I've had a post in the hopper about a couple '90s-era favorites that have recently re-entered my life, but I just haven't been able to get it done. Now it's being derailed by another '90s favorite -- I'm a few hours from flying back to Colorado to pay tribute to the mighty Valeri Kamensky. I'm doing this shit up right, with the #13 jersey out of mothballs and everything. Look forward to blurry photos.
#7 -- "House of Meetings" by Martin Amis
And one more '90s favorite. At one point in life, I proclaimed Marty my favorite author. I'm no fan of his early books but the stretch of Money-London Fields-Time's Arrow-The Information-Night Train is quite an achievement, to say nothing of some fantastic non-fiction in there. Then came 9/11 and his responses -- "Yellow Dog," which started well then veered horribly off the rails; his increasingly blowhardish public pronouncements; and that weird-ass Mohammad Atta story.
In all that, I kind of overlooked "House of Meetings," though it drew some good reviews and has a Soviet theme to it. So consider this a catch-up. It's pretty good, and has a decent amount of those pyrotechnic sentences that only Amis could write. It's also pretty dour (though I suppose it's hard to imagine a novel about the gulag being anything but) and I wouldn't put it up in the above list of greatness. But it's at least some measure of redemption for a guy that I had mostly written off over the past five plus years.