Dear Rachel Kushner:

I have a short story to write you about you that goes like this.

A resolution of sorts for 2017 is to reclaim my attention span before it’s too late from all forms of social media, if not the Internet itself. Step one involves a renewed commitment to reading novels, especially long ones of some renown. Having never read anything by Thomas Pynchon, I decided to start here to see what all the fifty-year fuss and cult following is about.

 V. was unreadable to me from start to couldn’t finish. So unreadable, in fact, that I worried the problem must be mine. Something akin to my worst fear, that being Facebook, etc. had destroyed my ability to concentrate long enough to appreciate literature at this stage of my adult life. I stayed with it for 200 pages before abandoning the book in disgust. Is it possible this great American writer could really be this bad, as in Benny Profane is the lamest slapstick act of all time bad, or am I just one too many status updates past saving?

Enter The Flamethrowers.

Hooked from page one. Blown away by a chapter or two in with Pynchon safely scrubbed clean. Now mesmerized and reading in slow motion tonight during a freezing rain storm in Portland, like first with a hand still nursing the clutch slow, so this novel might never end. Attention span valve job from a total pro. Concentration battery trickle charged and restored.

For the record, I first heard about The Flamethrowers the first time I heard about you here. That’s twice you’ve now stole the show in my book, so to speak.