He's mean and whiny, and more than a bit obnoxious.
His anecdotes of disgusting artwork and his boyfriend's odd African expe...moreI don't like David Sedaris.
He's mean and whiny, and more than a bit obnoxious.
His anecdotes of disgusting artwork and his boyfriend's odd African experiences have a sort of Gilderoy Lockhart-esque feel to them. That is to say, they seem fabricated and insincere.
He's not very funny at all. The only time I actually laughed while reading this book was when he was lamenting his terrible French grammar. Although I fail to understand the difficulty he has in remembering French sexes; as a teenager taking Chinese, recognizing characters and recalling the different measure words for every object seems to come pretty easily to me.
His stories make out all Americans to be snobbish and rude, and they don't exactly flatter the supposedly unhelpful and stuck-up French, either.
By page 100, I was peeking ahead, wondering, "How much more of this IS there?"
Ultimately, I just don't see the point to this book. It feels like he's just trying to say, "Ohhh, look at me! Isn't my life so weird? Aren't I just sooooo clever?"
Well, Mr. Sedaris, your life certainly is weird. Or rather, your stories are. And to answer your second question: no. Your pun-ridden chapter titles and cynical outlook on everything in life may be enough to amuse some for a while, but they are in no way clever or funny or even original.
Looking back, perhaps that really WAS the reason Sedaris wrote this book- to prove his intelligence. The hopes that he might secretly be a genius, his disappointment in his low IQ, his dreams of being a scientist, pretending he had written Vladimir Nabokov's classic Lolita... If that is the case, it suddenly makes all of these stories- these stories of a man without a clear path to follow, a man just looking for something he can maybe be okay at- incredibly saddening.
Regrettably, Mr. Sedaris will have to add not impressing me to his ever-growing list of failures.(less)
**spoiler alert** Okay. I'm going to be really blunt. This book sucked. And that's saying quite a bit because normally, I respect people who write abo...more**spoiler alert** Okay. I'm going to be really blunt. This book sucked. And that's saying quite a bit because normally, I respect people who write about hardships from (as it appears) their own point of view. ESPECIALLY when it's on a GLTBQ theme. However, this book was just plain out terrible.
Firstly, it lead me to the conclusion that ALL Iowans are essentially white-trash and spend the majority of the day smoking weed and other potentially nastier stuff. Which is probably not the intention, as the author is FROM Iowa. And thanks to him, I NEVER WANT TO STEP FOOT IN THAT STATE CUZ I MIGHT GET AMBUSHED BY DRUG DEALERS AND FARMERS-TURNED-SALESMEN WHO HAVE POETIC MISTRESSES AND TONS AND TONS OF FREAKY PEOPLE.
Secondly, the parents, like a lot in modern fiction, are completely isolated from themselves and their child. You would think that they would retain at least a small bit of personability from their days living on a farm... But technically, it's not really their fault I hated this book- they just came to mind.
But you will notice that NONE of the straight characters in this book are portrayed positively. The mom: hippie odditiy who is severely (hehe, first thing that pops up in google searched when you check to see if you spelled severe right: severus snape/lily evans fanfiction. i love you google.) depressed. The dad: lonely, sad, and having an affair with someone from his POETRY CLASS. Judy: Pablo's girlfriend, she's MAD at Dade for sleeping with her boyfriend! God forbid! Plus, she's got big boobs, the creeper! Jessica: Judy's annoying tag-a-long best friend who is nasty to Dade because he's gay and in an affair with her best friend's boyfriend and totally horrible to her twin sister. "Fessica": The name says it all. Dade is just a total ass to this girl. When she gets wasted at her sister's party, Dade helps her upstairs and lays her on her bed. She likes Dade. She's a sad loner. She tries to make a move on Dade. Dade, of course, is totally outraged and hates Fessica. Even though she didn't actually do anything. She just said she liked him. Notice that that's pretty much the same thing that Pablo did to him, the hypocrite. (Mind you, Pablo actually TRIED to make it up to Dade... But instead of being nice or at least courteous and explaining he'd moved on, Dade is a jerk and screams at Pablo, eventually forcing him to drive himself off a cliff. Literally.) So what are you, Dade? Hetrophobic?
Third: Dade. Is. Pathetic. I know plenty of people- gay, straight, and five years old and NONE of them are as completely SAD as Dade. I mean, he tags along with this stoner because he "loves" him and then when dumped, cries like a little girl. He knows that their relationship is based purely on physical satisfaction, and yet yearns for more. Okay, I can get that. Many people feel like that. But THEN, as soon as he sets his eyes upon Alex, 20-year-old-incredibly-hot-drug-dealer-YES-drug-dealer, he falls head over heals. And to take matters further, he practically STALKS him and finds him at his workplace, just to try to meet him. And when the guy he supposedly "LOVED" begs for him to come back, he refuses and proceeds to get super super drunk. Twice. And then he angsts some more in the end when Pablo commits suicide BECAUSE HE CAN'T HANDLE THE COMPLICATIONS DADE CAUSED. And yet Dade worries constantly about his depressed mother. Totally ridiculous.
