Friday, December 23, 2005

yes and more yes

1. it's not outright brilliant, or soul provoking, but it is irresistible and highly entertaining. it's called whatever by heather woodbury. it's has such an addictive quality to it, i couldn't put it down, it drew me in like a soap opera or wb sitcom. 12 sterotyped characters in the early nineties play out one of those shakespearean tangle-knot comedies between new york, seattle, santa cruz, and portland. one of the most fun things about this book is that it operates in several different vernaculars, including early 90s surfer rave talk. ha ha. her writing is good, although can give a feeling of let down when she falls back on old cop-outs and predictability. but it's pretty damn ambitious, and i really liked it. 2. this book makes me ache in a way that is bliss. return of the soldier by rebecca west. beautiful imagery. sometimes when i pick up a 'penguin classic' book with that mint green border and the usually boring cover picture i am afraid that the contents will read like mildew so old and unpalatable. but this book feels fresh- although she's not often blunt, her writing is perfectly accurate. there are a couple passages that have run on flowery indulgences but they are no harm to this gorgeous book. it details the homecoming of a soldier to his immaculately kept home, tidy life, cousin jenny-the narrator, and his wife, kitty. however, this is complicated by him having suffered memory loss so that all he remembers is the last day that he spent with his first love, who is now a poor, shoddy woman. the way west describes his happiness while he is only living in one part of his life is just SO GOOD. read it. it's not long, only 80 or so pages. mmmm.


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