Sunday, September 30, 2007

Wicked - Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire
c. 1996
450 pages

I wanted to like this book so much. I really did. I’ve read other things by Gregory Maguire (and by other things I mean ONE other thing, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, which I believe I enjoyed, if I remember correctly) and have others I would like to read (Mirror, Mirror and Lost), but I just did not like this book. I read it, once again, mostly because Kim gave it to me. As a six month anniversary present, no less. We were going to go see the play during our fall break from AmeriCorps, but never got around to it.

Anyway, back to the book. I think maybe there was just too much going on, too much politics and terrorism for me to keep a real grasp on what was happening. And then I would get bored and skim over passages and then I would be even more confused.

Not to say the book was completely awful. Others may revel in the political themes. I for one enjoyed when they were at Shiz and even some whan Elphaba was in the Emerald City. I do have to say, and this will be a SPOILER for any who have not read this, I missed the fact the Fiyero died. I really did. I know that he went bak to Elphaba’s apartment and he was attacked, but it totally did not register for a while that he had died. I really just thought he’d gotten beat up until I was talking to my sister and she said he died. And event then I didn’t believe her because she never finished the book. And they kept talking about the mystery of his death, that his body wasn’t found and so it wasn’t until the very end of the book that I finally accepted that eh was dead. I was right there with Elphaba believing he was coming to her in the form of the Scarecrow. And was probably just as dismayed when I finally had to accept that he wasn’t.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

It is always possible to stretch oneself...

Due to the fact that Monday is October 1, I have decided to try something new. I am not normally one to revel in Halloween and all its mysteries. Last year, for example, practically the whole corps at my NCCC campus turned up at the RendezVous in full costume for a night of ridiculous drunken fun. I was there, no doubt. In fact, two of my housemates and I were the first ones there. However, the three of us point blank refused to dress up. This year I think dressing up may be fun and just might happen (though what I'll be I haven't yet decided).

Another something I have decided is I'm going to try something new with reading. Wow, that sounds super lame. As Kim was nice enough to point out to me last night. I'd had a really good day, too, and she ruined it by calling me lame. Anyway, being as it is Halloween time and I read something of this sort on someone else's book blog, I have decided to have my own personal RIP (readers imbibing peril) Challenge. (You can find the real RIP Challenge here at Stainless Steel Droppings). For myself, all I want is to be able to read two horror books by Halloween. This really does not sound like much, but for me, one who is really not a fan of the horror genre in general, this is quite a challenge for me. Especially since that only gives me a month and I don't read very fast.

My two books will be:
1. Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
2. The Castle of Otranto - Horace Walpole

Despite a few apprehensions and Kim calling me lame, I'm actually quite excited!

Sex With the Queen - Eleanor Herman

Sex With the Queen
Eleanor Herman
c. 2006
322 pages

Still with the history. Don't make fun. I picked this book up a Barnes and Nobles just as something to skim for a bit while waiting for Cynthia to finish browsing and ended up buying it instead. I had seen Elenor Herman’s first book on this sort of subject, Sex With Kings, and had thought of skimming it before, though never had actually picked it up. Now I’m not so sure I actually will.

Not to say that this was an uninteresting book. Basically it’s just a book thorugh history about Queens and sex, whether with their husbands or with secret lovers. Some of the accounts were of people I’d never heard of, generally in countries such as parts of Scandanavia or Eastern Europe. There was a lot of fairly inside information. And a lot was incredibly interesting, delving this far into the personal lives of these figures. My main complaint with the book is this: A lot of the accounts were somewhat similar and so there were times I could easily get bored. Princess has to marry someone super unfortunate, she falls in love with a new hot guy, they start getting down and dirty, and so he’s eventually either murdered or executed. One somewhat selfish issue I found by the end of this book was I was tired of deciding I liked someone only to have them killed. Though this is a problem one will always find when reading anything, especially history.

And one last thing, I find it is interesting to note that there are many accounts throughout history of kings being homosexual. And not just the creepy ones, something I think is often portrayed. For instance, someone as manly as King Richard the Lionheart of England was supposedly doing King Phillip the Fair of France back before the Crusades. And I believe the book Sex With Kings is peppered with these homosexual accounts. However, in Sex With the Queen, there is only one report of any royal lesbian action. This is not really a complaint, for who can complain because a history books lacks mention of something that didn’t happen, just something interesting I observed.