Posts Tagged ‘author’

Cannonball 13: Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon

Wonder BoysWonder Boys by Michael Chabon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can’t really put my finger on why I didn’t LOOOOOOOVE this book.

Excellent writing? Check.
Interesting characters? Check.
Laugh-out-loud moments? Check.

But, somehow, it just didn’t strike any real emotional chord with me.

The story is told in first person by Professor Grady Tripp (played by Michael Douglas in the movie). He’s fat, struggling, loves to get high, and just found out that his wife has left him and his mistress is pregnant.

He picks up his editor from the airport, who has picked up a transvestite on the plane. But at a party thrown by the head of the English department (Grady’s boss, and his mistress’ husband), they meet a young student of Grady’s, James Leer. Terry Crabtree, the editor, immediately ditches his tranny date to pursue young James.

Wacky hijinks ensue.

Maybe that’s what it was; the characters were a little too quirky for my tastes. As much as I enjoyed Grady, I couldn’t help but to be reminded at nearly every turn, “THIS IS FICTION! WINK, WINK!!” I could certainly identify Grady’s struggle to follow up his first successful novel with a second novel that was going nowhere fast. But, at the same time, it was hard for me to sympathize completely with him when he keeps making bad decisions while high as a kite.

And the ending seemed a little too neat for me. Meh, I don’t know.

At the end of the day, I still liked the book. I just didn’t love it the way I wanted to, that’s all.

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Cannonball 32: My Own Two Feet: A Memoir by Beverly Cleary

My Own Two Feet: A MemoirMy Own Two Feet: A Memoir by Beverly Cleary
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My dear friend Minna (mother to my buddy JN, the one who always lets me borrow his books) let me borrow this book along with The Luckiest Girl. She loved it and was certain that I would, too.

Being the anal reader I am, I had to read A Girl from Yamhill first. But, after having read My Own Two Feet, I have to say that I think it can stand alone without having to read Beverly Cleary’s account of her early life.

My Own Two Feet picks up where A Girl from Yamhill left off: young Beverly Bunn is leaving Oregon for sunny Southern California. She’s never been away from home before, but has been longing for freedom and independence for just about her entire life.

This volume follows Cleary’s college education, decision to become a librarian, her courtship and marriage, and living through World War II, and Cleary writes her account in the same unassuming, lively prose with which she writes her books about Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse.

She has really lived a remarkable life, and she writes about it in such a compelling way that I finished the book in no time. I love biographies that read like fiction. And Beverly Cleary is a master at that.

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