Though this was at times a beautifully written collection of poetic reflections that had its moments, Ronk's tone really left me wanting. Yes, I knowThough this was at times a beautifully written collection of poetic reflections that had its moments, Ronk's tone really left me wanting. Yes, I know the title of the book is "Displeasures of the Table," so I should have expected her sour distate with food, but I found myself turned off with the author herself and frequently irritated with her broad declaration that food is boring and people who like food are strange and irritating. I find her strange and irritating. It seems she'd be an unpleasant person to be around, far too "New York" for me.
I know we're not supposed to let our opinion of the author color our view of her work, but I couldn't help just plain disliking her and, therefore, her work. This was a trouble and a pain to finish and it somewhat ruined my evening. Yet as always I felt compelled to finish it. I wouldn't rank it as a book I hate because it was at times very lovely, but I would create a new rank: Books that irritate me.
Although: Afterward in a fit of pique and complaint I mentioned to my mom that Ronk desperately wished someone could lump all three meals into one pill. As someone who finds food a pleasure, those who dislike food seem awfully uptight and Puritan to my tastes. However, my mom, a lifetime dieter and food lover, instantly identified with that "three-in-one" pill idea. So maybe I speak as a glutton while Ronk speaks as a dieter. Different perceptions I care not to explore, I suppose....more
I couldn't finish this book. It was amazing and well-written -- but it was utterly too emotionally draining and depressing. The accompanying photograpI couldn't finish this book. It was amazing and well-written -- but it was utterly too emotionally draining and depressing. The accompanying photographs merely made it all to real to deal with. The devastating cancer cases, the frustrating government cover-up, the atomic fall-out cloud treated as evening entertainment...it was just too much to absorb. Everyone should know this about our government -- they sponsored atomic tests on their own citizens -- on our parents, on you and me -- for years, and they shamelessly lied about it. Everyone who lives in the U.S., and the world, has been affected by our selfishness and greed. That comes as no surprise to most, but this profoundly disturbed me and broke my naive innocence on the matter. It's hard to believe anything the (possibly well-meaning) current administration says after reading this -- it all seems to tumble into lies, lies, and more lies. Very sad....more
After reading this book, all I can ask is, Why do people climb Everest? Why? What's the point? To conquer nature? Just because it's there? Why selfishAfter reading this book, all I can ask is, Why do people climb Everest? Why? What's the point? To conquer nature? Just because it's there? Why selfishly risk lives just to climb a mountain? I really don't get it.
The best part of this book, as far as thought-provoking literature goes, were the introductory quotations, which artfully (and more convincingly than the following narrative, I'm afraid) framed the overarching message Krakauer seemed to be trying to get across. Which still doesn't erase the insanity of every single person involved in the business of climbing a death trap for the simple reason that it's there. To me, these people are all adrenaline-fuelled egoists. Ah well, I suppose that's why we read, to escape into another person's fantasies and nightmares. ...more