Saturday, July 23, 2011


I didn't see anything in the theater this weekend so I get to hole up, make myself fun mixed drinks, write (this) with the pressure off and watch ST ELMO'S FIRE tonight. (Let's Rock! in conversational tone).

Dead to the World, 2004, by Charlaine Harris.

"Sookie aids vampires Eric and Pam in their struggle against a coven of witches seeking to take over control of their area, and takes care of Eric after the witches erase his memory." (wikipedia).

First off, I'm very much a fan of Ms. Harris and the Southern Vampire Series, so you kind of have to chill about what I'm about to say and let me say it without getting all pissy about it: I loved what happened in this book, but the writing unfortunately was not her best. It's a hard thing, balancing extreme and full plot lines with competent dialogue (that doesn't seem cheesy, forced, or redundant) and adequate spaces in between action parts, or resting points, if you will. I know it's hard. But because so much happened in this novel, much of it felt hurried, especially the dialogues. I needed a breaths or breaks that didn't come often enough, maybe. I loved the book, and was scrambling to read it every night, so it wasn't a huge problem, more of a nit-pick, I suppose.

The southern Sookie-colloquialisms were great, and the blunt and honest interior monologues from Sookie were right on:

"I wondered if I could get some witch to cast a truth spell on Debbie Pelt, whom I despised because she had been cruel to Alcide, insulted me grievously, burned a hole in my favorite wrap and---oh---tried to kill me by proxy. Also, she had stupid hair."

"I sighed. Jason could find potential bedmates anywhere. He was going to end up with some unpleasant disease (if he hadn't already) or slapped with a paternity suit, and there was nothing I could do about it except watch it happen."

Without ruining too much for anyone else, there is another plot line that happens, romantically, that I (and probably others) have been waiting three novels for, when it finally happened . . . damn. (SKOAL, SOOKIE!) Loved the ending. LOVED it. I can't wait to see how this plays out on True Blood.

Willa Cather, 24 Stories.

I got this at Half-Price and picked it up after Roger Ebert recommended Cather over Rand (not to me, personally, but in general). The stories included are: Peter (1892), Lou, The Prophet (1892), A Tale of the White Pyramid (1892), The Elopement of Allen Poole (1893), The Clemency of the Court (1893), On the Divide (1896), A Night at Greenway Court (1896), Tommy the Unsentimental (1896), The Burgler's Christmas (1896), Nanette: An Aside (1897), Eric Hermannson's Soul (1900), The Sentimentality of William Tavener (1900), A Singer's Romance (1900), The Professor's Commencement (1902), The Treasure of Far Island (1902), The Namesake (1907), The Profile (1907), The Willing Muse (1907), Eleanore's House (1907), On the Gulls' Road (1908), The Enchanted Bluff (1909), The Joy of Nelly Deane (1911), Behind the Singer Tower (1912), and The Bohemian Girl (1912).

They're all extremely good, and right up my alley, but the last one (The Bohemian Girl) got me. Big time.

"Nils looked sideways at her. He had never seen her head droop before. Resignation was the last thing he would have expected of her. "In your case, there wasn't something else?"
"Something else?"
"I mean, you didn't do it to spite somebody? Somebody who didn't come back?"
Clara drew herself up. "Oh, I never thought you'd come back. Not after I stopped writing to you, at least. That was all over long before I married Olaf."
"It never occurred to you, then, that the meanest you could do to me was to marry Olaf?"

and later, "What's become of your Bohemian blood? I used to think you had courage enough for anything. Where's your nerve---what are you waiting for?"
Clara drew back her head, and he saw the slumberous fire in her eyes. "For you to say one thing, Nils Ericson."
"I never say that thing to any woman, Clara Vavrika." He leaned back, lifted her gently from the ground, and whispered through his teeth, "But I'll never, never let you go, not to any man on Earth but me! Do you understand me?"

Skillfully written sentimentality and denied love. My favorites.