I didn’t know a lot of the music mentioned in this book, but like most people, I know and enjoy “Für Elise.” It’s an interesting choice of music to end such a crazy chaotic story, although I suppose there are some less than peaceful moments ion the song too. It’s a shame Bast never gets to play it.
I find the most engaging moments to be when the lone high note comes before the reintroduction of the initial melody. The middle, minor key section that sounds kind of menacing is also neat–a big switch from the delicate opening.
Why not take 3 minutes and enjoy it now:
[READ: Week of August 20, 2012] JR Week 10
The end is here. After endlessly interrupted conversations, the book has actually hit a period.
As the last week ended, Bast was being dropped off at the hospital by Coen. And the bulk of the end of the book takes place in the hospital. There are many similarities between this book and a big 60s/70s comedy romp, and here is another one–all the characters seems to pile into one location for a big finale. (Technically the finale happens at Bast’s house, but you get the idea).
Bast is delirious as they wheel him to his room. The nurses know that Coen is also checking up on Norman (the bullet is near his eye and his condition is unchanged), so now he has two people to ask about. And the nurse? Why it’s Miss Waddams from the school! Oh how she hated that school and she is full of very funny stories about what she saw there.
So Bast has double pneumonia and is in an oxygen tent. He’s on an IV and is uncommunicative for a few days. Coen keeps calling up but no dice.
After a few days, Bast gets a roommate. We aren’t told who he is right away, but he’s a horny old man, flirting with Nurse “Waddle.” After a few pages it becomes clear that this is Mister Duncan the wallpaper man (who thought you were gonna fix him up with her). In addition to being comic relief, Duncan winds up providing a lot of information about the story, because he asks for newspapers, and the newspapers update us on so many things. Duncan believes the papers will cheer up Bast since they are full of other people’s misery. Like:
- We learn that Mr Teets is a cross dresser. His wife caught him dressing up and pretending to be his sister. And that he is being sought in connection with a subpoena.
- The 4th grader trapped in the sculpture has been there for 5 days and is being looked after by art and insurance circles. And a group called MAMA wants an injunction against “willful destruction of a unique metaphor on man’s relation to the universe.”
- They’re turning the Major’s bomb shelter into a public convenience (Since it was costing so much in sewage treatment anyhow). And there’s a snarky comment about Long Island: “the water table is so high the whole island’s turning into a leaching field.”
- Doctor Vogel is in front of a Senate Subcommittee discussing the last remaining problems of Frigicom with the hilarious joke that “the shards comprising Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony proved more difficult to handle than had been anticipated…ascribing damage mainly to the strident quality of the musical work’s opening bars…”(673).
- Here’s a politician who pushed a girl out an office window he says she told him she could fly [uh oh, is Rhoda okay?].
- There’s inventory trouble at Triangle paper–sixteen thousand rolls of novelty toilet paper (revealed several pages later: “on the hole business is very good” (681)) have gone to the wrong place.
- Some “wetbacks” have gotten a new Cadillac for $5 and a yacht for $10. (Is that’s Glancy’s Cadillac? [see below, no it is not]).
- There’s more about the successful decriminalization of marijuana (except for growing it, giving it to friends, transporting it or smoking it in public) This keeps it safe for Seagram Distillers national Tobacco Company .
Duncan says he’s been trying to get out of the wallpaper business for 14 years. And he provides a surprising antidote to the attitude of JR: “people thinking winning’s what it’s all about just ask those son of a bitches who ran that war ran the whole country into the ground while they were at it ” (673). He also repeats throughout the scene that these are the same son of a bitches that got him out of wallpaper (so you’d think he’d be grateful).
This scene is also the culmination of the urination/defecation craze in the book. Duncan is constantly asking Coen for his bed pan (some urine spills on Coen’s sleeve). Duncan is also given an enema later and has an accident.
Bast wakes up and asks for 50 pencils so he can continue writing his music. He is given a crayon. Coen still doesn’t know where his aunts are, although he inquired about them returning to Indiana. Duncan asks Coen if he can sue the city because a prostitute charged him $5, he offered her $10 and when she said she’d go up and get change he followed (he’s no fool, unlike
Bast Eigen [man, there's too many names]) and he fell down the stairs. Coen says he can’t sue the city for that.
