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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

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I Love You More Than You Know

Book #6 on my list this year was Jonathan Ames' I Love You More Than You Know, a collection of essays published between 1998 and 2005.

This is a anthology that's very hit-or-miss. There are a few great pieces like the superb "Everybody Dies in Memphis" (previously published in The Insomniac Reader) and "I Called Myself El Cid", but there are also some self-absorbed clunkers like "'Tis the Season for Halitosis" and "My Wiener is Damaged". Taken on the whole it's a decent read although I found it a bit disappointing in comparison to the other Ames works I've read.

I do have to give Ames kudos though for this hilarious insight addressing the current plethora of Jonathan writers, a coincendence that I'm sure has thrown more people than just me for a loop:

"So I've destroyed my name with the things I've written, and what's made it worse is that there are so many young writers named Jonathan, with whom by comparison I suffer terribly, furthering the damage I've already done to myself. There's Franzen, Lethem, Dee, a Brit named Coe, and this new young writer Safran Foer...I have to say with all these Jonathans running around, it's like we're the Brothers Karamazov, and I see myself as the sickly, subnormal brother who is always wandering off into the black Russian forest and is found screwing sap holes in trees." -- Jonathan Ames "Self-Sentenced My Life as a Writer the Last Few Years"