Author Archives: orion

People Enjoy NYC Readings, Books, and Insults | The Stranger’s Slog Links to Insulted by Authors!

NYC Readings

Baby's first link!

Litblog, eh? I’ll go with it.

Thanks, Paul Constant and “Slog Tipper David.” Even though the link was buried on the second page with two comments within an hour or so, I still got about 30 hits from them. Super. I like, also, that Mr. Constant brought out the rodent-like quality of my face. The man knows his bloggers!

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David Mitchell Channels the Seagull from My 7th Grade Past & I Earn a New Nickname | The Strand Bookstore

David Mitchell review

A seagull divebombed my hat during lunch in 7th grade and I didn't notice the drying streaks of multi-hued shit until someone pointed it out in algebra an hour later. Thanks for making me relive the laughter, David.

Stars align. This was one of the first insults I’d dared ask for, and it was the first insult I’d received outside of a reading/signing. It was as if Hemmingway Himself guided me to The Strand that day in search of a rare book. I normally don’t put much stock in religion, but there’s still enough old Catholic spiritualism (and self-loathing) kicking around in my subsconcious to wonder if I’d been guided to Mr. Mitchell by way of a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

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The (un)Kindly Ones – Nicole Krauss Reading from Great House | Brooklyn Public Library

As a self-effacing, wanna-be writer whose rapidly diminishing chances of ever becoming even a second-rate publishing author is paced only by his readiness to disarm his detractors by throwing his ego under the bus — to laugh at himself, his missed chances and self-inflicted miseries — I don’t particularly like people who take themselves too seriously.

Nicole Krauss apologizes for using the word “asshole” in front of a crowd who’ve already chuckled at its use. She pauses after reading a passage like she expects the audience to murmur in appreciation with sub-sonic “ohhs” and “oohs” that wouldn’t be audible unless it was released in a dead-quiet auditorium. She then waits just a beat too long before beginning again, as if she, too, needed a moment to recover from that Sad Truth despite being the author of said Sad Truth and having read the same passage dozens of times in the last month.

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My Old Man Rips Tim McCarver a New One | Email

Though really, he should’ve taken aim at Joe Buck, that pompous fuck.

Below is my Pa’s response to an earlier email containing many complaints about a lack of cable television with which to watch sports, especially NCAA football and MLB playoffs.

I love my old man.

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Rosencrans Baldwin’s “Taste” for Scatology Attracts Huge Crowd | McNally Jackson Bookstore

Rosencrans Baldwin Reading Review – You Lost Me There

Rosencrans Baldwin review

Someone isn't a fan of corn

The turnout at McNally Jackson was surprising. I’d not heard or read any of the hype buffeting Mr. Baldwin’s first novel, You Lost Me There, so the kind of flitty buzzing of low voices that comes from an expectant crowd came as a shock. The attendance dwarfed A.L. Kennedy’s (a week or so before) and Tom McCarthy’s (the next day). Neither got this kind of elbow-to-elbow attention from pastel sweaters and thick black plastic glasses. I jittered out a few vicarious shivers and grit my teeth through a brief belly-cut of jealousy. Brief because he looked more surprised about the crowd than I, and spoke like a man appropriately appreciative of the strong attendance. Christ. You can’t help but like the guy.

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Jonathan Safran Foer Destroys My Face In Front of Children | NYU Kimmel Center for University Life

Jonathan Safran Foer Reading – Eating Animals

Jonathan Safran Foer signed book

Elevate Me Later, you bastard

I’m a fairly nice guy with a sometimes tenuous grasp on reality. I’ve broken the windshield of a hit-and-not-run car with my bare fist and ended up hiding in a church until the police came. I recently screamed nonsense at a scalper in front of MSG for shouting me down when I tried to give away my extra ticket. I tend to do things without thinking and only afterwards realize potential dangers.

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Joshua Ferris Reading from The Unnamed | NYC – The Strand Bookstore

Joshua Ferris Reading – The Unnamed

Joshua Ferris signed book

Mr. Ferris cuts right to the heart of my fragile ego

Joshua Ferris struck me as someone who isn’t used to drawing a crowd. I’d assumed he’d have the poise after he was named amongst The New Yorker’s Best Writers Under 40, or Best Young Writers, or whatever they’re calling it. I would’ve assumed he’d have collected a residue of schmaltz after his first novel collected all the attention and accolades. Instead, he was refreshing unguarded and genuine, seemed glad to be there, rosy cheeks and all, in front of a surprisingly smallish crowd of about 60 or so, with empty seats, with ill-prepared questions (sorry!) fired off by people who hadn’t read his new book yet (sorry, again!)

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A.L. Kennedy Reading from “What Becomes” | NYC – McNally Jackson Books

A.L. Kennedy Reading – What Becomes

A.L. Kennedy What Becomes signed

A.L. Kennedy, neck-and-neck with Dave Mitchell for best burn

A.L. Kennedy is both stand-up comedian and novelist. It’s hard to see where one stops and the other starts, especially at last night’s reading at McNally Jackson Books in Soho, where she gave a sometimes funny, sometimes slightly awkward, always entertaining reading/performance/signing.

When she first came out to give a “pre-show talk” — the event had been “promoted strangely,” so that some people came expecting a stand-up performance, while others came for a reading — I had premonitions of regret and boredom. What little I knew about Kennedy I knew from an appearance in Granta Magazine’s “Best Young British Novelist. Consider me pleasantly impressed.

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Rick Moody Reading from “The Four Fingers of Death” | Brooklyn – Greenlight Bookstore

Rick Moody Reading – The Four Fingers of Death

Moody four fingers of death signed

Read this. Now.

When and if I finally convince a significant other that my manly sperm is a viable partner for her exacting ova and we raise a couple of screaming brats, I’ll sit him or her down on my knee after distracting it to silence with promises of sweets long enough to tell it a life lesson: learn to love to read because your heroes will (mostly) be approachable. And not in the stalker way. Necessarily.

Then I’ll order up some future beer with which to get space-loaded and continue berating the child for all my life’s failures.

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Site Redesign Has Come — Welcome to Milquetoast 2.0

Hey everyone,

I’ve been noticing some problems with my theme, and I’ve had some complaints about how difficult it is to navigate, so I’m going to switch it up. I sure hope I can pull this off without too much difficulty.

So here’s the new theme. It’s not the most welcoming thing in the world, but it’s much easier to navigate and read.

If anyone has any suggestions as to which WP Theme MIGHT BE BETTER (and I’m not above buying an especially good one), please by all means suggest. Feel free to call me a fucktard for waiting this long to switch, also.

Thanks and fuck off.