Monday, February 23

Bright Lights, Back Aches

My back still aches from yesterday's monumental effort of trying to clean my room. It looks halfway decent now, and I still maintain that I can live with my own filth--which is mostly paper and dust anyway--literally parts of me floating around. But I digress..

So I rearranged my books and I found out that I had two copies of Sam Shepard's Fool For Love. I got one from Goodwill during a sale, and another from Booksale which was still wrapped in plastic. Exact same thing. Oh I also have two copies of Jacob I Have Loved, but they have different covers so it's really a different book. And also two copies of The Bell Jar, but that was from my sophomoric Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton and Dylan Thomas phase.

Bright Lights, Big City somehow reminds me of The Great Gatsby
I finished Bright Lights, Big City last night. One herculenean effort. I read a quarter of it while commuting last week. Then after dinner I sat my arse down and leafed through. This is what a dead pc monitor can do for you... I'm not too happy with it. I guess I was expecting a lot since this was a first novel from a top gun 80s writer. I found the first two chapters powerful. Young man finds himself in the streets at 6am, after rounds of partying with the Bolivian Marching Band. Cool. Then in the last chapters, when they suddenly pull out the trick--that this is not actually about mourning the loss of a beautiful wife and their dreamy relationship, that it's all about coming to terms with his mother's death, bah! Yes, the scent of bread. Yes, the wife as mummy replacement. Yes, daredeviltry with furry animals. The premise somehow reminds me of Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. You know, all that yearning. But somehow I feel shortchanged. I think I'll start reading In Cold Blood, before I begin to think that all decades have their staple, requisite supply of bored young men and women going off on some city trek searching for meaning in an otherwise meaningless existence in the absurd universe.

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