Fourth, the plot is amazingly dumb and seemingly haphazardly thrown together. 10 Main Points of The Vast Fields of Ordinary: 1) I am Dade, 18 years old and gay, and I'm dejected because Pablo, my "boyfriend", is being passive. 2) OH NOZIZ! A LITTLE GIRL'S LOST! 3) Forget the little girl. I FOUND A TOTALLY CUTE MARIJUANA DEALER THAT I WANT TO MAKE MY NEW BOYFRIEND! 4) Hey, I just randomly met a lesbian from like a state that starts with a C! She's my best friend now- so awesome, RIGHT? 5) GASP! ALEX THE DRUG DEALER INVITED ME TO A PARTY!! ZOMG I HAVE TO SHAVE MY HEAD! AND YAYYYY ALEX IS GAY TOO! 6) TRALALA I'M DRUNK... OHHHH THERES THAT LITTLE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED! HEY I REMEMBER HER NOW... 7) Pablo wants me back. BUT I'M TOO COOL. :P 8) MY PARENTS ARE GONE! IMMA GET EVEN MOAR DRUNK! (Hey! That little girl was found! Funny how things like this always seem to happen when I'm wasted...) 9) YAY HAPPY... WAIT WHAT? PABLO? NO HE CAN'T BE DEAD! BUT... BUT... OH NO PABLO!!! 10) The end. And now I'm gonna write ALL ABOUT this experience and SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD! AND GUESS WHAT? I THINK I'LL CALL IT THE VAST FIELDS OF ORDINARY! *GASP* See? 10 pretty much random and fairly nonsensical steps to WRITE A GLTBQ BOOK AND GET GREAT REVIEWS WITHOUT HAVING ANY PLOT WHATSOEVER!!! So hip-hip-hooray for you, Nick Burd. Now you've made your fortune and maybe you'll be able to pay for classes on producing plots that make sense. Because, after all, you're from Iowa, right?(less)
**spoiler alert** Let me start out by saying that I think The Plain Janes has a plot that could be very interesting. The only problem with it is that...more**spoiler alert** Let me start out by saying that I think The Plain Janes has a plot that could be very interesting. The only problem with it is that it was never developed. If you break it down, it's your typical arty high school book- girl moves to a new town, makes friends with the rejects, plans something big, and finally gets accepted. However, with the additional plotlines of the bomb, "John Doe", and Damon, Castellucci had the tools to make it exciting.
What really bored me about this book were the characters. They all seem quite flat and archetypal. Jane herself doesn't exactly strike me as likeable- she's not exactly accepting of misfits, she's overly dramatic at the same time as being completely unexciting, and the small bursts of friendliness and emotion she has towards other people don't last for long. All of the other Janes- the unappreciated actress, the shy bookworm, and the underestimated jock- also appear two-dimensional and uninteresting. Castellucci could have done a much better job giving these girls personalities of their own. The "worst" developed character in this book, however, was Damon. He had so much potential to grow from the shy, somewhat mysterious boy-next-door into a person Jane really cared for. What I also don't understand is that even though he said kissing her was "like kissing a friend," he went back to save her and sacrifice his OWN life and reputation for her. Jane, however, doesn't even try to stick up for her friend- not to her friends (to whom she says that Damon probably hates her), nor to her family (to whom she does not tell the truth.
Another unfulfilled plotline is "John Doe". Jane feels such connection to this man that she has Damon drive her all the way into the city in the middle of the night to find out what happened to him. Most of the book, it would seem, is written to tell him of her experiences. After she finds out he's conscious again, she begs Damon to "drive" her to Poland just to see him (which is stupid on its own). When he says he can't possibly do that, she gets mad at him, another display of her less desirable qualities. She proceeds to get grounded, cries for a bit, and then keeps writing letters just as she had before. This entire one-sided exchange is sort of anti-climatic, as "John" himself never reappears with his opinion of the P.L.A.I.N. Janes' actions.
Overall, the entire book just seems so surreal and unbelievable that I could not enjoy the actual message of the text- to appreciate the art of the world around you. As The Plain Janes showed so much potential, I was thoroughly disappointed at its lack of depth. Take away all the complicated, unresolved subplots and give all of the characters more personality and individuality and you would have a great book. (less)
And then, God said, "Let there be light!" And there was light, and it was good.
And then, He proceeded to create...moreIn the beginning, there was nothing.
And then, God said, "Let there be light!" And there was light, and it was good.
