SLAMMIN' JACK SLOAN
Last night I finished my 43rd book of the year, by a writer responsible for one of my all-time favorite books. That's Nick Hornby and the book is High Fidelity, of course. The unfortunate thing is that I've liked each of his books a little less than the previous one, though I've still enjoyed them. He recently published his first novel for young adults, Slam.
It's the story of Sam Jones, a sixteen year-old skater (that's skateboarding) who lives in London and meets a gorgeous girl, Alicia Burns. They spend too much time together and then they drift apart. One problem. She's pregnant. So it's the story of what happens. Sounds fairly straight-forward and it's written in Hornby's usual style of the narrator questioning everything that happens in life. One difference here is that Sam talks to a poster of Tony Hawk and the poster answers back (well, mentions pertinent parts of his autobiography anyway). Oh, and the poster appears to send Sam into his own future a couple of times. That makes things interesting and means that I'll probably remember more about the book than say, Long Way Down or How To Be Good. So yeah, it's worth a read and I'll keep on reading Hornby.
I also started on a new trade paperback last night and finished it up just over an hour ago. It is the 12th collection of material from Bill Willingham's long-running Fables series, although this is from a spin-off of the main series. I'm talking about Jack of Fables Vol. 2: Jack of Hearts, which collects six issues (#6-11) of the current ongoing series. The opening story (which seems to have been split between issues #6 and #11) is about how Jack became Jack Frost and is a fun tale of lust and betrayal and Jack's own moral code (or lack of one) leading him astray yet again. The other story (which took up issues #7-10) is the titular "Jack of Hearts," which finds Jack waking up married in Vegas and involves Lady Luck, who has been dealing with all the casinos and cops in the area to suit her own needs. Jack's sidekick Gary (the Pathetic Fallacy) takes up with a mannequin and Jack finds himself really liking his wife, not only for the fact that she's gorgeous and rich. He takes some measure of revenge when she's killed by Belgians. Oh, and there's a lucky horseshoe as well. Anyway, Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges have fun with this comic and the conventions of storytelling, ably abetted by a variety of artists...not to mention the stunning cover work of James Jean. Good stuff.
I forgot to mention an album in my heavy rotation post last week - Sloan's Twice Removed. The songs have wormed there way into my head completely at this point, especially "Coax Me." Today I've gone back and listened to Never Hear the End of It (which I really should consider for my top ten of 2007) and One Chord To Another. And now I'm thinking I should use some of my eMusic downloads to grab another one. Hmm, might just do that.