Thursday, January 8, 2009
Books You Should Read
I just finished this, 20 mins ago, in my car in a sad little parking lot. I was amazed at this books ability to keep me reading through its some 500 pages. Every chapter had something that made me step back and audibly exclaim my wonder, amusement, or sadness. These kinds of books are rare to find. My heart went out to Callie and Cal, identity is hard enough to manage without having both a penis and a vagina. And of course I'm a sucker for Greek allusions.
I read The Remains of the Day back in good old Stephen Clingman's class, and I really came to love it. One boring day at work, I perused listology's 100 books for every decade list and was enormously pleased to find this one at the top of the list. Ishiguro is a curious writer. When finished with The Remains of the Day, you find that nothing has really happened in the life of the Butler. And why should it? Butlers? Boring. The curious thing is that you are completely invested in his life despite this. Same goes for Never Let Me Go, but even more so. Maybe it was its likelihood to Brave New World or the way that you never truly understand what is going on, but this book has quickly become my favorite book.
My favorite character in As I Lay Dying is Vardaman, he sees the world in a refreshingly different light, much like Christopher. Everything that Haddon writes is completely believable, and makes me somewhat envious that I don't think in the same way that the autistic Christopher does. The details he comes up with are so incredible, and oddly moving despite Christopher's distance and familiarity with his nature of describing the world around him. Even though SPOILER a dog dies, which is my least favorite thing, although it is a poodle and I don't care for poodles, this book truly accomplishes what Atticus Finch has always preached; "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it". Well said my man.