Wednesday, July 21, 2004

In an effort to constantly bring you as many mundane details of my life as possible via the glory of the internet, I am adding yet ANOTHER new feature to Felt Up. This one is called The Book Nook, and in it I blather on about whatever book I happened to finish recently.


I finished Ethan Coen's book of short stories, The Gates of Eden, last night. (Yes, yes, it was a swingin' good time chez Felt Up last night. Blogging, reading, Netflixing, it's a regular Moulin Rouge over here, I know.) Anyway, this book was published in 1998, but since I buy most of my books at thrift stores, I found it thrillingly new and exciting; ie, I had never heard of it. Ethan is one half of YES, THOSE Coen Brothers, the nerdier one who is not married to Frances McDormand. I had no idea either of them ever wrote anything besides their screenplays. Happily, Ethan is as excellent at short-story writing as he is at whatever part he plays in the Coen Brothers movie-making machine (I imagine he writes the screenplays? The other directs? Don't really know, sadly). I am normally not a huge short story fan, but these were all great. Very Coen-y. Many are set in Minnesota, "yah's"-n-all; a few are quite noirish; some are like scripts, with just dialogue and a few sound effects; all are very stylishly, intelligently written and highly enjoyable. One I liked in particular was called "The Boys," about a father and his two young sons on a camping trip. The boys are driving the dad mad with their borderline freakish obsessive/compulsive behavior that all little kids are prone to (one is totally obsessed with the Sesame Street catalog and will only eat jelly omelettes); it's a little sad, but still funny. I highly recommend this book, to Coen Brothers fans and anyone else (although I don't think I know a single person who dislikes the Coen Brothers).

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