Sunday, July 19, 2009

On "Better"

As promised, here is the essay on my brother John's novel Better for the Los Angeles Times: "Clues in John O'Brien's Better."

For any new readers looking for more on John, I offer some of my in-depth writing on my brother and his work and an associated blog entry with additional pictures and links. Thanks for dropping in.

Confidential to the city of Los Angeles: Thank you for being you. You give good visit. Also, many thanks for not quaking the earth beneath yourself during my visit. One last thing--and you're probably not going to like this--but the people in your airport look a whole lot like the people in the Cleveland Airport.


Mr. L said...

Right...Los Angeles...Cleveland...what's the difference??

Let's see how many people THAT annoys (on both sides) !!! :)

glittergirl said...

i loved the essay in the LA times. like someone somewhere else said, thanks for your stewardship.

Sean Craven said...

Erin, I've been tempted to communicate this to you since I started reading your writings on your brother.

I've faced a lot of the issues you discuss myself. Family history of alcoholism, suicidal depression, creative compulsions, etc, etc.

This is why I really appreciate your blog and columns taken as a whole. You show are open and honest about the shadow, and at the same time demonstrate a strong and vital sense of the fundamental worth of life.

Reading your work makes me feel encouraged. A little stronger. Thank you very much.

philbilly said...

Re: Cleveland look vs. LA look;

Oh, no you dih'int!

Scene: Monday morning;

Phones ringing off the hook at the LA snip and tuck clinics. Gyms are packed.

Meanwhile, Clevelanders rise early, order a side of perogies with breakfast and relax.

My left arm is nicely tanned, ahh... summertime.

DogsDontPurr said...

I often hear people referring to Los Angeles as "La La Land." And yes, there are pockets of that, but for the most part, it's just a mix of everyday people. Really!

I've never been to Cleveland, but I'm guessing Erin is right. People look the same pretty much anywhere you go.

philbilly said...


I confess my ignorance about LA is in part from never having been there, and mostly from forming an opinion from the boob tube/ cinema. LA has occupied that place in American mainstream mythology in the latter half of the 20th century that NYC held in the first.

I have, for instance, never found New Yorkers to be unfriendly, just in a huge hurry.

However, the LA depicted in "Repo Man" is iconic to me, and I don't want to believe otherwise.

NYC is exactly like "Metropolis".

(S)wine said...

super stuff.