Friday notes

I’m going to see a play this evening called Vigil written by Morris Panych, a man the theater’s website calls “one of Canada’s greatest award-winning playwrights.” It’s described as a black comedy, which sounds great to me. I’ll make sure to let you know how I liked it.

A work friend invited Hobgoblin and I to see the play, the same friend I’ll be starting a book group with, which meets for the first time next Friday. I’ve begun reading the first book, which is Anne Enright’s The Gathering. I’m not sure how the discussion will go; it could be interesting because my friend has finished the novel, and while by the end she decided she liked it, in the middle she had some grave doubts. I’ve read maybe the first 20 pages, and I find myself irritated by it. This may be a matter of my mood; I go through stages when I can’t stand much contemporary fiction, particularly of the literary “lyrical” sort. I was irritated by the way the first-person narrator kept jumping around in time, from idea to idea, character to character, taking her time to put things together so I could feel I’m on solid footing. I thought she should just get to the point.

You can see why I chalk this up to my current mood — I’m not proud of feeling irritated by a narrator who asks me to work a little bit. I feel lazy when I complain in this way. But sometimes what I need is some straightforward storytelling, told in language that doesn’t draw attention to itself.

I want to write about Benjamin Black’s The Silver Swan, a book that didn’t irritate me at all ... maybe later this weekend. Enjoy your Friday!

9 Comments

Filed under Books, Fiction, Life, Reading

9 responses to “Friday notes

  1. LK

    Sometimes books us strike us in the wrong way. I definitely have had that problem, with Running with Scissors (incorrect reference to the 70s, which pulled me right out of the book), Everything is Illuminated (why name the character after yourself? Why? Why?), and I Am Legend (no, you are Spoiled Self-Indulgent White Bread). To name a few! It’s so funny. I’ll probably pick up those books someday and love them!

  2. Hope you enjoy the Morrie Panych! Can’t wait to hear what you think of it.

  3. Looking forward to what you have to say about The Gathering. I read it earlier this year with very mixed feelings.

  4. Hopefully The Gathering gets better especially since I have a copy sitting on my desk compliments of a giveaway from Gentle Reader. Looking forward to hearing about the play and Silver Swan!

  5. I have heard very mixed reports on The Gathering, Dorothy, so you are not alone, and certainly not lazy! I’m intrigued to read it myself as I’m always curious about the controversial books. Looking forward to hearing about the play and the Benjamin Black novel, too!

  6. Oh, enjoy the play. I love theater. That looks so weird, written down like that…hmmm. Anyway. Hope you and the hobgoblin had a great weekend, and I’m looking forward to your review…

  7. LK — I think often the reasons I dislike things are very personal, and not necessarily a judgment on the book itself. It’s good to keep that fact in mind!

    Melanie — I’ve got a post up about it now; as you’ll see, I have my doubts about it, but I did enjoy the whole experience and am glad I saw it.

    Charlotte — I’m looking forward to discussing The Gathering with my group — it’ll be so fun to see what the others thought and what we make of it together.

    Stefanie — I hope it gets better too, but don’t take my opinion too seriously — you may love the whole thing (obviously lots of people do …).

    Litlove — I’ll be grateful to have read The Gathering, even if I decide I don’t like it at all, because I like reading and thinking about controversial books too!

    Courtney — it’s up now — I love the theater too, even if I don’t always like individual plays….

  8. I wonder sometimes, too, how much mood impacts something I’m watching or reading. It’s amazing sometimes how a character or situation will completely annoy me. I’ve heard Anne Enright interviewed several times now and I’m very curious about her book. I have it as well, so I’m curious what you think about it! It sounds like the Benjamin Black book was good, too. Mysteries are really nice to read sometimes, and I’m looking forward to getting to this one.

  9. verbivore

    I have heard such mixed reaction to this Enright book, I am definitely going to have to find a copy and see what I think. It definitely sounds like a good book group book.

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