?

Log in

No account? Create an account
~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
It's Black Friday, and we were...(I'll give you three guesses.) 
25th-Nov-2005 05:57 pm
Winter
*drumroll* *drumroll* *drumroll*

That's right. SHOPPING!

HOWEVER, we weren't shopping for gifts; we were out buying and hunting down necessities. Boring life. Boring people. ^_~

Anyway, here's the Book-Review-of-the-Day: (^^;

Leavitt, David. The Page Turner. New York: Mariner Books, 1999. (First Printing: 1998)
Summary: Aspiring pianist Paul Porterfield lands a one-time gig page-turning for the child-prodigy but now pushing forty piano maestro Richard Kennington, and when they happen to meet again in Rome, a fling ensues. Though it ends badly, Paul heads off to Juliard and NYC, finding himself a new sugar daddy and getting involved with Kennington's longtime mentor and partner Joseph Mansourian. Suffice to say that no one finds true love, and Paul discovers that his talent sorely lacking by the end.
Comments: Leavitt, considered to be one of America's foremost contemporary authors, writes in prose that is spare, deceptively simple, and beautiful, the meaning heavily weighted in the content of the dialogue. I admire such writing greatly and tend to use similar tactics in my own; in some ways it reminds me of Hemmingway, but Leavitt writes far, far more accessibly. Yet, don't be fooled by the apparent ease of the reading; the characters and their lives mirror each others' in myriad fashions. Paul believes himself to be better than he is; his mother less worthy than she really is. Paul's teacher sacrifices her brilliant talent to be second staff to another genius; Paul realizes that he is going to be second-staff or nothing. Paul IS a sort of second staff in his relationships with older men. And so forth. Moreover, you really CARE about these characters; I cringed when Pamela flirted with Kennington and ached when Paul realized he'd never be able to achieve his dreams. Still, I was rather disappointed by the ending, which didn't feel like an ending at all so much as the author deciding it was time to quit. (I can almost see him heaving a sigh of relief as he polished off that last sentence.) I'm not really certain I particularly like the ultimate message of the novel, either--that life is suffering, but we should make the absolute best of each moment, and that there is especial honor to being second-staff to your lover (err...I hope it's just coincidence that Leavitt dedicated this novel to his). The former part sounds very Buddhist to me, actually, which is probably just coincidental as the author is very much the Europhile.
Notes: trade paperback, 1st printing
Rating: 7/10 - A quick, but most definitely worthwhile read, and highly recommended to fans of American and/or gay fiction.
Comments 
25th-Nov-2005 11:29 pm (UTC)
I had already decided not to go shopping at all today, and then seeing footage of people beating each other up in front of Walmart really cinched it for me ^^;;

life is suffering, but we should make the absolute best of each moment, and that there is especial honor to being second-staff to your lover

Sounds pretty accurate though......
25th-Nov-2005 11:32 pm (UTC)
then seeing footage of people beating each other up in front of Walmart really cinched it for me ^^;;

We were at Walmart. BUT, we checked out faster than we ever have before. Couldn't believe it. It had to have been the quickest Walmart run ever. ^^;

Sounds pretty accurate though......

Which part? The "life is suffering" or "the honor in being second-staff"...? ^^;;;;;;;;;
25th-Nov-2005 11:52 pm (UTC)
More the life is suffering.. I don’t know if there’s anything honorable about being second staff, just probably better than not having a lover at all ^^;;

Hee.. They showed one store where all these people were piling in and falling down over each other.. One woman fell down, and her hair went flying off ^^;; She managed to get it back......
26th-Nov-2005 12:07 am (UTC)
They showed one store where all these people were piling in and falling down over each other.. One woman fell down, and her hair went flying off ^^;;

What in the world were they fighting over? ^^;

More the life is suffering..

Perhaps you should convert to Buddhism, then.
26th-Nov-2005 12:11 am (UTC)
*laughs*

They weren’t fighting over anything yet, that happened as soon as the doors were unlocked! ^^;;;

Perhaps you should convert to Buddhism, then.

