Good Stuff

I read Walter Kirn’s novel UP IN THE AIR not too long ago and he had some lines of description that I wish I wrote… lines that made me want start writing something, anything, just to be writing. Here are a few:  

Two months ago she teased me into bed, then put on a showy, marathon performance that struck me as rehearsed, even researched […] Now and then I’d catch her in the middle of a particularly far-fetched pose and see that it wasn’t appetite that drove her but some idea, some odd erotic theory.

[…] in a suburb that might have been squeezed from a tube.

Old tailors love me. They tell me I remind them of men from forty years ago.

[…]becoming one of those women who need make-up not to highlight their features but to create them.

My call is passed from computer to computer and then to a person who only sounds like one.

She looks like a girl in her twenties who’s been aged by an amateur movie makeup artist using spirit gum for wrinkles and sprinkled baby powder to gray her hair.

His face is soap opera handsome. Full lips. Sleek forehead. A scar on his chin to remind you he’s male.

I manage to be brotherly to her merely by sitting nearby and shedding heat.

He’s reading Dean Koontz with a squinting intensity that Koontz just doesn’t call for and must be fake.

5 thoughts on “Good Stuff”

  1. He is a gifted guy. His novels have been the source of three films: Thumbsucker, Up in the Air, and Mission to America. He reviews for New York magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and Time Magazine. He was married for a while to Maggie McGuane, daughter of Margot Kidder and Tom McGuane. He lives in Livingston, Montana.

  2. Thank you. That makes me want to read the book. In 2005, I ate dinner three places down from him at a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Assn. event, but was too shy to introduce myself. Instead, I spent most of the time talking to the guy on my left, RL Stine.

  3. Jonathan,
    That’s exactly what I discussed in the blog post that preceded this one…
    The movie is better than the book. Far better. And yet it perfectly captures the essence of the book.


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