First, I just want to draw attention to the fact that Tartt's editor is the same as the late David Foster Wallace's, and the man responsible for gettiFirst, I just want to draw attention to the fact that Tartt's editor is the same as the late David Foster Wallace's, and the man responsible for getting "The Pale King" published. That guy has a pretty stellar resume.
Now, I will say that I LOVED "The Secret History" but this was not as good in my opinion. I wonder a bit if I will forever read fiction through a newfound "mommy lens" though, because I kept thinking how this poor boy was making such poor life choices and I would be heartbroken if my sweet baby even toed the line of that path. And then I remember this fictional character has severe PTSD from surviving a bombing that killed his mother (not a spoiler, come on you guys). And that's not the life my child will have. It's obviously fiction, but my mothers-heart is all tender or whatever. Also, I could have done without the Vegas time, although I get it. It just wasn't my favorite.
And at the end, Ms. Tartt gets really heavy-handed with the philosophizing, which is fine if you're Tolstoy, but she's not, so it just seemed overbearing and presumptuous. Plus she starts drawing a lot of attention to the fact that the 1st person narrator KNOWS he's writing a book, but for no intended audience. It's a jarring break of the fourth wall. I think it's her attempt to establish that he's a more or less reliable narrator, in light of the pretty crazy story he's just told, to justify the (fictional) truth to it. But I don't think that was necessary. We know it's a novel, we know it's a work of fiction, we know we're supposed to suspend our belief for the benefit of the story. It wasn't enough to ruin the whole book; it's still excellent and very in line with her style from what I know. It just maybe could have used some more careful editing there at the end (and considering who her editor is, I think perhaps it irks me a little more knowing how talented he is).
A relevant anecdote: I didn't finish this within the 3 week time frame I had it from the library, so the day before it was due, I tried to renew it online even though there were (literally, not an exaggeration) 462 holds on the title. By some twist of fate, Christmas miracle, whatever you want to call it, the library let me renew it!! Somehow, it all works out in the end. *WINK*...more
I read this during my 3rd trimester almost exclusively on my phone in waiting rooms of doctors' offices. Lo and behold, I have a perfect baby.* I takeI read this during my 3rd trimester almost exclusively on my phone in waiting rooms of doctors' offices. Lo and behold, I have a perfect baby.* I take most of the credit for that though.
*Okay, he won't take a pacifier and the longest he's ever slept was like 4.5 hours when he was a couple days old and I was supposed to be waking him up every 2-3 hours to eat but I thought he'd wake me up but he didn't and I felt like the worst mom ever but he's healthy and huge now so no big deal and the only time he's ever slept that long now is literally just last night (and by last night, I mean this morning from 2-6:30, because his bedtime is supposed to be something reasonable like 9 or midnight, but is really 2 a.m.). BUT he doesn't have colic, and he gives me the sweetest smiles when he sees me. Also when he farts....more
I'm at a place in my life where it's difficult for me to tell how I actually feel about the books I read. That place is "tired". I read like 2 pages aI'm at a place in my life where it's difficult for me to tell how I actually feel about the books I read. That place is "tired". I read like 2 pages at 3 a.m. in the dark using one of those battery powered lights and then 80 pages when my son falls asleep on me at 10 in the morning and I can't move but also don't want to fall asleep and drop him. This book kept me from dropping my 7-week-old child, so four stars!...more
I started this book at the end of my pregnancy, and then had a baby and suddenly couldn't muster the strength to read. Yes, I was so exhausted that moI started this book at the end of my pregnancy, and then had a baby and suddenly couldn't muster the strength to read. Yes, I was so exhausted that moving my eyeballs was too much. So I had to return it to the library, re-request it, and wait for my hold to come in again. Fortunately by the time that happened I had figured out how to read during middle of the night feedings and with a gigantic baby sleeping on me, because who wants to sleep in a crib when you can sleep on your mom? All this to say, my reading experience of this was a bit disjointed so I'm not sure how fairly I can judge the book. Nonetheless, I will once again profess my love for magical realism. I am so used to it from Latin American authors, so I love seeing how authors from other cultural paradigms do it. (Sidebar: the first copy of this book I checked out listed it as "African American" lit, but the author is Caribbean by way of the Virgin Islands so...). There is a scene where a character has a foot that can turn backwards and this is totally in line with the novel and the mythology incorporated. And it freaked me the heck out. My boss, who is also a big reader, loaned me his personal copy of a Steven King novel to read while on maternity leave. Needless to say, I will not be reading it if something NOT EVEN SCARY freaked me out so much, reading it at 3 in the morning. So what was I saying? Baby, sleep, so tired, this book okay....more
Another audiobook attempt. I want to tell her that the idea of a traditional family (a thing she mentions she wants throughout the memoir) is still alAnother audiobook attempt. I want to tell her that the idea of a traditional family (a thing she mentions she wants throughout the memoir) is still alive and well. I am happily married with a baby on the way. All of my husband and my older siblings are happily married with gaggles of children. Our parents are both still happily married, and of our living grandparents, they are still happily married. And that's not even stretching back very far or having to reach. It makes me sad to think that this idea that is really very common is not perceived as such by a certain subset of the population (i.e. unmarried women in their late 20s-30s, but also many others). I don't know, it's been awhile since I listened to it now, but my takeaway was that I liked her and she's funny and stuff, but I felt sad for Mindy. Also, there is a very small, very slight dig at Mormons. There's ALWAYS a dig at Mormons. Come on guys, get some new material....more
The premise is pretty interesting but the use of vulgar language was so prolific it was distracting. To the point where I had to wonder if I was justThe premise is pretty interesting but the use of vulgar language was so prolific it was distracting. To the point where I had to wonder if I was just being prudish or what. I mean, I live in the real world and I know about 95% of the adult population swears on the daily. I know I am the minority here but not swearing ever, but geez louise. About 3/4 of the way through the book I checked the author's bio and sure enough, he's Australian, and I know other countries/cultures maybe don't put the same weight into certain words as we do in America, but he was writing dialogue of American characters so it felt over the top. Ironic that my takeaway from a novel about the power of words is the author's poor execution of words....more