments:

Post a Comment