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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
All Saint's Day...anybody celebrating? (--; 
1st-Nov-2005 07:43 am
Well, ariss_tenoh is, at least. It's her birthday. Wish her a Happy Birthday, everyone! (I'm working on a nice birthday box of books for her, which I hope will bring much enjoyment. ^_^ )

Also, thank you very much, cynbaby, for the second new icon. I LOVE IT!!! *dance dance*

Olshan, Joseph. Vanitas. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998.
Summary: Sam Solomon has been hired to ghostwrite art dealer and collector Elliot Garland's memoir, and in the process sees a sketch called "Vanitas" that captivates him. He meets Bobby, the artist, and proceeds to have an affair with him, thus embroiling himself in a love triangle of sorts between the three men. In the end, though, his differences with Bobby are irreconcilable, and he is likely to end up married to his long-time friend and raising her child together.
Comments: Well, I must admit, I'm not a mystery novel fan, and this novel rode almost entirely on what you don't know about the situation. In that way, it was similar to Nightswimmer. Actually, it was similar to that earlier novel in many ways, including a character who owns a black lab, a hero who is pining for some mysterious guy who walked out of his life, and an affair used as revenge against a long-term partner. The difference, however, is that while Nightswimmer is permeated with the heated, angry rush of adolescence, Vanitas is a more mature Olshan, worrying about his hairline and longing for children of his own. Indeed, he wavers between trying to decide upon a homosexual or bisexual identification; even though he's deeply attracted to men, he likes the company of women and figures he could deal with a monogamous relationship with one if it involved raising a traditional family. (Personally, I'd never marry a guy like that--unless he was filthy rich and could support both me and any children we had easily. It would feel too much like being used.) You can tell that the entire novel was based upon Olshan's viewing of the sketch whose detail is on the cover, and to his credit he did plenty of research into the art restoration and art fields. The novel intends to treat the intersections of life, death, and vanity, but it ends up feeling rather uninspired, and I've seen better treatment of the AIDS theme, which Sam even has trouble talking about directly. The maturity makes the novel much more palatable and even believable, but it also makes the book less interesting and less distinguished prose-wise. It was worth reading, I guess, but I can't get over the feeling that I wasted my time.
Notes: hardcover, 1st edition; trade paperback edition available
Rating: 6/10 - A solid book but definitely not a must-read. The best part is the cover art.
1st-Nov-2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm celebrating Ariss' birthday ^_^ But saints? Meh, bunch of dead people who got popular with the church..

I wonder, really, do they consider all the Protestants and others killed off by good Catholics to be martyrs? Just not sure where they stand on past Vatican supported atrocities..
1st-Nov-2005 04:20 pm (UTC)
Well, All Saints Day is a big deal in predominantly Catholic countries. I guess a church-going day and then a family-gettogether afterward...?

So what exactly are you doing to celebrate Ariss's birthday? ^_~
1st-Nov-2005 04:45 pm (UTC)
Well of course if had known earlier, I would have flown over, and taken you of course, and we all would have gone out for a nice dinner, and a big cake of course! ^__^ Well maybe next year...
1st-Nov-2005 04:48 pm (UTC)
*dies laughing* In that case, we WOULD'VE had to costume ourselves as husband and wife for Halloween just to slip under her parents' radar! XD
1st-Nov-2005 05:43 pm (UTC)
Okay, you be the husband and I’ll be the wife ^__^
1st-Nov-2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
*dies laughing* I should've seen that one coming!

But that would be hundreds of times worse than appearing at random on her doorstep as two single and unattached friends...
2nd-Nov-2005 02:02 pm (UTC)
I have got to see that! XD
2nd-Nov-2005 02:11 pm (UTC)
*snickers* I'd never be able to pass for male...not even as a boy. We'd give a new definition to the odd couple.

Maybe we could pretend to be transsexuals. XD
2nd-Nov-2005 06:42 pm (UTC)
I do have a picture of me somewhere dressed as a nun........

Rythia-chan's probably right though, bit of a shock if we showed up as the random single people we are..

"Hi! I'm the older foreign guy your daughter met on the internet!" >_< I could see how that could prompt cardiac arrest.. Of course, if that's the effect you want to go for ^_~
2nd-Nov-2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
"I'm the gal who introduced them!"

*shoots self before Ariss's parents can*
2nd-Nov-2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
Of course, it's also possible that they'll be so shocked and horrified that they'll just push her outside with us and slam the door.. Then we all live happily ever after, or something..
2nd-Nov-2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
You know, I have a feeling that her family wouldn't be quite so disloyal to her as to do that. They seem to intend the best for her, but she doesn't agree with them about what's best. *sighs*
2nd-Nov-2005 08:49 pm (UTC)

I know, I think you got it right the last time, we'd both be shot! ^_^;;

Of course, we could go as a couple, and I could say I'm Dr. Gary who was sent by a university in the US to recruit Ariss due to her outstanding academic achievements ^_^
2nd-Nov-2005 09:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, right. Like they'd believe that. You could always elope with her so she could get residency in the US. :P
29th-Nov-2005 11:30 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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