My books of the week #2: Albert Camus and Sam Tallent

As part of my obsessive explorations in the arts, I try to read an average of two books a week. Here are the two books I read last week.

Albert Camus, The Stranger (1942)

As an exploration of morality, it falls somewhere between Kafka and Dostoevsky. As a portrayal of existentialist disenchantment, it is almost nonpareil.

Sam Tallent, Running the Light (2020)

This novel reeks of booze, cigarettes, piss and vomit. It ain’t pretty, yet it’s fascinating. The lead character of this novel may be a stand-up comedian but if you’re looking for a joke book, you’ll be disappointed. This is something else and whatever it is, will suck you into its world, exploring the depths of human nature, masculinity and the dark side of the self-employed hustle.

10 great quotes from “Running the Light” by Sam Tallent (2020)

I recently read Sam Tallent’s novel, Running the Light, originally published earlier this year, in 2020. Here are ten quotes from the book that particularly stood out to me. BUY IT HERE.

“Things had never been his thing. He spent his money on more immediate gratifications.”

“In cities, no matter the night of the week, the party never had to end, but out in the Rest of It, in the remote blank nowheres, the night had a way of dying just when he was feeling the most alive.”

“Disgust boiled in Billy Ray’s chest like a second heartbeat: of all the things a man can be, a coward is the worst.”

“​The girl’s eyes were racooned by dark circles. She looked defeated. She was too tired to be so young.”

“Youth doesn’t perish, it mutes.”

“With stand-up, Billy Ray was only happy on stage. He lived for the hour; the rest of his life was just filler. Abeyance.”

“Do you remember before we forgot how to love each other? When you were my everything? Do you remember me when I was me? Because I remember you and you were beautiful. We were beautiful.”

“​More was the name of the game. More liquor. More blow. More more. His yearning was frantic. It howled like wind through the holes in his brain. He longed to penetrate and excrete, to fuck and be fucked, to violate, to be ruined.”

“He didn’t have much at this time but he owned the present and later tonight he would attest for his past and improve his future.”

“Billy Ray knew scary men and they didn’t wear visors. This man had never been in a fight in his life. Billy Ray could feel it, it was like a smell: the bravery of ignorance. This man had never been dominated by another. He’d never known the crude intimacy of violence, never felt the fear of laying on his back wondering if the boot would come to his temple or his throat. He was weak, of a generation of false vipers.”