from worse to bad
For a while there I was reading The Painted Bird, which is a WWII novel of extreme (make that really extremely extreme) violence and horror about a little dark-haired boy trying to survive in terrifyingly backward, ostensibly Polish villages. Nightmares came, and dark horrid hate of society, fear of other people, etc etc. It averages a rape, murder, or severe beating about every four pages. Several folks noted that I seemed 'kinda blue' and I figured I'd pursue something funner.
No time to hit up the Walnut West for Book the Twelfth, which, though Lemony Snicket will beg and plead that it's unpleasant, probably won't be at all.
Well, serendipity ho! I saw the fascinating and well-done Children of Men last week. It's damn good, and right up my dystopia-lovin' alley. Come to think of it, the film has a certain WWII aesthetic, especially in the final ghetto scenes. Highly recommended, if you liked Blade Runner or A.I. or, heck, The Nativity Story. Anyhow. Didn't know it was based on a P.D. James novel, one of those known-to-be-crackerjack writers whose work I've just never gotten around to (cf. Toni Morrison, John Updike).
Anyhow I was eating (underrated, scrumptious) brunch at Kaffa Crossing with the honey, enjoying a fantastic latte. note: I have decided that in 2007 I will drink more coffee and more beer, because they are both so darned satisfying! On their little sharing-bookshelf, with cover out, stood The Children of Men, book in question. I read a couple pages and borrowed, with owner permission.
The point, I guess, is that I'm pretty easy to please. I will happily read about an apocalyptic future eerily resembling our own present, but not about a horrifying past that actually happened. (n.b. Kosinski's novel is definitely fictional and has been criticized repeatedly for grossly misrepresenting the Polish Catholic peasants who sheltered him safely, sans grisly beatings.) Can anyone suggest a novel of beauty and pleasure and happiness? I could deal with a sad ending, like maybe The Time Traveler's Wife. (Also highly recommended...hey, they're going to make a movie?!) Maybe it's time to make a long series of dates with Susannah Clarke.