Thursday, May 29, 2008

This will end in a book review.

Hi all y'all. It's the end of the school year so of course there are seven million end of the school year field trips, recitals, parades, plays and festivals, so I've been off doing real life. Now is the time to pretend that global warming does/does not exist based on the temperature in my neighborhood. Glad to say you can all continue to drive your land yachts even if it does cost 75cents a mile to do so! Mother Earth has put on a sweater this spring. It is cold! (Do I give a fig* if there are ozone warning days in Dallas due to the heat? No, I do not. Scientists can do that until we de-fund all of the Darwinist bastards).

Last Tuesday night midnight found me lying in the dark with hot tears streaming down my cheeks and into my ears. This is all the fault of Suzy at Luminiferous Ether. You see, Suzy said that a certain book was worthy of a spot on the bookshelf next to "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and "To Kill a Mockingbird". These are two of my favorite books of all time. Those were fighting words, Suzy! Over-reaching at best, blasphemy at worst.

I went post-haste* (in interweb time that's click, click another click, search, click) to Audible. com where I found the book called "The Book Thief". I get one book a month at Audible on my membership and had already listened to May's book "The Brothers K" (excellent). The Book Thief, though only about 12 hours long, was two credits! Books rarely cost two credits. Then I read the reviews, all glowing.

I splurged. After downloading I discovered that this book is categorized in kids' books. Crap. Then I started to listen. The first half hour practically makes no sense at all. The narrator of the book is Death and Death is talking about colors and discussing the story at hand in a completely non-linear fashion. 'Hard to get into' is an apt descriptor.

The reason I like to listen to books on my iPod is that I can listen to them while doing something else. In the summer I sit at swim lessons, knitting socks and listening to a book. This weekend I painted a fence and listened to most of The Book Thief getting past the odd beginning. I'm glad I did. Death the narrator tells the story of a young German girl who is taken in by foster parents near Munich at the start of World War II. As far as thinking a kids' novel would be somewhat dumbed down, rest assured that when Death tells the story, and when the language alone should help to get the book banned in book banning territory (f'rinstance: 'ass-scratcher' is a term of endearment) it's really hard to fathom that this book has been written for a youth audience. But I'm so glad it has.

Tuesday night I started listening. I was nearing the end and I thought I'd give it an hour or so before bed. Four hours later the story was over and I was crying. If I was someone watching me cry over the end of a book like that, I'd probably have to punch me in the stomach for being such an idiot. But it was that remarkable. It can go on that shelf by "To Kill a Mockingbird". Thanks lots, Suzy!

*When John McCain is elected president we will all be required to use idioms like 'don't give a fig' and interjections like 'Alas'. We will all be harkening back to an erstwhile Norman Rockwell past all the while blowing the shit out of brown people around the world. Alas!


dguzman said...

Wow, heavy praise indeed. Might have to get this book. (Of course, I'm STILL not done with my Spring Reading Challenge books; I've been too busy cheating on the Challenge and reading other books... I know, I'm a book slut.)

Dean Wormer said...

I love that To Kill a Mockingbird is one of your favorites.

The Missus and I were bummed out when Bruce Willis and Demi Moore named their kid Scout. We wanted to name our first kid Scout and we just couldn't bring ourselves to do it after they had.

Just an awesome story.

DCup said...

It's going to be your fault when my eyes are all puffy and my nose is red.

I was sitting in the library when I read this post and I sent Cupcake out among the stacks to find it. She came back with it on audio book. Awesome.

Thanks for the recommendation. I think.

Dr. Zaius said...

Speaking of "To Kill a Mockingbird", do you still have your ham costume?

Death as a narrator is appropriate in these modern times, as the Grim Reaper is clearly a non-white, jihadist Democrat. (And a sexist Dunkin' Donut eater, by the way.) And I'll have you know that my 'land yacht' is getting at least 67.5 cents a mile! But alas, I don't give a fig about mileage, as I am to busy thinking up outdated and elitist turns of phrase to base my campaign on.

As an aside, might I suggest that when painting a fence, listening to "Tom Sawyer" might give you the proper motivation to get somebody else to do the work. Any job worth doing is worth getting somebody else to do it for you.

Randal Graves said...

Alas? You rapscallions!

I have never listened to an audiobook ever. I can't bring myself to do it, good reviews or not, you scamps with your automocars and electr-o-fied telephonery.

Jess Wundrun said...

dguzman book slut? just be careful you don't catch bookworms!!

dean my daughter was about two weeks from being nicknamed Scout thanks to the way she looks and her personality, when a cousin had a baby and named her Scout! That is not a Rumer.

dcup Ha! Wait until "Lick My Ass!" with a German accent becomes a family saying.

dr. zaius someone left the ham out in the rain. And I don't think that I can take it, cuz it took so long to bake it. And I'll never have that recipe agaiiiiiin!

You Missouri people are always pushing that Tom Sawyer on people. What gives? (We stopped in Hannibal last fall, btw.)

randal I think I have a newfangled invention called the "Walkman" around here somewhere, you're welcome to it when you start to feel adventurous.

CDP said...

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorites too, so this is very high praise. Unfortunately, I'm in the middle of a class now, and cannot read anything not related to the class (well, except for blogs, of course. One has one's priorities.)

Suzy said...

Jess, I am delighted that you liked the book. My friend PoodleDoc, Jr.(once nicknamed Scout, btw) -- a sassy thirteen year old boy -- also loved The Book Thief. My 12 year old daughter likes it because "it teaches you to swear in German."

This is not the first book to be narrated by Death. The British satirist Terry Pratchett frequently uses Death as one of his characters; in fact I believe that I quote him at the top of my blog.

For your next reading assignment ... try Markus Zusak's "I Am the Messenger." Different from The Book Thief, but good too.

DCup said...

I'm about to finish the book. I have a long drive home in which to listen to it and cry.

Thanks very much. It is a wonderful book.