Coen tells Bast that Sophie Angel’s paraffin test has cleared her and that Coen feels the bullet wound was self-inflicted because he was afraid of a public takeover of the company. The five percent (that was Gibbs) had been delivered to Skinner which he used to set up a publishing enterprise. (Upon hearing the name “Skinner,” Duncan repeats lines from the limerick from last week). And I believe that the two secretaries who worked for Mr Angel (recall the dirty pictures) are now working for Mr Skinner’s new company (wait for it) Skinnerflix “what do you think they make, shoelaces?” Turns out the 5% shares that Gibbs gave up were worth $120,000 (when he received it is was likely worth $7,000). [That's why he was hit with the large tax expense last week and there's a lien on his account].
After a few insulting comments to Coen about hiring a Jew lawyer, Duncan reveals how he got out of the wallpaper business–he ran up some huge bills and didn’t pay them.
The Duncan is taken out for X-rays. Coen sighs with relief and proceeds to explain the numbers of General Roll (most of which we know), but he reminds us that if Mr Angel dies, Stella will get controlling share of the company. But then Coen reveals that he is aware of an Edward Bast who is involved in all kinds of activities (that the right hand might be ignorant of). There’s even a picture (unfortunately obscured by feathers) and he wonders what that bast is up to. Also, General Roll has divested from Nathan Wise, and Wise has written off its vast inventory (since the pill came around).
Coen also mentions a lawsuit with JMI Industries (Jubilee Musical Instrument Company–holy hell I forgot all about that punch hole technology issue. Coen is just about to ask Bast the most important question when… he can’t take Duncan anymore and he leaves. Then Duncan finds out that his insurance is only good if he goes into a nursing home [a wonderfully weird tie in to the JR Corp's policies].
But Duncan is actually nice to Bast: you can’t call yourself a failure if you’ve never done anything. Duncan also has another one of those lines from the book that is either eerily prescient or just shows how little has changed: “run the whole country into the ground get thirty or forty thousand boys killed but they’ll let you pretend it’s not a war as long as you don’t raise taxes to pay for it, son of a bitches who still think winning’s what it’s all about” (683).
Duncan also provides a nice summary of the ideas of the book: “if you want to make a million you don’t have to understand money what you have to understand is people’s fears about money” (683).
More newspaper items:
- The Dow has hit 453
- The wife of a wealthy East Coast publishing executive who disappeared from her Scarsdale home was discovered in Iowa working as a waitress in order to help her husband out financially. She believed they had no money, but the man is making six figures and said her contribution was “cigar money” [Is that someone from earlier? I don't recognize it].
- Stressing the vital necessity of expanded capital formation unimpeded by government restraints, Senator Broos’ impassioned plea for a restoration of faith on the part of the common man in the free enterprise system as the cornerstone of those son of a bitches who still think winning’s what it’s all about….it’s all free enterprise all they howl about’s government restraints interference double taxation, all free enterprise till they wreck the whole thing they’re the first ones up there with a tin cup whining for the government to bail them out with a loan guarantee so they can do it all over again (684).
- The 4th grader has been in the sculpture now for the eighth straight day. Duncan: “It can’t be, what day is it Waddles?” (685).
- A hilarious update on the diCephalis’ “Dad.” “An elderly drifter who has made his home with a local family in recent years was found in critical condition here today being nursed by two small children, who have been administering a mixture of maple syrup and plaster of Paris to him following what appears to have been a fall some days ago. In the unexplained absence of both parents, stories pieced together from neighbors and authorities at the nearby school where both had taught until recently indicate that each of them believed their elderly guest to be the other’s father” (685).
Duncan keeps saying that Bast is a good listener which is a good way to make people like you. He took a Dale Carnegie course and learned you cant even trust anyone, not even yourself!
The nurse turns the light off for the night and Duncan starts acting very strange indeed, repeating many of the things that happened in the last couple of days. Then he starts talking about a beautiful piano melody his daughter played called “for Alise’s something,” there was delicatessen named Alise’s then….
When Bast wakes up in the morning, he is bright and chipper and is ready to play “für Elise” for Duncan. He also has the revelation that he was always afraid that he had to write this music but maybe he doesn’t have to! And yet in s surprising twist, Duncan died during the night. And we hear the Nurse say: “they left me an expiration in 319.”
The nurses start talking about room 319 and the pre-op in 311 and the scene abruptly shifts to Governor Cates in 311 (whom the staff and soon just about everyone is pronouncing Katz, which makes him Jewish of course]. He is in to get his Ray-X heart replaced. He is as demanding and obnoxious as ever and wants two phones installed in the room. Zona is with him and she is causing her own ruckus. And of course Beaton comes with them, helping out Cates and being Zona’s errand monkey.
