What becomes of the family and the family-owned gator-wrestling theme park in the aftermath of tragedy? Three siblings take different paths. Ossie devWhat becomes of the family and the family-owned gator-wrestling theme park in the aftermath of tragedy? Three siblings take different paths. Ossie develops mystical powers. Kiwi ventures mainland to a rival tourist attraction called The World of Darkness. Ava schemes to win a wrestling competition, until she is drawn into a journey to the underworld.
Sign me up, please!
The narrative eventually follows Kiwi and Ava. Ava's swamp scenes were more interesting to me, but there is great language used to describe Kiwi's encounters in Floridian suburbia:
"Every day, Kiwi's colleagues taught him what you could and could not say to another person here on the mainland. This was a little like having snipers tutor you on the limits of the prison yard."
"The two girls spent the whole ride whispering and doing horsey eye rolls and hand mannerisms in their mysterious female language. So far as Kiwi could tell, they managed to agree that Rollie, a mutual friend of theirs, was in fact a fat bitch and not their friend, and also that Enormous Gladys needed to get some self-esteem, stupid! But Kiwi assumed a second, secret conversation must be happening below this. Otherwise how to explain all the gesticulating? Wrists and elbows went flying through the air in some jujitsu of lady-empathy."
I saw echoes of my childhood in both the studious Kiwi and the imaginative Ava.
"It's a book for witches, Dad. And the underworld isn't heaven or hell, it's like a whole separate country. Like a, a Germany under the world."
"I was a fairy-minded kid, a comic book kid, and I had a bad habit of looking for augurs and protectors where there were none."
I enjoyed reading a book where characters set out on their quests in order to save their strange little family. "Mothers burning inside the risen suns of their children."...more
I picked up Dancer from the Dance based on browsing recommended books at The Strand, and was persuaded by phrases on the back cover like "the classicI picked up Dancer from the Dance based on browsing recommended books at The Strand, and was persuaded by phrases on the back cover like "the classic coming-of-age gay novel" and "hilarious" (used in two places).
Overall, I was disappointed. I found the story repetitive, a cycle of parties with drugs and parks with sex. I would not use the word hilarious to describe the novel. I thought the book lacked humor overall. Given the subject matter, I thought I'd be more interested than I was. Malone was admired by gay New York for his beauty, but seemed dull otherwise. The "doomed queen" Sutherland was a more compelling character, and I found myself wishing the story focused more on him.
I am left wondering if the story was a celebration of these characters' lives, an indictment of them, or a bit of both. This lingering question is interesting; it just was a slog to get to it.
Still, I appreciate having read the book to think about how gay life has changed, how New York has changed since the 1970s, and I have a continuing fascination with Fire Island as depicted in art versus the small piece of it I have known.
It was a journey between islands, after all: from Manhattan, to Long Island, to Fire Island, and the last island of the three was nothing but a sandbar, as slim as a parenthesis, enclosing the Atlantic, the very last fringe of soil on which a man might put up his house, and leave behind him all--absolutely all--of that huge continent to the west.
Now of all the bonds between homosexual friends, none was greater than that between the friends who danced together. The friend you danced with, when you had no lover, was the most important person in your life...
'What do we all have in common in this group?' I once asked a friend seriously, when it occurred to me how slender, how immaterial, how ephemeral the bond was that joined us; and he responded, 'We all have lips.'
Any memory of those days is nothing but a string of songs.
God, was that steaming, loathsome city beautiful!!!
There are some corny jokes along the way, but overall an engaging book about statistics. What? It served as a refresher for stats concepts I learned 1There are some corny jokes along the way, but overall an engaging book about statistics. What? It served as a refresher for stats concepts I learned 15 years ago but forgot, and everything is grounded in real-world examples. I respect the author's ability to write about technical concepts in a non-technical way. Surprisingly enjoyable....more
I picked this book up at a local thrift shop, very excited by the premise. I didn't love the collection but was fascinated by it. There were several mI picked this book up at a local thrift shop, very excited by the premise. I didn't love the collection but was fascinated by it. There were several memoirs written by authors who would be my parents' age; they made me wonder how strange school must have been with drills for nuclear attack. I thought about the question of what draws you to other kids when you're 13 - could this person be your protector, could this person be your co-conspirator, could this person be your creative partner? I marveled at how the women's stories and the men's stories seemed so different. It's weird: there was much to relate to, but overall these stories felt like they were from a distant planet. Science fiction....more
Raymond Carver, why didn't I know I didn't know you? Great, great, great. "A Small, Good Thing" was one of the most satisfying stories I've ever read.Raymond Carver, why didn't I know I didn't know you? Great, great, great. "A Small, Good Thing" was one of the most satisfying stories I've ever read. I loved "The Bridle" and "Cathedral", too. Go read this, and then let me know so we can talk about it....more