Monday, September 3, 2018

David Gordon

David Gordon's books include The Serialist, Mystery Girl, and White Tiger on Snow Mountain. His new novel is The Bouncer.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Gordon's reply:
During the school year, which is about to start, I rarely have time to read for fun. During the summer, when I am traveling and working on my own stuff, I tend to have a few books on the go at once: one by the bed, one in my bag for the subway or waiting rooms, one that I am saving for a long flight or a day at the beach. Also I tend to mix a heavier book, that I read slowly and ponder, or nap over, with a faster, funnier or more thrilling one. Here are the handful that I have around right now:

Simenon - a biography by Pierre Assouline. I am a long time fan of Simenon, who created one of the great detective series with his character Inspector Maigret, and also great psychological noir thrillers, which he cranked out by the dozen, often writing a whole novel in fifteen days. He was also a kind of maniac, compulsive about writing, sex, money, smoking, travel. So when I came across this biography in a used bookshop, I decided to check it out. A fascinating character. A monster in many ways. And a genius.

Full Moon - PG Wodehouse. I am pretty much always reading Wodehouse. It is impossible not to be happy reading him. In his field - the comic novel, specifically farce, there really is no one comparable. It is like watching the world’s greatest magician pull off another stunning trick, a champion gymnast turn in the air or ballet dancer leap - how can you do anything but watch in wonder?

The Illogic of Kassel - Enrique Vila-Matas - How does one describe Vila-Matas? Reading his books is like being on the phone late at night with your wise, clever, funny, incredibly well-read old friend while you suspect he might be losing his mind. In this one, he is asked to participate in Documenta 13, the avant garde art fair, and eagerly accepts, since he is fascinated with the idea of contemporary art, but is dismayed to learn that he will be sitting and writing in a Chinese restaurant on the outskirts of town as a performance piece, which slowly induces both ecstasy and panic. It is like a profound theoretical and philosophical inquiry directed by Hitchcock.

The Girls of Slender Means - Muriel Spark -She is one of the greatest. I’ve never not loved on of her books and this is true to form - brilliant, witty, wicked, and weirdly spiritual. Go read all her books if you haven’t already.
Visit David Gordon's blog.

--Marshal Zeringue