Cates is waiting for a call from the Senator’s staff member about Teletravel. The parent company’s head of personnel [poor Mr diCephalis] is scheduled to take part in a preliminary evaluation of its operational capabilities by sending a person from Texas to Maine. Cates says it sounds like the same stunt that Frigicom pulled, starting off with something complicated instead of say a car horn. Evidently Vogel peed on Beaton’s leg when they met in Texas.
Cates has some thoughts on technology (really!). “Think how preposterous television sounded a few years ago now you can’t get away from the damn thing ever seen color television? One bawling idiot after another on the screen, seed his bawling picture a thousand miles in color like that probably no reason you can’t just go ahead and send the idiot himself is there?” (690). [For reference Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was written in 1964 and Willy Wonka came out in 1971].
Further, Cates says, “Used to be the right people traveled and all the idiots stayed put…now the right people stay put all you see’s the idiot and errand boys being flown around like bundles” (690).
Then Cates speaks of the law giving 18-year olds control of themselves. He speaks of Boody marrying Bast “he’s a black isn’t he?” [this mistake came from the dark photocopy hundred of pages ago]. No other damn reason anybody black or white want to marry Boody but these two hundred thousand shares” (691).
Some more updates: Delaserea is still in jail. She was released but when she hears that Zona wanted her for more work she changed her plea to guilty. [HA].
Then Handler was looking for a tax loss so he backed a play by a group called Angels East that was so bad it would fold overnight, but it has opened and is sold out [The Producers came out in 1968].
Beaton tries to explain the Duncan/Duncan mix up over at JR Corp:
–during their acquisition of Triangle Paper they took advantage of a bad debt situation involving an entirely different Duncan and Company, an Ohio wallpaper manufacturer, to mislead the…
–Other damn way around I’d understand it take the wallpaper any day (692).
But Beaton explains that they did this whole Duncan inventory so as to start putting this new internal advertising in books, especially textbooks. And children’s encyclopedias. Figures on those encyclopedias show: “initial outlay a third of a million, two hundred sixty thousand on promotion sixty thousand in production and yes and six hundred sixty dollars went in research writing and editorial costs yes no wonder” (693).
And then there’s the magazine She. The cover model looks like Emily/Amy “if she were some broken down two dollar…”
And the Dow is down to 280. [Incidentally, the Dow did hit a ten year low of 577 in 1975].
Then there’s word of Gall: he just published a Western called The Blood in the Red White and Blue which had already been published elsewhere with the title Guns of God under different pseudonyms.
Skinner by the way had collateral from General Roll, and Cates knows someone else snatched up 20% in an estate tax that’s what they were after the whole time. “Why the devil you think Stamper picked up JMI in that Dallas Mortgage deal think he needed a million used jukeboxes?” (694). Cates says General Roll is probably split ten ways and that they’re all gonna cut each others throats to get the majority. [Say what you will about Cates, he is very knowledgeable].
Mrs Stamper is going to file for divorce after six months. Mr Stamper and Crawley and their fool movie with the National parks. And make sure that there no more judicial reviews of this environmental nonsense that Stamper’s people put together before they pick up Alsaka’s subsidiary,
Then Beaton reads some information about the JR Corp.
Cates says he heard down at the bank that the accounting at JR is crazy:
–head of the company himself two places off with the damn decimal half the time SEC have him on fraud?
–No sir I understand they were unable to establish evidence of intentional wrongdoing since the errors were as frequently to the company’s own disadvantage as not (697).
And the accountant seems to have been retained because he was the brother in law of the head of their public relations firm.
They get the phone hooked up and Monty calls. Cates asks if Monty has his desk cleaned out yet. While he’s talking on the phone he wants Beaton to keep reading about JR Corp–Rather than straight liquidating bankruptcy they will seek an arrangement under Chapter 11–they can continue in possession and operate the business…the company’s securities were delisted…. Operations of the Wonder Brewery are proceeding as normal.
