Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Wow. Finished reading The Dark Tower on Monday. Although, I am glad to see the story reach a conclusion, I have mixed feelings about it. In some ways, I found it to be very satisfying. Just to reach the end of something, to have closure, whatever it might be, is a good thing. There's always a concern when reading something like that, that it will never be finished...and like so many people, I just want to know what happens to everyone. I have, after all, been waiting for this moment for a long time (though not so long as some). I received the first 3 books in the series as a Christmas present in 1991(?). I read them over the course of my Christmas vacation. I spent those couple of weeks babysitting my nephew, and actually read most of the books out loud to him, since he found the sound of my voice soothing, regardless of what I was saying. I have some distinct memories of bizarre contrasts between the text I was reading, and the sing-songy voice I was using to read it. In any case, I was pretty much hooked from the first book, and have anxiously awaited each subsequent addition to the series. Speaking in the vaguest of terms, so as not to have too many spoilers, I have to say that in my opinion, although the ending was not the one I would have wished seems to be the right one. I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for a happy ending....but I hate it when you get a happy ending just for the sake of the happiness. Better to have my guts wrenched, than to feel nothing...and the wrong happy ending can leave you feeling so empty. Something that I have said before, in relationship to death in books or films, is that often times, we become attached to the characters, and sometimes authors or filmmakers are afraid to let them "kill" them. And yet, death is a part of life, and something we all have to deal with...why should the characters in our books or movies be any different? Why should they get all the happy endings, while we're down here in the trenches? It's been a long journey, one that I enjoyed...and will probably take again as soon as I manage to get myself copies of the new hardcover editions of the first four books (I gave away my originals, due to the horrible magenta cover of Wizard and Glass and have been meaning to replace them, but somehow haven't). It seems sad that it is done, that I don't have another book to look forward to, but I guess that everything has to have an ending, and I am glad that I got to see this one.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Managed about 100 pages of The Dark Tower last night before I had to go to sleep. It's good so far. That's all I really wanted to say.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

I've been busy re-reading some favorite books. Some discussion of Moscow to the End of the Line prompted me to dig it out and take another look at it. It's one of those books that I bought on a whim because it seemed interesting, but I had never heard of it or its author before. I'd give you a synopsis of the book, except nothing really happens. I don't think I could sum it up in a way that would make any sense. It's more like an extended monologue. In any case, it was just as good on a second reading, though I am more curious now about the translation, and how much I am missing by reading it in English. Note to self: learn Russian. "Everything should take place slowly and incorrectly so that a man doesn't get a chance to start feeling proud, so that a man is sad and perplexed." "Minute by minute I am getting happier, and if I start to get foul-mouthed, it's only because I'm happy." Last week, I was really sick, and so, embarked on a reading of Watership Down. This is my comfort book, and I read it every couple of years. In case you don't know, this book is about bunnies. =) Actually it's about quite a lot of things. Life, death, politics, love, friendship, loyalty, fear....and bunnies. My copy is battered and torn, and starting to smell moldy, but in the good way that only old books can achieve. At one point, I owned 3 copies, but have given the others away, keeping the oldest and most battered for myself. Why, when I had a perfectly good brand-new copy, would I give that away, and keep the one that is probably going to fall apart in another couple of years? In this case, the physical book is just as important as the story it contains, a link to my past...reading it again brings back happy memories. "There is nothing that cuts you down to size like coming to some strange and marvelous place where no one even stops to notice that you stare about you." "Not all strange things are bad." Also started on a re-reading of The Master and Margarita, but I bought The Dark Tower today and all other reading is going to have to go on hold until I finish fact, most of my life is probably going to have to go on hold until I finish it.

Monday, November 01, 2004