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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
An uneventful weekend. 
22nd-Jan-2006 04:26 pm
Can you believe that it was 65 degrees on Saturday??? In the middle of January! The trees are starting to bud. >_<

I think all the exercise is leveling my mood off. Either that, or I've passed the anger/fear stage regarding my applications and have arrived at the resignation/numb stage. Or maybe both. They're not mutually-exclusive.

We went to see the film The New World last night, and it was...*urk*. Great, tight filmmaking (no multiple establishing shots like Brokeback Mountain, for example), but little in the way of exciting narrative. It was really more of a work of art or maybe a spiritual piece than base entertainment. Oh, and those interior monologues! *groans* About the only consolation for the average viewer is that you've got not one but two screen hunks (Colin Farrell and Christian Bale). :P

Stein, Eugene. Straitjacket & Tie. 1994. Los Angeles: Alyson, 1996.
Summary: Bert's brother Philip is crazy, and Bert's afraid he's going to be following in Philip's footsteps. Now, post-college, he's torn between an impossible love for a married woman and a sexually-confused, drug-addicted man--and he's talking to space aliens who look like green lawn chairs. Even after moving back home and attending business school, his problems don't cease, but by the end, he's finally, it seems, found a stable relationship and his brother has been institutionalized.
Comments: Though the novel is plagued by a disjointed narrative and interspersed with poetry of dubious quality (supposedly written by Philip but actually written by the author and his brother...yeah, there might be SOME basis in fact to all of this), there is much to enjoy here regardless. Besides the deliciously weird moments--the aliens, and the crazy woman screaming bloody murder in Bert's apartment--the novel cultivates strongly-woven themes of madness and acceptance. At first, Bert associates his homosexual desire with the disorder of his brother's madness, but over time, he becomes increasingly reconciled with his own feelings and finally accepts his own psyche as a wholly sane one. Instead of merely following in his brother's footsteps, his brother forged out ahead into mental territory so that Bert would not have to go there himself. (The last chapter of the book evokes this theme in a hard-hitting but nonetheless lovely fashion.) Though there were many female characters in the book, none of them were particularly interesting; they were all obsessed about their weight even though they were thin and hypocritical about the things they want in a man. The author's inability to characterize women was his greatest liability.
Notes: trade paperback, 1st edition, out-of-print (My copy is badly-damaged.)
Rating: 6.5/10 - It's not great literature, but it IS a lot of fun. Gotta love the title, too.
30th-Jan-2006 09:15 pm (UTC)
Review archived.
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