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8 Mar 2012

Recently Read.

Written by sally @ 11:13 am — Section: sally

I read Geraldine Brooks’s March last week for a program at work. (Poor me! Having to read novels for my job!) My mother-in-law has been encouraging me to read this for several years, starting first with “You should read this book” and then switching to sighing and saying, “Well, I know you’re probably never going to read this book…” and trailing off sadly. I can be a snob, but seriously, Civil War historical fiction. No thank you. So when I finally read it, I found it better than I thought, but it was still excrutiating. Not excrutiatingly bad or anything, but if you read it, please be prepared for:
–cruelty
–violence
–awfulness
–rinse
–repeat

And not to spoil anything for you, but at one point someone is hiding and the bad guys are all “hey come out or I’m going to chop this dude’s head off” and the guy whose head is on the line says “don’t come out I’m ready to meet Jesus!” and so the hider doesn’t move and then BOOM no head. And when the hider comes out later, THERE IS THE HEAD. Also, there are some children’s entrails lying about.

And yes: while I am aware that awful things happened, I just don’t want to read about them. (See also: children’s entrails written about in loving, gorgeous detail.) This is my argument against The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo AND Law and Order: SVU. I understand that rape and abuse happen, but in my limited amount of free time, I don’t want to fill my brain with those images! Murder is an exception. Run of the mill murder stories are a-ok, as long as women and children aren’t the targeted audience. Murder equality across the land! (PS: Rick Santorum probably wants take away women’s right not to get murdered.)

So anyway, if you don’t mind a little historically accurate gore, you might like this book. Geraldine Brooks is married to Tony Horwitz, who wrote the excellent (and gore-free!) Confederates in the Attic, which is much more my speed, Civil War-wise.

This week I’ve been reading Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot, which I love. Love love. I love his other books, but reading this one, I feel like he wrote it for me. (See last post re: the reason I was an English major.) I only have 50 pages until the end, and unless everyone gets eaten by zombies, I feel certain I am going to continue loving it. (My only complaint is that at one point, he describes someone wearing a Cosby sweater, only the book is set in 1982 and those sweaters are really a Heathcliff Huxtable thing, which didn’t start until 1984. I kind of hate myself for focusing on this unimportant detail, but seriously, use the Wikipedia.)

4 Responses to “Recently Read.”

  1. Jenny said:

    I liked Confederates in the Attic, too. And I’ve read and seen all the Dragon Tattoo books, even though I share your distaste for disgustingness in general; the books and the movie let you know what was happening, but did not make it titillating, just horrible. And not so much on every single detail. Really!

  2. poobou said:

    It’s funny that I have the exact same reason for not reading the Dragon Tattoo books. Rape and abuse against women? I’ll pass, thanks! If it involves kids? Oh heeeeell no, I’m not reading that. So, thank you for letting me know that I will most definitely be skipping “March” too.

    I’ve heard the Marriage Plot is good. I’m thinking about getting it for my Kindle. Because that’s how I roll these days.

  3. lisa said:

    Did you end up reading 11/22/63?

  4. sally said:

    Lisa, I never really started! I borrowed a friend’s copy, but it was so heavy I decided to buy it for the Kindle. Then I returned it, realized I had a million new books I should read before I go and buy another, etc etc. One day!