Saturday, October 24, 2009

What is Michael Idov reading?

This weekend's featured contributor at Writers Read: Michael Idov, author of Ground Up, his first novel, which was published this summer by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

An excerpt from his entry:
This is one of those questions that tempt you into concocting a beautifully balanced and meaningful self-portrait of a list in response. In the words of Julia Child, Whooo's to knooow? For the sake of honesty, however, here's what I'm actually reading at the moment. And by reading, I mean snatching a few pages here and there between the frequently insane requirements of my journalistic research ("Effect of Neonatal Circumcision on Pain Response During Subsequent Routine Vaccination," anyone?)....

Thunder at Twilight, by Frederic Morton. An amazing portrait of Vienna between 1913 and 1914: the city and the moment in which Trotsky, Freud, Lenin, Hitler, and Josip Broz Tito could have been using the same coffee cup.

Indignation, by Philip Roth. The consistency of his greatness is almost wearying, at this point. There really doesn't seem to be any reason to write realistic U.S.-set novels while the man is still alive.[read on]
Among the praise for Ground Up:
“Charming, manic, and delicious. A caffeinated valentine from a New York already gone, but certainly not forgotten. I drank it right up and felt oddly comforted.”
—Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan

“Every quotable sentence in Michael Idov’s brilliantly funny first novel (First novel? How is this possible?) induced in this reader awe and jealousy. Ground Up’s narrator is a voice and sensibility I’d follow into any story, any neighborhood. There’s talent here of the Nabokovian kind, wresting truth, love, and mordant wit from delightfully misguided dreams. I loved every word.”
—Elinor Lipman, author of Then She Found Me
Visit Michael Idov's website.

Writers Read: Michael Idov.

--Marshal Zeringue