Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Reading Roundup

I realized just recently that I have gotten backed up on the books I have read towards my 25/50 project and there is only a little more than a month left in the year, so I need to get moving. At this rate I am going to start reading whatever my youngest nephew is reading (Everybody Poops!) and just calling it a day. But I am SO CLOSE to doing this, so without further adieu, hopefully I am on the home stretch:

The Man In The High Castle by Phillip K. Dick (18/25 books)
Only Phillip K. Dick would write an alternate history book where the Allies won the (longer) second World War. And inside his alternate history book, the people and characters' in his book's favorite book is an alternate history book where the Allies won the Second World War. It's enough to make your head spin. It takes place in 1962, 15 years after the Axis won World War II because of an ill prepared United States and now there is intrigue between the Axis powers and how they are going to  or if they are going to strike against each other. It's all pretty fascinating, but I was (Spoiler!) a little let down by it's open ended conclusion. I hear Dick had planned a sequel for years but had never gotten around to it.

Deliverance by James Dickey (19/25 books)
Over the Summer, looking in my parents' basement, I found a bunch of books they had stuck away in their bookshelves down there (great story!) I remember growing up always seeing a copy of Deliverance on the shelf, and I realized reading a fellow blogger's review of the book that I had never actually read it myself. For some reason I thought I had (this story continues to fascinate, I am sure) In one of those rare instances, this book is just as good as the movie, a movie, I might add, that I love. I actually would like to read about James Dickey himself, because he is supposed to be a fascinating character and there is a couple books about him floating around out there (one of which is written by his son). ANYWAY, yeah the book is just as good as the movie and includes a section before and after their trip that the movie doesn't cover. I especially liked the prologue where the men are meeting up in Atlanta to talk about their trip and their reasons for going and what not, it really helps set up and deliver (ha!) on the rest when they can't escape to civilization from their predicament. Great stuff.

The Human Stain by Philip Roth (20/25 books)
Just in time to Philip Roth to announce he is retiring, I read my second Philip Roth book! He is considered one of America's greatest writers and it is not hard to see why. For one thing I didn't realize that the narrator here, Nathan Zuckerman, actually appears in other Philip Roth books I haven't read yet, like American Pastoral, which, to me, is actually kind of cool. But he plays the narrator telling the story of a friend of his, Coleman Silk, who is actually the main character and it his story that is slowly revealed through the book. It's a really interesting book that initially plays out with the Bill Clinton sex scandal as a background but goes deep into not only University/academic politics but also race and class. It plays out like a mystery with the narrator only doling out bits and pieces of information as the novel goes on, slowly doling out the whole picture. I found it pretty fascinating, like it seems a lot of other people did, I am sure others might find it overwrought.

Communion by Whitley Strieber (21/25 books)
So Whitley Strieber himself is a fascinating character to me, he's a writer, a screenwriter, and then one day, in the eighties he releases a supposedly true book about his abduction by aliens (later made into a movie starring Christopher Walken). He is fascinating, I can't say his writing style is that compelling. At least here, I'd like to try some of his fiction stuff because it sounds like he has done some interesting stuff. I particularly want to find this one called Warday that deals with the aftermath of a nuclear war (written in the 80's again) Now this novel, it is interesting but something about the way he writes just irks me. Also I am sure he is a huge liar like the guy that wrote about his haunted house in The Amityville Horror. it's fun to imagine but I think he just went to his ski cabinet and drank a lot of scotch and then voila: Communion! 


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