The first and most important thing you need to know about Jonathan Evison's heartbreaking, maddening novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is that one of its two main characters is a paralyzed teenage boy, named Trevor. The other is a grown man, Ben, who frequently acts like a teenage boy. Your enjoyment of the book — the follow-up to Evison's well-regarded West of Here — will be largely predicated on how much you like listening in on can-you-top-this, gross-out sex talk, and ruefully self-demeaning descriptions of the female of the species.
The Madden NFL video game franchise has sold close to 100 million copies, a number that will only go up on Tuesday when Madden NFL 13 hits shelves. Madden is the biggest franchise of its kind in North America, and big business for an enormous, tangled web of interested parties. Just ask Tommy Mullings — he craves football.
"After the football's done, like, I can't get enough football," he says. "So I'll go watch football all day and then end my Sunday with a couple of games of Madden."
The word "haunting" could be used to describe many of the short stories in Gold Boy, Emerald Girl. The collection is by Yiyun Li, who emigrated from Beijing to the United States in the 1990s, and received the prestigious MacArthur "genius" grant in 2010.
With the backdrop of a nation moving from isolation to openness, Li's characters deal with universal struggles such as loneliness, regret, love and loss. And often, they're not who they may appear to be.
Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 11:45 am
Some people suffer from recurring nightmares about being naked on stage, or not having revised for their exams. My bedtime terror is different — I'm gripped with fear that I haven't fed or watered my childhood budgie, with potentially devastating consequences. I loved that bird, Joey, so much, despite the fact that she unmasked herself as female after I'd named her, I still have a tiny box filled with her discarded green feathers. I've never owned a pet as an adult. I prefer animals in novels to avoid the horror of finding two cold, clutched feet in the air.