Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gregory Hill

Gregory Hill lives in Denver, where he works at the University of Denver library and plays in The Babysitters, a rock-and-roll power trio that includes his wife on drums.

His debut novel East of Denver was published earlier this month by Dutton.

Recently I asked Hill what he was reading.  His reply:
Lethal Injection by Jim Nesbit

One chapter in and I’m already reading this book while walking down the sidewalk. Murder, a death chamber, insanity, nicely composed sentences. For ridiculously brutal and occasionally subtle noir, it’s top of the pops. I picked up Lethal Injection under the false impression that it was written in the 50’s. After that first chapter, I was convinced that Jim Nisbet was the great lost author of the golden age of noir (and also possibly clairvoyant, judging by the predictions he made with respect to death penalty laws). I’ve since discovered that this book was first published in 1987. Now, I’m convinced that I need to spend more time looking for contemporary noir writers. And I should probably read chapter two at some point.

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr

I read this several months ago and I can’t stop forcing it on people. I’ve purchased four copies and given them all away. What I learned: Books are the world’s most efficient means of transferring information into a human brain. When we read books, we concentrate, we focus, we memorize, we retain. The internet is possibly the least efficient means of transferring information into a human brain. We skim, we chase links, we devour junk, and we turn our brains into globs of grey mud. The Shallows is a revelatory book and the people who most need to read it won’t because Carr takes time to make complex arguments, something that we are growing less and less capable of processing with our twitterfied heads.

Anything written by a friend

I’ve read several friend-novels in various states of completion and they always bring me great joy. It’s amazing that anyone could write a novel. So many freaking words! So many pages! And yet, there are millions of novels sitting in attics, hard-drives, and dumpsters which no one will ever see. The key, of course, is that this stuff is written by people I know. When I’m friends with the person who created the story, the story becomes much richer (or weirder or disturbing) than if it were something handed to me by a stranger on the street. Or maybe I just know a lot of great, under-recognized writers. I’ll give you one example: Dog Christ by Lucien Morgan.
Visit the East of Denver website.

--Marshal Zeringue