131 The Sellout

selloutby Paul Beatty, 2015

Ah, the library. What’s so great about the library nowadays is that you can put any ebook on hold and eventually it’ll come to you without you having to lift a finger. What’s not so great about the library is that, for some reason, all of your ebooks tend to come in at once and you find yourself speed reading them before they’re yanked from your account. Such was the case with The Sellout which, despite having a long wait time, became available to me shortly after I received The Nix, meaning that after reading that 600+ page tome, I had little time to devote to this Booker Prize winner and even less time to spend appreciating it. For I think there is probably some level of genius in this novel, however unable I was to connect with it.

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4 Candide, or, Optimism

candideI happened upon this lovely version of Candide (Voltaire, 1759) at Bookworks, one of my favorite used book haunts in the city, and I couldn’t help but buy it. Who wouldn’t love to have the covers of all of their books adorned with artwork by Chris Ware? The comic on the front is an apt retelling of Candide’s beginning pages which, in short, is that Candide is sheltered from the world by living in a baron’s castle, is tutored by Pangloss who believes everything has a reason and everything that happens is for the best, falls for the baron’s sister Cunégonde, and is subsequently kicked out of the castle.

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