Sunday, July 31, 2005

Reading Update

For those of you with a scorecard (place your bets, people!), I finished Dogs of Babel and am halfway through Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way.

Can't heartily recommend either.

Dogs has some fascinating philosophical ideas. And a few beautiful paragraphs I may retype for you here. But I have to warn you: I'm totally brain-scarred by its midsection. Not since Speaker For the Dead have I felt that betrayed by an author's sudden, swift, and sound use of violence. I don't like it. I don't like that it's going to become the only image I remember from the novel. I don't like that it leaves me wanting to rock in a corner like a mental patient. PLEASE authors. Don't rape my mind like that. I avoid graphic violence for a reason. I may have embraced my dark side and shaken hands with my shadow, but I don't want to read your god-damned ugliness. Spew it in your journal and then burn it like the rest of us.

Okay, rant over. And really, there's much to recommend the novel. So if you're not teetering on the edge of insanity, afraid one rubber-necking incident will gently kiss you into the abyss, then by all means read about a beloved character's family dog being kidnapped by sadists and operated on so that it can speak English. Canine mutiliation is the new light summer read.

Oh, and Bruce Bruce Bruce. I love you, my little cuddle monkey. Truly and heartily. But the novel is...not good. But please Bruce, keep directing and acting and writing TRUE biographies. Sigh. If that wife of yours ever leaves you and you want to take a chance on a strange stranger...I'm here.

LESTER BANGS: Be honest and unmerciful.
-Almost Famous


P.S. Tried TWICE to see The Aristocrats this weekend with feminist fatale/director extraordinaire Helen Stickler; foiled both times. Friday night by a long week (11:15 pm screening? Urgh. Argh. Can't...make...it...Go on...without me). Saturday night by the Curse of the Arclight (I'm sorry ma'am, ALL our shows sold out online hours ago). Makes me say &@#$!#**

P.P.S. For those considering diddling an hour of your precious life on those "Test Your IQ" internet pop up ads: No one in Mensa International clicks on those links. THERE'S your free litmus test.

P.P.P.S. It's Post Secret Sunday.

11 comments:

Moses said...

As a dog lover the post almost brought a tear to my eye and graphic depictions of violence, written or otherwise, usually wash over me like bath water... don't screw with the dog damn you!

And I took one of those web IQ test thingys once, with a friend at work. Together we got 130-something, i think, but she's way smarter than me and answered 90% of the questions. I started to glaze over after the second one. I'd probably belong to the Densa club I'm afraid to say.

and when you get around to it be curious to see how your reading of The Metaphysical Club goes. Had that in my hands a few times but haven't pulled the trigger... Cheers!

Kid Sis said...

Seriously, seriously, seriously, would use a genie wish to wipe my brain clean.

(Huddling in a corner petting myself and rocking) Keepittogether, keepittogether,KIT.

Densa. Punny.

Yeah, Metaphysical Club is still under the list...thinking sublime Carrie Fisher is up next. But I'm getting there, by gum.

Anonymous said...

Hey, why aren't u responding to old comments, grrl?

NN

kristen said...

Dogs was bad, I agree. But I didn't so much recoil from the dog-mutilation stuff as I did from the weak, maudlin prose and the lame-o storyline. Who on earth would ever leave a hidden message to someone like that? Ugh, just thinking about it annoys me. Not to mention the romanticization of a mental disorder... I could go on.

When it came out they were comparing it to The Lovely Bones (another book I wasn't nuts about), and it feels like it was written with that book in mind too.

Major bummer about Bruce. Ah well.

Kid Sis said...

NN, dude!!!!!! My demanding public. Okay I've responded under the ONE comment area I hadn't gotten to. Sheesh!!!!

How's Hive Watch 2005? Suckfest?

Kristen, see I didn't read Lovely Bones because they didn't use FALSE ADVERTISING. Sigh. Glad to hear someone else disagreed with all the positive blurbs.

Yeah, Bruce...it's just...not funny in the way that The Comeback isn't funny.

Matt Reynolds said...

I like a bit of the ultraviolence when I'm reading a book or a watching a movie. So I hope writers don't take it to heart and burn their stuff for real.

Nice post secrets link, its been a while and it's always, without fail, worth a visit.

Kid Sis said...

Matt, sorry. They all listen to me. You're screwed.

Matt Reynolds said...

Sis: Right, you'll become infamous as the nation's arch censor. No one will ever write a single violent movie scene ever again. And it's going to be ALL YOUR FAULT.

Thanks for spoiling it for the rest of us. Excuse me while I go stash my DVDs of Goodfellas and Clockwork Orange in a secret hiding place.

Kid Sis said...

Uh Ohhh....I saw your secret hiding place.

Fun Joel said...

Hey there Liz. Off-topic comment, which you can feel free to delete after you read it:

I tried emailing you, but it seems to have bounced. Wanted to invite you to the Screenwriter/Blogger gathering I'm organizing in a few weeks. If you're interested, email me and I'll get you the details! :-)

Kid Sis said...

MR, I hope by now you reread my post and discovered I'm not averse to ultraviolence or sanctioning unilateral book burning. I'm pretty pissed by unexpected ultraviolence that's billed as wistful mystery / romance a la "Bridges of Madison County" or "The Last Time We Met."

Everyone gets pissed when the tone switches from The Story Promise. It's a rookie mistake that the editor should have fixed and the publishing house shouldn't have perpetuated. If they'd called it this year's "Lovely Bones" I wouldn't have bought the novel.

If I'd bought a Stephen King novel, the family dog being mutilated would have been easier to digest because it wouldn't have been grounded in half a book of pathos. Eff them. They used cheap, ugly gimmicks and I'm not going to forgive them for bad storytelling.

By the way, one of the dog's names was Hero.