I gotta say (and if you know me you know it pains me to say this, but if you know me well you know it doesn't), out of this bunch, Indian Killer was the big winner. I mean, there's nothing literary about it. Pure pop-fiction. There were times when it even felt a little Scooby-Dooish, but holy fuck. When I got to the end I was completely satisfied. I felt good. I felt ready to read more Sherman Alexie.
Although currently, I'm not a runner, I did a lot of it the six or seven plus years I spent in martial arts and boxing, so I got into this book quickly. I love how Tanzer was able to weave domestic relations, his sincere feelings about being a writer, and the zany affairs of his officemates, alongside valuable lessons in breathing, foot work, and pacing. Tanzer is careful how much information he gives out and when, sometimes I wanted to know more, to go a little deeper, but that day's run was over, and I was left craving his next insight.
This is a pretty beautiful book. I learned a lot from it. I can't say what I mean because I'm in the student lounge and it's loud and so many college girls in south jersey shorts, its not a good environment for intellectualizing. It's a solid look into the lives of 1950's semi-elite/celebrity. It feels to me a lot like some of Hunter S. Thompson's better stuff, but I prefer the quickness of Thompson. Sometimes Mailer drags on and on. He says in 400 pages what could be said better in 250. He can take three or four pages to describe one feeling. Which is alright I suppose, but it's not my preference.
I can't even think of one good justification why this was even published. A long way from some of Alexie's early stuff that had an abundance of flavor (Indian Killer, Tonto and Lone Ranger, Business of Fancydancing) This is lifeless.
I'm much more familiar with Hank's prose then I am poetry, but this seems to be typical of what I've read of his. The stuff I really loved broke my heart and the stuff I didn't felt like a shitty rant from a high school kid. But say what you say brotha, the man's got soul.