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What I’ve read recently: Flash summaries

Anna Karenina: Leo Tolstoy  Beautiful, privileged, married woman with a young son falls for the dashing Count Vronsky. She is impregnated by Vronsky, abandons her husband and son for true love only to become miserable and despondent. And crazy, but one suspects she had that quality all along. Shunned by polite society and insanely jealous without reason, she throws herself under a train. Originally serialized and, no doubt, paid by the word Tolstoy’s Karenina spans about a 1,000 pages and yet it’s worth your patience.

A moving tale. Especially the train.

The Sun Also Rises: Ernest Hemingway  Beautiful and spirited Lady Brett Ashley lives among  a group of American expatriates in post WW1 Paris. She sleeps with pretty much everybody, including a bull fighter, except Jake, the man she truly loves. The sun might rise but Jake doesn’t due to an inconvenient war wound in his nether regions. Sex. Pernod. Fishing. Bullfighting. In the end it appears Jake gets Brett except in the biblical sense. Hemingway’s exaggerated but fragile manliness in full display.

Penetrating except where it obviously isn’t.

Tropic of Cancer: Henry Miller  A fictionalized, stylized autobiography, meaning, I think, that it is all true if not, strictly speaking, factually precise. Written during Henry’s years in Depression era Paris where he was chronically broke, usually hungry, sometimes homeless and always horny.  Much drinking, writing, fucking (hey! It’s Henry Miller) and disappointment with his homeland. Henry has an inordinate fondness for prostitutes and reprobates of all variety.

Adventures abroad with broads.


Favorite Places

Without Betty as a hangout I’ve had to cultivate other venues or ,at least, use them more extensively:

Iris Book Cafe

I’ve always been more comfortable with books than people. Each book has its own personality and voice  but without the annoying habits of the flesh and blood.

Iris is home to many books and food and coffee. She has a most comfortable outdoor patio where I can read, write, think or do nothing at all under a shady, leafy canopy. If there was a liquor license I would not be inclined to leave. Ever.

Market Wines and Findlay Market

You’ll find me here every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Fine wine and craft beers and good company (I’m not an absolute hermit). Mike Maxwell and staff are genuinely nice people. When Market Wines gets too busy, too hectic, I cross over to the Biergarten where it will also be too busy and too hectic but outside with beer and easy access to a bite to eat. Other Findlay haunts include the little DOJO stand right inside the door from the Biergarten with Espresso and a homemade caramel from the lovely Jennifer. I could go on about Findlay, in general and specifically. Another place where I wouldn’t mind living.

Dunlap Cafe

The very definition of a dive bar. Cheap beer and edible food. You can mingle with the locals, Ralph and Ron et al. Great juke box on a par with City View and the Comet. I take a seat at the end of the bar and watch the prostitutes ply their trade, well, not actually the act itself, mind you, but the prelude to such deeds. It fuels my imagination, I drink my fill and pretend I’m Henry Miller or Charles Bukowski.


A lot going on these days so my creativity has taken a back seat to more practical matters. I woke up this morning to a nursery rhyme oft recited by my mother at bedtime.

To bed, to bed

Said Sleepy Head

Wait a while, said Slow

Hang up the pot, said Greasy Gut

Let’s eat before we go

You’re allowed to pity me for certain aspects of my childhood.


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