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Shirley Jackson, Francine Prose
No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs
Naomi Klein
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"I want to perform an unnatural act."

- Lenny Bruce

"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative. I don't like anything in the mainstream and they don't like me."

- Bill Hicks

"I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant."

-George Carlin

"The more I see, the less I know for sure."

- John Lennon

The King in the Tree: Three Novellas - Steven Millhauser 3.5 stars.As this book is essentially three novellas, I'll review them as such.The first story, "Revenge", truly shines. The main character, who has been wronged in the past, enacts a chilling vengeance. I don't even want to go into it using spoiler tags as I really think you should read this story. It's mesmerizing.The second, "An Adventure of Don Juan", does not live up to the first story, but it certainly is memorable. What I enjoyed about this story was that it didn't attempt to portray Don Juan as a mere lothario; Millhauser emphasizes that he sometimes takes women by force, so he's clearly not a sympathetic hero. What Millhauser does is masterful, however; he does in fact render sympathy for Don Juan as the story progresses. Again, I don't even want to use spoiler tags as this story merits a read, but Don Juan's moments of stunning clarity, seeing himself as "nothing but a third-rate actor in a provincial troupe travelling from small town to small town" provoke a certain empathy. The ending wasn't a terrible surprise, but Millhauser crafts it well, using powerful imagery and an excellent metaphor of a dark house with the furniture rearranged, rendering it a maze.The titular story of "The King in the Tree" can be summed up by one line in by the storyteller, Thomas of Cornwall: "It is not good to pity one's king." While it's an intriguing premise of a King who suspects an affair between his Queen and his nephew, whom he loves as a son, it tends to drag and by the middle of the story, it's almost tedious. Still, it's written well, with some interesting metaphors and twists within.Millhauser does a beautiful job of crafting beautiful imagery and arresting prose. You'd do well to read this book, and his other works.