Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Being an Intellectual is Hard!

Marcel Proust would so get blasted on Miss Snark's Crapometer. She gave writers hell for opening their novels with back story and having nothing exciting happen in the first 500 words. I'm 60 pages into SWANN'S WAY, nothing has happened other than dinnertime conversation and the nameless narrator is still whingeing about getting a proper bedtime kiss from his overly beloved maman. I hope to dog there's going to be a plot soon, but I'm not holding my breath. There's something very meta-PoMo about my lying in bed every night, reading about some mamma's boy lying in bed every night.

My special challenges are to:
  1. manage to read over and around Max, who takes my picking up a book as a signal to park his 13-pound self on my chest;
  2. wade through Proust's endless, semi-colon and dash bespattered sentences without immediately falling asleep;
  3. stay so interested in the book that I won't forsake it for others.
And guess what? I've failed miserably at #2 and #3. In fact, so miserably that I was easily sidetracked by two newcomers that were given me, respectively, by their agent and publicist: RUMBLE ON THE BAYOU by Jana DeLeon, a (gasp!) mass market original; and THE RETURN OF THE PLAYER by Michael Tolkin.

Guess what else? I gobbled up RUMBLE in a day and a half and am now roaring through RETURN. Neither one has put me to sleep, even with Max's soporific purring on my chest. In fact, each has kept me awake--most happily, I might add.

So, to those who prefer to savor every soggy morsel of their tea-soaked madeleines, I wish you bonne chance. For now, I'm sticking to Cheez Doodles and California rolls.

P.S. Watched "Match Point" the other night, which I loved, but was struck by how similar it is to "The Player" (the movie anyway; I haven't read the book). So similar, in fact, that I guessed what the ending would be. I hate when that happens--and it didn't with RUMBLE ON THE BAYOU.


Colleen Gleason said...

I read Jana's book before it was published and thought it was the funniest thing I'd read in a long time. With a great mystery.

Glad you enjoyed it!

Hershon said...

Proust.... Emperors new clothes more like! Even Cyrils never read the whole thing!