Books I Read This Month - June 2012

The Great Night by Chris Adrian

I posted an individual review on this book here.

The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey

Claiming to be the book that sparked the environmental movement in the 1970s, this novel traces the journey of four misfits across the barren south-western United States as they attempt to demolish dams and bridges that are being constructed and are interfering with the nature in the area. The characters, a doctor, an ex-army man, a young woman, and a hobo Mormon, are very well developed, so much so that in the long sections where there are no dialogue tags it is easy to discern who is speaking. An anarchic novel with a solid message and many notable quirks, The Monkey Wrench Gang is an enjoyable and fun read.

Cubop City Blues by Pablo Medina

Hoping to ease the pain of his dying parents, a blind young man tells stories to them at their bedside. Buzzing with the jazz culture of New York City, these stories are all interconnected by The Storyteller’s, as he calls himself, passion for words and his deep understanding of human nature. This novel reveals that the world we inhabit is only as big as our imaginations will let it.

The Sea Is My Brother by Jack Kerouac

The lost manuscript of the first novel Jack Kerouac ever wrote, The Sea Is My Brother is an intriguing read with classic Kerouac style and themes, and though it is reminiscent of his later works, it is not as well-written. It should be remembered that he wrote this when he was only twenty-one years old, and considering the fame and respect he would later earn, I can see how this book could have been a launching pad for his career if it had been published when it was written. The story follows a young man named Wes who is about to embark on a journey on a naval ship, but before he goes, he goes on a drunken escapade, similar to those of Kerouac’s other novels. Unlike his other works, this book has a more conventional writing style, and I find it fascinating to read something he wrote so early in his career and to see how his talent developed over time. Even though it is not as well-written as his more well-known works, I would still recommend to Kerouac fans that they read this book. 

Peace, Aimee