Sunday, July 18, 2010

Proof that I'm a Crazy Person (among other things)

I just saw a commercial for Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore and cackled like… well, like a crazy person, for about 5 minutes. I’m still not sure what was actually so funny, but I was laughing for quite some time and I couldn’t stop.

In other news, I’ve finished some books since last we met.

A few days ago I finished Bret Easton Ellis’s first book, Less Than Zero. This is the book he wrote while he was still in college. It was published when he was 20. Perhaps it’s the manifestation of bitterness due to the fact that he was published by 20 and I’ve done nothing with my life and have no plans for my future (this is the main subject of my bi-weekly freak-out), but I found something… lacking. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good book and I’d encourage others to read it, but it did feel a little bit like he was trying too hard to be laid back. In Less Than Zero Clay is sort of like a modern-day (or 80’s day?) Holden Caufield. Or maybe Less Than Zero is like a modern/80’s-day Catcher in the Rye. Something like that. It is what it is. I guess that’s all I can say for now. I just started reading Lunar Park, which is another book by Bret Easton Ellis, but from a later period in his career (The Informers, which I read first is actually a sort of collection of short stories, many of which he wrote before Less Than Zero). I’m barely into it, so I guess I’ll let you know once I have a better grasp on what I think.

Oh dear lord, it happened again. I need to stop watching channels where they advertise for the same movies over and over again. Where was I…?

Catching up on books. Right.

Earlier this month I read The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was great; filled with intrigue and interesting characters and all that good stuff. I would definitely recommend it. That being said, be prepared for some frustration. Throughout the book the reader accumulates a great deal of questions and not all of them get answered. Honestly, I think I ended up more confused after finishing the book than at any other time while reading. The confusion I experienced didn’t detract from my personal reading experience, but I can see how it would for some people, so I guess I recommend it for most people, but keep the lack of answers in mind?

I’ve been more into non-fiction recently than in the past and in my blogging hiatus I also finished A History of Celibacy by Elizabeth Abbott. Don’t give me that look, I was intrigued. Abbott examines celibacy throughout history and across the globe. It’s really interesting how people have chosen celibacy for such a wide variety of reasons, and yet there are many common threads through history and in many different cultures and religions. It was well-written and I found it interesting. I guess I recommend it if you’re into that kind of thing.

Yesterday I finished The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman. This book has been on my list forever, so I was glad to finally get to it. It wasn’t really what I expected, but I enjoyed reading it. Well, ‘enjoyed’ might not be exactly the right word since the book is about the Holocaust, but I think you know what I mean. Spiegelman shares his father’s story, but he intertwines it with scenes from his own life as he tries to compile his father’s memories while dealing with his wandering attention and constant complaints. The combination of his father’s story with the more current interpersonal struggles between family members is something that I didn’t initially expect, but kind of made it stand apart from other Holocaust accounts in a way that its classification as a graphic novel doesn’t. The Complete Maus shows the horrors of what millions went through during the Holocaust, but it also shows the after-effects. Many of his father’s characteristics that Spiegelman find so frustrating seem to result from the horrors he experienced during the Third Reich. The Complete Maus is not just a survivor’s account of the horrors of the past, it is also an account of present (and possibly future?) pain associated with surviving and, to some degree, not having to survive.

OK, that’s all for now. I’m off to read some more and then sleep so I can get up bright and early to go to my math class… bleh.

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