Friday, August 28, 2009
I thoroughly loved this book. I thought it was engaging, well written, and just plain interesting. I'm excited to read "Love in the Time of Cholera", by the same author (and widely publicized in one of my personal favorite movies, Serendipity). Why have I not yet stated "Everyone must read this book"? Because there's ... well, a bit of family lovin', in the non-legal way. I don't know how to explain this without sounding disgusting but because the book starts in the 19th century (or so it seems, the author never says), because it takes place in a remote South American village, because it's not immediate family, and because it isn't graphically described, I wasn't really phased by it. I know, I know. I'm a creeper. I'm just saying, I really enjoyed the book. The author had a way of writing with ease, even about strange village traditions and beliefs. They seem completely foreign to modern logic, but maybe that was part of the appeal to me. Fantasy, in a very realistic way.
For example, when the wandering waif girl shows up with nothing but a satchel and a name, the protagonist family soon discovers the bag contains the bones of her dead parents, begging to be buried properly. I forget specifically why, but for one reason or another, the family waits, and puts the bag of bones in a room. Throughout the next few chapters, the bones are found in different locations throughout the house. A 21st century reader would assume there's a subplot about someone wanting to steal the bones, but it's just common knowledge in this literary world that bones can move of their own free will. I'm poorly explaining this, but the author weaves magic into the mundane, touching all five of your senses in the process.
Don't judge me when you try to read it and are too disgusted to finish it. I suppose I'm just a smutty reader.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Once again, I have a good excuse for a lack of blogging, I've been on a mini vacation here:
for the past week. I should be ashamed to admit, before this last visit, I had never returned to my native land with the sole intention of being with my family. That was always pleasant, but I always also had an itinerary that included a long list of eateries to sample and friends to catch up with. For the first time, I told very few people I was even coming back into town, I did see a few friends, but for the most part, I made a point to stay at home. And to my adolescent surprise, it was the best week I've had in a long time. For perhaps the first time in my life, I miss home not because of friends or weather or ease of living, but because I'm not with my family all day, everyday.
Of course, such intense feelings of love and devotion come only, from short trips. The picture above was from Wikipedia. Unfortunately, the only picture from the whole week was one of some audience participation art at the Seattle Art Museum, where myself and two accomplices wrote "poop" in a table of wooden blocks. See, and you thought I had grown up because I enjoyed being with my family.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
What to say about Wuthering Heights…I don’t know if I could recommend it. I certainly wouldn’t read it again. Perhaps I didn’t read it in the right spirit, or maybe I wasn’t fully prepared to jump back into the prose of the Bronte sisters. I was quickly reminded of the annoyances felt as I read Jane Eyre and couldn’t stand Rochester. This time, it was Heathcliff, and he was a brute. And yet…I couldn’t stop reading. I wanted to see how low he would go, because like every great English novel, you know he will have a great redemption, in one form or another. Heathcliff ended a little less gloriously than Rochester, but he did pull his weight at the end. There were also a lot more characters to keep track of, that spanned three generations, and two households, and yet, again, I had to know what happened to all of them!
My wise mother once told me that a book has 50 pages, and 50 pages only, to hook you. If that sacred bond is not fulfilled, the book is to be forgotten and never touched again. She didn’t ever say it so dramatically, but…that was essentially the rule. So despite my disgust with eighty percent of the characters, I really was hooked. I really wanted to see how it ended, and it was a pretty good book. I also don’t think I’m very good at analyzing deeper themes from literature. If I was, I might see a larger value in the Heights. However, I just started One Hundred Years of Solitude and it promises to be a lot more interesting thus far. I’ll keep you posted. Ha, get it?