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So I haven't updated my book list since I finished 3 more (one before the weekend, one during, and one after). While driving to and fro L'ville, via audiobook, I read George Carlin's latest, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?. It's not his best work, but I've thought him brilliant. He is a shrewd commentator and philosopher on the modern condition, thinly veiled with humor (I wonder if that's the only way philosophers today can afford to eat). He has a wonderful ear for the language we use today, and he finds it disturbing, sad and evasive.

The book I just finished was the second volume of Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise. This is a great comic with gorgeous art and compelling characters. By the end of this volume, though, I was emotionally drained; the characters seem to be crying and whining a lot. At times, it tends toward soap opera. I much prefer it when the characters are moving forward or having to correct mistakes in their past, rather than making new ones, as they seem to constantly return to people who continue to break their hearts.

Finally, there was the book that I finished just before I left for this past glorious weekend. It's A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. This book had been recommended to me for years by many whose opinions I value. It won the Pulitzer prize. The author had killed himself in 1969, and I think the book reflects his sadness. Many (I have found numerous reviews online to see what it is that appealed to people about it) find it very, very funny, a sort of high-brow Jerry Springer set against the culture and chaos of New Orleans. It's a sad book, full of characters, some unappealing, some loathsome. While it does have some very funny moments, I found myself too sympathetic to the characters. Some reviews label it "tragicomic," but, for me, it was too much tragedy to outweigh the

I kept picking it up and putting it down, mostly down. I made myself finish it after I got over 300 pages in. The first 200 had gone well; I was curious about the characters and where they were going. (I could get in a protracted debate about when to abandon a book here, but I won't right now.) But, while one reviewer described the main character Ignatius as someone you love to hate, I found him sad and sympathetic, a misunderstood, if not mentally ill, intellectual trapped in poverty and completely unable to relate to the modern world. It is well-written and the characters are fully realized and alive. I just had a hard time finding humor in the situation.

Books read 2005: 56



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 5th, 2005 09:29 pm (UTC)
I have not read that book by George Carlin yet, but I shall give it a try.

I love Strangers in Paradise. Or at least I did. I have been reading the individual issues since the first one came out about ten years ago. I stopped last fall when I moved to New Mexico, ostensibly because my comic book store is not the best at carrying a variety of comics but in actuality, I have been growing tired of Terry Moore's story for the last year or so. I still love the art and the characters, but the plot itself has become slightly repetitive in my eyes.

As for A Confederacy of Dunces, yeah. I definitely hear you there. I struggled through that book and although I appreciated the humor and the author's writing ability, I could never quite enjoy the book. I have heard that it shall be a movie starring Will Ferrell. I do not know what to think about that.
Jul. 6th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC)
I've heard that like all other attempts to make this book into a film, it has bogged down and is unlikely to pass.

I don't think of Farrell in that role, anyway. Actually, I'm still trying to figure out why Farrell has a career, but that's another rant.

It's good to know I wasn't the only one who didn't enjoy it.
Jul. 6th, 2005 02:58 am (UTC)
Happy Dance Time!
Actually, I'm still trying to figure out why Farrell has a career, but that's another rant.

You mean I'm not the only one? Huzzah!
Jul. 6th, 2005 02:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Happy Dance Time!
He was the sour note in "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back." The only time I've found him funny was in a few scenes of "Old School." I've heard mixed reviews of his performance in "Melinda & Melinda" but I think he could do well in a Woody Allen role.
Jul. 6th, 2005 02:15 am (UTC)
I agree about Strangers. I finally got tired of a story that needed closure and rather got redundancy.
Jul. 6th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC)
Dude, you have to steal this guy's icon!

Jul. 6th, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't that be for everyone else? I don't find a lack of pants disturbing. I find pants disturbing.

(BTW, thanks for reminding me that I am wearing pants at the moment because I'm at work. Now I'm horribly uncomfortable.)
Jul. 6th, 2005 02:34 pm (UTC)
BOO! pants!
Yea! Boo-pants?

Not sure how that works...
Jul. 6th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
Jul. 6th, 2005 03:28 pm (UTC)
HAHA! Jin is wearign pants! HAHA!
Jul. 6th, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC)
Jul. 6th, 2005 03:45 pm (UTC)
It's vader, dude. It shows that only an evil person would have a problem with pantslessness.

Forgive me for thinking of you. Go pack to your pants-wearing day. Hrmph.
Jul. 6th, 2005 11:08 am (UTC)
As I was reading this, I thought how appropriate that Will Farrell would star in a lousy book movie!!!
Anyway, it's very good that you're reading books via audiobook while driving....the other way is not a good option!!
Jul. 6th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
Yes. Although it's much better than trying to find a decent radio station, too.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


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