13 Utterly Disappointing Facts About Books- Buzzfeed Article
All of this is extremely depressing, especially number 8. Two Barnes and Nobles and a Half-Priced Books closed down in my town, so I literally have to drive forty-five minutes or so if I want to browse for books.
Don’t you people understand? I’m like Tinkerbell- but instead of applause, I need books to live!
I’ll be honest- up until last week I would have firmly placed myself in the “I hate William Faulkner” camp. I read some of his short stories in high school, was completely unimpressed, and swore that I would only read anything else he had penned under extreme duress.
I think needing to read the book to properly study for the comprehensive test that I need to pass in order to graduate college qualifies as “extreme duress,” doncha think?
So I bought the book. I started to read. And I was immediately transfixed. Not because my perception of Faulkner as a writer had been magically changed after the first page (no, I still thought he sucked), but because I was confused. Why did the book start off with the perspective of Benjy, the mentally challenged youngest child of the Compson family? How are the readers supposed to piece together what is happening when the timeline shifts from present to future in almost every new paragraph? What, exactly, happened to Caddy, the girl who smells like trees and was adored (to the point of obsession) by two of her three brothers?
The best way to get me caught up in a book is to give me a puzzle or a mystery to work out. This one- with the unreliable narrators and changing timelines- really kept me involved. I wasn’t bored while reading. I was frustrated, and confused, and the notes that I wrote in the margins definitely showed that (Example: “Why are there two Quentins? Seriously, bro, why would you give two different characters of different genders the same name? Dammit Faulkner.”).
But I was never bored.
I actually ended up being completely enamored with the book, and especially Caddy, the girl who drives the whole damn plot and is basically the heart of the book but never gets a chance to speak for herself. We never see from her perspective- we only see images of her from everyone else’s. It’s a frustrating and brilliant move on Faulkner’s part that leaves us as confused and entranced with Caddy as her brothers are.
So yeah. I really loved this book. My prejudices were completely unwarranted.
My apologies to Mr. Faulkner.
Okay. Don’t judge me for this, guys, but every time I hear this song I can’t help but think that it alludes to Dante and Beatrice (at least a little bit).
“Hey,” said Shadow. “Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are.”
The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.
“Say ‘Nevermore,'” said Shadow.
“Fuck you,” said the raven.”
-American Gods by Neil Gaiman
It has come to my attention that a lot of people have been complaining about how teenaged girls are ruining the horror genre. I guess this comes from the recent “evil bloodthirsty monster who actually has a sensitive soul and a heart of gold who just needs the power of TRUE LOVE to overcome his wicked, wicked ways” phenomena that has recently sprung up in YA literature. These horror enthusiasts cite Twilight (blegh) and in the more recent Warm Bodies (which, I will admit, I actually thought was a pretty decent book even though I’m terrified of zombies) as novels that are destroying the horror genre.
Okay, 1.) I think the horror genre is ruining itself just fine without the influence of teenaged girls (I haven’t seen a decent scary movie in a long, long time, though the show American Horror Story is sufficiently terrifying), and 2.) Did these individuals forget that one of the greatest influences in the horror genre was, in fact, a teenaged girl?
Mary Shelley was the writer of Frankenstein, which was also called The Modern Prometheus. It’s the story of a brilliant young man named Victor Frankenstein (Frankenstein is not, contrary to popular belief, the name of the monster) who, because of SCIENCE, decides he wants to play God and imbue life into an inanimate object. So he stitches together this monstrosity of a man by using body parts he scavenges from graves, brings it to life, ends up being horrified by what he’s created, and then the monster kills everyone that he loves.
That’s all coming from the mind of a nineteen-year-old girl.
So thank you, Mary Shelley, for writing one of the scariest pieces of literature known to man. Horror enthusiasts and the literature lovers alike thank you.