Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Howard Shrier

Howard Shrier was born and raised in Montreal and has worked in a wide variety of media, including magazine and radio journalism, theatre and television, sketch comedy and improv.

He is the author of Buffalo Jump and the forthcoming High Chicago, both featuring Toronto investigator Jonah Geller.

Last week I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
Right now I'm reading Infinite Jest, by the late David Foster Wallace. I'm about 200 pages in, which has taken weeks. It's incredibly dense reading that requires care and focus to appreciate. It's set in a tennis academy near Boston, as well as a rehab centre, though it's not yet clear who the voices in the centre are. He overwrites sometimes, explaining things in such detail and depth of language (keep a dictionary handy), showing off in ways that I think will deter many readers. But the writing is extraordinary.

At the other end of the scale, I just bought Elmore Leonard's newest, Road Dogs, which reunites characters from three earlier books. He's my all time hero and the antithesis of Wallace. Never wastes a word. As he puts it, "I leave out the parts that people don't read."

I'll probably take a break from Infinite Jest, plow through Leonard in a day or two, and get on with the next 900 pages.
Visit Howard Shrier's website.

--Marshal Zeringue