Levi Asher • May 12th, 2005
So ... where does everybody stand on William Vollmann?
I hadn't read him until recently, when I picked up a copy of Expelled From Eden
, a greatest-hits set apparently designed to make Vollmann's famously sinewy and labyrinthine writing palatable for normal people.
I've read about 1/10 of what's there so far, and my feelings are mixed. He can certainly turn out a sparkling sentence, and I also like his focus on mankind's inherent violence and depravity. His two main obsessions seem to be global war and prostitution, though I'm really not sure what the connection is between the two subjects.
I'm going to keep reading, but I'm already turned off by the back cover blurb that calls Vollmann a future Nobel Prize winner. Why? He hasn't fully won my vote yet ... in fact I'm not even sure I'm going to keep reading the book. I'd like to know if anybody else has any opinions on this guy.