If you've ever lamented over the fact that you could never be as good a writer as the authors who are actually paid to write, listen to this one. I have never read cheesier prose before. I've read better from Remedial Composition students. The publisher for this monument to ineptitude should be ashamed of itself.
I've just finished "Specimen Days," and have to say it's a book I will definately read again someday. In this book, Cunningham takes the reader through three different and distinct periods in American "history" starting just at the dawn of the industrial revolution, making a stop in modern-day New York, and finally ending in a post-apocalyptic / dystopic version of our distant future.
What struck me most while listening to this book, is that the "flavor" of each story is distinct, even though many elements, including character's names, are shared between the stories, resonating Whitman's perception of the interconnectedness and cyclical nature of existence.
Thankfully, I went ahead and purchased this audiobook despite a critique I read of this book just before it was released. This particular critic labeled "Specimen Days" as a novel that "doesn't quite work." I have to disagree. "Specimen Days" works quite well, indeed.
There have been only a few books that I've re-read immediately after fininshing, but this is definately one worth reading twice, maybe even three times. While the stories are indeed shocking and entertaining in themselves, Haunted as a whole turns out to be an immensely acerbic observation of modern society, especially our inability to rise above the need to feel victimized, even if it means becoming victims of our own selves.
This was the first book I've ever "read" by this author, but I'm already a devoted fan.
Once again, Ira Glass has mangaged to bring us an insightful, intimate, and cleverly presented piece of American History. If you're at all interested in GLBT history in America, you have to listen to this one.
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