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December 26, 2019

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The Power and the Glory is a slog-and-a-half; seriously, you have to read Ministry of Fear to cleanse the palate. Or see Lang's movie. I hate that book, PG in name only. On the other hand, The Heart of the Matter is no doubt a great book; over the years I've started it many times and when I finish it I plan to celebrate it. The finishing, not the book. I asked Richard H. once why he didn't like LeCarre. "Dear," he said, "Greene is better." Maybe, but I'd rather read LeCarre. 47 prostitutes ... yikes. My list is only 26. Size matters.

I know exactly what you mean, Jim. While I enjoyed "A Gun for Sale," I made the mistake of reading "The Heart of the Matter" in grad school, which was very depressing and postponed my discovery of and delight in such of his works as "The Ministry of Fear," "Stamboul Express," "The Confidential Agent," and "Our Man in Havana." Two other mind blowing experiences, but for different reasons, were "The End of the Affair," "Brighton Rock," and "The Comedians." And. . .I still haven't finished "The Power and the Glory." -- DL

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark


from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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