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message 1: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 191 comments Hmmm where to start..

message 2: by Dianne (last edited Jul 03, 2017 08:07AM) (new)

Dianne | 191 comments Starting state: Delaware - read any 1001 book
1001 book chosen: The Stranger by Albert Camus

I finished this yesterday and apparently had forgotten the entire thing since I read it in high school. I certainly didn't recall how utterly creepy it was, or probably have the life experience or insight at the time to be aware of what a sociopath even was. I don't think I have ever read a book with a character that is more sociopathic than our protagonist in this book. Ostensibly this book was written about the absurd, about irrational events occurring that have no meaning, about the 'benign indifference' of the universe. And that may all be well and good, but what lingers with me is the utter creepiness of our protagonist. His utter indifference to other people, his mother, his lover, basically anything except his desires in the present moment. There were a lot of creepy characters in this novel actually, I think the only truly likable characters were Marie and Meursalt's boyfriend!

Current states visited: 1
Current points: 1

message 3: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1876 comments Mod
I think Delaware is a smart starting place :)

message 4: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 191 comments Jen wrote: "I think Delaware is a smart starting place :)"

I googled a map and it looks like you can go to NJ, Pennsylvania or Maryland from DE. For me a free space I will take any chance I can get because then I can use books I am otherwise already planning to read. I read The Stranger in high school so this will be a re-read, but that was many a moon ago as I turn 40.... ack!!! this month!

message 5: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 191 comments State 2: Pennsylvania

Book selected: Midnight Examiner by William Kotzwinkle.

message 6: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 191 comments State 3: Ohio

Book selected: The Beautiful Room Is Empty by Edmund White.

message 7: by Jen (new)

Jen | 1876 comments Mod
Dianne, have you read state 2 and 3 already or are you just posting the schedule for your own reference? Just updating scoreboard so wanted to check

message 8: by Dianne (last edited Jul 25, 2017 08:31AM) (new)

Dianne | 191 comments Hi! Sorry I've been slow on posting. I have traveled! and read!

State: Pennsylvania (landmark state)

The next book I read was Midnight Examiner. This book felt tawdry, and cheap, and I think that's exactly what the author was going for. It was wickedly smart though, and rather hilarious, and I was surprised it was on the 1001 list. I did feel like the novelty lost its luster after awhile, but was glad I read it. Definitely a great palate cleanser! It was ridiculous, but terribly terribly clever.

Current states visited: 2
Current points: 4

message 9: by Dianne (last edited Jul 25, 2017 08:31AM) (new)

Dianne | 191 comments State: Ohio (landmark state)

I ventured through Ohio reading The Beautiful Room is Empty, which somehow made me feel depressed. I wonder if, because it was written in the 80s, before so many advancements were made for gay people in the US, that the author felt it necessary to instill his protagonist with self loathing about his sexuality. The self perception seemed to be one of loathing and sin, and the search of redemption of personal failure through a dedication to art. This book seemed an analysis of self-torture, and while more recent books featuring gay characters such as A Little Life also featured tortured characters, at least that book displayed more general acceptance and joy in gay culture

Current states visited: 3
Current points: 7

message 10: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 191 comments Next up will be Kentucky with Dispatches by Michael Herr. I'll post a review once I have finished.

message 11: by Dianne (new)

Dianne | 191 comments Dispatches by Michael Herr:

I have read many war books, but this was interesting in that it was written from the perspective of a war correspondent from a magazine. To that end, it is non-fiction and not a novel per se. The bizarre style of it is unusual, with a lot of freedom with respect to punctuation or lack thereof. It is brutal like you would expect from a book about war, but also compelling. I appreciated that the writing was as chaotic as the subject matter, but I'm not sure all readers would agree.

Current states visited: 4
Current points: 8

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