Do I get to count this as one of my read books when I listened to about 75% of it? I've requested the book from the library and am back-and-forth-ingDo I get to count this as one of my read books when I listened to about 75% of it? I've requested the book from the library and am back-and-forth-ing about whether I'll do a quick read/reread.
My wife was listening to this on her commute and I got hooked, and we basically spent the last four nights listening to it at home after dinner while halfheartedly doing dishes and whatnot. I found the premise suuuuuuuper intriguing and I'm a sucker for found documents/ephemera/books-within-books narrative structure, so all that worked for me; but I did get a bit tired near the end of the drawn out mystery. My wife said this felt like an overpadded novella; I kind of agree. Maybe in book form, when I could have read faster, it might have raced more, but listening, it did seem a bit like ohmygod, just move faster!!
The two readers for the audiobook were pretty fabulous; their range of accents and voices was impressive (even if, at times, they slipped into different accents).
Unlike some folks, the ending seemed very clear and unambiguous to me ((view spoiler)[aliens -- or something like that -- "playing" people like a video game, just restarting at their favorite section (hide spoiler)]). Sitting with that, I really hunger for more of (view spoiler)[their motivation -- why inhabit children if they don't want to behave in a childlike way; are they aware of how much they weird out people, or do they not care? etc etc etc (hide spoiler)].
I was actually more struck by the world Lotz imagined: in 2012, I think I would have found her supposition (view spoiler)[(esp about the radical evangelicals) to be a little too over-the-top, but given the circus that is US politics right now, it seems a little more feasible. (hide spoiler)]
Unsure if I'll get the "sequel" because it seems even more cool-set-up-without-great-pay-off, but this was a pretty fab creepy read for the fall. (And yes, I found it very creepy -- the last few nights I've been jumpy as I've gone off to bed!)...more
I grabbed this book from the library in my usual, arbitrary way: I liked the spine and the binding, and the cover; then I saw it was a Europa EditionI grabbed this book from the library in my usual, arbitrary way: I liked the spine and the binding, and the cover; then I saw it was a Europa Edition and decided to check it out. Then I never got around to reading it, and had forgotten about it until noticing it on my Overdrive wishlist.
Arctic Summer is biographical novel of English novelist E.M. Forster; it's mostly about Morgan's desperate search for love and companionship and sex, and how he basically didn't get those things. It's gorgeous and emotional and restrained, and I loved every word.
Overwhelmingly, this novel is just bittersweet. Morgan is so sweetly likeable (I know it's trendy these days to want unlikable characters, but there's something to be said for characters you also just want to squish) but his life so empty despite the people, jobs, and travel that fill it. He finds some intense emotional relationships, a few that translate into physical/sexual ones, but all seem lopsided and unequal -- some, because the other man is not as interested; some, because of racial and class inequalities.
Morgan's yearning for companionship just hit me so hard; despite all the changes legally and socially in some parts of the world, queer folks still can't live freely and openly. I'm lucky in my life that I haven't lost anything in being open with the person I love -- but it's easy to imagine a world in which I didn't have that luxury.
Galgut draws from a wealth of source material, and apparently includes real quotes -- slightly amended -- in the text, a technique I didn't notice, and the narrative reads beautifully. Every other line is quote-worthy; despite the slim size of this read, I kept pausing to meditate and chew over the story.
I'm genuinely sad having finished it; not just because I've ended a good read but because I ache for Morgan. I want a few more pages where he is not just fine -- because he is fine -- but where he is stupidly, insanely happy....more