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“...rocking and drinking...”

Colin Asher applies the Page 99 Test to his new Algren biography, Never a Lovely So Real. I browsed the book at City Lit the other night, and am looking forward to reading the book, though I’ll wait for the paperback. 

April 27, 2019 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

“Ah, a disciplined man. We don’t get many of those out here.”

With the misfits and outcasts of Richardson Bay, off of Sausalito, California.

Known as anchor-outs, they make their homes a quarter mile from the shore, on abandoned and unseaworthy vessels, doing their best, with little or no money, to survive. Life is not easy. There is always a storm on the way, one that might capsize their boats and consign their belongings to the bottom of the bay. But when the water is calm and the harbormaster is away, the anchor-outs call their world Shangri-lito.

Straight out of Cannery Row (which, admittedly, was Monterey and not Sausalito).

April 17, 2019 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0)

The captain has bad dreams


The opening paragraphs of Nelson Algren’s The Man With the Golden Arm. Merely presenting the first sentence wouldn’t have been anywhere near sufficient. 

April 15, 2019 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)


“One day, while reading in my room, I heard a shriek from the hairdressers directly across from our house. ‘The pope’s been shot!’ Soon there was a gabble of increasingly hysterical voices outside the window. I shrugged, The Fantastic Four were fighting Dragon Man. The pope and reality could wait.” - Padraig Kenny

April 14, 2019 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

“Everyday People”


I’ve been very tardy in passing this along, but Ben Tanzer and I recently had a great conversation about Where the Marshland Came To Flower, writing in general, and Chicago, and our talk can be heard on his venerated This Podcast Will Change Your Life. Enjoy.

April 1, 2019 in Books, Chicago Observations, Fiction, Marshland | Permalink | Comments (1)