Friday, February 22, 2008

Right Livelihoods: Three Novellas by Rick Moody

This book was a delight after reading the Palahniuk's Rant. Where Master P stretches two or more presposterous ideas across each other until they become a taut web over which his Huck Finn characters are doomed to scramble, Moody starts with the character and allows the complexities of the worlds they inhabit to be illuminated over time, as if they are slowly illuminating a cave by placing candles on the outcroppings.

In each of the novellas, the charater is embroiled in an environmental mystery where things, and particularly people are not what they seem. "The Omega Force" involves the paranoia of an incresingly delusional citezen of a posh offshore retirement community, "K&K" is the dull flame of attaraction and discover that occupies a lost soul in the corporate setting, and the real masterpiece here, "The Albertine Notes" is a shimmering look at drug addiction, 9/11, and that our seeking for understanding is the main component of our hubris.

These are all Garden of Eden tales, where the protagonist plucks fruit from the tree of knowledge and is slowly eroded by fruit's flavor. I had Moody pegged as the knowing poet of modern yuppie detatchment, but with "The Albertine Notes" he shows an enviable dexterity with science fiction, just explaining enough to get us all in trouble, which is basically what happens to us in life all the time. Link

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