free hit counter Snacks, please!: Summer reading

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Summer reading

Fellow twin-mama and blogger, What a Card, has reminded me of a post I've been wanting to write on good books, bad books. Like Mrs. Card, the Crock Pot Queen, I loved The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. (We're probably the last people in America to read it. But hey, it's difficult to maintain the life of avid reader and make dinner every night...)

Here's my question: Is Oscar successful in the end? He's a big mess of misery during most of the book, cursed and lonely, mired in a fantasy life of fictional quests and unrequited love. In the end, is the reality of his "relationship" any different? I'm an optimist, so shall say yes.

Anyway, Oscar Wao is successful, as a book, in my opinion, because there is narrative movement. Lots and lots of it. Your basic story has to move somewhere, I believe -- and do it in a fairly dramatic way -- to satisfy readers. Even in books like The Sea, where there's not much action-Jackson, Banville's characters are still moseying along this incredible internal journey.

I have illustrated this concept. See?
Below, the narrative arc of Little Red Riding Hood.
Critics call it "simple, yet compelling!"


Blogger What A Card said...

Oh, neato mosquito! I'm famous! Thanks! Don't worry, my whole book group hadn't read Oscar Wao yet. Although come to think of it, most of us are twin moms. Maybe there is something to you theory about twin moms being the last on the planet to get to this book!

How did you feel about all the Spanish and Geek-speak? I got a little lost from time to time with the Spanish. I wish I had been able to read it while sitting at the computer so I could have looked up all the Spanish. But come on, I do have two little ones...I'll grab any available moment to read and few of them happen to be in front of the computer! Probably because I'm reading blogs if I'm near the computer. Hee!

June 5, 2008 at 12:25 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home