Read Ian McEwan. You know that we're Foster Wallace people, but still, this McEwan is an infinitely more talented writer qua writer of characters, fear, anxiety, and breaking loss. DFW is moving in this direction (indeed, has been moving in this direction since the last 200 pages of Infinite Jest) but McEwan seems to have been born with the ability to pull those strings we call psychological by mere movement of his pen on paper. That is, he's very very talented and makes us gasp at times, and we just know that he meant to make us gasp right there, and we're really jealous of him for his doing this. This part here is the beginning of The Cement Garden, surely one of the best books written, and it should be read by all children, as soon as possible, so they can learn about sex and self-starting.
I did not kill my father, but I sometimes felt I had helped him on his way. And but for the fact that it coincided with a landmark in my own physical growth, his death seemed insignificant compared to what followed. My sisters and I talked about him the week after he died, and Sue certainly cried when the ambulance men tucked him in a bright red blanket and carried him away. He was a frail, irascible, obsessive man with yellowish hands and face. I am only including the little story of his death to explain how my sisters and I came to have such a large quantity of cement at our disposal.That has to be the finest last line of an opening paragraph--ever. "I am only including the little story of his death to explain how my sisters and I came to have such a large quantity of cement at our disposal." Ian McEwan is the truth, and that there is the fucking poise and balance of the period itself.