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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, December 30, 2007

The Book of Other People

Book #54 on my reading list this year was The Book of Other People.

A benefit for 826 NYC, The BoOP is a collection of 23 stories edited by Zadie Smith along with excellent cover art by Charles Burns. A Lollapalooza of literature BoOP features a bunch o' my fave writers including Daniel Clowes, Dave Eggers, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nick Hornby, Miranda July, Jonathan Lethem, Chris Ware and George Saunders.

Much like an All-Star game the joy here is mostly in seeing all of these authors collected together, rather than in the performance itself. Several of the pieces have previously been published in The New Yorker, such as George Saunders' enjoyable "Puppy" and Miranda July's stellar "Roy Spivey". Of the ones that were new to me I most enjoyed Aleksandar Hemon's "The Liar", Chris Ware's "Jordan Wellington Lint to the Age 13", Vendela Vela's "Soleil" and Jonathan Lethem's "Perkus Tooth".