Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nevermore: McCarthy,the Seine, Good Girl, Good Luck of Right Now, and Vonnegut

Nevermore opened with another book by Cormac McCarthy.  All the Pretty Horses is the first in the Border Trilogy and begins after the death of John Grady Cole’s rancher grandfather, which means that sixteen year old Cole has to leave the only way of life he’s ever known.  He and a buddy leave Texas and head to Mexico, meeting up with an even younger sharpshooter along the way. The style is taunt and readable, and it seems obvious that McCarthy must have spent some time in the Southwest.  It’s far more than a typical “coming of age” story, and McCarthy’s writing has been compared to Faulkner’s.  Jud commented that it has “flowery language for a dry place” and that it could be used as a travel guide to living rough in Mexico. 

That segued into The Secret Life of the Seine by Mort Rosenblum, which details the life of folks living in houseboats on the Parisian river.  Some are quite well to do, which others struggle to make a living.  Rosenblum, a reporter, ended up on a boat after losing his apartment.  He became fascinated with the characters he encountered, hence the book.  It can also be used as a cautionary tale about the problems of living on a boat. 

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick tells the story of  38 year old Bartholomew Neil  whose mother’s death throws him into a bit of a panic.  He’s not quite sure how to deal on his own.  Jud describes it as “a humorous look at how [Neil} deals with life” but that readers may not know whether to laugh or cry.  Quick is also the author of Silver Linings Playbook.

Another reviewer read and recommended Good Girl by Mary Kubica. Mia is a free spirited art teacher, daughter of a prominent Chicago family, when she is taken hostage and held for ransom.  The novel deals with Stockholm Syndrome, but it so much more than that.  “Excellent, excellent book, reads well,” said our reviewer.  “This is a wonderful book.”

Finally, Kurt Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan continued to entertain another member who wanted everyone to know that while it is science fiction, it has real meaning.  It pokes fun at some aspects of our culture and ridicules our policies.

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