January 28, 2004


The Powell's synopsis for the Third Policeman starts like this:
"One of the most elegant and inventive contemporary writers, Harry Mathews has created an accomplished and diverse body of work"--true but irrelevant, as they say.
But I did pick up Mathews' Tlooth at Sam Weller's yesterday (along with Les Murray's Fredy Neptune, Derek Walcott's Omeros, and Junichiro Tanizaki Some Prefer Nettles--bets that I actually read all these books will not be accepted). The first short chapter--an attempt at an assassination with an exploding baseball--had me hooked. The whole book seems (so far) like a series of nutty episodes, full of crossword puzzle words ("urubu" for buzzard)--as if it were being generated by some hidden scheme, rather than the necessities of plot and character. Given Mathews' membership in the Oulipo, that's not unlikely.
All those things I said about the book were meant as compliments, by the way. I warned you I was pretentious.

Posted by Matt Weiner at January 28, 2004 01:41 PM