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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

McSweeneys #5

Book #23 of my '06 list was McSweeney's Quarterly Concern #5.

I was pleased to find this one used for a mere $30 in the Harvard Bookstore while we were visiting Boston a couple of weeks ago. I'm actually not sure if $30 is a good deal or not, but considering I've never seen a used issue below #10, I was pretty excited to find it. I'm thinking about collecting them all as I now have #9-#19 in addition to this one. I guess its pretty esoteric to collect them given that The Better of McSweeney's, Vol. 1 - Issues 1-10 was released recently, but if there's one thing I need it's something else to collect.

My favorite stories were Rodney Rothman's "My Glorious Publishing Empire", Paul Collins' superb "The Strange and Epic and Tragic Trajectory of Solresol, The Universal Musical Language and of its Creator, Monsieur Sudre" (I guess Jill is right to be so effusive about his writing), Chad Willenborg's "Soot", Sarah Vowell's interview with Ted Koppel and Dave Eggers' letters to CEOs in the voice of Steven the dog. Overall I'd say the quality of the content was a bit lower than what you find in more recent editions, but there are a few superb pieces which still make it worth reading.

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