Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Vollmann Reviews

Despite his aversion to unecessary public exposure, Vollmann knows when to make an appearance. With his forthcoming book, Poor People, due out next month, he reviews Anthony Swofford's first novel, Exit A. Swofford is known, firstly, for his non-fiction, Jarhead. It is this latter book that Vollmann recalls to disparage the former. By doing so, I think he did Swofford justice. Others may disagree, but you can, of course, find out for yourself.
It is only my admiration for “Jarhead” that impels me to express my disappointment in “Exit A” so bluntly. I hope and believe that Swofford, who has many books ahead of him if he chooses to write them, can achieve true greatness on a future occasion. "Military Brats in Love" NY TIMES


At 1:24 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Vollman's the most courageous man in the universe. Bear with me a moment:

Imagine you're a figure skater, maybe not Yamaguchi-good, but pretty good--you grew up in an ice-fishing shack in Minnesota, you were a stuntkid for Jimmy Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life. You show up at your tri-county championships, start warming up, take off your sweats, and who do you see you out of the corner of your eye? A certain T. Harding, who seems to be slipping on some brass knuckles.

Now, sure, you'd be brave if you went ahead with your triptophane double-axle pirouette. But not nearly as brave as Vollman, writing that fair/painful review of Anthony Swofford's novel.

Didn't he see that freaky picture of Swofford on the book jacket? Did he forget the guy was a sniper? Yikes!


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