every Starbucks should have a polar bear (scoradh) wrote,
every Starbucks should have a polar bear
scoradh

#22

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon



What an ending to what a book! AKA, WHY DID YOU PUT IN THAT CRAPPY EPILOGUE WHY. COULD YOU NOT HAVE LET ART AND ART HAVE A HAPPY ENDING?! Speaking of which, what WAS the relevance of having them both be called Arthur? (Not that I would even have noticed if Art hadn't pointed out that Art was a nickname.) I did NOT want to know that Art ended up alone and bereft of all the people who filled his life with colour.

It was so very obviously a first novel. I'm excited to read more of Chabon's work, but I hope that he's refined some of his dafter flights of fancy and vocab and attuned his idea of what constitutes good romance and harbingering. Particularly after reading the Godfather, the Mafioso plot didn't wash with me, yet equally I can't find any certainty in condemning it. It sort-of worked? But it should have been a book of summer love and pimping a city that seems pretty much overlooked in, well, everything. Not crime. (Or Crime.)

I made a sudden, frightened vow never to become that small, and devote myself to getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

Maybe I'm just fandom-inculcated, but I feel that he could have - with Arthur. (Who, by the way, must have been first out of the mould of fandom clichés.)

A few descriptions and observations made me nod; yes, he's good; I hope he gets better.

listened for the accents of friendship: the banality, relaxation and lack of style that characterises a conversation between two friends.

They sat in a row, panting almost in unison, three tough little good-natured knots of dog muscle that attended to every movement of Teddy's hands. He commanded them to stop panting and blip! their tongues shot back into their mouths.

"We always have that conversation when I call him at his hotel. It's my favourite conversation in the whole world."

Which makes Art's bizarro abandonment of his father even more, well, bizarre.

Phlox, recognising early that she lacked a strong sense of humour, or rather than she lacked the ability to make up jokes, had memorised thousands of bizarre passages from books and from here and there, and had developed, in place of humour, an ability to drop these bombs into a conversation, sometimes with incongruous, killer accuracy.

At first I went, "Boo, you loser," but - isn't that exactly what humour is? Or do I mean comedy?

"Like his mom kills herself, his dad becomes about the scariest queer I've ever seen - and I've seen scary ones, believe me - so Cleveland is pardoned from having to do anything good, or productive, ever again."

So I'm mainly glad this book wasn't longer than it is, otherwise these excellent characterisations may have shown their straw legs.

Now I began to see that he was largely his own invention.

I LOVE Arthur. As, I suspect, I am meant to - which quells my ardour somewhat.

'I am a jewel thief'; for he was learning a profession, and as with doctors, and priests, and the other few true professionals (people, that is, who are trained to recognise peril) merely pronouncing the words 'jewel thief' served as an instantaneous reminder of his many skills and responsibilities, like a restorative slap.

Little as I like being lumped in with thieves, and still less so priests, this is actually true.



Previously, on Book Glomp 2010:
The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories, Anton Chekhov
I'll take you there, Joyce Carol Oates
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
The School for Husbands, Moliere
On Green Dolphin Street, Sebastian Faulks
The Famished Road, Ben Okri
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
The Sea, the Sea, Irish Murdoch ♥ ♥
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
The Sea, John Banville
paddy clarke ha ha ha, Roddy Doyle
The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
The Godfather, Mario Puzo
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, Philip Pullman
Possession, A.S. Byatt ♥ ♥ ♥
Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales
Tags: book glomp 2010
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