Denis Johnson, Malcolm Lowry, Ben Marcus (Books Acquired, 4.18.2012)


I went to the bookstore to pick up a graduation present and then spent too much time wandering the stacks. While looking for Mat Johnson’s Pym, I found a first printing paperback of Denis Johnson’s The Stars at Noon and had to have it—haven’t read it yet, and it makes a nice sister for my copy of Angels—but honestly, I’m just in love with these 1980s Vintage Contemporary editions with awful, awful covers.


Malcolm Lowry’s last novel, the posthumously published October Ferry to Gabriola. Kind of a hideous cover.


 I was looking for something by David Markson (no dice) when I came across The Age of Wire and String by Ben Marcus; I’ve been meaning to check out Marcus’s stuff, and a few minutes with the volume sold me—short vignettes, sort of like Lydia Davis or DFW or Dennis Cooper or William Burroughs (but probably not; I’m just using these as a short hand reference).

4 thoughts on “Denis Johnson, Malcolm Lowry, Ben Marcus (Books Acquired, 4.18.2012)”

  1. “Wondering the stacks” is probably my favorite typo ever.

    Are you still planning on doing a piece on those covers? They really are shockingly, consistently, foul. I can’t bring myself to buy any of them, except for some unknown reason, the Carver ones.


    1. Well, I emended the typo now. For the record, I apparently make no phonetic distinction between wander/wonder; it drives my wife up the wall and she mocks me for it. I think as a child the verbs seemed so akin to me as to have all distinction elided.

      Yes! I will do the piece soon. I actually tried to get some info on the design team, but no luck so far.


      1. Well, tell your wife that a commenter at your Very Important Blog said that I agree that there is no need to differentiate between wander and wonder, because if you are wondering, you should probably be wandering, and if you are wandering, you should probably be wondering.


  2. The Age of Wire and Sting (especially, though basically this is true of everything except the noticeably more main-stream The Flame Alphabet) is nothing like the writings of any of the authors you listed. I’m not mentioning this to be insulting; but, you will be in for an astonishment if that is what you are expecting. Brace yourself.


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