Weekend Reading on the Megabus

We took the Megabus to Chicago on the occasion of the Aged P’s 95th birthday. It was our first trip on the new convenience and we thought it was particularly fitting that the book we were able to read since we weren’t driving was So Cold the River by Michael Koryta which is about eerie events in Southern Indiana, which we were crossing AT THAT VERY MOMENT! So it was, like, a megaliterary moment. It would have been even eerier if our route had taken us anywhere near French Lick where Koryta’s goings-on were going on, but we were pretty darn close.

Should you read the Koryta? Only if you are willing to swallow a little Hoosier magical realism. We have to ask, why should it be harder to swallow Midwestern magic than it is to swallow Latin American magic? Hmm? Or the Greek mythology John Banville stirred into his latest? Is North America permanently to be a magical dead zone amongst serious readers? We are most interested in your thoughts.

We didn’t try the megawifi, by the way. We were perfectly happy with our book going up and big fat Tribune coming back. But it’s nice to know that we could have if we would have.

Gastronomic note: Megabus stops for meals at McDonald’s. We were glad we had packed a lunch.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 10:11 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ah, the Megabus…Have finished many novels on that top deck. Book seems interesting, and I’m always looking for authors/books Ive never heard of before. Hope to check it out soon!

  2. We want to live long enough to read War and Peace on high speed rail in the U.S.

  3. Perhaps the reason why Latin American magic (or Greek mythology) is more readily accepted is because it’s just done better than American magic. I think the trick to writing about magic is to act like it isn’t magic. Like you have to weave it in such a way that just seems a natural part of the world of the novel. Am I making any sense? The Latin American writers that I’ve read seem really adept at doing this. And Greek mythology was the religion of ancient Greeks, so it was an everyday part of their world.

  4. For what it’s worth, Juanita, I think any chance for magic in the U.S. or its literature got wiped out when Andrew Jackson carried out his ethnic cleansing.

  5. Magical realism in North America is alive and well! I direct you to Neil Gaiman’s brilliant “American Gods” and “Anasasi Boys,” or Ed Vega’s intriguing “The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle.” But thanks for the word on the novel set in French Lick, I’ll definitely read it!

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