From what little I’ve read, probably is a better fit than Catholicism ^^;;
26th-Nov-2005 12:18 am (UTC)
*chuckles*
Well, Buddhism tells you not to angst over life and hardships when you can't solve them because you might try harming others that way. It's not the Western portrayal of it that basically means roll over and die^^
26th-Nov-2005 12:25 am (UTC)
Well that sounds better... In Catholicism, hardships are either part of God’s evil plan, or, God’s vengeance for your misdeeds and you should torment yourself over it ^^
26th-Nov-2005 12:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, Islam has that too. You should hear the Mullahs and Imaams explain drought and terrorist attacks by saying it's God's punishment. *rolls her eyes*
26th-Nov-2005 01:57 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, couldn’t have anything to do with weather patterns, too much water use, and, err, terrorists ^^;;

Guilt based religions suck..
26th-Nov-2005 01:49 pm (UTC)
*laughs*
I swear if a unicorn popped up tomorrow, it'd be somehow connected to God's punishment^^
26th-Nov-2005 12:32 am (UTC)
Maybe there was a stampede in the morning, and by the time I got there at around noon, the show was over. ^^;

From what little I’ve read, probably is a better fit than Catholicism ^^;;

Maybe. Though there is that whole organ donation issue which is incredibly irritating... *sighs* I personally don't think any religion save atheism is right for me.
25th-Nov-2005 11:49 pm (UTC)
Why do they call it black friday?
25th-Nov-2005 11:57 pm (UTC)
Supposedly it’s the day when the stores start making a profit for the year.. I think the black is a reference to old accounting methods, switching to black ink or something.. I should really know this ^^;;;
26th-Nov-2005 12:09 am (UTC)
What he said. Black means profit; red means loss. Have you ever heard the phrase, "In the red?"
26th-Nov-2005 12:16 am (UTC)
Yes. But I've never heard the black one^^
26th-Nov-2005 12:32 am (UTC)
*laughs* Why am I thinking we had this dicussion about Black Friday last year...? XD
26th-Nov-2005 12:34 am (UTC)
Nope. I don't remember that we did.
26th-Nov-2005 12:38 am (UTC)
Funny...I could've SWORN you were asking me about it over IM...hmm...

Oddly enough, there's no corresponding phrase "In the black." I guess it just goes to show that we have more euphemisms for when things go wrong.
26th-Nov-2005 12:41 am (UTC)
Human nature. Kind of like we remember all the times we were sad and miserable but not the times we were happy.
26th-Nov-2005 12:44 am (UTC)
ALTHOUGH, at some point, English speakers decided to be optimists. Like, for example, in Old English, they used to count days as "nights" and years as "winters." You measure time by the worst parts of it.

On the other hand, the word "day" refers to, well, daytime, and year to summer. So, now we measure time by the best parts. Interesting, eh? ^__^
26th-Nov-2005 01:53 am (UTC)
Happy? Huh, no not that I can remember....

^_^
26th-Nov-2005 01:21 am (UTC)
I've just been sent the book, but I've seen film adaptation Food of Love already. I was disappointed in the latter part of the movie, once it moves back to New York, wasn't sure what to make of the older man, if he was revenge, father figure, Richard substitute or means to an end...a bit of them all perhaps? Was Paul never up to his dream or was he led astray by love- or infatuation? The mother really irritated me but that might be down to Juliet Stephenson's portrayal. It should be interesting to compare film & novel. I've read lost Language of Cranes and liked Leavitt's writing a lot.
26th-Nov-2005 01:26 am (UTC)
Huh. I had no idea that there was even a film adaptation of the novel! (I'm not generally up on the film scene...I stick with books, usually.) Is it an American film? If so, I'll have to go see if I can rent it!

As for your dissatisfaction with the film, perhaps it has to do with me dissatisfaction with the overall theme/argument of the novel, which I mentioned above. Neither clause sat well with me. I'm not a person who revels in suffering and failure. ^^;
8th-Dec-2005 06:14 pm (UTC)
No it was directed by Ventura Pons who is Spanish, filmed on location in English with a largely British cast.

IMDB entry

8th-Dec-2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
I found it in the bookstore after you mentioned it. Too expensive for my wallet. :P Interesting that it takes place in Barcelona instead of Rome, though...
29th-Nov-2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
This page was loaded Jul 17th 2018, 7:00 pm GMT.