after many days cameth they to the green land of Muskrat-Al- Zebulon where the maidens were plump and plentiful. They cutteth they the maidens into tasty portions; and cooked and ate them, for such was the will of the lord.
The ten most UNDER-rated novels
This piece is (obviously) a bookend to the Most Over-rated novels article and should at least form a kind of “Ten books you should read before you die.” If you’ve read all of them, I hope they’ve made you as happy as they did me. If I inspire you to read one of them, either for the first time, or again, you will have made me very happy, for reading, while on the face of it, is a solitary activity, it is at its very base, a sharing of consciousness, and if this sharing expands beyond the original, writer / reader paradigm, it gains vastly in strength and power. If you don’t believe me, take those “ultra-memes,” The Bible and the Koran and realise that it was simply word-of-mouth, paid advertising and reader recommendations that made them the commercial success stories that they are today.
Which is not of course to say that the following list of brilliant books are as top-heavy with profound wisdom, diet plans and handy life style hints.
#1[1984 (George Orwell)].
This utterly remarkable workis, in my opinion, highon the shortlist for finest novel ever written. It foretells a dystopian society where an autocratic government rules with a mixture of total electronic surveillance, total control of public discourse and extreme ultra-violence. When Orwell wrote the book it was seen as science fiction, now that the year 1984 is passed, it can be recognised as documentary since the human race has successfully created several versions of Orwell’s nightmare vision, on Earth, for real. Cesceseau’s Romania certainly fit the bill, and Cold War Russia made a good attempt at creating the state without the technology. Present day China appears to have been created as a state by using Orwell’s work as a handbook, in exactly the way that the forces of decency and righteousness have adopted it as something between a sacred text and a rallying flag. It is a book so good it should be compulsory. Read it, or read it again, watch your government closely
2[ “Animal Farm” (George Orwell)]
Either the most pessimistic book ever written, or the most realistic and truthful, depending on your emotional makeup. The book tells the story of a standard British farm, told through the eyes of the animals. On the face of the evidence the animals realise that they are being horribly exploited by the humans and rebel against them. Over the course of the book the animals turn the farm into a self sustaining society, no longer run to attract external profit, but simply to feed the animals. At first this new society is almost a paradise, but soon power corrupts the political structure, infighting results and before long the new society has become almost a carbon copy of the one that it replaced.
The book was originally written as a brutal satire of events surrounding the 1917 revolution in Russia, which started well and then became corrupt, rotted and was taken over and turned into an autocracy headed by Josef Stalin that was very much worse than the Tsarist system the initial revolution had replaced.
While the book was written as a kind of club to beat the Soviet Union with, the truth contained within it is very much deeper, and nastier than that. Any popular revolution, it implies, will quickly collapse into the something like the system it replaced under the weight of some sort mixture of built-in stupidity and baseline corruption. The Populist French revolution of 1789 produced a dynasty of emperors, the Cuban revolution produced Castro. Putin owes his position to the reverberations of the 1917 revolution. Trotsky>Lenin> Stalin> Scum followed by the second revolution. It is hard to imagine what Chairman Mao would have made of the present situation in China but it’d be a fair guess to say he’d have mixed feelings. Would America’s founding fathers be happy with the plutocracy the place has become? I bet they wouldn’t.
“Animal Farm” is an utterly good book, deceptively simple to a cursory examination, deeper than a coal mine if you try getting your hands dirty. Roll your sleeves up and get into it, you won’t be disappointed.
*Copyright (C) Alex Rieneck 2021 All rights reserved.
3**[”The Great Gatsby” (F Scott Fitzgerald)]
This book is commonly accepted to be just about the apogee of American Literature, and its pretty easy to see why. In its short length it crams in just about everything – in divine balanced prose. At its heart “The Great Gatsby” is pure U.S “Money Porn”( a work dealing with the pleasure of money and wealth) and an expose of the soft rotten core of the monied classes in the United States during the “Roaring Twenties” – right after the carnage of WW1 (which left the U.S mostly untouched) – a rotten core which was to lead directly the Stock Market crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great depression.
To quote Fitzgerald, ‘But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which endlessly drift over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes Doctor T. J. Eckleburg.’ ‘But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days, under sun and rain, brood over the solemn dumping ground.’
Eckleburg looks down on the passing traveller as if they are riding in a toy train through the orange sunset to a existentially uncertain destination.
The central plot of “Gatsby” is ultimately not nearly as important as the broad brush strokes of the books background, Daisy’s husband, Tom Buchanan is a stinking rich example of septic old money – and an entrenched racist, exactly the kind of individual who bankrolled the early st of Hitler’s career. The Zeitgeist of the nineteen-twenties suffuses the book, with the obvious inference that the huge eyes of Doctor Eckleburg, which watch over the ash-heap of the past, must be seen as obviously Jewish eyes and (presumably) responsible for the war and, by extension, everything else. Such attitudes were common at the time. Of course neither Fitzgerald or T.S Eliot had any idea in the 1920’s how odious their anti Semitic views would become scarcely a decade later when Hitler’s holocaust made the civilised world abandon any form of anti-semitism as repugnant and thoroughly disgraceful and poisoned many readers reactions to “Gatsby” and some TS Eliot.) Still “Gatsby” is a product of its time, and its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses, leaving it as one of the pinnacles of twentieth Century Literature.*
4 [The Day of The Locust (Nathanael West)]
A largely forgotten classic , “The Day of The Locust” is an effective ‘bookend’ work – wallowing in the rancid core of Los Angeles in contrast to “Gatsby’s” New York.
“Locust” is set in the proletarian end of the film industry, among the dirt-poor bit players, movie odd-jobbers and less easily classified hangers on of the industry, who have been attracted like moths to a light by the glamour and the possibility of money the industry promises. Where”Gatsby’s” characters have so much money they have lost the understanding of how to spend it, in “Locust” the characters have been attracted to the city by a kind of wordless need that has remained unfulfilled for so long that it has curdled, rotted, and in many cases made the characters malignant. Todd Hackett lives and works in this society, as a lower- level scenery artist for one of the studios. Todd once had plans to be a “real” artist but has sold them out to work as a commercial illustrator. Todd sees, and falls in lust/love with a girl who happens to live close by.-Faye Greener is a struggling bit part player in any studio that will have her. She is a girl of reasonably lax, tropical morals, but she is not interested in Todd. The book is interwoven with highly visual hallucinatory passages where Todd considers his masterwork-to-be; a huge painting that exposes all the iniquities of Los Angeles and its population of pointless human caricatures against a backdrop of an armageddon of flaming destruction. It appears that Todd’s visions are prophetic rather than purely artistic since the climax of the book encompasses just such events. Closing the prophetic circle, during these events Todd has gone quite mad. “The Day of the Locust” is, perhaps in keeping with its setting, quite a lurid novel, and also given its characters, a work that tends towards melodrama. However both these themess in tandem tend to make the book into a kind of beautiful iridescent fun that is all too rare in this world. The film, with Donald Sutherland as the hapless Homer Simpson (yes I know) – but the book dates from 1939, 16years before Matt Groening (creator of “The Simpsons”) was born. However in my opinion the film suffers badly from the lack of Nathanael West’s vivid prose and continual insights into the human condition. Very Highly Recommended.
5[”Fata Morgana” by William Kotzwinkle. ]
Iridescent, hallucinogenic magic-realism does not get any better than this. In my opinion this book stands equal tp Thomas Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow” – and packs a very similar punch into a far lower page count. Which is not to discount Pynchon’s masterpiece, however I must say that after reading “Gravity’s Rainbow”, I actually felt as if I might have damaged my brain, whereas halfway through reading “Fata Morgana” for the second time I realised that I had read it before – and not dreamt scenes of it the night before, in my sleep.
This book is the rarest magic.
6[”My Brother Jack” (George Johnston)]
A reasonably easy choice for the best book I’ve ever read “My Brother Jack” is basically the life story of David Meredith, a simulacrum of the author – if you look at the book as autobiography at one remove you won’t be far wrong – but you can relax “My Brother Jack” is infinitely better than other lightly- disguised autobiographies masquerading as novels.
“David Meredith” is born a sensitive bookish“milksop” into the dirt-poor outer suburbs of Melbourne Australia, bduring the first world war. His earliest memory is being taken to greet the troopship that has brought his father home from “the front” in Flanders. Davy’s father is, from the first, big, loud and frightening. He also later proves to have one fuck of a case of malignant P.T.S.D. Davy’s life changes utterly. His mother, a returned war-veteran nurse, turns the house into an unofficial convalescent home for war wounded she is too soft-hearted to let go of.
