Thursday, October 18, 2007

i will be a little cruel

sorry people, it's late and i'm in a critical mood.

the power and the glory
-graham greene
my least favorite part of this book was the opening scene. i suppose that's good. i loved reading this because it wasn't trashy. so much modern literature drags us through the muck because it's supposed to be good for us. here instead is the story of a nearly fallen priest on the run from socialists in mexico.

the twenty-seventh city
-jonathan frantzen
an indian woman takes over st. louis in 1986. why st. louis? she and frantzen may have chosen the city for the same reason...anyway, the communist undertones are lost on me; i was never afraid of the communists growing up. i'm going to assume that frantzen is older than me, otherwise he might have had to try harder to figure out how to make the tension of the communist angle work...i'm totally giving him the benefit of the doubt that it does so for an older audience. by the end of the book, i hated both her and the man she's trying to undermine in her power grab. i enoyed reading this book. there were parts i found myself skipping or wishing i'd been able to skip because they were corrupting my innocent mind, but maybe the problem is that i'm reading too many male authors. i think that even nice guys are tempted to think the rest of the male population is more superficial than they are, so that they need to make sure to objectify women. so many brands in this book are made up, though clearly based on reality, that i have to wonder if the brands that survive in the narrative are actually financing frantzen's new house or something. i think i've heard that paid product placement happens in litereature. that's ok, every other type of media does it.

stranger's gate
-tom casey
i found something in the prose of the first 20 pages of this book to be so awful that i laughed out loud. i have a hard time giving casey credit for writing a story about a macho pilot. when you are a macho pilot, it doesn't take much to do that. his protagonist's understanding of romance seems to be of junior high-level maturity, and i can't say that there's any proof the author is any different. the saddest part is, there's a fair amount of relationship stuff in here; our red-meat protagonist actually spends a lot of time reflecting on relationship issues. what we seem to get is a character who thinks he understands a lot about women and the challenges of making things work emotionally and romantically, and that character is written by an author who doesn't understand these things. so tom, you capture some good piloting drama at times, but your author friends think a lot more highly of you than i do, so i assume this won't hurt much. seriously though, this book seems pretty awful. anyone up for the challenge of proving me wrong?

No comments: