Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Reading Recess

I've been reading a lot of baby books these days.  But for the Thanksgiving trip, I couldn't read Ina May on a plane.  Too risky with the pictures.  I needed some fiction.  So, I decided to reread East of Eden.  I read it in college, but you know how in college you have to speed read every durn thing--frankly, I couldn't remember enough.

But it is soooo good.  I love Steinbeck.  And I love that Mr. F. lets me read chunks to him and just paraphrase what's happened since last time I read.

Raise your hand if you've read this.  I promise not to give away the plot.

All I can think about is this book.  And I'm reading it in TWO rentals from the library because I just want to hang out with these characters a bit longer.  Here are a couple quick thoughts:

1.  Cathy IS a monster.  I love how Steinbeck backs off his presentation of her and is all oh, no I was too harsh.  And then Cathy proves she's a bigger monster than we could dream.  I'm afraid of her.  Right now she holds best she-villain in my ranks.  Way more than Cleopatra.  most def.  That Johnny--he's a genius.

2.  Steinbeck is always holding up the unlikelies to be the favorite characters.  In this work, Lee wins my affections of course.  Just listen to him:

...I think this [the story of Cain and Abel] is the best-known story in the world because it is everybody's story.  I think it is the symbol story of the human soul.  I'm feeling my way now--don't jump on me if I'm not clear.  The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears.  I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection.  And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt--and there is the story of mankind.
Lee is the philosophical voice of the narrative.  But he's not annoying.  He is such a good egg.  I want him to come help us raise Fünf.

I know that it's been forever since you've heard from me.  And you don't even know about our Thanksgiving or Christmas prep or where we'll be in the new year--all of that is coming.  I just had to tell you about this book.  I'll be writing more about it later.  So, maybe you should pick it up at your library?  So we could dish.  yes?  Yes.

What's the last thing you read that you were glad to be totally absorbed in?

1 comment:

  1. clearly catching up on a backlog--the Ina May books are just way too hippy for me. I like all the data and argument far, far more than I like the crazy hippy birth stories. I want to have a natural birth, I think it's beautiful, but I really, really don't want my husband involved via mooing at me or feeling high off the energy of my contractions or whatever! To answer your question hower, as a break from childbirth non-fiction I just spent like 4 hours reading Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife, which was engrossing if not really excellent.


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