Saturday, February 25, 2012

An Update on my "Life"

<-- Firstly, is it wrong for me to think that the image shown constitutes a well-rounded, and even nutritious, meal?
It's hitting all the four main food groups:
1) Cow.
2) Potato and/or derivatives.

3) Grease.

4) Plastic.

Secondly, I want to beg forgiveness from Faithful Readers who may have noticed that I am not nearly as... bloggerific as I have been in the past. I hereby officially want to blame, in descending order of relevance:
1) Overwork.
2) Resultant lethargy due to point #1.

3) Lack of energy due to points #1 and #2.
4) My recent liposuction surgery.

In all seriousness now, what exactly is going on at Bookpuddle©? A site that was once so full of…. book stuff.
Has the guy quit reading altogether?
Has he finally died from burger consumption?
None of the above.
The truth is, 95% of my life is given over lately [energy-wise] to:
1) Work.

2) More work.

3) Eating.

4) Reading very slowly, while yawning due to points #1 and #2, and possibly #3.

I recently worked up some steam and blogged about Middlesex, which was such a terrific book that it actually granted me some energy that was sadly lacking.
I don't have an actual physician's documentation on this, but I feel that just reading the thing actually may have unblocked a clogged artery or two! But aside from this brief spurt of inspiration, I concur with you that Bookpuddle has been in arrears. Tonight, having eschewed a day of suggested overtime at work, and breathing from a bag of oxygen at my side, let me say a word or three about the book I read prior to Middlesex.

Beyond B
lack, by Hilary Mantel. [2005].
I was a bit disappointed.
I love novels that deal with the occult world. And so I was really looking forward to Mantel's take on it, not having read any other of her works. And overall, I think the saving grace of this book may lie in her vivid depiction of the two principal characters, Alison the psychic, and Colette, the avid devotee who becomes her assistant. They do remain unforgettable to me.
It is the blurring of the physical and non-physical world that I had trouble with. In a world of phoney psychics Alison seemed genuine, someone truly given over to being the full-meal deal. [Again, see image at the top of this blog].
Alison seemed to possess the "gift"… if gift it is. Or at least she was more genuine than the others, foisting their haphazard prognostications at the many Psychic Fairs that were a part of the story. The troubling part for me was not being able to really enter in to the reality [or not] of what were Alison's mediums. The enigmatic nature of Morris, her "spirit guide". And not only this, but also his cohorts, who seemed to bridge the gulf between the living and dead in too blurred a fashion. They were invisible to the living, yet were able to affect the living in tangible ways -- taking up space in the real world [creeping their hands up skirts] and in the next instant -- you know, beyond the realm.
I began to wonder… if they had farted, would anyone have smelled it?
Any answer to this was inconsistent.
Along with this, I was also disheartened by Mantel's seeming insistence that the dead retain aspects of their individual identity in the world "beyond black." This is a concept I cannot abide by, even in my fiction.
I am Tolstoyan, at heart. I love art that mirrors reality, yes, but without obliterating it, too much. For me, this book failed in this respect.
I may have had too great of expectations, being over-enamored of Sarah Waters' Affinity, which remains for me the best novel of the occult world, ever written.
But I fear being unfair to Hilary Mantel as I know she is a force to be reckoned with.
I don't want to be haunted by her in the next world.
So I will extend my two stars to three, pending nightmare.
In the meantime, dear friends, I close with yet another four points:
1) Please keep reading Bookpuddle. [Keep the faith!]
2) I may one day win the Lottery, and have the time and energy to be erudite.
3) I am currently accepting all McDonald's coupons in lieu of cash donations.

4) Should I have read Wolf Hall instead?



Melwyk said...

I'm still waiting for point #2 myself. If only we all had the time and energy to be erudite. Sigh.

Stefanie said...

My husband thinks that ketchup counts as a vegetable so i can readily believe your main food group listing.

I've not read Mantel yet. It seems blog posts I've seen on Beyond Black that it is a book you either like or don't like and if you don't like, shouldn't let that put you off fr om Mantel.

I hope work gets easier soon and/ or you win the lottery!

Amy said...

Oddly enough I have four McDonald's coupons, and I never eat McDonald's. You'd have to come to Yadkinville NC to use them, though, so I'm thinking it wouldn't save you money in the long run. If you win the lottery, let me know, and I will come and be your bestest friend forever. I liked (but not loved) Wolf Hall, but the book you review by Mantel doesn't sound like my cup of tea. Good luck with the working, resting, and crap-food eating :)

Cipriano said...

Melwyk -- on Saturday's 6/49 Draw I thought for sure this time I had the right numbers. I was SURE of it. I had it like... mathematically figured out! Ended up I only had one number right! Why does something seemingly so EASY have to be so impossible?

Stefanie -- I also count ketchup as a total vegetable. I think your assessment of the Mantel situation is probably correct. It's like reading Ian McEwan's short stories before reading his novels. <-- Something that should not be done, if possible.

Amy -- You are right, the price of gasoline nowadays precludes me getting any use out of those coupons of yours! Rats!