helpfulsnowman's picture
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helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman January 15, 2017 - 2:48pm

I know at least one person here who wants to talk about this book with me. 

For anyone who hasn't picked it up yet, it's super great. 

What do you think so far? Favorite bits? Big disagreements on stuff?

smithreynolds's picture
smithreynolds from Spokane, WA USA is reading The writing on the wall. January 20, 2017 - 3:26pm

Hi Snow. I have to go with generalities because I have been reading this book THRILL ME for a few days off and on in odd moments, which you know has its drawbacks.

What I can say with certainty that chapter three called "There Will Be Blood" Is brilliant. Until this chapter I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to hear Benjamin Percy's voice, because our generational cultural orientations are so diverse from one another that we don't have common vocabulary, mostly of influences.This chapter on violence is so deeply thought out and rooted in philosophy and classical thinking, or do I really mean critical thinking, that it was music to me ears, forgive the cliche. I have that common language with him, the language of thought and observation, combined, that lends substance to his work.

I am excited to read now the first two chapters again, with the new understanding of the voice out of which he is speaking, and maybe I will hear a different message, than the first read through, where the question of the dancing tissue did not make it into my understanding...zip...right over my head. I didn't get it at all. Wonder if I will now.....

ok...that is the two sided coin of my thoughts for the evening until I read some more.

I can say his story "Cold Boy" (I just read it in Gamut) is atmospherically stunning and... shocking is the only word I can say. Sometimes the shock was uncomfortable for me, paralyzing even, and it is hard for me to welcome that experience, so I have yet to decide if I quite trust him as a writer, apart from his genius and artistry. Trust is a different issue and takes more time to cultivate in an author that you choose to follow. Whether or not you can bear to experience what they are writing about and the way in which it is written. Can I bear the pain of it? Sometimes, a lot lately, I cannot. but I am trying to. To bear the pain of the young writer is essential to a free and enlightened society.... 

And to read an author's book on writing as you are reading something they have recently released or written is quite a jam session for one of my disposition....Rich one time experience of getting to know a good writer for the first time. Quite wonderul really. I highly recommend reading his writing book, while you are reading his writing for the first time. ok that's all I got. Talk more later. gsr.

P.S.  A few days later:  Have read "Cold Boy" a number of times...Such nice work. Such a good writer. Do I trust his voice absolutely. I'm a fan.

Max's picture
Max from Texas is reading goosebumps January 20, 2017 - 3:07pm

I have maybe 30 pages left in this book and I love it. The "Don't Look Back" chapter had me nodding my head the whole time. 

helpfulsnowman's picture
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helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman February 11, 2017 - 1:29pm

It's pretty great. I've been reading it on and off. I get worried about reading books ABOUT writing/reading, but this one seems pretty a-ok.

smithreynolds's picture
smithreynolds from Spokane, WA USA is reading The writing on the wall. February 11, 2017 - 7:58pm

I love reading books about writing. Sometimes, in fact a lot of times, the writer interests me more than their work. I used to worry about that. But. I've made my peace with it. Sometimes the writer talking about their work give me entre that I otherwise don't experience. I just love writers, i guess. The way they think, and how they approach the work.

Daltonwriting's picture
Daltonwriting from Charlotte, NC is reading As many short story collections as I can get my hands on February 12, 2017 - 6:08pm

I just bought this book and started reading it per Richard Thomas's recommendation. It is an incredible book so far. The best nonfiction book on writing I've read since 'On Writing' by Stepen King. I just finished the chapter "Set Pieces". I love the idea of making a buletin board of snippets from your own personal life to use for stories. I have been keeping a journal for dialogue but I love the idea of using those crucial moments and finding ways to incorporate them into your writing. Seems like great advice.

helpfulsnowman's picture
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helpfulsnowman from Colorado is reading But What If We're Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman February 15, 2017 - 4:21pm

The first essay: I really liked the idea that a lot of us are drawn to books/reading/writing by the types of books that we abandon later on for more "serious" fare. This rang very true for me. Although I wonder what your thoughts are on the idea presented there, the idea of story and highly-crafted sentences being at odds sometimes.