« Too Many Threads | Main | We the Media »

August 5, 2004

Off the Bookshelf

During my mini-vacation last week, I finally had the chance to read a couple of novels that had nothing to do with research. Before my trip, I picked up Max Barry's Jennifer Government on a friend's recommendation. The novel is a near-future satire in which all of the characters take on the name of their employer as their surname, hence the main character's name. Jennifer's main nemesis throughout the novel is John Nike, who decides to kill several people who purchase a certain model of Nike shoes as a form of promotion (this happens in the first few pages--I'm not giving much away). It's a fun satire of economic globalization in the spirit of Kurt Vonnegut with an Adbusters twist.

While in Champaign, I borrowed Jim's copy of Blankets, a graphic novel by Craig Thompson, about growing up fundamentailst in the 1980s and early 1990s. Because of my fundamentalist Christian youth, Jim has been recommending this "illustrated novel" for a long time, and so far I've found it pretty compelling. Thompson captures the language and logic of that world very effectively, and his renderings of a church youth camp are completely familiar to me, even though my experiences were slightly different. I'm nowhere near finishing, but I think that actually speaks to the depth and pleasure of the novel itself--in a sense, I don't want it to end. Reading Blankets has allowed me to revisit a major part of my past, and I'm sure I'll have more to say about it in the next few days.

Posted by chuck at August 5, 2004 1:07 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)