Monty: Cates told Blaufinger to just annex Malwi, avoid the trouble….Wait, the people of Malwi were decimated? Blaufinger said they didn’t have any weapons…. have to drag in labor from Angola…. If Monty’s resignation is tomorrow can he stamp all of the brewery/cobalt information classified…. Handed down a mining decision that invalidates every claim–Beaton says that Cates himself asked him to initiate the action… can Monty leave a memo that reverses his position on that?… The Brooks brothers were arrested and all claims wiped out…the Bureau of Land Management is suing Alsaka… Crawley is in trouble for those bellies, needs $28 million in bail…. Davidoff won Advertising Man of the Year…. tries to get the subpoena on his boss in the Nobili hearing… Wouldn’t even show up to defend this erratic management charge [that explains the "erotic business"... IRS says his social security number is the one that comes with wallets... as for the mill takeover, the place is a ghost town, the whole mill went "up on some cracker's used car" and moved to Georgia... Hong Kong sweaters... How did Crawley let Bast exercise his options before it matured?... Get Bast and JR banned from running any publicly owned company..."Can't bring criminal charges by God Monty push this too far get every damn fool who ever lost a nickel in the market writing his damn congressman....push congress too far like walking in a damn hencoop at night wake them all up, start cackling about criminal provisions pass damn laws before they know it" (703).
Then Cates asks about Emily. She's got her son back "maybe Cutler can talk some sense into her now that they're settled". Cates says if there's no signature from her (as Freddie's guardian) she'll have the other trustees by the short hair give her leverage to control both foundations" (704).
Any word on Freddie? Mrs Cutler is placing ads in the papers for him. [So while she was away, Amy got married to Cutler. Online sources say Cutler was a salesman, although I don't remember him at all, although I see I wrote about him in Week 6].
Nobili is pretty much kaput all they have left is a green aspirin…. Whiteback was taken out of the bank, got a job with the FCC….
Monty hangs up, and Cates asks about selling off that tobacco outfit–it was deleted upon representation by the attorney for Mrs Schramm. Majority issue of Ritz Tobacco had not been conveyed when they got Triangle Paper. They had good buzz from their new brands Ace and Mary Jane.
As for Teletravel, Colonel Moyst is at the designated receiving area in Maine. There was a successful send off in Texas but severe difficulty reconstituting him in Maine. Cates: “couldn’t just string a line to Arkansas?” (705).
A little more detail of the Haight University/naming controversy: he wanted the university renamed to honor his achievements in the arts in return for a collection of his own paintings which he presented with extremely high evaluations for tax purposes–supported by letters from a correspondence school comparing his brilliance to Norman Rockwell (which apparently every student received).
Of course the new law changed his tax situation, he can now deduct only the cost of his materials. This freaks out Zona (who, I imagine doing a spit take), but Beaton reassures her that as a collector she can deduct the full market value of the paintings.
Cates wants to know if Emily is involved with all of this JR business, since she’s on the cover of She. But they straighten it out–it’s not Emily, “it’s the wife of the parent company’s personnel manager the man who’s just been lost in, who’s taking part in the Teletravel trial” (707). Mrs diCepahlis’ photo shoot appears to be re-creations from the Kama Sutra. They want to know if “that drunk” is out of thee picture with Emily. He is and Cutler has talked some sense into her. Zona says that Cutler wouldn’t get into her pants without an engraved invitation and that Emily is still a ninny.
Zona talks about Schepperman again and wants him found now. Beaton says that if he died, she gets everything that he’s worth. Cates says he wants the money that they gave to Schepperman for that large painting put in escrow, but Zona says if he does that she’ll put him (Cates) in escrow. Zona goes after Cates–calling him a Raggedy Andy with a tin heart. She’ll sue him for impersonating Mr Katz hes been losing body parts for 80 years and Handler’s been dismantling him ever since.
Then Cates talks to Broos, gives him a haranguing about Monty getting drummed out of office by the left wing press, and we learn:
- the smelting operation declared a surplus
- the Malwi people were decimated Dé’s people walked in and found them armed to the teeth. “Dé’s bunch panic cut them down like flies go to clean up find all they had’s toys, pistols carbeen submachine guns rocket launchers every damn weapon you can think of plastic toys” [clearly the Ray-X supplies].
- And Milliken had his law firm retained by this Alsaka outfit…”Still sore the way they blew the corner off his state didn’t lose any damn constituents did he? (709).
After some thought s on JR shipping we get back to the “stunt that peachy little wop just pulled probably expects to run for president” (710).
