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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
*sighs* Now, let's see...What should I read next? 
2nd-Dec-2005 11:31 pm
'Cause the sooner I can get the book I finished tonight out of my head, the better. I'm gonna give Drinnan one more chance (as far as I know, he's only written three books, anyway...that have been published in the US, at least) because his work was specifically recommended to me, but I'm not holding out very high hopes of Glove Puppet being a pleasurable read at this point. *sighs*

Drinnan, Neal. Quill. 2000. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2001.
Summary: A two-part novel. In the first part, gay novelist Elliot Bernard has written a thinly-veiled message to his ex-lover Blaise which reveals Blaise's current boyfriend Woodrow's infidelities and Elliot's continued love for Blaise. They get back together. The second part of the novel, after Elliot's death from complications arising from AIDS and right before the publication of his autobiography, is told from the point of view of his mother at his wake. She doesn't necessarily agree with his lifestyle, but she loves him, and he loved her, and she gave him the strength to be what he was, and he knew it.
Comments: You know, I wanted to like this novel. Really, I did. But no matter how hard I tried to invoke the power of positive thinking, I couldn't wait for the damn thing to be over fast enough. Besides the issues with the slang that I had while reading Drinnan's other novel, Pussy's Bow, where I couldn't figure out if it was a typo or just, well, NOT-American, I found myself with serious objections about the format. I mean, it was 230+ pages of reading about characters reading about themselves. Tell me that doesn't sound boring to you. And, I hate to say it, but the many excerpted samples of Elliot's two books reveals a wordy, pretentious author who writes way worse than Drinnan does all by his lonesome. Suffice to say that it wasn't a pleasant experience. I was less than wowed by Elliot's declaration of love in the "Je Louse"--as if truth is all we need! Bah, humbug! He's love for his mother was more convincing, but it struck me as an unconvincing anthem to the greatness of mothers. C'mon, you can do better than that. I kinda liked the part at the end where Rose walks in on a late-night showing of her son's early foray into pornographic film; at first, she thinks they're watching a sports game of some sort, but then she walks into the bedroom and realize they're all watching her son at age 20 or so taking it up the ass. ^^;;;;; Thankfully, though, she accepts it all with good grace, and she's a far more convincing character overall than any female I've seen Drinnan write thus far. This is really the only thing that saves Quill from an immediate pulping.
Notes: hardcover, 1st US edition
Rating: 3.5/10 - Most definitely bad, but not "magnificently" bad, as it were. Let's put it this way: I'm not driving nails into my eyeballs, but I think I would've rathered spent the time reading this book in the dentist's chair getting my teeth drilled.
3rd-Dec-2005 01:14 pm (UTC)
Wow.. that bad huh?^^
3rd-Dec-2005 01:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I can only be grateful that the typeface was large and that the sentences with nicely spread out. If they weren't, I probably would've had an even lower opinion of it, just because I was dealing with physically cramped prose on top of everything else. ^^;
3rd-Dec-2005 01:25 pm (UTC)
You get brownie points for finishing it. I'd just throw the book at the wall^^
3rd-Dec-2005 01:27 pm (UTC)
*laughs* I'm an English major. I'm good at self-abuse.

Though, honestly, there are quite a lot of books that I've started and never finished. Pretty much the entire world thinks I'm a pleb for never having finished At Swim, Two Boys, for example. ^^;;;; (Which, oddly enough, was not on those Triangle lists at all--maybe there ARE people who agree with me out there!)
3rd-Dec-2005 01:33 pm (UTC)
How do you figure that? *wonders how being an English major means one is masochistic*

I've heard people wax poetic to the moon and back over that book. You didn't like it?
3rd-Dec-2005 01:38 pm (UTC)
Well, I think lit majors are taught to be patient with what they read, not to just look for instant-gratification entertainment value, but to tease out multiple meanings with multiple readings of a work.

I've heard people wax poetic to the moon and back over that book. You didn't like it?

*grimaces* In a word? No. I've explained my position on this novel many times, most recently here. What do you think? ^^;;; I suspect I'm being a pleb (and it's no secret that I am biased toward Americans when it comes to contemporary writing).
4th-Dec-2005 03:30 am (UTC)
That's true. I remember how I agonized over reading Kafka's works.

If the writer has Joyce-ian pretentions then I'm not sure I'd like that novel either^_^ I haven't read it so I can't say if your opinion holds or not.
4th-Dec-2005 03:35 am (UTC)
You can preview the book at Amazon. Go ahead; I dare you--read the first couple of pages and see if you think you could stomach nearly 600 of that style:

4th-Dec-2005 03:38 am (UTC)
I'll let you now^_^

I'm not really in the right mood to be reading anything now.
4th-Dec-2005 03:40 am (UTC)
Tired? ^^;
4th-Dec-2005 03:45 am (UTC)
Tired and I want to kill someone in Russia.
4th-Dec-2005 03:49 am (UTC)
If she hasn't seen your point of view yet, she never will. It's a tenuous situation, anyway, when it comes to fanfic. If, on the other hand, it were an original work, you could actually threaten formal legal action.
3rd-Dec-2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
Damn. You are the only person I know of who reads more than I do.
3rd-Dec-2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
Heh. Well, I'm making up for a few lost years (from about 2000 'til this year) of not reading that much at all. Relatively speaking, that is. ^_~
1st-Jan-2006 04:02 am (UTC)
Review archived.
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