Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Shipping News

I’m in a reading desert. Since October, I have had the desire to read, but just cannot bring myself around to doing it. I pick up a book here, a book there, but cannot find anything to really grab my attention.

I picked up The Shipping News way back in mid-January after finishing The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. I thought I would be able to get through it fairly quickly. Nope – took me two months. I couldn’t get into it. I didn’t care about the characters. I liked them, they were interesting, the writing was excellent, but it just wasn’t there. Or I wasn’t there.

After two months, I couldn’t even give you any real opinion on the book. It was good, I suppose. I probably won’t read it again. The only time I felt emotionally involved was when Bunny pushed her teacher because she was mean to Herry. I’m really disappointed by something, but I couldn’t tell you what. It’s not Proulx’s fault, certainly. It’s my own. It was everything I should have liked – fabulous writing, quirky characters, depressing yet light hearted. Might I have enjoyed it more if I hadn’t taken so long to read it? I can’t say. I don’t know what’s up with me lately. All I can do is blame The Magus.

Next up, I’m attempting Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory as well as Aldous Huxley’s Point Counter Point in an attempt to get back on track with the Modern Library list. Only seven left - the end is finally in sight, and I just don't care anymore!


The above fore-mentioned. said...

Only seven to go - congratulations. Take heart, it happens to all of us from time to time. Your post remined me of one over at Interpolations: http://interpolations.wordpress.com/2011/01/16/%E2%80%9Cman-delights-not-me%E2%80%94no-nor-woman-neither-%E2%80%9D/

Maybe some of his advice might help?

Hang in there. Best wishes.

Robby Virus said...

I've been there too...big reading lulls when you just don't care and nothing seems to help. It took me a year to get through The Decameron, and a year to get through Lord Jim. In the case of The Decameron it was the year after my divorce and I was pretty depressed, and that can certainly suppress the reading desire. (If you think you might be depressed, talk to your doctor.) You'll pull out of it eventually. The best cure might be to veer off the Modern Library list and read something quick and fun...a page turner. "Bonfire of the Vanities" pulled me out of such a slump once.