Tag Archives: Abandoned / Skimmed

FFORDE - The Eyre Affair

Proxy Brontës

There ought to be a term for the bookish adultery that compels you to actively search for echoes—or even reiterations—of books you’ve loved for the longest time. Then again, the brand of fidelity attached to this venture is a curious, if twisted, thing, too—you welcome things that remind you of the original, which would always, always have its fist wrapped around your fervently beating-for-it heart. I am talking about Jane Eyre. In this instance. [Continue reading.]

IMG-20130929-02375

Clean slate

Apologies in advance for whatever craziness you may find in the post that follows. I’m feeling a little strange—I’m running on a cocktail of painkillers and antibiotics and the threat of ache and sleeplessness and worry. (Nothing strange about all that, though, except for the antibiotics.) (I need to go visit my grandfather in the hospital [he was rushed there this morning, pneumonia, goodness, our hearts can’t take this anymore], and I need to let the haze pass, and so now I’m sitting in a café with too much sunlight and too much people, and I’m hoping the relevant parts of my brain align at the soonest.) [Continue reading.]

WOLITZER - The Uncoupling

Yuck

I sat patiently up to the sixtieth page, growing more and more bored by the second—how many ways can you insist that two people love each other even if (gasp!) they’re in their forties, and that this magical sex-strike just ruined everything? how many lackluster, unworthy-of-book-space characters (armed with their sex-lives-that-were) are you going to introduce us to? And then I realized I was being a complete idiot and just skimmed to the end. Where, lo and behold, the townspeople arrive at epiphanies and voice them publicly, on stage!—and the spell lifts and people can start bonking each other again! (It’s not Disney, goddammit!) And don’t forget the mysterious nomad who’s been—wink to the reader!—doing this for years. Hurray for magical Greek plays! Goddamnitall. [Continue reading.]

IRVING - In One Person

And then: The absurd

There is only so much unwarranted and unrewarding absurdity a mind can take, John Irving. I expect you to know that, I expect you to be skilled at toeing that fine line between the ridiculousness that turns when you least expect it and plain lack of sense. You are not supposed to be the kind of old friend I’ve been forced to mutter, “Are you fucking kidding me?” over and over whilst I am in your company—and after years of nothing. Goddammit all to hell and back, John. [Continue reading.]

SIMENON - The Engagement copy

Mostly unmoved / unmoving

Have been rather ambivalent about updating this blog, as I’ve been largely unmoved in what paltry reading I’ve done this March. In the past couple of weeks, there has been a limping parade of books-that-thought-they-could. I argue that I read them because they were the only ones that called to me, albeit feebly—in a, “Hey, you feeling unreaderly? Feed that dreadful feeling with me!”—from my curiously undemanding-of-late bookshelves. I could also argue that I read these books because I needed to read something—and though I would have loved to have had my soul lifted from my body and shaken willy-nilly, the increasingly-exhausted-with-life Sasha gives herself an awkward pat on the back for getting reading done, at least. Chin up, you. [Continue reading.]

SALTER - Light Years 02

“She had read no further.”

I wanted to feel like there was something at stake. That way, I could commit to the text. I could commit to the story Salter has been at pains to tell me; I could actually know these people I’m reading about. I could actually read as though every page wasn’t a test of my intelligence, of my due appreciation of the art and craft of writing. Basically: I wanted a book. And Light Years hardly ever felt that way for me. [Continue reading.]

From reading’s bygone days

There are books you read once and then put away on your shelf. You know that you will never have to read them again, although you may return to them to check certain points or to refresh your memory of certain ideas or episodes. (It is in the case of such books that the notes […]

“Life as we know it has ended, and yet no one is able to grasp what has taken its place.”

#36 of 2011 • In the Country of Last Things, by Paul Auster And so Auster tries to figure it out by himself. Here, yet another Paul Auster. Not the Auster I’m used to, not the convoluted post-modern woozy, definitely not the breathtaking shmexy-tenderness of Invisible. This time, he’s tackling exploring a post-apocalyptic world: Is […]

Quick thoughts on Kung, Ishiguro, and Fish

It happens. Every once in a while, I read a book or two—or maybe four in sequence—that inspires in me reaction that’s zilch at worst and feeble at best. I began it with the tired rant of One Day—although, because I am dorktastic, the feedback I got and the Much Loved Status of the book […]

elsewhere || “A Failed Conceit: How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely,” at POC-Metakritiko

My review of Steve Hely’s debut novel How I Became a Famous Novelist, is up on The Philippine Online Chronicles, so go clicky, if you are so inclined. Be warned, though: Sasha is not a happy goat when it comes to this book. The review begins: The narcissistic aspect of a debut novelist having his debut novel revolve […]