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Friday, August 4, 2017

Up and Down

The upside of having a nasty summer cold is, after running only the most necessary errands, I was able to crawl back into bed with my beautiful Nurse Coco and Richard Kadrey. OK, not with Mister Kadrey himself but with his way fun creation, The Everything Box.
“So, you’re the angel of Death?” The angel shook his head, a little embarrassed. “I don’t have that honor. In Heaven, I’m the celestial who bears the great golden quills, the silver Chroma, the holy vellums upon which the Lord God inscribes the fate of the universe.” Tiras’s eyes narrowed. “You’re in charge of office supplies. You’re the angel of office supplies.”
Yeah sure, I also napped a lot AND I had an amazing, light and flat out divine apple pie cupcake! Damn, where have these been all my life? Just 280 calories too – wow. Sure, sure, can't have these every day (or week *sigh*) BUT, for a sick day treat, it was relatively guilt free.

The downside of spending all day in bed reading, nodding off and otherwise indulging my fucking cold? Sleep was not in last night’s forecast. I gave it a solid effort, a few times even, before turning on the light and continuing on with Richard’s tale of low level, functionary angels, murder, mayhem and, possibly, the end of the world. Supernatural detective noir – want more please. Sadly, I finished the book and have run through all of Mister Kadrey’s offreings so...time to find new escapism.

I found, in the stacks of to-be-reads by my bed, Death of a Postmodernist by Janice Steinberg. It’s an art world centered murder mystery – totally up my alley, no?

The protagonist, Margo Simon, is a part time reporter at a San Diego public radio station who’s really hoping to snag the recently posted full time journo position. Her current assignment is at a mega hip gallery where three different installations are being staged. She’s spending a few days interviewing the stereotypically prickly, hot-news avant-gardists. On opening night, one of them is offed.

From the prologue:
The Capelli Foundation for Postmodern Art was the kind of place where, if you saw a ton of manure dumped in the courtyard, you couldn’t be sure whether to assume someone had a grudge or to sneak a look for the artist’s name and the title of the work.
So, it isn’t as bizarre as it may sound that several hundred people saw the dead body at the Capelli before anyone realized it wasn’t art.
So far it’s an entertaining enough mystery and I love all the inside-art world references. I've a coupla kvetches. For starters, nearly everyone is painfully young AND already nicely accomplished. Two of the artists, though only in their mid/late 20s, are famous and financially successful. The Capelli is written as a major, major, cutting edge exhibition hall – the director is just 26 and got the gig after managing a small but well respected NYC gallery. Oh…rilly, at 26. Sure. I found myself thinking that Steinberg must have written this when she was very young and unaware – this level of art world success rarely/nearly never happens to folks so fresh outta Pampers. OR the author and all her buds are trust funders whose parents introduce them around so’s they can start at the top or close to it (and then get bored of all this silly art stuff and go back to school for the MBA).

I’m up to chapter ten and it’s worth hanging in. I’m enjoying the art world caricatures and, on a quick Google about, this looks like it could have been her first published effort (it came out in ’95). Maybe she was making most of her characters the same age as herself and as outstandingly, youthfully accomplished as she hoped to be on publication?

I'd do the same damn thing. Totally.

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