Monday, December 03, 2007
More books I've read in 2007
Jonathan Carroll's last two books "White Apples" and "Glass Soup" are two of my favorite books ever. Before he wrote those two, I found his work fascinating but frustrating. Too often he would set up a mind-boggling premise but peter out to nothing when it came time to explain what was going on. "Bones of the Moon" is one of his earlier works that I missed, and I have to say it has a strong ending. What it doesn't have is a compelling middle. A woman spends a lot of time in a dream kingdom with the child that she aborted years ago, helping him to find the bones of the moon, relics that will help the child defeat the evil lord of this kingdom. When the dream land starts to spill over into "real" life it's pretty scary, but a lot of the quest stuff just reads like bad fantasy. If you haven't read Carroll, you're missing out, but read "White Apples" first. If that doesn't blow you away, you can skip all the "books I've read" blog entries of mine. Our tastes are too different and we are never going be book buddies.
I read William Kotzwinke's brilliant satire "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" awhile back and enjoyed it very much. In searching on Bookmooch.com for more Kotzwinkle I came across this one. Walter is a dog with a gas problem, he is much beloved by the children in his household, though not by the father, who sells him at a yard sale. Unfortunately he sells him to an evil clown who hooks Walter up to a fart machine, forcing Walter to fill up balloons with his noxious emissions. He then uses these balloons to rob a bank by popping them and knocking tellers and security guards out with the aroma. I know my sense of humor is not very sophisticated and I'm not ashamed to tell you that this book cracked me up. It goes on my shelf of books that I plan to read to my as-yet-unborn grandchildren.
(Speaking of Bookmooch.com, it's a great website to find good homes for books you no longer love and for finding new books to love. Check out my wishlist here and if you've got any of them let's start trading.)
Even though I know it's a mistake for me to read too much of one writer's work in a short period of time, I enjoyed David Nicholl's "Starter For Ten" so much I read "The Understudy" immediately afterwards. Even though this usually makes a writer's flaws too obvious, I actually enjoyed "The Understudy" more, maybe because I like it when the hapless hero actually gets the obviously-inappropriate girl.