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Lester Bangs Memorial Reading Oct 21, 2014 Grossmont faculty and alumni writers, along with special guests, read their original works of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction in tribute to “America’s Greatest Rock Critic.” In Room 220 of Building 26. 54 other events on Tuesday, October 21
 
Fall Arts
Epic San Diego Museum of Art exhibition promises a textbook lesson in the evolution of modern works
Editorial
Kevin Faulconer’s likely to tack left on sustainability
Film
Adaptation of Patricia Highsmith novel tops our coverage of movies screening around town
News
With few specifics on who they were looking for, officers held the wrong man at gunpoint
Theater
Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s musical leads our rundown of local plays

 

 
 
Home » Articles »   By Jim Ruland
 
Monday, October 6,2014
The Floating Library

Donald Westlake’s legacy

A pro’s pro of hardboiled crime fiction

By Jim Ruland
One of my favorite characters in all of hardboiled crime is a thief named Alan Grofield, the protagonist of Lemons Never Lie.
Tuesday, September 23,2014
Fall Arts

Chuck Palahniuk on sex toys and conspiracy

Lionized author comes to San Diego for a pajama party and a raucous reading of his new novel

By Jim Ruland
It's been 18 years since Chuck Palahniuk published Fight Club and 15 years since David Fincher's film adaptation, establishing Palahniuk as that rarest of writers: a best-selling author with a cult following.
Monday, September 15,2014
The Floating Library

Two tales of lost innocence

Reviews of Wendy Ortiz’s ‘Excavation’ and Eirik Clark’s ‘Sweetness #9’

By Jim Ruland
How do you tell the story of an abusive relationship when you don't recognize its wrongness until many years have passed? That's the problem and central metaphor of Wendy Ortiz's memoir, Excavation. 
Monday, August 25,2014
The Floating Library

Two new novels with very different takes on procreation

Reviews of ‘The Shimmering Go-Between’ by Lee Klein and ‘Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend’ by Erika T. Wurth

By Jim Ruland
Klein's mastery over these two narratives makes The Shimmering Go-Between a shocking and delightful debut that will beguile you at every turn.
Monday, August 4,2014
The Floating Library

The enduring influence of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’

What inspired me as I wrote my first novel

By Jim Ruland
Last week, my first novel, Forest of Fortune, was published. No, I'm not going to review my own work, but I would like to discuss two of the amazing books that inspired me. 
Friday, July 11,2014
The Floating Library

David Goodis come out of the dark

Shadowy author of hardboiled crime gets his moment in the sun

By Jim Ruland
Goodis' stories were straightforward, and his characters tended to be working-class people on the fringes of respectability, but his prose was more lyrical and highly stylized.
Monday, June 23,2014
The Floating Library

‘Deep Ellum’ by Brandon Hobson: Only the lonely

A short novel about alienation in dysfunctional families

By Jim Ruland
Deep Ellum by Brandon Hobson is a haunting novel about a fractured family struggling to overcome a dysfunctional history.
Monday, June 2,2014
The Floating Library

‘Backswing’ by Aaron Burch is a reality check

New collection of short stories takes the pulse of middle-class America

By Jim Ruland
With Backswing, Aaron Burch reminds us that things can always get darker for those who flee from the real. 
Monday, May 12,2014
The Floating Library

‘Spent’ by Antonia Crane: not-so-happy endings

Memoirs of a California sex worker

By Jim Ruland
Antonia Crane opens her new sex-worker memoir, Spent, from Barnacle Books, with one of the least glamorous, non-erotic sex scenes I've read in recent memory. 
Monday, April 21,2014
The Floating Library

Echoes of True Detective in three recent novels

‘Not for Nothing’ by Stephen Graham Jones, ‘The Cutting Season’ by Attica Locke and ‘Rivers’ by Michael Farris Smith

By Jim Ruland
Lately, my plate of shrimp has been True Detective. It's been at least six weeks since the season finale and I can't stop thinking about the show. I see it everywhere—even in the books I read.
 
 
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