ficciones by borges
sort of baffled meself a bit with this, started out googling & reading around all the stories but that was a bit tiring, knocked that on the head and just bundled my way through it. probably too many ideas for me. like a stock cube, you wouldn’t just eat a stock cube on it’s own. enjoyed tho.
breakfast of champions by vonnegut
weird that two books in a row were full of synopses of imaginary books & that, want to read every one of those kilgore trout stories, some genius when you can throw away ideas that good on a joke. he’s always really funny & kind but thought this was the saddest & least hopeful thing of his i’ve read, the end is unpleasant reading. bit of a mess structurally too, felt like he was proper casting about personally and the uncertainty comes through in the writing still good tho, drawings are beautiful. what’s the apple about?
digging up mother by doug stanhope
brother got it me for my birthday, wouldn’t have read it off my own back but felt kinda obligated. man’s a right bellend, his relationship with his mam made me sad though, the right to die stuff hit me pretty hard, it’s a weird thing to read about someone you find unlikable go through awful situations.
russia - class & power 1917-2000
really readable marxist analysis of the ussr (NEVER SAYS DIALECTIC, phew), still would like to read a straight history if anyone can recommend. the stuff about the entrenchment of bureaucratic power & the ease of transition from brezhnev to putin was fascinating, didn;t know much about that time. hard to see how people (non-leftists & tankies both) can reconcile that with the idea that it was a genuinely socialist state.
some really lovely bits of colour in there - brezhnev’s generation of leaders was so long in power they had to build a secret elevator to the top of lenin’s tomb so they could wave to the crowds, the joke around that time was “in feb 1984, at the age of 71, after a long illness, and without regaining consciousness, konstantin cherenko became leader of the soviet union”. another good one - “capitalism is the exploitation of man by man, under our system it’s the other way around”. that’s like a perfect joke.
poem about stalin that got the poet killed -
he forges decrees in line like horseshoes
for the groin, for the forehead, temple, eye
not all fun
kill all normies by angela nagle
the potted history bit at the beginning is all over the place, needs major editing. there’s a bunch of petty twitter beef stuff in there and she seems super into her own position as old-school-leftist-not-interested-in-idpol which is always for me, bit TERFY too? but mostly once she gets deeper into the alt right side of things (majority of the book) it’s genuinely fascinating look at the ideological underpinnings of that and to what degree the people involved in it actually adhere to them or are useful idiots.
the tumblr side of it seems way overblown, she says tumblr/left wing campus culture is the second most dangerous movement in politics after fascism… i mean, nah m8. i’m sure that overly pc callout culture has tipped a few edgelords over to the darkside & isn’t actively helpful to playing the culture war game but it’s strange to take such a strong stance against it & blame so much of the rise of fascism on it when it’s miles from the dominant culture.
post too long.