I just finished The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perlotta. Pretty poor, imo, and reminded me why I rarely read novels. He hashed his way through a tired old story line; small town divided by a religious/secular rift, with characters who amount to nothing more than stick figures and straw men.
I read it because the author is going to be speaking at a literary festival in town and I wanted to be able to ask some questions about his work. The only question I have for him now is, "How do you find an agent who can get extremely mediocre work published"?
Reading A Comedy of Errors now. I always go to Shakespeare to wash off the taste of a bad literary experience.