It’s the beginning of autumn, and for some lucky few, there’s still a month till the end of the new college year. Since I major in English and French literature, it might not come as a surprise that I like to read.
Wait…stop! Don’t jump to any conclusions yet, cause apart from some of my fellow colleagues, I am not the library rat type. As a proof stands the fact that I hardly ever read all by bibliographies from the first title to the last and I tend to skip titles that are boring. I usually just read the first three to four pages and if I likey I readey.
But it is still the summer holiday, although it’s autumn and yes, everybody advises me to read in advance, cause I will have a whole lot of things to do when I start, and then again…I don’t. So I start looking for new books to read.
What’s been helping me with that was my boyfriend buying me the whole Game of Thrones collection (he knows me all too well) which I have been savoring ever since I finished with my exams, but when that was over (well, not over, I still have A dance with dragons to keep me company until the next one comes out) I felt abandoned. It’s great when you read something good and it absorbs you in such a way, that you end up imagining you’re in the middle of cold and snow when in truth you are standing on a bench in your back yard in almost boiling hot weather which you didn’t care to notice (much). But guess what? There’s been a sort of challenge competition (since we’re all Ice Bucket Challenge now) in which every friend of mine got to list ten of the books that occupy a special place in their heart. Not only do I get to judge people by what they are reading, but I also get to see all the goodies that I haven’t truly heard of, already checked out by my friends. A reader’s dream, in truth.
But I got confused at some point when there were so many books that were…modern in a way, yet nonsensical in another. Don’t get me wrong, I read contemporary literature (to be read: contemporary books are like snacks, not meals) but what I don’t understand nowadays is this tendency to write in a really dark pessimistic tone and consider that genius. Take, for example, John Green. I read Looking for Alaska and after finishing it I was left with…nothing. Maybe perplexed a little. I am not saying it is not well written, but at some point many things become far-fetched, and Alaska is a bit surreal and the friends of the main character have problems that are over-exaggerated. I understand that now it is the time of those youths who have issues they see as bigger than life, sometimes life is not just black and white and some have issues with communication and establishing a healthy strong identity for themselves, but in a way, nothing changes. It was hard for everybody during our teenage years, with bullies, parents who won’t understand our drama, struggles with friends that came and went and the struggle with fitting in and getting accepted. I don’t find it such a good idea to encourage this feeling of gloominess, of “Ok, feel lousier than you actually feel cause it is ok”. No no no. I wanted to read The fault in our stars, but I am honestly scared, not biased by all the popularity it’s been getting lately.
Now, I was reading The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson. It was on the list of several people I esteem and I said, why the hell not. I saw it got nearly five stars on goodreads, I even peeked at some of the reviews saying the book is amazing. I start reading it and I must confess, I love the way in which this guy writes , but the story… It’s about a lost cause/porn star/ pornographer, who falls off a cliff after he did coke with some scotch and had a hallucination of fire arrows coming his way through the forest. His car burns, he is singed, but luckily rescued and taken to the hospital. Throughout his recovery the story goes back and forth ] in time, he tells about his childhood, how he was ambivalent about school and had no real family, how he got into porn and how he got to the moment of the accident. The accident itself is said from his perspective, which is amazing. He has a scar on his chest and nobody told him how he got it, but in a way, it hints towards a mystical sort of explanation. Then there’s this mysterious woman sneaking into his room, from the psychiatric ward, claiming that they know each other from way back, meaning 1300, when she was in a monastery in Germany and he was… I have not reached that point in which I find out what he was back then. She makes sculptures for a living, gargoyles and she has this ritual in which she sleeps on the rock so the voices would tell her how to sculpt the rock and set them free. Plus she tells the story of this monastery where she was brought and ….
Whoa, whoa, whoa what? Yes, until this point I have read this book and my mind was all “This is exaggerated, this is exaggerated, drop it, read something else, now, read something else”. I am not saying it is not intriguing, since it intrigued me into reading it so far, but I mean,what are the odds of this actually happening? I know it is fiction, but seriously, shouldn’t fiction have its limits in how far you can go until it is no longer…readable?
Isn’t it ironic that just by writing about it, I got curious about this book? Probably gonna read some more. Those who read understand.
What about you? Did you notice this tendency too?