The semi-fictionalized retelling of a soldier in the American Revolutionary War, his capture, escape, and adventures, spending most of his life on EngThe semi-fictionalized retelling of a soldier in the American Revolutionary War, his capture, escape, and adventures, spending most of his life on English soil. Humorous at times, exciting at others, somewhat boring between the two; it was OK.
Do not read it if, like me, you're a slow reader and want to read Melville without having to mount his Dick. It's nowhere near as good as his other shorter pieces of fiction....more
Nearly all the stories in this book have the same voice, no matter the gender, age, or position of the purported protagonist. It is the voice of lost,Nearly all the stories in this book have the same voice, no matter the gender, age, or position of the purported protagonist. It is the voice of lost, somewhat depressive girls, who "slide down the surface of things" (not a quote from the book), ostensibly mousy. Girls who "calls out hello into the cauldron of the world and then runs away before anyone can respond" (paraphrased quote from the book).
Causality doesn't exist at all; things just seem to happen, and the reflection of cause in action is rendered a poem rather than a law. In lieu of reason, surreal logic is often brought on to make things more "cute." The voice is so little analytic, it produces an eerily sparse feeling, and coupled with the first-person perspective, this hollowness is transferred to the people in the stories themselves.
"He stood beside me at the bus stop and I ignored him and then he started spitting. First he spit on the pavement, then more generally in the air. I felt tiny wet specks blow onto my face and I pressed my lips together and stepped backward. He, too, stepped back, and continued to fill the air with his scattershot. His harassment relied on a logic so foreign that I felt disoriented, I couldn't gauge whether it was terrifying or silly, and it was this feeling that told me to go back inside."
Every story is like that for me.
That is why I liked the book.
The reason I didn't like it a lot were sentences like "If there were a map of the solar system, but instead of stars it showed people and their degrees of separation, my star would be the one you had to travel the most light-years from to get to his." ...more
In the present tense a woman is experiencing some kind of relationship break-down with her boyfriend, though most of the book deal with summaries of aIn the present tense a woman is experiencing some kind of relationship break-down with her boyfriend, though most of the book deal with summaries of all the relationships of her past, none of which really turned out any better.
Most men are basically egocentric assholes--if not abusive and domineering, then they are vain and oblivious--and they'll ruin things if they're put at the helm, which is where she usually puts them.
Her voice is that of an undeserved cynic: someone who has acquiesced through life's choices and is unimpressed by the results. She exhibits an epitomal voice of "I don't know what I want so I will let others (female friend, boyfriend, whatever) run the show until I invariably say 'but this isn't it.'" I have a vague sensation that this book aspires to feminism in some respect, but I can't help but think examples like these are more damaging than they are helpful. Here's to hoping I'm wrong.
In the end (view spoiler)[it seems she basically "breaks free" from her acquiescence by preempting her current relationship on the grounds that her current boyfriend doesn't know what's wrong. (hide spoiler)] Good job.
The title ("Creeps") comes from a recurring motif of encountering creeping insects at various junctures of failure, and she is currently struggling with some kind of festering wound which she is convinced is scabies.
In some respects it was an interesting read though. It wasn't boring: it was frustrating....more