Selection for November & December

Happy Halloween! Tomorrow is November 1st and so we'll be starting a new book. Goodbye American Gods (goodbye goodbye) and hello The Age of Wire and String by Ben Marcus.

It's time for you all to be brave. Come on let's try it.

From Wikipedia: The Age of Wire and String is Ben Marcus's first book, published in 1995. The book is composed of 8 sections, divided into 41 short experimental fictions (ed. note: uh oh), which combine technical language with lyrical imagery to form a sort of Postmodern catalog by turns surreal, fantastic, and self-referential.

From Kirkus: A rare, genius-struck achievement intended to warn readers into looking at the truth anew; not easy, but filled always with great beauties, high themes, enormous sorrows. By turns futuristic (``after the second appearance of 1983''), mock- historic (``One system of dating places their arrival...as early as the wakeful period of 1979''), surrealistic (``often each leg was clothed in a contrasting food style''), lyrically pathetic (``Your man can run, walk, sleep, drink, eat, and, of course, weep and die''), and simultaneously philosophic (``Certain weather is not recognized by the land it is practiced on'') and satiric (``Every year a day was set aside for discussion'').

I've read 2 other Marcus books - Notable American Women and The Flame Alphabet and both were great. Both of those books grew out of his earlier work in The Age of Wire and String so I'm excited to read it.


The Doom of the Gods

Did you know that Norse mythology actually spells out it's own ending? All the Norse gods are slain in a future event called Ragnarok. It is the doom of the gods. Odin himself is killed by a wolf called Fenrir. Thor kills, and is killed by, a giant snake called Jormungandr (who is Loki's son, btw). Everybody dies.

The story is old, but there is an amazing (and short) little book by A.S. Byatt called Ragnarok: The End of the Gods that retells the story. It's faithful to the Norse stories but it's wildly pretty and poetic.

There's also an amazing book called Poems of the Vikings which is really just the Norse Poetic Edda -- Also highly recommended.



The tree that Shadow hangs from is Yggdrasil, the World Tree. Yggdrasil is central to Norse mythology. It holds together the 9 worlds and really it's right in the middle of everything. Odin himself hung from Yggdrasil in order to gain understanding and command of the runes.

I know that I hung on a windy tree
nine long nights,
wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
myself to myself,
on that tree of which no man knows
from where its roots run.

Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yggdrasil


Let's Pretend This Never Happened

Let me just say that I'm a dummy and I know a lot of people really like this book. But, the more I think about it, the less I like it. I'm just going to complain a little bit here.

There may be some mild spoilers after the jump.


American Gods coming to TV

HBO is planning on turning American Gods into 6 seasons of premium television goodness.  See details here.

Some interesting thoughts on casting too.

Unrelated: Here are some cool takes on Mr. Jacquel (Anubis) and Mr. Ibis (Thoth).