Then Cates gets succinct again:
Most of the damn trouble in the world’s made by damn fools with nothing to do have to give them something to do to keep them off the damn streets and I’m by God sick and tired of hearing them bite the damn hand that feeds them hear me… Only damn reason they think something’s worth doing’s they get paid to do it
Then Mr Leva calls. He is furious because the new management had told Erebus to fire him sir. Cates whispers that he was the one who fired him (wasting too much money on films).
The story on Grynszpan: he may have been the éminence grise behind the company’s meteroic expansion…. he developed the Grynzspan theory of common foci and was engaged in a major work on the mechanization of the arts, he apparently worked his way through Harvard selling encyclopedias, and when his will…
–Will was that? mean he’s dead damn it?
–He’s reported to ave died suddenly in the Yucatan of Leuk… (711).
During this whole thing Zona is crying out for water.
Cates asks Beaton to get the JMI stock out “whoever’s sitting on that JMI stock still give this shirttail outfit one hell of a fight on appeal too damn much at stake here for any slipups” (712).
The current assets of both foundations have been frozen under an injunction by Mrs Emily Cutler. Emily is in a meeting with the trustees and if no dividend is declared, her failure to have signed over these last powers of attorney will give her the additional votes of both her brother and her son [Seems like Amy Joubert has been up to something]. Cates starts shouting that she declares it, but they drag him away from his room.
And then the scene shifts to Bast where we learn that he is leaving the hospital today. They have given him dead Mr Duncan’s suit. They say Duncan would have wanted him to have it, he liked Bast a lot and always readng to him.
Coen has come by, and Stella is coming down to see him. But first, he has found Bast’s aunts! They’re in a nursing home in Indiana. And indeed, that was Bast’s old house relocated–it was condemned and auctioned off, but only in a paper in Albany. The sole bid came from Mister Cibo. His $1 bid was submitted on behalf of Father Haight to serve as the church’s teen center. The woman who was behind getting the James Bast location preserved was a trustee of the Philharmonic and agreed to have it preserved only if James would come out of self-imposed exile.
A janitor asks what to do with the music Bast wrote and he says to throw it away–Bast repeats that he realized that creating music was something he thought he had to so–”I never had to, it was just something I’d never questioned before I thought it was all I was here for and he, everybody thought that they thought I was doing something worth doing he did too but he, nothing’s wroth doing he told me nothing’s worth doing till you’ve done it” (715).
The nurses come in to tell Stella that Norman’s condition hasn’t changed and they can’t even do surgery because it’s too dangerous. They want to know if Stella will consent to donate his organs.
Stella gets mad at Edward but he retaliates, he knows she was there in his house, she’s the one who broke in and destroyed everything. She admits it and also admits that she knew he was looking at her in the bushes all those years ago. He says she destroyed Jack, too.
He knows that Stella always hated Edward’s mother “you hated my mother for what she did to your father” Stella admits that as well, “When she left my father and wanted James to marry her and he wouldn’t because he was afraid for his work.” And she recounts a fortune teller in Tannersville. She told the fortune teller everything about the Bast brothers and Edward’s mother Nellie, and she noticed the short finger [does this mean it was Nellie?]. Nellie later killed herself and they all blamed Stella. And James told everyone he married Nellie to avoid any scandal.
Coen jumps in to talk about the JMI suit: “whoever emerges with a controlling interest in General Roll must expect a rather fierce confrontation from them on appeal.” And Mr Crawley lost Bast’s aunts a ton of money trying to make more and more commission from his trades. Bast is now worried about his $400 check and then he starts to worry about his scores in the garbage and asks for them back. But hospital policy says he can’t have them back.
And the orderlies are in a hurry to clean out this room because Zona is getting the room next and she wants it just so. But Bast is in a hurry to leave [one of the nurses says he'll miss the Christmas tree].
Stella says she’s coming with Bast to see Jack. And Stella gets down to business, she says that her husband’s interest and her father’s estate gives her majority for any decisions in the company. And she wanst word on the lawsuit as soon as it happens.
When Edward asks Stella if she knew his father was coming back she says she suggested it to them.
They arrive uptown. Stella waits in the car and tells Edward to say nothing about her to Jack..
As he heads up paramedics come down the stairs with a woman on a stretcher. My vife mister [sic]…
When Edward gets upstairs, Eigen is there on the phone. He is fighting with his wife about visitation (echoes of Gibbs). He tells his wife that Mrs Schramm is a perfectly nice woman.
