Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Of Elegance and Hedgehogs
p.s. I finished a book tonight. This is a major accomplishment. I have SO MANY books on my bedside table that I've started reading and haven't finished. Yes, even books I packed from my bedside table in BsAs that, upon unpacking, went back on the bedstand. The table is overflowing with Jenga-like stacks of randomly bookmarked volumes.
So to have finally finished a book is big. Especially this book: I got it at a book club book swap a month ago and determined to finish it before our next club meeting this weekend. I chose it simply because it takes place in Paris and I want to go to Paris for vacation next year (!)
Well let me tell you, it is a tough read. It goes off on nearly intolerable philosophical, existential, political, social, and intellectual tangents at times. Which is great if you are into philosophy, existentialism, etc. Mostly it just made me feel dumb a lot of the time. And then at other times it just really seemed implausible, simple, or lame. But it redeemed itself at the end. I give it 2.5 stars out of 5.
Of course, don't take my word for it: The inside and back covers are littered with rave reviews from serious names -- The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, international media outlets, etc.; each trying to best the next in their praise of the book's commentary and subtlety. But I think they just want to like it because of the difficulty of getting through it and, basically, to sound smart. Which makes me wonder at the author's motives, too ... :)