Thursday, April 26, 2012
Reading and other food for thought
No, I'm not confused as to which blog I'm in! I just thought, since it's time to chat about a book or two, that I may as well make and upload a drawing, just as quick as taking a picture, my usual practice, and I think probably more interesting, except that I have to be more specific about what books I'm talking about.
The red one on top is David Lodge's "Thinks", which is a brand new looking paperback which I brought home all interested to see what he's doing lately, long time since I read any of him, and found, aaaarhrhrhrhrh, I've read it when it came out in hardback. This is a snare and a delusion, since newly issued books, and there are more and more of them lately, get shelved by our local libe as new books. Like heck as like, as my Lancashire pals were wont to say.
So rather than rereading, I just draw it to your attention. He's one of those very earnest male writers who can not grasp that he has slim to no insight into how women think, or feel, or operate, but never gives up on trying, as if the left brain would magically throw open that right brain door which enables anyone to grasp anything about anyone else. And I have to admit I do read him, just in case he's got it yet. He's an entertaining writer, once you deal with this lacuna in his abilities.
And the other really is a new book, Anne LaMott's latest, written with her son Sam, "Some Assembly Required." Oh dear. I usually love her writing, because she's so astute and has a gift for the phrase that just creates the scene in your mind. But here, aside from the parts written by her son, which sound very much like, look Ma I'm writing! big thoughts, big words, get me, look no hands, etc. No reason youthful stuff should make it into Mommy's book, better he should earn his chops the usual way.
Anyway, aside from all that, she truly does seem to be desperately and frantically trying to control everything, the new grandchild, the mom of the grandchild, who withstands her with great patience and kindness, amazing in a 19 year old girl, and the humor doesn't make it this time. Aside from a long travelogue about her trip to India, than which not much is less interesting.
All in all, I wish she'd waited to write this for a few years, anyway, to digest what's up, and maybe she'll write a new version. This one's okay, I guess, but oh such a far cry from her wonderful best. I think she's in great pain because she's not the principal player in anyone's life now. Even the old relative who died is out of her orbit, and the young family makes it clear that they are, too. this is a hard situation, and I wonder how many grandmothers have driven away the younger generation just out of their sheer neediness.
You'll have noticed that this book gripped me totally,no matter what I say about it! so there's that.