Sunday, May 20, 2007

Summer Reading

When people talk of "summer reading," they usually refer to the sort of book that gets left at the cottage or on the airplane. "Lite" reading, in other words: the sort of thing one might feel guilty for enjoying. Robert E. Howard, Ann Rice, Tom Wolfe and Louis L'Amour have ponied up in my stable of summer writers, and it's not unusual for me to devote the season to coping with Neal Stephenson. But this year I'm noticing a trend (if only among me cobbers) toward weightiness. People are reading books they've put off, or held at some remove.

To that end, I believe I may just bite the bullet and read Cormac McCarthy's The Road. This is a book I've taken pains to avoid even though I admit to reading and enjoying his Border Trilogy and Blood Meridian. Lest I leave anyone with the impression that I'm just pulling a Franzen, I'll state my reasons outright: reading the selections being quoted by reviewers (here and here) has been enough for me to fight back tears. I'm not sure the three women in this house are up to dealing with a blubbering pater familias, but no matter: I shall soldier on, and so shall they.

As soon as I've landed my copy, it will join the others "On The Floor." My blogular thoughts are bound to follow.


Jim said...

I loved the book but, yikes! Summer reading?

You might want to chase it with something by Ian Frazier or Garrison Keillor.

Or perhaps Cross Country by Robert Sullivan (which I'm reading now, even though it's not your country).

DarkoV said...

I'll be very interested in reading your opinion. Haven't read it, but all the hoopla around it makes it seem like the abandoned love-child of Wes Craven and John Carpenter, adapted by Stephen King. Can't be more disturbing than 28 Days if it was picked up by Oprah.

Whisky Prajer said...

JV - something lighter will definitely be on tap when I've finished the book. I'll certainly give Sullivan a look.

DV - re: Oprah's pick, I was as surprised as anyone. Not that she shies away from dark reading, but following so soon on her endorsement of The Secret? Very, very strange. Maybe she went with McCarthy to atone for her earlier choice of Frey. "Look, people: you don't have to resort to a BS biography to be a bad-ass!" It's just very strange.

DarkoV said...

Hear me out! (Well, read me out, I mean)
this book was sent to us by a good (as opposed to a bad) Canadian friend who also happens to be a most excellent children's librarian in the Edmonton library system.
Yes, the book is classified as "Young Adult" (a curse, if there ever was one, as which young adult would ever read a book marked as such except a "very young" adult in the 9-10 range...not really an "adult").

It's a great book! Funny, insightful, has a cast of Slavic characters and Toronto bluebloods. I highly recommend it for every adult, young or old. Ms. Toten has a crisp, tart, and witty style about her.

Oh, and yes, the young adults will also enjoy it in a few years. Nothing racy except for the gab of the grandmothers.

Whisky Prajer said...

Colour me intrigued, DV. I'll see if I can't get my hands on a copy in the next week or two.