Thursday, March 14, 2013

Joyce Carol huh?

By way of a reading update, since my last post I've read several novels and thanks to my fiance, I've read some great poems, poems which I've discovered all have references to the wings of a fly in them. Not sure what that is all about but I feel that question and its answer could have its own blogpost so, I'll get to that later.

For now, here is how my 2013 reading year is shaping up:

1. "The Paper Men" William Golding
2. "Tinkers" Paul Harding
3. "Wild" Cheryl Strayed
4. "The Long March" William Styron
5. "Reading Lolita in Tehran" Azar Nafisi
6. "Everyman" Philip Roth
7. "Border Crossing" Pat Barker
8. "Beasts" Joyce Carol Oates
9. "Ironweed" William Kennedy

Of these books, I feel compelled to discuss Joyce Carol Oates' novella that was strangely intoxicating despite being completely unbelievable. I didn't want to like the story even after the first few pages but the writing was top notch and there were passages that were beautiful even if out of place. Maybe that is why I am disappointed in this novella. "Beasts" as a concept in the story is overwrought and ultimately falls flat, the reader left wondering whether the author knew she was missing the subtlety and honesty one would expect from her work. The novella, because it was fast paced with a singular focus on a bizarre student/teacher affair, felt rushed and dirty.

I wanted to wash my hands after reading this. I wanted to find a pair of flame retardant pajamas. I wanted to sink into my couch with a rolled up towel over my eyes to not have to worry about being burned or seeing headless totems and mangled nudes across the room, sitting naked on a stool in my kitchen, or drinking my drug spiked wine.

Mostly, I wanted to forget this book because every part of me told me not to like it, that I shouldn't like it. BUT I DID and I can't fully comprehend what that says about me if it says anything at all.

1 comment:

astraythinker said...

Unless you want a repeat experience, don't read her other short novel titled Zombie...chilling,and to think this quiet, mild-mannered lady can write this way and so well...I stayed freaked out about it for a week...reminded me of the Collector by John Fowles, but on steroids.