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The Writer's Life 5/23

Since I really enjoyed the film adaption of Chuck Palahniuk's first novel, The Fight Club (1999), I looked forward to reading his second, Survivor. I was disappointed. His work is described as minimalist, transgressive(?), satirical humor. I did not relate to the characters, who are on the fringes of society. Their indifference to life made me largely indifferent to them. Fortunately, it was an easy read, chock full of short and run on sentences. The pages are in reverse order, a countdown. Although it worked in this regard, it also had me thinking: Oh, good, only 100 to go. The book would appeal most to those who enjoy an absurdist viewpoint. I prefer narratives that portray the human condition as most people experience it. I don't know how many sales the author enjoys. I do do know he was regarded highly enough to be profiled in and featured on the cover Poets & Writers magazine. I should be so lucky - or talented. On a scale of five, two.

Eugene Polley may be an unfamiliar name, but he has impacted millions of lives. He is the inventor of one of the most useful devices ever made - the remote control. He has passed away at the age of 96. Advertisers may hate him, but viewers like me love his work. Whenever there is a commercial break, I head for other channels. Thank you for bettering our lives, sir.

The floating book shop had a two-hour visit from Ol' Smokey today. OS has a history of alcohol and drug abuse. Fortunately, he came into some money when his sister passed away. Still, his income is very limited and he lives in subsidized housing. His conversation is at once amusing and frustrating, as he bounces from subject to subject and often makes no sense. He scrounges half-smoked cigarettes from the sidewalk. He didn't have to do that today, as he'd bought a bag of loose, "organic" tobacco. Why he would be concerned about pesticides after all he has ingested in his life is anyone's guess. The bag, which was substantial, and rolling paper cost him $27. He rolled three as he sat on the ledge that surrounds the garden of the apartment building where I set up. He smoked two and gave one to a passerby who hit him up. He recently mistook squirrels he spotted from the window of his apartment for kangaroos. He had been drinking anisette straight up. He was kicked out of a hookah shop when he asked the proprietor if he could bring his own pipe rather than suck on one used by several men. He was also chased out of a local pizzeria. Although he is not homeless, he looks the part, his clothes usually soiled. He also lets the F-bomb drop frequently. I wonder if his presence scared potential customers away. I had only one today, a nurse at Coney Island Hospital, who bought a Mary Higgins Clark thriller. Thanks, ma'am. I didn't have the nerve to ask Ol' Smokey to leave. After all, he is just as entitled to take up space on the sidewalk as I am.

Visit Vic's sites:

Vic’s Third Novel (Print or Kindle): http://tinyurl.com/7e9jty3
Vic’s Website: http://members.tripod.com/vic_fortezza/Literature/
Vic’s Short Story Collection (Print or Kindle): http://www.tiny.cc/Oycgb
Vic’s 2nd Novel: http://tinyurl.com/6b86st6
Vic’s 1st Novel: http://tiny.cc/94t5h
Vic’s Screenplay on Kindle: http://tinyurl.com/cyckn3f

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Monday, 15 April 2024