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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
Adverbs - Daniel Handler

shhhhh! This review isn’t for everyone. Neither is this book. But like this book, this review is for you—you only. Maybe you and that other guy, or the woman who contorts herself trying to see the title of what your reading and thinking no one notices her doing it. She might be a character in the story, Adverbs, but she isn’t because that would be that story, and this is this story, which isn’t a story, exactly, but it is because it’s a review…of sorts, the only type I’m in the mood to write. So, anyway.

Are you between titles? Wondering what to read next? But a little oppressed by all the depressing books you’ve been reading. Pressed into the service of someone else’s To Read list. So much pressure. Or, for whatever reason, right now, another Bolaño is a no-go, or the thought of toting around another whopper Pynchon pinches a psychic nerve or Bernhard is too hard or… well, you get the picture. If anything like those conditions are imposing on you, and you just want to read something fun, but probably not something with Giant Man-eating Crabs locked in mortal battle with Monstrous Blue Slimy Slugs while Shiny People suck the necks of Unsuspecting Virgins while body parts are seen to Heave and Throb, then you might just like the smart and funny Adverbs.

Now I know, Daniel Handler’s alter-ego, Lemony Snickett, would probably try to discourage you from reading his (Snickett’s) books—so might I. But Handler, Handler himself, that’s another matter entirely. This is Steve Erickson meets Tom Robbins, the Tom Robbins from when we thought he was funny, or when he was funny, at any rate, the Tom Robbins of once-upon-a-time.

Now in keeping with current standards, I should place HIGHLY RECOMMENDED up against the left-margin. But I won’t; I’m contentious and curmudgeonly. Instead, I’m placing it right here:

Highly Recommended
—when you’re ready, when it’s time for something fun or funny, or when you’re just not quite ready for anything else. You could do far, far worse.

Oh, yeah, since you probably expected something like a real review, consider MJ’s or Ian’s, either much finer than mine.

The right book at the right time for me.