Friday, August 26, 2011

Black Blob is... blobby


Work continues apace....

So, the time before last when I wrote, I promised to say more about Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I think Robbie put it best when he said that Yates really understands relationships. The thing is, Yates' gift really lies in the relationships that have fallen apart. In this book (it was made into a movie that was also really good), he follows a couple from their hopeful inception (see what I did there? Leo was in the movie!) to the dregs. Yates' voice is so distinctive. He's one of those writers who make you think you could do it too. His prose is so effortless. But if you tried to replicate it you'd recognize the futility. I suppose some may say his dialogue and style is dated, but while the specific phrases used are of a certain time, the plot is timeless. I definitely recommend this book.

I also just finished Falconer by John Cheever. This book is like a Cheever short story given room to luxuriously spread out and relax. It follows Ezekial Farragut (just called Farragut) as he enters Falconer prison and makes a life there. Farragut is much like other Cheever protagonists, except that instead of being an alcoholic he's a heroin addict and he's in a literal prison instead of a figurative one. What I love about this story is that it's a story set in a prison, but is so close to Farragut and his experience, it transcends the "prison story" cliche and becomes a story about human experience, and how we change and evolve according to what we experience. Heartily recommend.

I just started Zazen by Vanessa Veselka, recommended by Cari. I was hooked by the first paragraph on the first page. I feel like if I met Vanessa Veselka, we would instantly be best friends, like she just gets me and all the crazy crap swirling around in my head. More when I finish! I'm sure my reading will slow down once fall semester starts. My lit class has, like, NINE short story collections as required reading. I've read parts of most of them, and a couple of them in their entirety, but most of them are new so I'm excited.

What are you reading? What do you look for in a good book?


Eleanor said...

Hello Marlena! At the moment I'm reading chick-lit - there's something very cosy and domestic about it at this time of year. However, my all-time favourite author has to be Angela Carter - I love the way she dances along that narrow line between the mundane and the fantastical. If you haven't read any, you are in for a treat.

P.S. That's a good blob.

Pioggia said...

Thanks for sharing the reads. I am more a fantasy/science fiction person but I also enjoy other genres. You are so lucky that you actually get to read for your grades. I wish i had had a lit class in college.