In the apartment is a man and a Chinese girl who came in from Hong Kong with sweaters (she can’t speak English). Immigration is sending someone over and there have been federal marshals and IRS agents, Eigen can’t take any of his valuable papers. Eigen says that JR has been calling for him too. Eigen lists all the people trying to reach him–placement agencies, civil liberties union, a drunk general, Indian legal aid, television shows, civil beautification committee (for the toilet paper painted water tower), Crawley (who is affronted that Bast kept his slides of the zebras).
Finally, Eigen asks Bast if he can take Freddie To Amy–he saw the ad that Amy placed in the paper. Freddie has been fine–although he thought the flickering lamp was a signal from his mother. And he was a little upset when he found the drowned cat. And he fired a gun at the radio when they broke off the Minuet in G for an aspirin commercial, but otherwise he’s fine.
Bast tries to ask about Mister Gibbs but a prostitute comes by “Is Mister Grinspan ere? General Motor ave buy im a …” (722). Eigen says he’s dead and Bast wonders what happened to him. Britannica has been after him, Con Edison found the bypass–they want him for fraud.
Then Eigen takes a call from Beamish and he speaks of suing Gall and Walldecker too. Turns out Gall sent Eigen’s play to Angels West for money and stock. They sold it to Angels East for even more. And Angels East and West are both Walldecker. Eigen is trying to get his attorneys to start suing people…for defamation, punitive damages. He also wants to sue Ray’s band Graveyard because of their new name “Baby Jeeter and the Three Wide Men.” [HA!]. Eigen explains it’s not registered in his name, it’s his son’s idea, but he’s 4 years old.
Turns out General Roll was worth so much because they kept putting their earnings back in the company. Gibbs gave it away but he still got hit with the long term capital gains taxes, which were around $28,000.
They get back to Schramm, Beamish says that Schramm got a letter from Arlington and Mrs Schramm is upset about that [I guess he's not allowed to be buried there]. But she is delighted at the recovery the tobacco stock made.
And the back room, oh the back room–everything crashed through the ceiling. Bast thinks he sees Gibbs in the room, but Eigen says that it’s an artist working on a portrait he’s been trying to finish for years.
Bast tries to tell Eigen that there’s a woman waiting for Gibbs, but he gets interrupted. We also learn that Gibbs will be fine. It was that penicillin he took for his throat that sent his white blood cells though the roof! He doesn’t have leukemia. But when Amy called, he pretended to be a black entertainer instead.
Then Eigen talks about Schepperman in the back room and his marvelous new painting that has plaster all over it now. Bast asks if Eigen can cash his $400 check. Eigen gives him Amy’s address so he can bring Freddie there. Before he goes, Bast wants his papers (scores with lavender crayon marking) Eigen says it looks like “a lot of chickentracks” [nice call back] (725).
Bast sums up: “until a performer hears what I hear and can make other people hear what he hears it’s just trash isn’t it Mister Eigen, it’s just trash like everything in this place everything you and Mister Gibbs and Mr Schramm all of you saw here it’s just trash!” (725).
On the final page, immigration calls for the woman. Then there’s a tape of JR saying “finally got you boy I mean holy shit where did you…” (726).
Then there’s Dumor Delivery who has come to pick up Eigen’s things. He asks if he can take some of the matches that are all over the floor. Eigen says to take a thousand. And his last word “Why can’t people just shut up and do what they’re paid for” (726).
But the very last word in the book goes to JR on the tape: “So I mean I got this neat idea, hey, you listening? Hey? You listening?” (726).
I’m going to do a final thoughts post next week for this book, but I did want to throw in a fee initial final thoughts.
This book was clearly not going to end neatly–how could it? But I did like the way he tied up many of the threads. There are certainly a few things I would have liked more resolution on, but I’m going to read what other people say first to see what I missed in the chaos of the end.
I enjoyed this book quite a lot. I laughed out aloud a bunch of times. And despite the fact that it is basically a condemnation of our society, I thought he did it very well–using absurdity to point out absurdity. The book does feel like a puzzle, and Gaddis demands a lot out of the reader. I found that invigorating, although I suppose if I had tried to read it more quickly I would have just been annoyed by it. Circumstance is everything.
I have to assume that Gaddis did a lot of research into the market to find out everything in the book, so I’m going to trust him. And now I’m going to go to one of the sites Simon recommends to see what I missed.
Thanks for reading along. #occupygaddis signing out.
For ease of searching, I include: Fur Elise, eminence grise