Monday, June 25, 2007

What I've Read Lately

I'm not going to review everything I've read, because as my Darling Boy could tell you, I read way too much to even keep track, and I'm reading too much to blog about it.


I finished the new Michael Chabon book, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, about a week ago. I got it from the library, and I'm considering buying it so I can have it with me all the time. I really enjoyed it, but I didn't quite have the time or patience to appreciate the way I think it should probably be appreciated.

It seemed that the first two-thirds of the book were focused on character development and the outline of a plot. The plot rushed forward rather quickly during the last third. I'm not that familiar with the noir genre or detective stories in general, so maybe that was intentional. I can't tell you if it's true to the genre, but it felt like exactly what I would expect noir to be.

Chabon's writing, though, is just gorgeous. Metaphors and similes were just pouring out at every turn, and I could feel the air and see the quality of the light. It was so dense and rich and flavorful. And then I wanted him to stop with the prose and get on with the story.

Yiddish words and phrases are used heavily, and the meaning is pretty clear by context. The use of Yiddish gave me a strange double vision feel of watching this segregated culture from the outside, but, by being outsider, I understood their feelings of isolation and exclusion from the world.

I loved Landsman, in that way that made me want to kick him a few times, strictly for his own good.

Overall, I don't think I would recommend it for people who need a lot of action in their plots, but I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to get to know characters, warts and all. I'm not sure that I love this book as much as I did Kavalier and Clay, but I want to read this one again soon, and I haven't felt that urge with the aforementioned Pulitzer Prize winner

But, lest you think that all I read are literary novels by trendy authors, I need to confess that as soon as I finsihed the Chabon, I curled with the new book in my favorite fantasy series and read the 700-page book in fewer than 24 hours.

Believe me, after the week I had, I deserved the time away. Pretty people, pretty clothes, pretty scenery, adventure, romance, and porn. Somtimes a girl just wants the simple things.

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