Friday, April 18, 2008

Book Slut

Simon has accused me of being a book slut. He says I'll read anything with a cover on it. The truth is, I don't even need a cover- I'll read blogs, pamphlets, even cereal boxes. However, I counter that because Simon reads the same books I read, he must be a book slut too. He says he's just slumming.

Mostly, he picks on me because I read YA novels. YA novels rock because they're an easy, quick read. When you're too mommy brained to remember to put diapers in the drier, an easy read is good. I do read adult books, but I find myself frustrated. Take, for example, The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I'm reading it, and I'm very pleased that I catch almost all the Geek references. I know enough Spanish that I can make most of those references out too. I do have a basic understanding of the literary tools used- the author uses other characters to narrate Oscar's life because he wants to emphasize Oscar's singularity. I think. And there's obviously symbolism employed, because there's a great golden mongoose that keeps showing up, and large animals that aren't really there have to symbolize something, I'm pretty sure. My problem with the book is that once I'm done reading it I can't tell you why everyone thinks it's so great. I don't get it. What was the point of Oscar? Why do we spend so much time following his mom? What the hell does the mongoose mean? I'm not left with the warm fuzzy feeling of having read a great book, I'm just left feeling stupid.

Taking refuge in the fact she was a chem/math major,
ephelba

4 comments:

J. Thorp said...

Take heart! I'm reminded of Roger Ebert's rule regarding cinema symbolism -- if you have to ask what it symbolizes, it doesn't. (Regardless of what the writer/director/artist may have intended!)

RoseDrake said...

What's the protagonist's goal?

ephelba said...

To get laid. Which he did. Eventually. I can tell when I read the book that it isn't a bad book- don't mean to imply it's a bad book. I think it's above me somehow and I'm left with the feeling of being inadequate. And the feeling of perplexion, because mongooses are neither golden nor large, as I understand them.

RoseDrake said...

Okay, so knowing his goal, let's assume the mongoose is related to it. What about a teenage boy getting laid could a not-actually-large, unnaturally gilded, squrimy and dangerous animal symbolize?