Sunday, August 19, 2007


Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam

Friends, I spent a lot of my afternoon positively immersed in a book.
It is so good, this book, that I almost want to go and jump off my balcony.
Or maybe run out into the street and get hit by a bus as a testament to the fact that I will never be able to write this good, no matter how hard I try!
Oh, the anguish of picking up such a great book. It is painful.
I am referring to Vincent Lam’s [2006] Giller Prize winning book of totally inter-connected short stories, Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures.
I am only at Chapter 4, but I have already written out copious notes on the book.
Its artistry, its themes, its structure. Its perfection.
And perhaps most of all… its pathos. Its realness!
So true to life it hurts.
It is killing me, this thing.

So, I look forward to writing an official review when I am finished.
This book was sent to me by the fine folks at Random House as a review book, several eons ago. Today I finally opened those red covers and fell inside.
Rather than give a synopsis here, I encourage you to go to this wonderfully constructed multi-media page at Random House, and browse the book.
Let me say ahead of time that if you purchase this book and then conclude that it is no good, I will personally strangle myself while running in front of an out-of-control bus!
Endorsements don’t get any more visceral than that.
Do they?



Sam Houston said...

Sounds intriguing, Cip...I'm off to see if my library system has a copy. They've let me down twice today already but maybe the third time really is the charm. :-)

cipriano said...

There we go!
That's what I like.
I guarantee you Monsieur Houston.... like I said, if you don't like this book I will rip my own heart out and while it's still beating, place it under the wheels of a rapidly advancing Mayflower moving van!

Hey.... lately I read an interesting thing about Houston, Texas. It was in Alan Weisman's book, The World Without Us.
He said in there that Houston is so damn huge, that it could contain, within its city limits... "Cleveland, Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Washington, D.C., with room to spare." [p.135].
How is that even possible?

Sam Houston said...

Just found out that my system has the book on order but not on the shelves yet. The good news is that I'm number one on the hold list, so thanks for the timely heads up.

I had never heard that about all those cities fitting inside Houston city limits, but I do know that the official city limits of Houston now encompass more than 600 square miles so I suppose it is possible...the suburbs than go on forever in every direction, too. Makes me wonder if there is a larger city in the U.S. in terms of square miles, maybe L.A.?

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. Houston.
How about this: is it true that yours is currently the fastest growing city in the US?
That is what I have read - somewhere.
I know. Texas grows everything bigger...

Cip is right about the book. I'm reading it too.
Hope you get your copy soon.

Beth said...

What a fabulous book. I read it and so did my med school aspiring son. It encouraged his dream.

Sam Houston said...

I sure hope that's not true, anonymous, because at the rate that they are building schools here my property taxes are about to force me to sell my house and buy smaller. We did end up with over 100,000 misplaced New Orleans refugees who are still with us and the Hispanic population is rapidly growing. I suppose that will make Houston a dynamic city, and I love having all the different cultures so close. It's fun to watch but I have to wonder if the infrastructure will keep up with the rapid growth.

Danika said...

I just finished that book after taking it out of the library. Now I must buy it. And I thought I could save money by going to the library. -rolls eyes- But yes, stupendous, marvelous book.