READ THIS: Michael Martone

Michael Martone’s eponymous new novel (Michael Martone, natch) is the summer READ THIS! selection of the litblog co-op. I loved it. I didn’t think it was the best of the four this time, but it was one of my favorites and it’s certainly the easiest to recommend. It’s very, very funny.

Every chapter is a “contributor’s note” of several pages, with varying degrees of fictionality, about Martone himself. One such note, a very funny meditation on the etiquette of giving and hosting readings on college campuses (where to get the water? bottled or in a glass? where to dump the left over water? how to shake hands while holding said water?) was in the Best American Essays for 2005 volume.

So, be sure to stop by the Litblog Co-op site often over the next few weeks as we’ll all be discussing Martone and the three other nominees—Kellie Wells’ Midwestern magic realism, Paule Constant’s comic revision of Heart of Darkness (yes, that’s what I said), and Edie Meidav’s strange, epic memory novel of Vichy France.