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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
Our Lady of the Assassins - Fernando Vallejo, Paul Hammond

Not to be confused with Our Lady of the Lavatory:

or even
but equally creepy, is Fernando Vallejo’s Our Lady of the Assassins. How did it ever occur to someone to ensconce images of their deities in half-buried bathtubs? Something about it just seems odd.

Ryan's review is probably the best place to begin consideration of whether or not to read this one—this definitely isn’t a book for everyone. Of OLotA, Mario Vargas Llosa said, “Rooted in heartbreaking experience and crackling with humour, insolence, and diatribes.” Maybe. The humor is there, black humor. The diatribes are present, with a vengeance. But ‘heartbreaking’ will depend on the extent to which one can identify with the protagonist narrator (there are no heroes in this one). One could, I suppose, be brokenhearted over the appalling conditions of Columbian life as presented by Vallejo, but if MVL is speaking of the loss suffered by the narrator, it’s too easily accommodated for, too easily moved beyond, and it’s for that reason that, I suspect, this novel won’t appeal to most LGBT readers, or as likely, any other readers. For me, the narrator was a curmudgeonly queen on a steroid-induced rage—anger and disappointment, fickleness and a propensity toward the young (not the inexperienced young, mind you, but young nevertheless), intolerant, manipulative, and selfish. All in all, I kinda liked him, and the novel—Humbert Humbert as conceived by Wm. S. Burroughs, situated by Bolaño, informed by Céline, and motivated by Cormac McCarthy. Helpful?