Friday, September 30, 2005

The Well of Lost Plots (by Jasper Fforde)

You can tell I'm committed now, right? This was my favorite one so far, in spite of the fact that if you think about it too hard, the internal logic sort of falls apart. Or at least that's my suspicion. But it's mostly very entertaining. It's about the police force within the world of books--sort of hard to explain but a lot of fun to read about.

However! The big cliffhanger that ended the last book? Is still hanging! An entire book, and there's no resolution to the cliffhanger! Damnit, this is killing me. I have to get the next one immediately.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Lost in a Good Book (by Jasper Fforde)

I read this one to solidify my feelings about The Eyre Affair and I enjoyed it much more. I can take the romance stuff, which annoyed me to no end in the first book, as read. Beyond that, the premise is very interesting. Havisham is great, the Cheshire Cat is great, and the plot developments with Thursday are also great. The jar of beans, I love. The footnotes are clever.

The only problem is that it ends in a cliffhanger! So now I have to get the next one right away; I hope the library has it. I also wonder if the fact that Landen writes books is going to factor in. It almost has to, don't you think?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Jane Eyre (by Charlotte Brontë)

I thought I'd read this book before and hated it, but maybe it was the movie that I saw and hated, because I barely remembered anything about this book. I got so absorbed in it that I actually stayed up one night reading. I mean, I know how it turns out of course, but I was really into it!

It read to me like a really absorbing romance novel. You feel vaguely guilty about it, because it's a little lurid and idealized. But in spite of the whole "sir" and "master" bit, Jane has a hell of a backbone and a decent sense of humor, and she's an enjoyable character. I don't know where I got the idea that she was humorless; possibly from the stupid movie version with stupid William Hurt. (You know who would make the perfect Rochester? Alan Rickman. I can't believe someom hasn't made this movie solely so they can cast him in it.)

I don't even think Jane Eyre is on my reading list; it might not be considered a very important classic, and that's probably true. But it's still fun to read, or at least, I had a lot of fun reading it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Eyre Affair (by Jasper Fforde)

I’m trying to pin down exactly how I feel about this book. On one hand, I’m interested enough in the world and the series to try the next book. On the other hand, it is kind of confusingly written, with a lot of loose ends (maybe that’s why there’s a series), characters that never quite crystallize (including the main character, whose name is Thursday Next) and the most abrupt and unbelievable romantic resolution I’ve ever read. Also the most ridiculous “how to stop the villain” plot point in the world. You’re telling me that never occurred to anyone before? Plus, we never know where the villain gets his unique powers--another loose end. And there are some massive problems with point of view that really threw me off.

The premise (the blurred lines between literature and reality) is intriguing, the two main villains are both great characters in their own ways, and the names are clever--in fact, too clever by half. The literary allusions are fun and frequently funny. The Richard III scene is great. I don’t know. I liked this book enough to read the next one, and to re-read Jane Eyre, but I don’t know if I’d actually recommend it to anyone.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Main Street (by Sinclair Lewis)

Thank god this one was over. This was a slog. I started reading it at work at my old job and in the meantime I've gotten fired, moved to Wisconsin, started my new job, and still have been slowly, deathly slowly, reading the same book. Free at last! Free at last!

I don't even know what to say about it: it was overlong, short on action, and boring. These notes say, "The book touches on eternal American issues, such as women’s rights, business among friends, and the spirit of anti-intellectualism that has always been at the center of small-town America, where sensitivity is often equated with self-absorption."

So there's the theme for you. I still say it was a big bore. Your mileage may vary.

"She had fancied that her life might make a story. She knew that there was nothing heroic or obviously dramatic in it, no magic of rare hours, nor valiant challenge, but it seemed to her that she was of some significance because she was commonplaceness, the ordinary life of the age, made articulate and protesting."