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Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Norman Rush
The Unknown University
Roberto Bolaño, Laura Healy
Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion since 1960 (20/21)
Amy Hungerford
The Fun Stuff: And Other Essays
James Wood
The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov, Larissa Volokhonsky, Richard Pevear

This is not a review. This is my reaction to reading TM&M. Nothing more, and certainly less.

From time to time, and always when I receive a Friend Request, I check other people’s Read list via the Compare Books function—constantly cringing at the five titles that always show up as huge scars—the titles on their Read list and my To Read list. The indignity. It doesn’t end. There are five, five which constantly haunt me, flood me with shame. This is (was) one of them (had I chosen to read the censored version, there would have been only 4.637 titles to haunt me—I wish I’d read the censored version.) And now the list is down to four titles—my personal List of Shame.

Not since On the Road have I been so certain that a book would, indeed, go on forever. On the plus side, it’s been two years since I’ve run into a title I’ve disliked this much. While most of my GR friends have enjoyed this and rated it highly Thomas C. Foster ’s simplistic approach to literature.

Apparently, this title matters. I encourage everyone to read it. With the same tongue firmly embedded in cheek that you must imagine when I tell you to read the complete works of Shakespeare [or anyone else] or that for a good time one should view the entire oeuvre of Ingmar Bergman . I was disappointed from its spoiler-filled Introduction through every single page which followed. Whenever I hear the words: Soviet Era, I immediately think, “bleak, ugly”—and this novel goes nowhere near shunting those words aside.

Some rating approaching 2 stars—I was going to give it a 1-star rating, but the ending merited another fraction of a star—not the telling of the ending, which felt very much as though the author just kept writing until he could think of one, but rather, the FACT that an ending exists, it was way too long a time in coming.

My humble apologies to those who love this book. Peace. Out.