The Devil’s Territory by Kyle Minor
Town Smokes by Pinckney Benedict
The first full collection by Benedict I’ve read, and his first published. I’ve enjoyed some of his later stories more than these, though “The Sutton Pie Safe” which appears in this volume is one of the best Southern stories I’ve ever read.
The Good Brother by Chris Offutt
Very strong in the first half. Somewhat falls off in the Montana section, but still damn well worth the read.
Wittgenstein’s Nephew by Thomas Bernhard
My introduction to Bernhard. He comes highly regarded and I can somewhat agree. Certainly enough to get me to buy a copy of one of one of his others, “The Loser”. However, the misanthropy is tiresome. Hell of a nice reversal in the ending though. I think the comparison to Sebald is overplayed. Sebald demonstrates far greater versatility.
Stories II by Scott McClanahan
The repetitive tone was hard for me to get past. This aesthetic seriously disagrees with me, so I’m afraid I don’t understand much of the praise. The one story that seemed to stand above the others was the one where the narrator wanted to steal a copy of LEAVES OF GRASS from the Walt Whitman mall.
Bob, The Gambler by Frederick Barthelme
The King by Donald Barthelme
The second book in my Barthelme brothers weekend doubleheader. A great, funny, sad, singular novel that applies postmodernist theatrics to Arthurian legend. One of my favorite novels in the last few years.