Went to the bookstore and picked up a new paperback, Tom McCarthy's novel C, which sounded intriguing in a review I'd read. Skimmed a few pages... put it back down. I don't much care for novels or stories written in the present tense, which seems to be all the rage these days. Actually I have a strong distaste for it. I'm not reading a film scenario; I don't need the extra illusion of watching a movie unroll directly onto the printed page. I like the residue of the past tense : it's like the shadow cast by the fictional scenes evoked in the imagination.