Saturday, March 01, 2008

"Well, it doesn't say that exactly, but somewhere there is something about a chicken." *

I finished Alex Garland’s The Beach last night – it was a good read, but I felt like there should be more to it. It reminded me of what one of the characters in the novel says to Richard the protagonist about the beach itself: “It’s great if you just take it for what it is.” The book WANTED to be Lord of the Flies, Apocalypse Now, and The Swiss Family Robinson all rolled into one. Instead, it was merely an entertaining, off-the-wall, slightly disconcerting tale of drug lords, world-weary travelers, and stoned expats in a secret paradise gone awry.

I enjoyed Kathleen Center’s The Bright Side of Disaster. It was fluff, but well-written and with some terrifically quirky characters and subplots, not to mention a comfortingly realistic depiction of life with a new baby AND a happy but not sappy ending.

And lastly, I skimmed through Reva Mann’s The Rabbi's Daughter, a self-absorbed, self-indulgent memoir of her life trying to be an Orthodox Jew in Israel. I disliked the woman by halfway through the second chapter and my dislike just continued to grow throughout the course of her life and the book. And if her poor children don’t need therapy, I would be shocked.

Not that my children won’t – but then I also didn’t write a book about what a colossal fuck-up I was as a teenager and then follow that sad but commonplace enough tale with lots of selfish, blinkered whining about how fucked-up everyone ELSE is, once I was SUPPOSED to have grown up.

Hmmmm. Let me tell you how I REALLY feel...


*Tevye, "Fiddler on the Roof"


lazy cow said...

Yeah, The Beach was just that: a good beach read. I took it away with me on holidays a couple of years ago, and remember loving the first half, then the last part just degenerated into a sloppy mess.

KPB said...

The thing that is perplexing me the most is this.