Davy grows, recounting the story of his life with blissful clarity and remarkable wisdom, slowly becoming a professional writer, until another vast armageddon rises up and sweeps him up into its arms. David becomes a War Correspondent in World War Two, and in a kind of mangled way, comes to terms with his demons, and sees outside himself for the first time. It is an utterly fascinating journey, supremely well told, that sweeps the reader along into an equivalent insight into themselves, by a big dose of the raw magic of literature.
7[”Childhoods End” (sir) Arthur C. Clarke ]
Arthur C.Clarke started his career in the 1950’s writing for such magazines as “Astounding Tales.” He went on to share an Academy award nomination with Stanley Kubrick for “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1969. The Climax of “Childhoods End” is the very peak of his astoundingly “big vision” Science Fiction – in fact for imagination stretching visions on Bob Shaw’s “[Orbitsville]” trilogy is bigger than Clarke- and Clarke is far the better writer.
Big Science Fiction not really your thing?
Maria is a young orphan living in the care of her horrible governess and the (worse) vicar in a massive decrepit country house in Britain in the 1940’s The house, Malplaquet has a long and noble history, going back many hundreds of years into the past, but its glories are fading into a plethora of quaint and endlessly delightful details. Maria’s only friend is Cook who lives in the kitchen with her dog Captain and travels the long corridors of the house on her bicycle, ringing her bell at the corners for safety. The dog, Captain trots along beside her. despite being reasonably well cared for Maria is basically a very lonely child with a very limited range of social contact. It is fortuitous, symbolic and frequently very funny when she makes an utterly wonderful and unexpected discovery in the unexplored wilds of the large estate and the book becomes, by turns, whimsical delightful and profoundly wise.
I first encountered “[Mistress Masham’s Repose]” when I was about ten and it was read to me by my mother. At the time I just thought it was a great story and did not appreciate its hidden wisdom until I read it again as an adult. It was only then that I developed understanding of how it had helped form my world view an give me the foundations of becoming a somewhat responsible adult.
If you’re looking for a book to read your children, nothing would please me more than if you carried on the tradition by reading them “[Mistress Masham’s Repose”- I think you’ll enjoy the experience yoursel]f
She dropped the puppy into the Westinghouse and there was a deep pulse of green- white Atomic light and the puppy stopped making noise. Of course it wasn’t really a Westinghouse-they were just too expensive, but this Shimada worked just the same. She’d found a total of five puppies in the alley with their, and her mouth curled at the word; “mother.” She went to fetch the other four. Copyright (C) Alex Rieneck 2021 All Rights Reserved
This is an Italian film and probably the best film I have ever seen on the subject of transexuality/gender issues. It is the story of a Brazilian girl who goes to Milan in Italy to become a street sex worker so that she can get herself a sex change, and finalize her change to becoming Princesa, her ideal of the perfect woman.
To cut a long story short, she lives the life, falls in tempestous love with a man who appears perfect, and then opens her eyes to herself and finds love and family in the last place that she expects it. As, in some way or other, we all do.
The film is not porno, it is a love story and a story of someone growing up and becoming the person that they are, rather than either of the people that the world thinks that they should be.
I found this film while I was in Rome, in the window of a closed video shop in the middle of the night, while I was walking home from a bunch of extremely interesting ruins. I came back and bought it the next day. My copy is in Italian, with Italian subtitles. Since I speak not more that five words of Italian, it has become one of my minor hobbies to watch the film, and attempt simultaneously learn the language and divine the finer nuances of the plot by the actor’s body language.
An odd hobby I will admit. Not a bad one, though. While doing this I gradually came to the conclusion that the film easily ranks with “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” “Personal Services” and “Just like a Woman” as among the very best of trannie cinema, and also as one of my favourite films.
The film is now available on Amazon. Not a word of being in Italian. Guess I’ll be buying it, again. I wonder if knowing what the actors are actually saying will improve it? I think so.
Nembutal is slower
And you can vomit it up.
Smack’ll do the trick if the NarCan man is slow that day. But there’s no cure for painting the wall
With your mind and putting your everything into it, a blossoming rose of forget-me-not that has forgotten everything
© Alex Rieneck 2019 All Rights Reserved.
“The Ballad of Cable Hogue”
Directed by Sam Peckinpah, (under the influence of Sergio Leone,) this film stars Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, David Warner,Slim Pickens and Strother Martin. The story concerns Cable Hogue , a grizzled no-account who is abandoned in the desert by his two treacherous homosexual companions. After long days, or perhaps weeks of wandering the desert he finds water! The water gives him life, but more importantly, the water gives him Alife.-one that he had never dreamed of. Over the decades, the water (and the desert that surrounds it, give him everything.He lives a long and happy life and at the end of the film, he, and the audience are transfigured.
I watched it again last night, for at least the tenth time, and I cried my eyes out at the end, as I always do.
A Real Classic. If you’ve seen it before, watch it again.
ReviewCopyright(C)2020 Alex Rieneck All Rights Reserved
good documentary on Dr Hunter S, Thompson
Pornhub(pornhub.com) is probably the largest porn site on the internet.in a fit of amazing decency they have provided stats as to theirsite usage and search terms. it makes forsome fascinating reading and draws a interesting thumbnail of a part of our socirtynthat is rarely discussed (except at election times 🙂
This page copyright: (9C) 2020 Alex Rieneck
He’d made an appointment, all nice and legit, his people to my people, and he’d checked out so I’d okayed it. Of course everything had changed with reality and we hadn’t been in the Presidential at Musk City Mars after a no doubt triumphant show on the “Cabaret” tour. Instead I was stuck on Earth of all places, with the tour all over the shop, the Luna gigs cancelled because of the bloody Plague. Instead of being orally serviced at a post gig drug wallow on Mars, I was being orally serviced at a post gig drug wallow on Earth. The gig had been vintage, the drugs were A-Grade, and the oral servicing, from a girl called Louise was Primo too; but the gravity, my gods the gravity was fucked. I was almost struggling to fill my lungs at each breath. The couch was soft kid leather but I could feel creases in the material grinding into my skin.
I’d cheated in the Gig, I sang both sets, all seven songs from a barstool centre-front stage next to the keyboard – a genuine white grand piano, over two hundred years old! The manager, a Mr. Toad of Toad Hall was very proud of it. It was a unique instrument he said. It had been played by both Liberace and later, by Freddie Mercury, he said. “Was it in tune?” I said – It was. Lovely machine! I gave him the first bit of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” by way of a nod to history, and to Mr. Mercury in particular. Its a wonderful song, and it gives me a chance to really stretch my voice. I could see him desperate to rush off home to Toad Hall and tell all his little toad-poles of his incredible day. Talent does have its rewards, some of them are paltry, but when the plague is sweeping the Solar System and literally decimating the population, you have to take your fun where you can get it.
As I said, I cheated at the show. I didn’t play, I sat beside the piano in my Sally Bowles costume and sang. The black velvet of the shorts looked great against my blue skin, I could tell that the crowd strongly approved and that every time I crossed my legs I was filling the meme-verse with terabytes of pictures of my snatch.
I sing better when I’’m horny.
Which brings me to the Prime Minister’s suite of the Kirribilli House Hotel. Nice view. Black as a coal mine outside. The sky the deepest blue, almost purple. The stars reflecting off the harbour, waters as still as a millpond. Silence, except for Claudius, down the hall, approaching orgasm, and the occasional quiet slurp produced by miss Louise in my crotch. Aside from the gravity, this were pretty good.
“Miss Ganymede? Miss Ganymede? Are you decent?” It was Jacqueline. Jakksi is my P.A and knows I love her enough that she can push her luck quite a long way.
“J – you know I’m not – you let her in. What do you want? You’d better have thought this through.”
At least she hadn’t turned the lights on. She’d done that once and it seemed she’d learned her lesson. Now she wore night-vision goggles.
“It’s that guy, he has an appointment”
“How the fuck can anyone have an appointment for now? I should be on Mars!”
“I know – you have a flexible schedule. His appointment is for two hours after the evening gig on the seventeenth of Juli – I think he has a case.”
“Fuck – you mean he’s so keen he’s made a ninety day flight for this meeting? Should I be flattered?”
“You can be flattered if you want, but I think he’s from here – the Shen Zhen University of Honolulu; he’s brought the object, as agreed.”
“Double Fuck. Jakksi, would you please drape a rug over Ms Louise and I? Mr_ ?”_
“Mr Tanagawa may not share our showbiz morals and I am loathe to offend.”
