June 13th, 2011 / 1:23 pm

What’s the last book you reread that you had loved before? Did it hold up, get better, feel worse/different?


  1. M. Kitchell

      I am 400 pages into rereading House of Leaves for the first time since I read it the summer of 2000, only reading “The Navidson Record” part this time through because at the moment it is all I am interested in.  Full report will follow upon completion.

  2. Tony ONeill

      funnily enough i just picked up richard hell’s “go now” this weekend, and had another whirl with it.  first time i read it was maybe 10 years ago.  it really held up the second go around.  i actually found a lot of stuff in there that i’d forgotten about, and i still think it’s his best work, a really dark and stunning bit of intellectual scab picking.  even though i knew what was coming at the end, it still seemed quite shocking, which is a neat trick to pull off. 

  3. alexisorgera

      Free Enterprise by Michelle Cliff. Loved it again.

  4. Janey Smith

      Blake? Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century, Greil Marcus. It felt different this time. I already know the secrets within it better than I did the first time I read the book. 

  5. Dawn.

      The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch. My new favorite book.

  6. Samuel Gulpan

      ‘The Absoulutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ was better the second time around. I don’t know how this could possibly happen, for it was flawless the first time. I suppose it could be due to the fact that I was reading it more slowly, for a class, with discussions involved. This gave me a platform to gush about it.

  7. bartleby_taco

      I just recently reread Dance Dance Dance, which I haven’t read in about 5 or 6 years. I haven’t read any Murakami in a long time really, and I forgot a lot about his writing. It was lots of fun, although I found that he has some pretty strange quirks as a writer. Lots of weird (bad) metaphors and a little too much pontificating on “connectedness.” I still liked it a bunch though.

  8. MFBomb

      “Housekeeping,” and it gets better each time.

  9. Clarence L'inspecteur

      I thought Dos Passos’ “Manhattan Transfer” was great the first time i read it, a couple of years ago, and it just, i don’t know, blew me away last week. It could have been written today, yesterday, or tomorrow for that matter. A hell of a book.

  10. people from space


  11. postitbreakup

      I tried reading House of Leaves multiple times and liked it but it was just too much. I think yours is a great idea–I was only interested in the Navidson Record, too, but felt obligated to read all that Johnny Truant stuff and got bogged down in it and put the book away before finishing it. It’s kinda ridiculous how I feel “obligated” to either read every word or read not at all, since it keeps me from enjoying things I otherwise might have.

  12. MFBomb

      The fuck you talking about, idiot?

  13. MFBomb

      The fuck you talking about, idiot?

  14. deadgod

      Them unself-aware, bombastic, logorrheic, authority-supportive intellectual posturings are dang puzzling, eh?

  15. Cassandra Troyan

      Story of the Eye. It gets better every time, even the sixth.

  16. MFBomb

      Do you have a job? Do you actually write anything other than HTMLGiant posts? How will you feel when you look back on your undead life and realize that most of your writing energy was expended on some message board? BTW, it took me two seconds to write this post, and my thesaurus remained closed.

  17. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      Manhattan Transfer and USA are two of my most important books. I lost my copy of USA a ways back unfortunately, but I still go back to Manhattan Transfer here and there, to specific scenes I remember liking a lot, and Idunno… some parts definitely do still resonate with me, I love his imagery and his sentences, but looking at it five years later, some of the scenes read a little too melodramatically to me. Like the small part of the guy sitting on a park bench crying and talking to himself, and even the part where the drunk guy lights himself on fire. Maybe it was just because when I was younger I was dazzled by the new idea that communist and anarchist movements were considered in the US, despite what high school history tends to teach us. It feels a little more like propaganda than realism now. 


  18. M. Kitchell

      I think deadgod was taking your side MFBomb… though in a sort of backhanded way

  19. M. Kitchell

      that is probably the book i have read more than any other book 

  20. MFBomb

      No he wasn’t. He was recycling language I used against him/her/it (since “deadgod” could very well be some computer troll program) on another thread. 

  21. M. Kitchell

      Yeah, I’ve tried through the years to re-read it straight through but just get really bogged down by the Truant stuff.  I was totally fine with it the first time around, but to be fair I was also 14 the first time around.

  22. Mark Doten

      kafka’s letter’s to friends, family and editors. great, again. his letters and diaries, taken as a whole, are probably my favorite thing in literature. 

  23. deadgod

      You really have a thesaurus??  Maybe that’s what people from space was/were talking about . . .

  24. Troyweav

      Ray by Barry Hannah, still a bear trap of a book.

  25. mimi

      i thesaurus’ed ‘thesaurus’ on thesaurus.com and got: glossary, language reference book, lexicon, onomasticon, reference book, sourcebook, storehouse of words, terminology, treasury of words, vocabulary, word list – i like ‘storehouse of words’

  26. Samuel Sargent

      I’ve reread “When I Was Five I Killed Myself” by Howard Buten a few times in the past few years and love it every time. I’m really hoping that the rise of ebooks brings the rest of Mr. Buten’s novels into English availability. (As he’s American and was originally writing for an American audience, I doubt there’d be much difficulty in translating his work from French. In fact, it may already be available in English. I think it’s time I renew my quest to contact him online.)