And then, He proceeded to create the earth and seas and skies and fill them with living creatures, and all of these were good.
Venture forward in time some 4.6 billion years to the year 2005, and God said, "Let there be no Twilight!" But Twilight was, and it was not good.
Twilight lovers will hate me for that statement, and Twilight haters will back me up, but the fact remains that Twilight and Stephenie Meyer, in Stephen King's words, are "not very good".
Twilight is nothing but a plot-less piece of garbage, unwanted by most and worshiped only by poor teenage girls and depressed older women who yearn for any consolation that "perfect" guys do exist. They glaze over the less-than-wonderful, voiceless writing and are blind to the darker implications this character Edward Cullen shows. But those who read more deeply into, or even reflect on at all, Twilight find it truly appalling.
The writing alone is enough to make any intelligent reader cringe. Thanks to the vicious editing any author has to endure, Twilight’s flaws do not lie in simple grammatical errors or misspellings. No. The true horror resides in the actual content. "He lay perfectly still in the grass, his shirt open over his sculpted, incandescent chest, his scintillating arms bare,” Meyer writes. (Scintillating? Even if you know what that means, it still sounds like some sort of fatal disease…) See? Even Microsoft Word knows a run-on sentence fragment (not officially a term, but I think it suits the majority of the Twilight books quite aptly) when it sees one. Those who believe this to be a wonderfully descriptive, brilliantly structured work of art are sadly disillusioned. Meyer is like a fool who throws a deflated party balloon on the street and calls it a masterpiece. No, this is not good writing. It is a sentence that any six-year-old could come up with, just decorated with colorful SAT words randomly placed to make one think the author is actually intelligent. Hell, she probably even used a thesaurus. “He lay in the grass, his shirt open, and his sparkly arms bare,” it reads. And that’s actually a grammatically correct sentence. This statement of Bella Swan’s (whose name is such a boring cliché that it’s surprising people didn’t start throwing rotten tomatoes at Meyer in the first place) is also highly unlikely to ever come out of the mouth or pen of a girl who has many times proved herself a complete idiot.
It seems that while in the process of writing the Twilight books, Stephenie Meyer mixed up some of her notes. In the first chapter (a chapter that drones on for about 30 pages talking about Bella’s totally mundane crush on Edward Cullen, the magical boy who SPARKLES in the sun), Meyer expresses quite clearly that Bella is a bright young woman who is ahead of all her new classmates in studies. How, then, does this supposedly smart girl let a one-hundred-and-something-year-old man take over her life to the point that she actually lets him kill her? Granted, she is already proved insane by even wanting to be killed by him; if not earlier when she decides she would rather kill herself than be without her precious creeper. And so Bella Swan remains a sad excuse for a girl with a lower ability to reason than probably 75% of the United States. And that’s saying something.
How someone such as Edward, sparkly vampire who has lived for one-hundred-plus years, suddenly decided to fall in love with a human as boring and dumb as Bella is beyond me. Maybe Angela IS a witch and she happened to slip him some Amortentia with Bella’s essence in it. That would certainly explain his infatuation with her smell… But Edward has surely met kinder, prettier, smarter, more interesting girls in his time. Why, then does he choose Bella? Does he wish to prey on her like the LION he likens himself to? “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb,” he claims on page 274 of Twilight. (And you can’t say that someone over the age of seven and who is not your child sneaking into your room to “watch you sleep” is not creepy…) Getting back to Bella, she does not take any offense when called a lamb. Instead, she further diminishes herself, calling herself stupid. What happened to the smart, self-esteemed young woman who first appeared to us on page 1? Is the message that it only takes 274 pages for a potentially strong character to deteriorate completely? What does this mean for us that we so easily accept such utter crap?
Twilight, if categorized as fanfiction is, would fall under three main genres: Angst, Romance, and Plot? What Plot? As becomes evident by the time the reader reaches page 100 out of 498 or, in the entire series, 2,443, there is absolutely no plot. And that would be fine if it were a 300 page chick-lit installment, but wandering aimlessly for about 2.5 thousand pages is pretty damn stupid. Of course, Meyer tries to insert some sort of point into her writing, but the Volturi turn out to be disappointing and fairly pathetic. To make matters worse, all encounters eventually lead back to more sappy romance between the Beauty and the Creep.
Twilight presents no educational value whatsoever except, perhaps, to teach teenagers how NOT to use their SAT words. Honestly, I don’t see the appeal of the first book, let alone the other three tomes. But even those who are drawn to read Twilight will realize, as long as they have a fraction of intelligence, that it is NOT a good book. And should they decide to read on, they will discover even more so why they should NEVER speak the words “Edward Cullen” and “amazing”, “Stephenie Meyer” and “brilliant”, or “Bella Swan” and “my role model” in the same sentence unless they have a huge-ass IS NOT between them. (less)