Oh Jeffrey Eugenidies... have you become over educated? This book is one long academia narcissism masturbatory idea snooze. I made it half way throughOh Jeffrey Eugenidies... have you become over educated? This book is one long academia narcissism masturbatory idea snooze. I made it half way through the book before giving up and just reading the end. I'm glad I did and can just walk away from it. This is an idea that would have made a decent short story, but wallowing in it for an entire novel was just mean. If I was stranded on a deserted island and this was my only reading material I'd burn it for warmth and sing sea chantys instead.
Oh well, one can't be brilliant all the time. Perhaps the pressure of Pulitzerness was too much. Now that you've failed maybe you can go back to just writing stories.
Love always, Charissa (who hasn't finished writing her own novel so is in no position to judge)...more
Ate this book up in about three days, cover to cover. Love Sherman Alexie. This one is a very believable journey into the heart of a troubled young NaAte this book up in about three days, cover to cover. Love Sherman Alexie. This one is a very believable journey into the heart of a troubled young Native American man, a teen, who has suffered through loss, mistreatment, foster care, and run ins with the law. Now he finds himself slipping through space-time, experiencing life through different lenses. Will it be enough to save him from his own self-destructive choices? This story is sort of like the shamanic version of Christmas Carol for orphans. Powerful, sad, moving, real. Highly recommend this read. ...more
Even better than the film version... funny and wry and pithy. Some of the best British writing of recent years. A quick read for me, much appreciatedEven better than the film version... funny and wry and pithy. Some of the best British writing of recent years. A quick read for me, much appreciated after a diet of heavy non fiction this Fall. If you're looking to enjoy yourself for several hours, this is a good bet....more
Gorgeous and heart wrenching story told from the perspective of an autistic boy who lives in England. He finds his neighbor's dog killed in her yard wGorgeous and heart wrenching story told from the perspective of an autistic boy who lives in England. He finds his neighbor's dog killed in her yard with a garden fork and decides to try and solve the mystery of who killed her dog. In the process he is faced with startling information and adventures. This writer did an amazing job of painting the inside of an autistic person's mind. I feel I finally really understood what it would be like to be Rain Man. Other than driving slow on the driveway.
Very quick read. I highly recommend this to pretty much everyone....more
This book reminded me of what it was like to be out in wilderness all those years with the boys I grew up with. Remote, scrabbling around in the underThis book reminded me of what it was like to be out in wilderness all those years with the boys I grew up with. Remote, scrabbling around in the underbrush wondering where the hell we were exactly, reading topo maps, reveling in the small ecstasies of just a bite of food, made so much more special by the fact that we had toted it on our backs for miles, and know there will be nothing else until we tramp back out again.
It also reminded me of the passions of a misanthropic and dissatisfied youth. Hours on end of stoned diatribes, railing against the confines of Western Civilization, picking apart the philosophical underpinnings of our upbringings, extolling the virtues of tuning in, turning on, dropping out. We had friends who went to live in trees, or teepees, or wandered around the woods in the Sierras for months at a time. Until snows came and drove them indoors.
A few of us died out there, at the dicey edge of things. Slick roads, avalanche, a stray rock. most of us survived, and settled into sedate lives by comparison. Children, or not; careers, or not; happy, or not.
This story turns in it's hands expertly those elements, and others: madness, history, friendship, love, survival, chance. It is quiet like the forests of the Hoh River, where it is mostly set. It travels to the core, like the damp there. It is folded back upon itself, with care and precision, like the folding of an origami crane. Watching his hands work you don't know what beauty will emerge, but are not entirely surprised when, later, it lifts it's wings suddenly and flies....more
This story took me completely by surprise. Who would have thought I would feel such affinity for a young Dominican American boy from New Jersey? JunotThis story took me completely by surprise. Who would have thought I would feel such affinity for a young Dominican American boy from New Jersey? Junot Diaz won my heart over and over, and then broke it over and over. I have a whole new appreciation for Alfonso, who this book was apparently written for. And, as happened when I read 'Angela's Ashes', I am left feeling that life has given me precious little to complain about. No small feat sometimes.
I am still, however, wondering... how should I pronounce 'fuku'?...more
I read this book the month I left my ex husband and spent 10 days in Maui with my closest girlfriend at the time, Kendra Brock. It was probably my firI read this book the month I left my ex husband and spent 10 days in Maui with my closest girlfriend at the time, Kendra Brock. It was probably my first exposure to such raw self-reflection and intimate self-exposure, my first creative non-fiction or fictional memoir. I've seen people call Spalding Grey narcissistic... and self absorbed... and adolescent... and hedonistic. Maybe I'm so fond of him because I am all those things, I don't know. I know that I admire his ability to so baldly lay all of his neuroses out there for the world to pick at. To so blithely stroll into his dysfunctional life and conjure out of it a narrative that is at once entertaining, instructive, profound, whimsical, evocative, sophisticated. I was so upset to learn of his suicide. To know he suffered from depression and lost his battle with it ultimately... robbing the world of more of his genius. Well... that just leaves me grieving. Spalding had the great gift of looking into a troubled life and viewing it with a light heart at times... of turning misery into gold... a wry turn of phrase. His descriptions of LSD trips in foreign lands, forays into bi-sexual escapades, mistakes of destroying relationships he cares about... it's a brave man who can really unzip his shell to matter-of-factly tell those tales without trying to make himself look better. Spalding is one of the people in this life I would have liked to sat down to dinner with. I did see him perform "Swimming to Cambodia" live in Everett, Washington (of all places). I shook his hand after and told him how much I admired him. If I'd known he was suffering I might have written to him and let him know what he meant to me before he left this world behind for good. Not that it would have changed anything... but I know that some days... that's all it takes for me to decide I'm not so bad after all. Sometimes all it takes is reading a book like this....more