See how it says “Stories” right there on the cover? I should have paid more attention.
I’ve enjoyed the book from the start, parts of it are very funny in that slightly skewed, dark way Russian writers have, but things just made no sense. I kept thinking when will this story come together and start making sense. It just seems like a bunch of disconnected scenes.
Then I realized that certain elements from different plot lines were showing up in each section–the famed landscape painting kept showing up, and certain characters were referenced over and over again but still no clear plot.
Then, this morning when I went to take a picture of the book, I saw that it’s a collection of stories.
In other reading this week…..
I’ve been reading Lynda Barry’s book What it Is which came to me heavily recommended by several teachers. I admit, I’ve long been a Lynda Barry skeptic. She has always struck me as the fanciful but shallow type of speaker who gets featured on TED talks. You can find her TED talk on YouTube, I believe.
I’ve enjoyed her ideas here. The book is a mad cross between essay, autobiography, comic, artwork, collage. I’ve found many of her ideas, mainly her questions, fascinating. Like is a dream fiction or autobiography? I don’t have much use for musing on why little kids are comfortable dancing in front of strangers but adults are not, but I have found many intriguing ideas here, lots to think about. I should finish the book later this week. Wonder what I’ll have to say about it.
I probably won’t be praising the artwork all that much. There’s an over-reliance on bird profiles. Bird profiles are one of the easiest things to draw– you’ll find them on lots of amateur artwork featured in craft store magazines. And look how muddy the color is. I think part of the reason for that is that Ms. Barry worked on yellow pads for the this book instead of white paper but muddy page after muddy page is getting to be a bit much.
Pages with less paint came off better but the artworks has been a mixed bag for me so far.
Finally, I finished Bad Chili, one of John R. Lansdale’s Hap and Leonard series. I enjoyed it, but didn’t love it. I think it could make an excellent television series which I’ll talk about more in my review later this week.
Meantime, I had television installed this week, after nearly 20 years of not having it. This is not quite correct, not since the advent of Hulu and Netflix, but this is the first time since Bill Clinton was president that we’ve had live television in the house. And today HBO is running all of Season 5 of Game of Thrones. I never saw season 4 so it will take me three or four episodes to figure out what is going on. i