Monday, April 14, 2003

History shows again and again how Nature points up the folly of Men...

Picked a new book off of the shelves of my local library - THE BUZZING, by Jim Knipfel (Vintage Books) - had never heard of the man before, although the jacket copy pegs him as a columnist for a NYC paper, and the cover features a blurb by Thomas Pynchon.

The Pynchon blurb was not a draw (since I spent a good week during my college days repeatedly throwing my copy of GRAVITY'S RAINBOW across the room in fits of frustration), but even so, I cracked it open, and was suitibly rewarded with a decent yarn about a NY newspaperman, not quite burnt out, but getting pretty near, covering "kook" stories, who stumbles into something even too wierd for him. I won't spoil it for anyone here, but suffice it to say that the saying, "Life is not a movie" is missing an important qualifier -- "Life is not an American movie".

Knipfel has a pretty extensive knowledge of pop culture - if you're a fan, you get shivers of delight finding references to "Kolchak: The Night Stalker", Japanese 'B' films like THE GREEN SLIME, and lots of others. Being a journalist himself, he also manages to immerse one thoroughly in the workings of the trade. Beyond all of that, the serious point of the book (and yes, there is one, sorta) is about the paranoia that abounds in American culture.

This Knipfel is quite a character - check out his website about his other writings and to find out about his previous non-fiction books.
Besides, anyone who knows the theme from THE GREEN SLIME is OK by me.

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