"It's really a very simple story. What happened was this: I met this girl and did a very stupid thing. I fell in love. Hard. I know that to some people that makes me an idiot and a loser. What can I say? They're right. I did some extremely foolish things; I'm the first to say it. And they've left me in jail and alone."
So begins one of the most compelling, emotionally charged, and affecting novels you are likely to read this year.
The death last week of writer Brian Friel – described in obituaries as "Ireland's Chekhov" – makes me very sad. I love Friel's work. When I was a teenager, I saw his breakthrough play "Philadelphia, Here I Come!" three times. Standing room was cheap in 1966 when it played at the now-demolished Helen Hayes Theatre for 326 performances and was nominated for six Tony Awards, winning none of them. 1966 was the year "Marat/Sade" swept everything.
In later years, I saw a magnificent production of his "Translations" on Broadway and his beautiful adaptation of "Uncle Vanya" at the Dublin Gate Theatre. (Yes, the "Irish Chekhov" did three adaptations of the work of the Russian master, with whom he shared so much subject matter: the lives of ordinary people, family dynamics, and the struggle to find meaning and joy in everyday existence.)
Watch my award-winning short film Lunch With Louie
everyday THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ... NAPOLEON by Andrew Roberts (a long one!!) ... a little A FAN'S NOTES ... the new New Yorker and the new New York Review of Books
LUCINDA WILLIAMS ... Thom Hartmann always... lots of COSI, lots of KEITH JARRETT ... ... too much Pandora (but I made a new Ryan Adams & the Cardinalsstation)
MSNBC and Fox ... old episodes of THE OFFICE ... Turner Classic Movies... and up-and-down with THE DODGERS!