A Fucked Up Life in Books

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A bit wobbly and lopsided by design, NW is a hotchpotch in five parts. The next section is a series of comic set-pieces tracking a man called Felix on the late summer day when he ends up being fatally stabbed in the street. Shar and the murderer, Nathan Bogle, happen to be in cahoots, and both of them went to secondary school with Leah. The last two sections are brief codas: one tracks Natalie and Nathan on a walk from Willesden across Hampstead Heath to Hornsey Lane; in the final part Natalie visits Leah and they piece things together.

This is less a plot than a set of hooks on which Smith can hang her portrait of North-West London and sketches of characters from various points on the class spectrum. Leah has seen this face many times in these streets. A peculiarity of London villages: faces without names.

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Why am I so middle class? Why am I not? They all have to wonder: why am I so fucked up? Why have I been such a conventional writer? Smith seems to have been asking herself in the process of writing the novel. Her first move is to dip into the modernist toolkit. The initial section has a go at stream of consciousness narration. Quotation marks are left out and dialogue is marked by dashes.

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When Leah thinks of a cherry tree, her thoughts are set on the page in the shape of a cherry tree. Downloaded directions are included for one journey, and another chapter takes the form of a list of objects seen and words overheard on a walk. Hard to tell the significance of that a prime number; the normal human body temperature in Celsius; the number of plays attributed to Shakespeare; the number, according to Wikipedia, that most people pick when asked to name a random number between 0 and The number 37 bus at least fictionally used to go from Kilburn to Camden.

She has a philosophy degree and a job as an administrator with the local council distributing lottery money to charities.


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Invitations to dinner parties compel her to compare her lifestyle to that of her old friend Natalie: lawyer, wife of a banker, owner of a Victorian house, mother of two. There are so many great lessons about craft and psychology within this book. The best part? It was written by someone who actually knew what he was talking about, not some art snob or critic, but an actual artist and architect of equal stature to the people he was documenting. Totto-Chan is a special figure in modern Japanese culture—she is a celebrity on par with Oprah or Ellen, with a magazine, news show and exalted position to boot.

The book describes a childhood in pre-WWII Japan as a poorly misunderstood girl who obviously suffered from attention disorders and excess energy. And I mean understood and cared about and unconditionally supported her in a way that both inspires me and makes me deeply jealous. If only all of us could be so lucky…. Most people get worse as they get successful, many more get worse as they age.

David Comes to Life

In fact, Rockefeller began tithing his money with his first job and gave more of it away as he became successful. He grew more open-minded the older he became, more generous, more pious, more dedicated to making a difference. I was 20 years old. Moses built just about every other major modern construction project in New York City.

Robert Moses was an asshole.

He may have had more brain, more drive, more strategy than other men, but he did not have more compassion. And ultimately power turned him into something monstrous. I almost feel like I have lost something not having known this of him my whole life. All these myths belies his strategic acumen, his mastery of terrain and his deep understanding of statesmanship and politics. There is much to learn from the man and this biographer—who himself was a great strategist and mind.

Drew recommended this book to me, it is spectacular. Rule over yourself. But those beautiful lines are really the same direct advice and timeless, perspective-changing observations as the others. He teaches how to implement your radical agenda without using radical tactics, how to disarm with words and media as opposed to arms and Utopian rhetoric. He shunned wealth, fame, and power all to accomplish what he felt needed to be accomplished.


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Coram captures his essence in a way that no other author has touched. In terms of classics, The History of the Peloponnesian War Amazon is an obligation for every student of history. For a whole list of books on the US Civil War, start here. But then you realize that truth is better than ignorance, and you emerge seeing the world as it truly is for the first time.

If you want to get into evolutionary psychology—which you totally should—this is a good starting point because it covers all the basics. Essentially, it discusses how men and women have benefited evolutionarily through different behaviors and strengths so it would only make sense that they would have developed into two very different entities.

You need to read ALL of them. Just holy shit. Even if it was just the main narrative—the chase to kill a man-eating Tiger in Siberia in post-communist Russia—it would be worth reading, but it is so much more than that. The story is nuts: a tiger starts killing people in Russia and a team is sent to kill it Russia is so fucked up, they already have a team for this.

His other book The Golden Spruce Amazon is also great. And then it gets better from there. I mean, did you know he is credited with being the first to chart and navigate a totally unknown river as long as the Nile? And that he did that after he was President, just for fun?

Not only is there a bunch of great history and drama here, it shows a human side of Roosevelt I had not understood before. Sir Ernest Shackleton makes his daring attempt to cross Antarctic continent but his crew and boat are trapped in the ice flows. What follows are days of harrowing survival, first from the elements, then from hunger, then from the sea as he makes a daring attempt in a small lifeboat to reach land miles away, then again as he struggles over land and mountains to bring relief to his men.

And when he finally arrives with it, Shackleton simply boards them on the boat and returns home as if nothing had happened. Jade Tree licensed the vinyl version to Deranged Records , which released it as a double album in November Several other records, such as Year of the Dog 12" were released, before the band went on the European tour, visiting England, Germany and Spain, among other places.

A Fucked Up Life In Books

Once again, the band and their fans caused a large amount of damage, destroying the ceiling, spray painting walls and knocking over amps and a motorcycle which was brought into the washroom as a prop. Fans, who were told beforehand to stay out of the washroom and to watch from outside the door, rushed the doors and joined in the destruction the band had already started. The band was supposed to play three songs, but were stopped after the first song as MTV was not aware of the destruction the band had planned and were concerned about the safety of the band, audience and crew.

In November , the band played a show in New York that was filmed for the movie Burn , directed by Richard Roepnack. The performance was positively reviewed in the New York Times , although the Times chose not to print the band's name, referring to them instead as a string of asterisks.

The band signed to Matador Records in Spring of This time it came out with additional formats including a series of three 7"es, for the US, UK and Japan respectively, each with a different edit of the A-side and a new B-side. A CDEP compiled all the versions from the various vinyl versions.

The band toured extensively in the UK behind this release, following it with a trip up the West Coast.

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In November , the band participated with other similarly named bands, including Holy Fuck , Fuck , and Fuck Buttons in the Festival of the Fuck Bands music festival in the village of Fucking, Austria. In Fucked Up took part in an interactive documentary series called City Sonic. The series, which featured 20 Toronto artists, had lead singer Damian Abraham inside Rotate This talking about his love of vinyl and punk music. The band also confirmed they will play their annual Halloween gig in Toronto, October 31, The band had initially cancelled the event due to scheduled tour with Against Me!

In February , the band toured Australia for the first time as a part of the Soundwave Festival.

A self-professed "rock opera" set in Thatcherite Britain, it tells a story of love, loss and redemption. The story is complicated by misdirection and unreliable narrators. In November it was announced that the band would be going on hiatus, as Abraham is not able to handle raising a family and tour the same time. The shortlist nomination described David Comes to Life as follows: "Excessive? At times. Sounds pretty damn close to it. In the band released the Zanzibar soundtrack, recorded in , to Tod Browning 's silent movie from West of Zanzibar starring Lon Chaney.

Pink Eyes stated that "The fact that Fucked Up was mentioned in there wasn't some great coincidence. This isn't a case of subliminal advertising, where we're claiming that there were penises in the shadows — our name is right there. Maybe they thought we were too stupid to know what was going on.