Everyone's reading this now, I guess, because they're making a movie out of it. I first was introduced to this amazing graphic novel in college and reEveryone's reading this now, I guess, because they're making a movie out of it. I first was introduced to this amazing graphic novel in college and recently re-read it. Unbelievable artwork and incredible delving into the complicated psychology of the characters, if you only read one graphic novel ever, I guess this would have to be the one....more
Who Doesn't love Julia Child??? When I was reading this, all I wanted to do was quit my job and run off to France to study cooking. A delightful read.Who Doesn't love Julia Child??? When I was reading this, all I wanted to do was quit my job and run off to France to study cooking. A delightful read. No great philosophy, but full of juicy Julia-isms. Definitely take this with you on vacation....more
David Sedaris... I can't really say enough. With an ascerbic wit and sometimes uncomfortably unflinching eye he relates the stories of his growing upDavid Sedaris... I can't really say enough. With an ascerbic wit and sometimes uncomfortably unflinching eye he relates the stories of his growing up in this hilarious but dark memoir. The brushstrokes with which he paints the characters of his family are sometimes broad and loving, sometimes knife-sharp, always insightful (I suppose, since it's only through this book that I know his family). There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, such as a time when,as a young boy, his mother was tailoring a pair of pants for him. He and his sisters had recently found some hilariously pornographic book full of bestiality and incest, which they passed around to each other dutifully. Being too young to understand how outrageous it was, they took it as a sort of manifesto on family life, and when this mother accidentally brushed his crotch while tailoring his pants, he blurts out "I just want to be friends, nothing more!!" To which his mother responds "And you've been leading me on all this time." And his scathing review of "home cooking" in New York in "The Daily Special" was so funny I had to read it out loud to other foodie friends of mine.
But other remembrances are dark to the point of painful. The raw exposure of his worst (and best) days as a drug addict is so unflattering, and manages to translate the utter eggshell of his existence during this time. It is only the courage of his telling the story that allowed me to keep reading, but it was like the slowly-unfolding car wreck that you can't quite look away from, much as you might want to. He doesn't tell us how he manages to climb out of his hole, only the existence of his books tells us that he does. Instead, he allows this period to stand without any self-pity, effacement or redemption, it just was what it was.
It sometimes seems as if he's totally dispassionate about his family, how else could he portray them in such unflattering lights? But also, anyone who's ever had a sibling or a childhood not-quite-friend can relate to the petty cruelties and crimes perpetrated on us in childhood by our siblings, that, later in life, turn into fond if rueful memories. If anything, it is his awareness and appreciation for the little absurdities that living presents to us every day, the petty crimes we (sometimes) unknowingly perpetrate on our loved ones, and the honesty of his wry sense of humor that makes this, in my mind, his most brilliant book....more
This is one book that I hated reading, and yet couldn't put down. I loathed the main character, and I think that reading the book was a little bit likThis is one book that I hated reading, and yet couldn't put down. I loathed the main character, and I think that reading the book was a little bit like watching a car wreck - it's horrible to watch and yet you are powerless to look away. I believe this is part of Kenzaburo Oe's power, he gets us to clue into our own morbid curiosity. His protagonist (and even calling him that may be a stretch) loathed himself as well, and so even though I was disgusted by him I pitied him too. There was another perspective that I took on it as a doctor. The book is not particularly flattering to doctors, and for the way the main character was treated by them, I found myself sympathizing with him a little. I won't give away the plot. If you can get through the distastefulness of actually reading it, the challenge is worthwhile....more