Jakksi said nothing. A king-size bed coverlet landed on top of us. I flailed around until Louise was wholly covered and only my head protruded into the cooler, fresher air of the room.
“Miss Ganymede, I am honoured – I have been a very great fan since I was a young man.”
Considering that Mr Tanagawa was demonstrably no longer young, I took the compliment gingerly; and surely he would know that, no matter how good his Japanese genes, I would, barring accidents, outlive him by at least fifty years.
“Mister Tanagawa I am pleased to make your acquaintance – even in this most informal situation. I am sure that my assistant Ms.Jacqueline Ryder can arrange some complimentary tickets to an upcoming show that is convenient.”
“Will do, Boss.”
“You are too kind great Lady Ganymede!!”
“I am sure you are a worthy recipient of such a paltry generosity. -now-“
To give Mr Tanagawa credit, he seemed relieved that he would soon be able to stop ignoring the fact that my feet seemed to be upside down, and the wrong colour.
Like all Japanese businessmen since feudal times, Mr Tanagawa had his thin, ‘samsonite’ briefcase with him. Said briefcase contained one sheet of A4 typewritten paper, a thumb-drive and small oblong package wrapped in brown paper and sealed in a small zip-lock plastic bag.
Mr Tanagawa started talking, rapidly wheedlingly. “Object in airtight plastic bag, in neutral atmosphere. After original collection object immediately pickled in grain alcohol for several weeks, then frozen. Frozen for many years, first in kitchen cold room on aircraft-carrier then on land in facility in Maryland United States. All documentation in Pdfs on thumb-drive”
“Very good.I am impressed with your work on thus matter.”
“Also contained in this R.O.M memory is Tr00 provided vision of the original collection of the item. Ancillary Locus(C) costs included in item sale price to you.”
I nodded, picked up the package, reached into the bag. The object was soft, heavy. The paper crackled in reaction to my grip. I shivered with pleasure.
“Before I get ahead of myself; “ I coughed in a ladylike manner and unrolled the paper from around the object. It looked like a small sausage that had been burned crisp; which, in fact, it was.
“Jakksi -would you please feed the vision on the memory stick into the screen here so that we can see it?”
The deck of a an aircraft carrier, All of the anti-aircraft guns are firing, the flight deck is an inferno of fire and flying lead. It is world war two in the pacific in Locus 8K vision. In perfect slow motion a zero dive bombs directly into the deck. The Locus is unmoved by the titanic explosion.
Mr Tanagawa speaks, “The plane impacted next to the number 7 5” anti-aircraft gun. The impact killed 50 sailors instantly. The damage crews immediately set about dousing the flames and tending the wounded. As can be seen from this documentation, the fire took some 25 minutes to extinguish.”
He paused and the people in the vision scrabbled madly, speeded up at 5 times normal speed stopping almost instantly when the fire was out. The vision returned to normal speed and panned the ring of gaped jawed sailors staring at the wreck. Almost by some hidden signal, they simultaneously closed on the mangled plane and started rending and tearing at it. Brawny sailors hands tore pieces of thin aluminium skin from the plane’s wings. The souvenir hunt had started. The Locus camera followed a single sailor as he walks directly to the cockpit. His white singlet is filthy, stained with black grease and less identifiable stains. AsHe reaches down into the cockpit, a knife flashes in his hands. He straightens. Mr Tanagawa spoke “there you have it. Impeccable provenance.”
(c) Ale Rieneck, September 2020 all rights reserved.
“The Ballad of Cable Hogue”
A truly wonderful film few people have ever heard of.
Directed by Sam Peckinpah, (under the influence of Sergio Leone, this film stars Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, David Warner and bySlim Pickens Strother Martin. The story concerns Cable Hogue , a grizzled no-account who is abandoned in the desert by his two treacherous companions After long days, or perhaps weeks of wandering the desert he finds water! The water gives him life, but more importantly, the water gives him Alife-one that he had never dreamed of. Over the decades, the water (and the desert that surrounds it, give him everything.He lives a long and happy life and at the end of the film, he, and the audience are transfigured.
I watched it again last night, for at least the tenth time, and I cried my eyes out at the end, as I always do.
A Real Classic. If you’ve seen it before, watch it again.
ReviewCopyright(C)2020 Alex Rieneck All Rights Reserved