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BIBLIOGRIND

Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Archive for A Commonplace Book

Is Kafka in the Forest?

” ‘Kafka, in everybody’s life there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That’s how we survive.”

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Scott be “Damned”!

“[Anthony] was wondering at the unreality of ideas, at the fading radiance of existence, and at the little absorptions that were creeping avidly into his life, like rats into a ruined house. He was sorry for no one now — on Monday morning there would be his business, and later there would be a girl of another class whose whole life he was; these were the things nearest his heart. In the strangeness of the brightening day is seemed presumptuous that with this feeble, broken instrument of his mind he had ever tried to think.”

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Within a Budding Grove” : Proust muses on hearing our selves

“We imagine always when we speak that it is our own ears, our own mind that are listening. My words would have come to [Gilberte] only in a distorted form, as though they had had to pass through the moving curtain of a waterfall before they reached my friend, unrecognisable, giving a foolish sound, having no longer any kind of meaning.”

The Ebony Tower (John Fowles)

John Fowles, best known for The French Lieutenant’s Woman and The Magus, has some stirring stories in his collection “The Ebony Tower” … from which this short extract comes. Fowles, as I have learned, is wonderfully gifted in giving the reader both deep insight of humanity while simultaneously keeping the story moving forward.

Here, in the novella “The Ebony Tower”, an aging painter replies to the age-old question between men, “Women in your prime were just as horny as they are now, ain’t they, pops?” :

“I thought the girls of the ‘twenties were rather dazzling.” [says David]

The stick was raised in genially outraged contradiction.

“Absolute piffle, my dear man. No idea. Spent half your life getting their legs open. Other half wishing you hadn’t. Either that. Catching the clap off some tart. Dog’s life. Don’t know how we stood it.”

But David was unconvinced, and knew he was meant to be. The old man regretted nothing at heart; or only the impossible, another life.

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Max, the blind guy is the story of Max and Greta Ruth, and the power that all their demons have over them after 40 years of friendship, marriage, and the art world. Author and read an excerpt that you won’t find at on-line bookshops.

What Beauty was published in 2012. It’s a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available FREE TO YOU for a limited time when you sign up for BiblioGrind updates — learn more here.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.

“The Brooklyn Follies” by Paul Auster

The “follies” Auster refers to are those human foibles that “Uncle Nathan” has witness, heard of, or otherwise committed himself throughout his life. He’s nearing sixty, is in cancer remission, and newly divorced from his wife and estranged from his only daughter. But Nathan has a healthy attitude towards life, and the follies which he is compiling get a boost as the story of Nathan and his nephew, Tom, as their lives suddenly become intertwined.

The story moves quickly, and pleasantly. This is not a typical Auster novel, his deep intrigue and illusory themes/characters/endings. All that you read in THE BROOKLYN FOLLIES is exactly is what’s on the page. I wasn’t disappointed, but hadn’t expected such a light read from Auster. If you’re on the beach, in a car, out back on the hammock, it’s a good read.

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My new novel is now on sale: “Max, the blind guy” is the story of Max and Greta Ruth, their 40-year relationship, and all the demons that show up as they find that life rarely goes according to plan. This book is available in print at Amazon.com and the digital edition is available as a serialized novel — 12 parts, published every fourth week. Come by MarkBeyer : Author to read an excerpt that you won’t find at on-line bookshops.

What Beauty was published in 2012. It’s a story of art, obsession and ego. Read an excerpt here. It’s available as an ebook, too.

The Village Wit (2010) is a humorous and sometimes dark odyssey through village life, love’s fall, sexual politics, and that place where memory and modern love intersect. Read an excerpt here. This book is also available as an ebook.