Giving Up on Shteyngart — Again

Self has reached p. 136 of Absurdistan. Every time she thinks of putting the book aside, she turns to Amazon and finds a really brilliant and eloquent review singing the book’s praises (Now, why can’t self have readers like that, who post brilliant reviews about her books on Instead, she has this stalker gal who gives her lousy reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble — thank God, stalker gal does not yet seem to have discovered Powell’s)

Well, now self is on p. 136 and she does not know where the hell she is. The only thing she knows for sure is that the novel is no longer in Russia. The hero has boarded a plane and is — somewhere. About the only thing that’s making her hesitate to return the book to the library are the absolutely horrific Amazon reviews of the next book on her list, Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children. Someone on Amazon thought of a clever title for his/her review: “The Emperor Has No Clothes!”

Self took a peek at the first few pages of the Messud book and determines it opens in Australia. And, to self’s knowledge she has never read a bad book that is set in Australia. She can’t explain why this is so, it just is.

Self figures there are roughly two kinds of writers in the world: the ones who get great reviews, no matter what they write; and the ones who get to be the Rodney Dangerfields of the literary world. The ones who get absolutely no respect, no matter how well they write. And the older self gets —

Self! Stoooop! Think Timothy Olyphant! Think Young Spock!

Happy thoughts, self! Only happy thoughts!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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