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Thursday, July 5, 2012

"His thoughts and feelings were padlocked, completely padlocked in his mind, and when he talked, most of the time, instead of expressing them he was using words to prevent himself from letting them out, fooling people by putting into their minds a picture of himself that was not at all Studs Lonigan." -Studs Lonigan by James T. Farrell.

This is my blog, so what the hell, I'm just going to take a short moment to strongly encourage everyone who cares about great books to pick up a copy of James T. Farrell's masterpiece, Studs Lonigan.

 Not an easy book, certainly. In Studs, Farrell has created a protagonist who is, variously, racist, sexiest, a criminal, a coward, etc. We essentially live Lonigan's life with him, and experience first hand what a cowardly, cringing wreck of a man he is. For all's riveting. Farrell can't write anything but the truth. I've read and re-read the book countless times, since stumbling upon it as a teenager, and each time, the wreck of Studs' wasted life, hits me...just like the first time. That's true talent: to create a character whom I loathe and despise, but about whom I can't stop caring.

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