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Dirty But Clean Pierre

How out of the literary loop am I? I didn't even know they'd decided on this year's Booker Prize last week or so. And that a first-time English novelist born in Oz and raised in Mexico, who's also a former druggie/conman, took the prize. Astig! Parang sine yung buhay ni DBC Pierre (it's a pseudonym, he's really named Peter Finlay). From the Guardian:

Why does this pic remind me of Thom Yorke from Radiohead?

Pierre entered the Booker race as an outsider and while his odds shortened as word about the book spread, he was warned by his publishers that he shouldn't expect to win. Comic novels, particularly those laden with obscenities from a smart-mouthed teen, don't tend to impress the literary establishment. So, on Tuesday night, when news of Pierre's success reached the Faber & Faber camp, a roar went up as if a goal had been scored in the World Cup final. "Darling," a Faber executive was overheard yelling into his mobile, "your engagement ring just got bigger."

Full article here. Joel's beloved Joyce Carol Oatmeal also wrote a review of Vernon God Little in this week's New Yorker. Damn I want his book.

On the way to work today I also reached the abrupt ending of Toby Litt's debut novel Beatniks. Checked his site yesterday and found out my Secker & Warburg copy is now completely out of print. He's been called Britain's answer to Douglas Coupland, but they're kinda different, I think. Less ad placements, for instance. ;) He's one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists. At one point in the book the humor completely cracked me up.

The scene: English early-twenty-somethings Mary and Jack (after Jack Kerouac) have more or less followed the cross-country itinerary of the fictitious character Sal in On the Road. Upon arriving in Denver and seeing snazzily dressed yuppies lolling at the park during lunch break, the antiseptic buildings and streets, they realize that America "has no soul" and suddenly snap after having faithfully followed the hip American Beat culture. They decide to go shoplifting across the remaining states. While driving they lean out the window and go:

'We're not good people!' I shouted.
'We're bad people!'
'We steal!'
'We tell lies!'
'We leave without paying!'
'We don't love America!'

. . . Jack leaned out the passenger window and shouted: 'I am a communist! I love Stalin! I am Karl Marx's biggest fan! I am Lenin's fire engine! I am Che Guevara's motorbike! I am Fidel Castro's beard!'

And I leant out of my window and shouted: 'I'm a fucking whore! I'm just a fucking English whore!'

And a few lines of obscenities and lewd acts follow. Soon after these two English brunettes even dye their hair peroxide blonde. It's a fast read, is gently humorous and nostalgic; a joyride of a book. And Toby Litt writes so well from the female POV it's flabbergasting.

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Best described as a Murakami detox support group, we're all fans of the quirkily brilliant Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, and writing about such things as films we've seen recently and books we're reading (not to mention meandering musings on the man's work, of course) helps us to pass time while waiting for the next book from Haruki-baby.

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