Thursday, November 24, 2016

Review: The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud

Kamel Daoud's novel was originally published in French under the tile Meurault, contre-enquête in 2013 in Algeria. John Cullen's English translation is entitled The Meursault Investigation, and it was published in 2015. There is also an Arabic translation under the title معارضة الغريب.

By no means should this blog entry be considered a genuine review. Nevertheless, I hope some of my thoughts after reading Albert Camus's L'etranger (English title The Stranger), excerpts of Edward Said's Culture and Imperialism and Kamel Daoud's recent novel will be useful.

This does contain a few spoilers.

1. I don't think it's useful to read The Meursault Investigation without having first read The Stranger. Kamel Daoud denies that his novel is a response to Albert Camus, and I actually buy that. It's just that there's too much meta going on in Kamel Daoud's novel which a reader who hadn't read The Stranger would miss.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Review: "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder" by Vincent Bugliosi

I had started listening to the audio narration of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder by Vincent Bugliosi several years ago and never finished it. My new car has a working CD player, and I remembered I had 3 more discs from this book, so I finished them driving around town over the last week.

Even though I lived through the events of George the Small's years in the White House, this book reminded me how bad he was and how much he deserves punishment for the criminal wars he pursued. If you are like me and you've forgotten or you are too young to know, it's worth a read.

But more importantly, he ends the book discussing the cultural changes he saw in the United States which allowed for the election of George the Small and the popularity he enjoyed for most of his rule. Now some of this is simply an aged curmudgeon (he hates rap music), but there are some points congruent with a book I reviewed earlier about the erosion of literacy.