Richard Stark - The Jugger, The Mourner
Parker novels, which I read in a couple hours, The Jugger is better and nastier, the basic plot is that Parker gets a letter from an old buddy asking for help, and decides he needs to go check this out to see if he needs to murder his buddy to keep himself safe.
33 1/3 - Village Green Preservation Society, Low (Bowie), and Master of Reality
Low and VGPS were both solid, the VGPS one made some interesting points about the connections to Orwell, particularly Coming Up For Air, which I haven't read. The author has also written a book about mini golf called Tilting at Windmills.
Master of Reality is written by John Darnielle as a novel, from the POV of a 15-year-old in the 80s who gets thrown in a psychiatric facility and has his Walkman confiscated, and writes journal entries trying to convince his counselor to let him listen to the album. I liked it, obviously there's not a lot of technical detail but it was very affecting, and made me want to get high and listen to Black Sabbath.
Peter Doggett - The Man Who Sold the World
goes through Bowie's 70s song-by-song, interesting learning about his various abandoned side projects and proteges that never panned out but honestly I got pretty bored by the musical discussion.
Simon Reynolds - Totally Wired
Collected interviews with various post-punk figures, highlights include the founders of Devo and the Raincoats. I wanted to punch David Thomas through my tablet screen.
JG Ballard - Empire of the Sun
Very good! Weird in a low-key way, the narrator coming across as nearly amoral, half-enjoying the adventure of ongoing hunger, disease, and death. Probably nothing to say about this that people haven't said before.
Patrick Modiano - Young Once
A long flashback to the early days of a now-married couple among seedy types in Paris. It was...fine, I think I'm missing the greatness of Modiano.
Denis Johnson - Tree of Smoke
Long, drifting Vietnam novel. Apparently one of the young soldiers meets a bad end in a previous novel of his, and the sections where he and his brother are back in Phoenix, lost and traumatized, are harrowing. It's exhausting to read and I'm not sure if all the plotlines entirely work, particularly the quasi-Kurtz figure who may or may not have actually accomplished anything. But he has the same care for the humanity of his characters as in Jesus' Son and it's all beautifully written.
Barbara Comyns - Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead
Very entertaining novel of a little English village struck first by a flood and then by a plague of insanity and death. Deeply weird and funny, I recommend it!
Rivka Galchen - Little Labors
Short pieces relating to the author's baby, the history of babies in art, literature, the way people interact (or don't) with them. Smart and witty, reminded me a bit of Helen DeWitt. I recommend it!
I watched Ocean's 11 on the plane, it was fine.