Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Grapes and Golightly

Ok, I'm going to throw it out there.  These are just books I have always wanted to read.  I didn't know jack about them before I opened them except for their main theme.  And of course anyone who lives on this planet has seen Breakfast at Tiffany's.  But let me tell you something else.  These two were WEIRD!  I don't mean that the were thinkers weird.  They just ended oddly or in the case of The Grapes of Wrath didn't end at all, really.

Book #34 The Grapes of Wrath.
I guess it's because I didn't know anything about John Steinbeck or maybe it's because I kept seeing Henry Fonda in my head as the lead character.  But whatever caused it, I really expected to be more satisfied.  The imagery of the tale once again carried me away.  I would look up from the pages to say something to one of the wee people running the house and I would hear a strange drawl come out of my mouth.  It was as if I had actually digested the vernacular of the book and it was coming back out in my words.

Each character bent into me and pried out a little space for him or herself always revealing little bits of me and making me wonder if I would have been as tenacious.  But that's the point of a great book isn't it?  To make you reflect on yourself and try to measure your own perspective and sometimes to even defend your own stance.

Well done Mr. Steinbeck.  You certainly provoked thought with that one.  But I would have appreciated one or two more chapters.

Book #35 Breakfast at Tiffany's (and three other short stories)
What can you say about Mr. Capote?  Twisted, angry, sad, pessimistic little man?  I mean how can one have such a great start on a story and then end it in a dark or distressing way every time?  I'll say this for him.  The modifications he allowed or blessed or raged against for the making of the movie probably saved this for him.  I cannot imagine how anyone who had read the book before the movie would have recommended it.

That's not to say that it's a bad story.  It's a fantastic story with vivid characters and plenty of emotion.  But without our great Ms. Hepburn and Moon River it's just not the same.

Of the other three stories in the copy I procured, all I can say is that there was a dark and almost morbid side to Mr. Capote.  I have always understood that he wasn't a mainstream author, but this was not at all what I was expecting.

So more progress has been made toward the finish line of this marathon.  I still don't think I can slice out 17 more books before my 30 days are up but then again Breakfast at Tiffany's only took me 24 hours.  What do you suppose are my chances with The Canterbury Tales?  Of those 17 I only have seven on hand anyway but Barnes and Noble is just a hop skip and a jump away so that isn't a huge issue. 

And with that I press on.  One page at a time.

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