Monthly Archives: May 2004

Institute of Official Cheer

Once again spent far too much time on James Lilek’s site. It’s funny. I read Falling Up the Stairs in the late 80s, I think. Loved it. Now I wish I’d hunted down a copy, particularly since it seems to be impossible to find for a reasonable price. Haven’t heard of him since. Then a couple of months ago someone at work sent me a link to his site.

Hours and hours of fun and entertainment. Who knew that bizarre gravity defying pin-up art, not-so-intelligent publicity schemes, and on another part of his site,
pictures of Fargo, North Dakota could be so enthralling?


I finished Kent Haruf’s Plainsong for my bookclub last night. It’s about a handful of characters in a small Colorado town. All of them are somewhat outside of society. Victoria’s a pregnant teenager. There are two sets of brothers: two older men whose two big topics of conversation is the price of pork bellies and what to do about the ornery red cow; and two little boys, who are trying to get by without their mother. Then there’s their father, who is dealing with his wife’s depression. This review goes into more detail.

Haruf for some baffling reason decided to forego using punctuation marks to denote dialogue. Not sure why. It smacks of literary affectation, but I’ll try and give him the benefit of the doubt. Despite the absence of quotation marks, I found the book pretty engrossing. Here’s a nice little interview with the author.