In a vague effort to clear the decks, so to speak, here is a quick review of some of my more recent reads…
So We Read On: How the Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why it Endures – Maureen Corrigan (2015). This was such a good nerdy lit crit read especially if you’re a fan of The Great Gatsby. (Actually, as I think about it, I would think that those people would be the only readers who would choose to read such a book…) I am such a person (see the gushing review here) and I just loved this read and gobbled it down in one weekend. I took rather sparse notes during my read though, so you might just have to take my word for it being so good. But trust me – it was.
I did learn about a theater company in NYC called the Elevator Repair Service group who do a 7-hour reading of the text of the GG every now and then. (I don’t know that I’d attend all seven hours, but I would definitely pop along to see some of it.)
I also learned so much about Fitzgerald and his rather sad life, about how the GG was received critically (mostly on the US shore), and then about how the GG slowly resuscitated itself after Fitzgerald died, mostly through the efforts of his friends, and then continuing on over the years on its own merits. Just how did it get on to so many high school and college reading lists?
”So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past…”
FITZGERALD/The Great Gatsby.
(Love that quote. Sort of sums up the Lost Generation time period for me.)
Now I’m searching through my TBR to see what would be a good follow-up to that…
Finally, an ILL arrived – a graphic novel this time, from Lucy Knisley (she who wrote Relish which was a great read). This one, The Age of License, was also a GN but about the author’s coming-of-age holiday when she traveled through several European countries trying to get over heart-ache and fulfill her book tour travels… Loved it.
The Railway Children (by Edith Nesbitt) was another good read (although totally different from Corrigan’s). I must have seen the BBC TV adaptation when I was a kid as I remember the waving of the red petticoats incident, but that was all I could recall so this was basically a new read for me. Lashings of ginger ale and no contractions in the writing, and reminded me a lot of the narrative style of the wonderful Paddington the Bear books. (Stick with the books with Paddington. The film is not worth its name, TBH.)
And then I did spend quite some time trudging through the first half of Jack London’s The Sea Wolf, but then I couldn’t take the over-writing and endless descriptions of the sea storms, that I had to put it down. Now noodling which other classic to pick up to fill in that year (1904) in the Century of Books project I’ve got going on right now. Any ideas?