Recent Reads Running Together

guitar with Gabe Durham

(Corrections welcome.)

Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter – The sexy young inventor of the microscope receives a letter written entirely in human blood, asking her to burn down the Mark Twain house with a WWI Zippo lighter.

McSweeney’s #24 – Jonathan Ames borrows from Paul Astor in a story about a writer who wants to be a detective so he learns the language of bees so they will tell him who killed his dear auntie. The bees sting him and he turns to stone.

The stories of my fellow workshoppers – 20 variations on the same story: a man is about about to jump to his death until all of his friends and family members show up and tell him warm anecdotes about his own generosity and convince him that life is worth living. Just as he is about to come down, a flood sweeps through the city, sparing only the jumper. Chaos ensnares.

Brock Clark, An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England – One middle-aged man, three busty young bachelorettes, and a post-apocalyptic wasteland: you do the math!

Joanna Scott, Various Antidotes – A maniac gives three scientists a slow-acting poison and sets them loose in a hedge maze. They have to use their brains if they hope to get to the various antidotes on time.

George Saunders, The Braindead Megaphone – Post-apocalyptic Huck Finn border patrol wasteland. That’s just one of many essays.

Cormac McCarthy, The Road – An architect and his writer son take a drive up the coast. Chaos enjoins.

Donald Barthelme, Paradise – A dog tells his owner to stop having sex in front of him… in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. There are interviews on the page and there is the expectation of blood on the floor.

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