Sunday, December 26, 2010

Finished: "Wall of America" by Thomas M. Disch

Finished: Wall of America by Thomas M. Disch, 2008, 9781892391827.

When Disch died in 2008 Crider posted the news online. I was surprised and disappointed to hear Disch had died. I previously read two or three of Disch's horror novels and enjoyed them. After reading this short story collection my disappointment with Disch's death is even greater. Disch did good work and I wish I could have yelled at him, "Don't do that!"

A bib of his books is in the front of this and lists his first novel as 1965. I'm not sure when I read Priest (1994) and M.D. (1992). There is a break in his output of novels from '99 to 2008 which is the time I started to follow his work. After reading the novels I sought his work but, unfortunately, his stuff was not always available through the libraries I was at. That and Disch focused on poetry on one point. I don't dig poetry.

Wall has 19 stories with many having a dystopian bent. Original publishing dates range from 1981 to 2008. I like many and some I did care about although I did not dislike them.

Owl and the Pussycat. Story told from the perspective of two stuffed animals. I figured the story was fantasy until, about halfway through, it is revealed that although the narrator speaks through the two animals they are both the voice of an autistic - and murderous - child.

In Praise of Older Women was a modern, black-humor take on the Oedipus story.

Torah! Torah! Torah!: Three bible tales for the third millennium had Disch's retelling on three bible stories including Moses, Adam's naming of animals, and Sarah saying Abraham is nuts when the police investigate his almost killing of their eldest kid.

The Man who read a book reminds me of Lee Goldberg. Written in 1994 and set in 2010 an ex-con is scammed into being a professional reader and enters a bizarre world of publishing of the kind Goldberg eviscerates in his blog.

1. Minneapolis/St. Paul
2. Art
3. Opera
4. Disease
5. Future disaster and the collapse or near collapse of civilization.
6. I just read an obituary that mentions Disch's use of satire. Yeah.

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