03 diciembre 2010

Books I Liked

Por "la famosa escritora norteamericana"

Museum of the Weird. Amelia Gray

'A monogrammed cube appears in your town. Your landlord cheats you out of first place in the annual Christmas decorating contest. You need to learn how to love and care for your mate—a paring knife. These situations and more reveal the wondrous play and surreal humor that make up the stories in Amelia Gray’s stunning collection of stories: Museum of the Weird.

'Acerbic wit and luminous prose mark these shorts, while sickness and death lurk amidst the humor. Characters find their footing in these bizarre scenarios and manage to fall into redemption and rebirth. Museum of the Weird invites you into its hallways, then beguiles, bewitches, and reveals a writer who has discovered a manner of storytelling all her own.'

Excerpt 1
There's no reason. There's no reason why you couldn't. There's no reason it's not possible you couldn't possibly finish your mild cottage cheese breakfast, buy a ticket, take that train to the edge of the world, squeeze your eyes shut, dig the wheels into moist world-edge earth and make a dramatic plunge off the side, your friends and family waving good-bye as at the end of a parade when all that's left is sandwich wrappers and the rest of a long day, sun streaming through all the windows and still a cold room no matter how much light hits every corner, even if you take the curtains and flip them over the curtain rods so there's nothing impeding the procession of light— that kind of lazy afternoon where someone in the house mutters a promise to make banana bread but you know the bananas will spoil and cultivate bacteria, becoming dangerous like the kitchen counter you washed in your younger years first with warm water and later on with the stronger stuff, ammonia making you dizzy behind your allergen-free mask, a boiling water rinse and a layer of bleach, just a bit of the stuff mixing together into what you hear is dangerous but secretly know is a chemical so powerful that certain entities don't want you to hear about it, and by "certain entities" you mean the government, these powers in power have other plans for you but you're one step ahead, you and your sleeves with the tricks in them and your special diet, the cottage cheese diet, the diet with cottage cheese, and as you eat the cottage cheese you hold very gently on your tongue the cottages and the people inside the cottages and the people are screaming.

Excerpt 2

There will be sense

And then, though they had a choice, the doctors put a generator in my heart, and they gave me a magnetic band to wear on my wrist which I must pass over my heart when the old feelings begin again. Arnold, they say, you are certainly a special man. The following is true:

1. Because of a history of powerful migraines accompanied by the trilling melody of seizure, I have certain precautions installed by man in my body preventing me from biting off my tongue
2. A side effect of the migraines is a disorder called Alice in Wonderland which causes worlds to complicate outside of my control
3. The word "special" often carries both positive and negative connotation

----Jeannie serves me tostadas at the café, the gold cross on her necklace (warm, no doubt, from her skin and the heat of the deep fryer) dangling close to my sweet iced tea. It's the first thing I see as I come out of the dangerous haze, and I feel small and close enough to the cross to make a leap for it. I'd like to dig my fingernails into the soft cooling gold and balance on the arm of it as on a tree branch, holding the chain for support.

“To say Amelia Gray belongs in the hilariously inventive hallows of Ann Quin and Rikki Ducornet would be to miss her light. This book is gleaming evidence of the author as a trophy case unto herself, wrought of magic equally surprising, wicked, giddy, and loaded with a megaton of Boom.”— Blake Butler

“Amelia Gray’s Museum of the Weird is a cabinet of curiosities—a talking armadillo, a serial killer named God, a woman who amputates her toes for dinner, a man married to a paring knife—this collection of stories is so good and funny and wondrous that I couldn’t look away from her dark and curious imagination.” — Michael Kimball

'Museum of the Weird is a catalog of possible literatures, the emulation of which might enrich future works of literature, but I’m afraid she won’t have the courage to keep going if she doesn’t attract enough readers to bolster her courage, so I’m recruiting, and I don’t even feel bad about it, because I think literary criticism is mostly dead, and I think the highest calling of the Internet book reviewer is consumer advocacy.' -- Kyle Minor, The Faster Times

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