It's time to trot out our reading accomplishments. I'll start.
Little Big Man by Thomas Berger
I adored this hilarious romp through the old west, narrated by a sort of 19th century Forrest Gump. A white man raised by the Cheyenne, he moves back and forth between the white man's world and the Indian's without a shred of sentimentality or misplaced malice. Highly recommended.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
Read this slim book in one day. Fairly impressive the way he inhabits the autistic narrator. Kind of a light read. Perfect in-flight book.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
What a frigging great adventure tale. Bigger than life, full of betrayals and vengeance, with a grand and massive plot that won't stop.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I reread it every few years, like The Great Gatsby. What struck me this time was just how annoying Tom Sawyer is. I really struggled with how Huck, despite his adventures and growth, did not challenge Tom in any of that little monster's cockamamie plans.
Lord of the Barnyard by Tristan Egolf
I'm about 100 pages into this one. Has anyone else read this? It's frightfully funny. I don't know that I've laughed so much at a book since A Confederacy of Dunces. I don't think the author, who killed himself not long ago, can keep up this level of quality, which starts out Impossibly High and has slid down to around Very Good by the point where I'm at now.
I leave you with an excerpt from the book's Prologue -- which reminded me for some reason of some of Vampiro's writing:
"... The Railway-Miscarriage/River-Rat Theory would have it that John was prematurely miscarried into a stainless-steel toilet bowl on a high-speed express train cutting through the woods due southwest of Baker, and that he ended up, battered and disoriented, though still alive, face-down on the Patokah railroad tracks with half a rail tie in his ass and two pounds of afterbirth scattered through the gravel for a mile to the south. His mother, reportedly a wealthy heiress from Chicago who was seven months into term, had gone to the lavatory after developing acute stomach pains. Ten minutes later a passing conductor heard a series of screams and a thrashing about in the commode. After trying the handle and finding it jammed, he kicked down the door. He found the lady in question in a bloody awful mess. She was straining and lurching with one leg hiked up on the sink and both fists wrapped around a pustulating umbilical cord leading from between her drawn legs downward into the bowl. The conductor flew into a panic. He squeezed through the doorway and grappled for a hold on the cord. He could make out the misshapen infant jammed in the chute and howling in a high-pitched wail on the other side of the drop flap, just over the tracks. The screams sounded out all over the passenger car. The mother finally lost her footing in the sauce and pitched over into the hallway. She lost consciousness, leaving the rest in the conductor's hands, literally. The conductor made one last effort at dislodging the maimed infant, but the cord soon snapped, and up came the broken end. It was a terrible scene. By the time the young mother came to her senses with a crowd of passengers standing over her, she wanted nothing more than to turn her back on the whole dreadful affair. Of course, no one thought for a second that the child might have actually survived..."