  27. deadgod

      . . . hmm:  “twit”:  ‘skidmark; nostril scab; victim of confusion’.

      Oh; I see.

      (mimi, a superb reference book is a beautiful thing.  One of these days, I’m going to bet real money – because that’s what they cost – on the recent Oxford thesaurus.)

  28. Shannon

      The last I reread was “Last Exit to Brooklyn” by Hubert Selby Jr. I actually loved it a little more. I got very stuck in a few really beautiful moments/phrases in it. It absolutely holds up every time I read it.

  29. leapsloth14

      That’s a good book.

  30. MFBomb

      Barry Hannah takes giant bear dumps on 99.9999% of all other writers.

  31. MFBomb

      I haven’t read Manhattan Transfer, but I’ve read 1919.  I need to reread it and the rest of U.SA. trilogy for the first time. 

      He was post-modern before post-modernism.  I love the “camera-eye” sections and how his novels infuse cinematic techniques.

  32. MFBomb

      Except Mark Richard.  He is the one the writer who has better style than Barry Hannah.  He’s like the Ric Flair of prose-fiction.

  33. Troyweav

      Never read any Mark Richard. But if what you say is true I’ll definately check him out. Any suggestions?

  34. Troyweav

      just reread that recently. I agree, great book. Have you seen the movie Hubert Selby Jr: it’ll be better tomorrow? Great documentary, and you can stream it on netflicks to boot!!!

  35. Troyweav


  36. Troyweav

      Sorry, this one was to Shannon

  37. MFBomb

      Just start from the beginning and read all four of his books in chronological order: 1) Ice at The Bottom of The World (stories) 2) Charity (stories) 3) Fishboy (novel) and 4) House of Prayer #2 (memoir).

      Here’s his story, “The Birds For Christmas”:


  38. mimi

      i thesaurus.com’ed ‘twit’ and got: ass, birdbrain, blockhead, bonehead, boob, bore, buffoon, clod, clown, cretin (a personal favorite), dimwit, dolt, donkey, dope, dork, drip, dullard, dumb ox, dunce, dunderhead, easy mark, fair game, fathead, fool, goof, goofball, goose, half-wit, idiot, ignoramus, illiterate, imbecile, innocent, jackass, jerk, knucklehead, kook, lamebrain, lightweight, loon, moron, muttonhead (must be ‘british’), nerd, nincompoop, ninny, nitwit, numbskull, oaf, out to lunch, pinhead, sap, scatterbrain, schlemiel, schnook, silly, simpleton, stooge, stupid, sucker, tomfool, turkey, twerp, victim (but not ‘of confusion’!)

      there were only two antonyms for ‘twit’: brain, genius – – – what? no egghead? brainiac? einstein?

      i would love to know if the OET has any other offerings  

  39. John Minichillo

      I often reread stories/plays/poems/essays to teach. Don’t teach novels, is that a copout? So be it. Last pleasure reread was probably Becket, Unnamable from the trilogy. Still seemed innovative and fresh.

  40. Shannon

      I have to confess I watched it almost every day last week. I’m a little obsessive that way.

  41. Anonymous

      How is the memoir? I heard him discuss it on BOOKWORM, then forgot it existed.

  42. postitbreakup

      It’s terrific.  I wish there were more like it for other authors.

  43. MFBomb

      It’s pretty damn good, though I’m completely unreasonable when it comes to Mark Richard: the man’s my hero.

  44. hoodvl

      Richard is sort of a has-been. He was good, but not as good as James Robison or Mary  Robison.

  45. Troyweav

      Cool, thanks.

  46. Troyweav

      Twice last week myself.

  47. MFBomb

      How does one define a “has-been,” when so many of the best writers are  either dead or old enough to allow a clear reflection on their work in the first place?

  48. mimi

      i thought thesaurus.com was good for ‘twit’
      thesaurus.com for ‘has-been’ is awesome

  49. Troyweav

      Love it!!! But it is Malone Dies for me. I also love to whip out Endgame every chance I get.

  50. Parker

      The Easter Parade. Loved it again.

  51. Troyweav

      I really enjoyed this story. Thank you.

  52. Troyweav

      I really enjoyed this story. Thank you.

  53. Madison Langston

      nausea by sartre is always good but makes me melt differently each time and with hardly any memory of how i felt it before
      tsim tsum by sabrina orah mark is somehow consistently better every time i read it 
      and unconventions by michael martone is so magical it’s like i never stopped reading it i think

  54. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      Yeah get on all those. I read USA as one big book and it was great. Manhattan Transfer does the same business but on a smaller scale. The Camera-Eye technique gets better and better as the trilogy progresses.

      I think my favorite thing about Dos Passos is how the rest of his novels appear to be significantly worse. I thought Three Soldiers was pretty weak, and when I read another one of his later novels, Most Likely to Succeed, it was just one long bore, and I’ve heard everything else by him is not worthwhile.

      And when you read USA, if you haven’t read The Naked and the Dead yet, you’ll learn just how big of an unimaginative hackjob that book was.

  55. Ryan

      I should never have re-read You Shall Know Our Velocity! because it seemed to preciptate my appreciation of the ongoing demise of Eggers’ writing. I loved that book once.