Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Slacking Again

House of Breath - William Goyen. Not at all like Nabokov. It was interesting. It was poetic. The language was amazing and beautiful. The plot? Non-existant. It is said that it is a love letter from the author to his hometown. It's hard to read a 130 page love letter. Particularly when the letter also goes into all the awful things that happened in the relationship. But there is one chapter told from the point of view of the well which is, to put it bluntly, brilliant.

To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee. This is one I should have read a long time ago, but never did. And now I wonder why not. The race relations are played subtly, but she definitely never shies away from them. It's tense and hard to read at times. The kid is believable and I like that the narrator is telling the story from a distance, looking back, as opposed to simply stating the past events. It makes it seem like there are two characters: the adult version and the kid version.

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins. I am late to the game on this, but have been hounded by a friend to read it. I can't say my love equals that of the masses. I thought it was really well-written and an interesting concept. The fact that it is all told in present tense is really fascinating. It's really difficult to keep up the tension required for a present tense story. I'm assuming she keeps it through the whole trilogy. The characters are believable. I didn't really believe in the story, though. (SPOILERS) I guess I didn't understand why, if it was so terrible, all of the districts didn't somehow band together and attack the controlling district. I mean, I know that in the "1984" sense they are never really alone and organizing an uprising would be difficult, to say the least. I guess I just never felt the danger I was supposed to feel for the characters. I couldn't get into the idea of killing for sport. It just seemed uneccessarily cruel and I never fully understood why they had to sacrifice a member of the community. It never became clear to me. What was that one person dying for? Also, I found Katniss to be kind of a jerk. I want to see what happens in the next books, but mostly only because everyone else is raving about them and I need to know about things that other people like.