Sunday, October 28, 2012

Book #10: The Bridge of San Luis Rey

The Bridge of San Luis Rey is one of those "Pulp Fiction" or "Snatch" type of stories where a seemingly unrelated cast of characters with their own random plot lines are all magically connected by one incident. In this case, the incident is the collapse of a bridge in Peru which kills a handful of the area's residents. Author Thornton Wilder careful details out the lives of each victim leading up to the moment of their death. It sounds like an interesting enough premise but it only kinda sorta works.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Book #9: "Early Autumn" aka The House of No Sex

 I can't imagine living in a world where every single one of your life's decision is dictated by the people around you. How you dress, what you eat, how you dance, when you dance, where you dance, with whom you dance, whom you marry, and so on. Each character in this book (and every other Victorian-era novel) seems helplessly bound to societal standards and will sacrifice any hope of happiness or pleasure in an attempt to conform.

Do we live under such standards today in 2012 and we just don't realize it? I would love to say I am a genuine free spirit who is exempt from the expectations of my middle class upbringing but I'm not sure if that would be true.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Early Autumn

I’m starting to wonder if one of the requirements to win the Pulitzer is that the story be unbearably depressing. I finished the ninth winning novel, Louis Bromfield’s Early Autumn, over a week ago and I needed to let it sit for a little while before writing about it. It’s about a bunch of unhappy people. It had an unhappy ending. Mostly, it was a huge bummer. At its center is Olivia Pentland, a beautiful, intelligent, sensitive woman who is married to an insufferable bore of a man. Early Autumn is mostly her story, although it’s also the story of the family she married into.