November 20, 2013

Late to the Party

I'm always late to the party when it comes to technology. I was probably one of the last people to buy an iPod. One of the last people to ditch the flip phone. One of the last people to sign up for Facebook. (I can proudly say I was early to the Twitter experience.) And now I'm one of the last people to own a Kindle.

I was a luddite when it came to devices to read books. I didn't want anything to do with them. Give me the physical book and leave me the hell alone. My reasoning to this thought process is that I've never liked screens to stare at while reading a book or long magazine piece. Screen's on a Kindle or iPad have always hurt my eyes or so I thought and that's why I never wanted a electronic device to read stuff.

I have to say after receiving my Kindle (it was a prize from work) and after reading a couple of books on it (I'll get there) I love this device. Yes Kris, I love this device. I love that I can read big books on it (like The Recognitions), I love that I can buy a book right in my home to read instead of waiting until a bookstore is open.

One of my complaints though and Amazon is the place to blame for this is that Kindle books are expensive compared to used books on Amazon. You can buy quite a few books on Amazon that are used dirt cheap along with $3.99 shipping. Most Kindle books cost you around $8.99 to $11.99. I know I shouldn't be complaining about prices but it's something to think about.

I'll still buy regular books going forward, but I'm definitely going to buy more and more Kindle books.


Speaking of late to the party, I was late to the Melville House party. The Melville House has made their name in recent years by publishing a plethora of novella's and translations. I just only discovered their publishing house a few weeks ago after reading an article and I feel like a dope about it because they publish what looks like a lot of quality fiction. 

One of those quality books I bought was 'The Case of the Generals Thumb' by Ukraine author Andrey Kurkov. 

Kurkov has written an intriguing detective novel in this book that spans all of Europe. The plot is as the title suggests. It revolves around a murdered general and his missing thumb. A KGB agent and Ukraine detective go on their separate journeys to find who the killer is and why he made off with the generals thumb. 

Along the way a whole cast of eccentric characters make appearances in this book until we reach the conclusion that I didn't see coming. Now it wasn't a double-cross or a shocking conclusion but the book definitely concludes the way I didn't expect it. 

I definitely recommend this book and the Melville House collection for the next book you pick up. My next books is definitely this one written by Hans Fallada. 


The first book I actually read on the Kindle was 'The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling' by Grantland contributor David Shoemaker aka "The Masked Man". 

I have to admit I found this book disappointing. This was basically all of Shoemaker's "Dead Wrestler of the Week" posts from Deadspin put together with a few added wrestlers. While I enjoyed the book's look at the early history of wrestling the book disappoints in the backend. There was no detailed history on the rise of the WWF or even a look at the WCW or other territorial wrestling promotions. 

The author takes a look at wrestlers who have died (like I said most of them you can read in the Deadspin archives) and takes a look at the history of wrestling revolving around a character. For example Shoemaker talks about Chief Jay Strongbow and the role how Native-American caricatures play in the wrestling world. Now this concept of looking at wrestling history through dead wrestlers are fine, but Shoemaker just doesn't add enough detail for my tastes. It's basically the Reader Digest condensed version of history and that leaves me wanting more. 

One of the sections that was really lacking was the Eddie Guerrero/Chris Benoit section specifically the Benoit parts. There was just no detail, no reason why I should care, and no grander point about Benoit's history and the deplorable act he committed and it's affect on pro wrestling. 

I do not recommend this book even if you're a big wrestling fan. 

1 comment:

  1. Disappointing to hear about The Masked Man's book. I've always enjoyed wrestling books (they're both entertaining and honest) and this sounds like it's neither.