Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Live and Learn

Dearest blog readers,

I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to write again. You’d think with summer that I’d have all this wonderful free time. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Anyway, I know I am new to blogging but I’ve already learned something this summer about it: never ever start a blog if you are about to start at a REU program and plunge into the depths of a book club. It just doesn’t bode well for consistent updates. I shall try to do better though, but if you don’t hear from me before another month is out now you know why. Once this REU program is finished though, I definitely hope to be more consistent and I shall strive harder to be so.

Okay. So I’ve read two books since the last post. The first I mentioned in my last post. Or at least I said I’d talk about it in my next post, this post. So here I am talking about it. The book was A Confederacy of Dunces. It’s by…(searches crowded bookshelf…Ah ha!) John Kennedy Toole. Ever heard of it? Well if you haven’t, you’re probably wondering what inspired me to pick it up in the first place. I’m taking an English class in the fall that is based on New Orleans literature. I’m excited because it’s taught by one of my favorite English professors in the department and should be a great deal of fun. The class takes a trip to New Orleans which should be very exciting. I’ve always wanted to visit the city at least once in my life. I’m seriously only going for the food. Have you seen them talking about New Orleans’ food on Food Network? YUMMY!

Okay, anyway, I digress. A Confederacy of Dunces was an interesting book to say the least. I think I have some male friends that liked it more than I did. I’m also read it for the book club I’m in and yes I did have a say in what books we read (all the ones on my book list for the class). I honestly don’t know how to describe it. Apparently it’s supposed to be the bible of the New Orleans people. Or so I’ve been told. The book is definitely filled with some characters. The book deals with a group of characters from New Orleans that are all connected in some fashion. It was always really interesting to see other characters appear in one character’s story. I’m not sure if that makes sense. Let me explain further. The story would talk about one character for some time and that character’s story then it would move onto another character’s story and would eventually makes its way back to all the other characters. It was very well crafted.

The main character was a pompous, lazy, irrational man named Ignatius. I think the name kind of says it all. I mean really, Ignatius? Sounds like obnoxious. Poor guy really didn’t stand a chance. Needless to say, he definitely was not my favorite character. Ignatius is a 30 year old man that lives at home with his mother, writes his version of history, and is constantly at odds with well, I’m not sure how to describe Myrna. She is a character of her own. Anyway, she’s an activist for numerous ideas. There’s practically a new one every time her character’s name is mentioned. So Ignatius also spends his time trying to trump Myrna’s lastest activist movements which constantly get him into trouble. He’s also very creative when it comes to getting out of doing any kind of work you can imagine and not to mention getting out of trouble. I honestly don’t see how he gets out of half the stuff he does. That could be why I don’t like him very much. You definitely wouldn’t be voting him “most likely to own up to his mistakes.” According to the back of the book, Ignatius is suppose to be a Don Quixote of sorts. At least one critic believes him to be so. I guess this could be true. I don’t know. I love Don Quixote but I just can’t like Ignatius. I would consider them both crazy and on a crusade for their ideals. They both do some pretty outrageous things but I still like Don Quixote more than I like Ignatius. I’m going to have to ponder the reason behind this some more.

All right, well I don’t want to give the plot away or anything. It was actually pretty good. I mean, you will definitely be laughing and Ignatius will probably make you angry at some point but the other characters are rather likeable. I personally like Patrolman Manusco. Poor guy, nothing ever seemed to work out for him. It was really just interesting to see what would happen to him next. Then of course you have Jones. He was pretty funny. Most of the people in the book club liked Jones the best. I will warn those of you out there that might consider reading the book that there is some use of vulgar language, especially by Jones’ character. Then you have the Levys, a husband and wife who make you wonder why they married at all. There’s the school dropout, George. Lana, the bar owner and her employee, Darlene. Ignatius’s mother and her friend Santa who happens to be Patrolman Manusco’s aunt. The web that connects these characters is truly fantastic. As I said before, you’re definitely in for a laugh when their respective paths cross.
Overall, would I suggest reading it? Well, on a scale from one to ten I definitely would not give it a 10 but I do know some people that might. I would have to say, either a seven or an eight. Just for the humor and how well crafted it was.

I think I’ll end the blog post here for now. I have some more books to talk about but I’m hoping that will give me the incentive to update sooner. Right… lol.

One last thing, you should be proud of me, reader. I entered a book store twice in the past month and somehow refrained from buying anything! Okay, okay. I admit that the first time I was broke thus no books could really go home with me, but they did call to me. Poor books. The second time I was only inside the bookstore for 5 minutes tops before I was dragged away (kicking and screaming) to talk about the book I’m going to discuss next post. Even though I have these excuses for not buying anything, you have to start somewhere right? So why not broke and hardly given time to browse? I have to work my way up slowly to the “I have money but I’m just not going to buy” stage. It should be a long road, but I hope to persevere in my recovery from OBBD (Obsessive Book Buying Disorder).

Until next time (hopefully before July 15), happy readings!