Monday, February 21, 2005

Tetherballs of Bougainville

The New York Times describes 'The Tetherballs Of Bougainville' as: lava seems lukewarm compared to Leyner's red-hot riffing on the ephemera of popular culture."

now on a normal day i would have ignored a review but the back cover enticed me with:

'Say you're thirteen years old and your father is about to be executed by lethal injection for a murder committed with a shoplifted hand-blender when you learn that you have only one day in which to submit your entry for the prestigious Vincent and Lenore DiGiacomo/Oshimitsu Polymers America Award, which is given every year for the best screenplay written by a student of Maplewood Junior High School. The problem is, you haven't come up with the title. What do you do?

If you're a kamikaze humorist Mark Leyner, you turn your predicament into a demented product that might be called a novel, if that definition can be stretched to include a hybrid of memoir, screenplay, and movie review (with a little classy poem thrown in). Navigating the remotst tributaries of popular culture, airing our most appaling and outlandish appetities, The Tetherballs of Bougainville is all the funnier because it tells the truth about who we are, right now.'

i dont care what the truth is as long as i did not have to defend not reading yet another indian author writing in pretentious english (about eminently unsuitable boys or achaar scented incest in the backwaters), or a non resident indian penning more ghastly short stories about the indian experience and then dissing india because they were so 'nu yawk'...

this book made me forget every cliche and recreated the magic that fiction could really be.

i even stole one book happily from the extensive library aboard Carnival Cruise Lines (after they conveniently lost my laptop), and thank god i did as the book is not available on amazon or powells any more.

other books by Mark Leyner are:

Et Tu, Babe
I smell Esther Williams
Tooth Imprints on a Corn Dog
My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist

like a rabidly hungry canine, i devoured all his books. after tom sharpe he is the only one that managed to convert me to putty.

altho i do freely admit to reading and being completely absorbed by Across the Nightingale Floor and all its sequels... some morantic part of me that refuses to be squished i think...and also to having read all the No.1 ladies detective agency series (positively hated the short stories by the doctor though)...

but then i absolutely watch all big bee and srk films, and write love a few brain cells are clearly not breathing.

however...partially distrcated by 'trishul' on sony, i have realised that i do not remember why i wanted to write about Mark Leyner in the first place. maybe i need to sleep. but the sins one is about to commit will keep me awake i am sure...

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