For a certain variety of high school outsider, comedy could be every bit as life-changing as punk rock, in terms of growing up properly.
In suburban Detroit in the late '80s, I was a huge comedy nerd – that annoying kid that recited Monty Python skits verbatim and ripped off entire Steven Wright routines at the cafeteria lunch table. SNL, Letterman, Eddie Murphy – these guys were my heroes.
Kate Christensen's sixth novel, The Astral, charts the long and whining road toward a new life for Harry Quirk, a down-and-out poet whose fierce, staunchly Catholic wife of 30 years has thrown him out of their home in the legendary Astral apartment building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Convinced that Harry has been cheating on her with his recently widowed best friend, Luz has gone ballistic. She destroyed his laptop and the notebooks containing his latest poems, a cycle of sonnets about imaginary lovers she's convinced are real.
"The death of Osama bin Laden is a significant victory in our campaign to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaida ... [though it] does not mean we can rest," CIA Director Leon Panetta, who has been nominated to be the next secretary of defense, tells the Senate Armed Services Committee.
With a name that sounds like something out of professional wrestling and an active ingredient that would be right at home in a medieval alchemist's lab, the animal drug 3-Nitro is coming off the market.
The government of Moammar Gadhafi may have ordered the rape of hundreds of Libyan women as part of its campaign against opponents of the regime, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court says.
And Luis Moreno-Ocampo "said [Wednesday that] he was also looking at possible evidence that pro-Gadhafi security forces had been given medication such as Viagra to enhance their sex drive," the BBC reports.
Next week, Juliet Eilperin's Demon Fish: Travels Through the Hidden World of Sharkshits shelves, and it is poised to be one of the summer's most compelling beach reads — and not only because it will make you aware that mere feet away from you, there are likely hundreds of hungry, carnivorous fish lurking in the water.