Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Guardian Books of the Year

One of my literary crushes selects a book written by one of my literary crushes as one of his favorite books of last year. Roddy Doyle picks Willy Vlautin's Lean on Pete. It's brilliant!!!

Roddy Doyle

Amy Bloom's collection Where the God of Love Hangs Out (Granta) is brilliant. The stories are shocking and lovely. Willy Vlautin's Lean on Pete (Faber) is only brilliant; I hated finishing it. Joseph O'Connor's Ghost Light (Harvill Secker) is absolutely brilliant – a beautifully written love story and, somehow, a chunk of Irish social and political history. There's a section in the middle of Emma Donoghue's Room (Picador) that reminded me of reading Catch 22 when I was 15 – the same excitement, the same "I've never read anything like this before". The whole book is absolutely f**kin' brilliant.

I wrote a review of Lean on Pete on my secret website. I'll see if I can attach it here.

Damn you, Willy, for making a grown woman cry. I mean, really, I'm used to your gritty down-on-your luck stories and songs but you've never made me cry. There I was, reading this book as I watched pelicans dive for fish and I've got tears running down my cheeks. I hoped no one would see me. Especially a Mexican or a Seri Indian because I'd have a hard time explaining those tears in Mexican.
I hated myself for rushing through this book. It was like sitting down and eating a whole box of Cheez-its when it's your last box or really wishing you would've made that bottle of Tangueray last a little longer. I didn't want the book to end but I was anxious to see how it ended. Please have a happy ending, I begged as I raced through the pages.
I was in Portland last year and I was planning on seeing you at Music Millenium because your band Richmond Fontaine had just released a new album. I had already seen Pete Dexter at Wordstock and so I couldn't believe my luck that within a matter of days I would meet two of my favorite writers. But you got sick and had to cancel the Music M show.
A friend of mine knows you, knows your girlfriend so maybe I'll get to meet you one of these days. In the meantime, I'll need some time to recuperate from Lean on Pete. Too bad I drank all my gin.


  1. Thank u for the book recommendations. Speaking of books, memoirs to be exact, I want to read urs! The little snippet u posted here is such a tease n left me wanting more! Now. Or very soon. Please.

  2. much time do you have on your hands ms junemoon? if this agent turns me down, i'll be in the market for a reader who can give me feedback. okay, i'm going to your blog now.