It's a good book, but it's not my Typee...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

It seemed like a good idea at the time?

I adore MSN Now because they deliver all the news I care about (the weird and ridiculous stuff) and provide snarky commentary on it. I must thank them for drawing my attention to a recent faux pas by Vice magazine. Vice decided that depicting famous female writers offing themselves was a good way to market designer clothing. Cause what everyone must have said when they pulled Virginia Woolf out of the water was "Oh my gaw, look at those shoessssss."

Apparently, Vice has now yanked the offending article off their website, but click on the link above for the MSN Now page which includes a picture of a model portraying Sylvia Plath. She sits on the kitchen floor contemplating her open oven while wearing just the cutest little print dress. Just kidding...I mean she really is sitting there staring at the oven, but the dress is hideous. I wouldn't be caught dea--yeah never mind.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Kipling's plagiarism

Oh, Kippy. Apparently Rudyard Kipling had no problem telling people that he borrowed material quite liberally from other authors and was so blasé about it that he couldn't even remember where he did his pilfering. In a letter he wrote in 1895, Kipling owns up to using someone else's work in The Jungle Book. Hard to be upset at him considering what he created with said material.

And now, a joke:
"Do you like Kipling?"
"I don't know, I've never Kippled."

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Corrections

Jonathan Franzen is a disturbingly realistic writer. He describes things in ways you instantly recognize, but have never thought to put into words. It took me at least 3 years of on and off reading to finish The Corrections. Each page is dense with some of the best writing you'll find today.

The scenery, the relationships, and the situations are so lifelike you will recognize most of them in your own life, or at least feel like you should. Unfortunately, the reader is rewarded for absorbing all this material with a rather lackluster ending. It's not one of those conclusions that makes you want to crawl out of your own skin because the truths are so darn universal and humans are so selfish, etc. (which is pretty much what I was expecting). Instead, the book wraps up happily for nearly everyone. It turns out there wasn't much holding the family back from fulfillment and contentment. Guilt is lifted, tides are turned, and even though I really don't like the icky endings books like this often have, I was a little let down that this one was so pleasant. Many of the characters deserved the miserable lives they'd built for themselves.

But don't let that stop you from reading The Corrections. A few pages of sunshine at the end don't overshadow the deliciously realistic prose in the rest of the book.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Zombies: Why won't they die already?

In talking to my friend Heather today, I was reminded of the fact that the Zombie craze has not died down. Why the heck is that?

Zombies are boring to me. No one wants to date a zombie. There will be no Twilight-like romance associated with them. No teenage girl is dreaming about a zombie falling in love with her and stalking her at school. Although zombies and Robert Pattinson do share a hairstyle.

They can't talk. They can't even walk very well. Zombies are like drunk people who are never going to sober up. And that's no fun. What's the point in hanging out with someone like that when you can't tell them the next day, "Man, you should have seen the way you bit that guy's nose off.  Classic."

Also, let's be honest with ourselves. If zombies took over the planet, you would not be a plucky survivor with a machete and a shotgun. You would be biting someone's nose off and shambling around, Thriller-style.

So in short, let's just drop the zombie thing like a rotting appendage. Shall we?