Radio Waves daily blog by Two Dollar Radio indie book publisher

Holiday Reading

Sophia by Michael Bible

I managed to read two books for pleasure over holiday vacation, the first being Elena Ferrante's much celebrated My Brilliant Friend. Which was good. It was very readable. It's a good pick for a long plane ride. Or for sitting on a back deck in the Hill Country of Texas on an unseasonably warm afternoon and not thinking too deeply on anything.

I will at some point read the rest of Ferrante's Neapolitan novels. It's been a thrill to see Europa Editions meet with such fantastic success. The copyright page said this novelthe first in the serieswas in its seventeenth printing, which is incredible. Europa has published many books I've loved, especially You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik and Minotaur by Benjamin Tammuz. In the end, though, Ferrante's novel had me thinking again about Mark de Silva's brilliant essay at 3:AM Magazine about leisure writing and art novels.

The second book I finished, and would enthusiastically suggest you check out, is Michael Bible's novella, Sophia. With mad prose and flippant humor, this book is chock-full of incredible nuggets:

Lord, you give us tornadoes and purple sunrises. We praise your beautifully illogical ways. You performed great miracles long ago and nothing since. Why such confusion? We love you, wonderful idiotic Lord.

Here's another meaty bit:

We're on the train to California for your first pro tournament, Eli. There are all kinds of folks here on the Sunset Limited. Black mothers out of New Orleans, Mexicans and Mennonites from Texas, air force recruits from Nebraska. These people play Go Fish as the nation goes by. Hipsters with tattoo sleeves eat peanut butter sandwiches. Out here, Eli, windmills in the desert do whatever windmills do. I'm filled to the brim today with Jesus and America and Vitamin C.
Should I get beer in the dining car, you ask.
Of course.
You drink sixteen and put them on my tab while I'm asleep. We play chess in the morning and go over your openings. You're in good shape to beat some ass, Eli. We are in America and you will be the greatest.

I do think it'd be fun if you could do literary remixes as easily as they can be done musically. It'd be wild to see what would happen if you crossed Bible's cross-eyed humor and invigorating prose with Ferrante's storytelling and drama.

Posted by Eric Obenauf on 05 January, 2016 elena ferrante, michael bible, my brilliant friend, reading, sophia | 0 comments
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Radio Waves daily blog by Two Dollar Radio indie book publisher

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