Friday 30 March 2007

2. The Carpathians

Again, I'm posting as I near completion of my current read-for-pleasure read. Janet Frame's The Carpathians is one weird book, but compelling for being so. I'm not entirely sure of what's happening, but I'm enjoying my own confusion. (I had a similar experience with John Crowley's Little, Big.)

The last time I read anything by Janet Frame must have been the 1994/1995 school year. I was in a class at Dalhousie U called Commonweath Literature. It's a sign of the times; courses with the same books on the syllabus would now be called Post-Colonial Literature. Anyway, in that class I read The Edge of the Alphabet, which I remember enjoying but cannot remember anything about.

Okay, I don't know why that's relevant.

I found this copy of The Carpathians in the English Department lounge at Queen's. People fairly often abandon unwanted books there to adopted by others, and so after letting this one sit there for over a week, I finally rescued it. And I'm glad I did. It's not the best book I've ever read, and I'll probably forget it in a few months, but I'm enjoying it now....

Monday 26 March 2007

1.My Life As Emperor

Gentle reader,

Before I say anything about what currently I'm reading, I should tell you why I've created this blog.

I like books a lot. I'm never not reading a book. Never. Usually I read novels, but sometimes I break out and try some non-fiction or drama. (Drama's a hard one for me right now as I study drama. Speaking of study/work, I'll only be listing books I read for fun on this site.)

I've been asked by many people over the years how many books I read per year and I have no idea. So, I've started this blog to keep track (somebody remind me when March 26, 2008 rolls around, please), and to give a little feedback on said books for the maybe 2 people who will read this site...

So.....drum roll, please.

Book number one is: Su Tong's My Life As Emperor.

I'm not quite done this one (about 30 pages left), but I have to say that while it is a good read (and a fast one), it's not as good as Su Tong's Rice. Both books portray a cast of characters who are entirely despicable and unredeemable, but somehow Rice does so in a more compelling way.

In the introduction the author wrote, he expresses his desire to be as prolific as possible. He may be succeeding, but I wonder if success in that area is compromising his creativity, and forcing him to write variations on the same characters over and over again?