Friday, April 12, 2013

To the Lighthouse

This book is considered one of the 100 Best Books of all Time compiled by the Norwegian Book Club.  This only makes sense if there are 128 books in Norway.  Hating a classic like this makes you feel like a cretin.  I would like to think that using the word cretin somehow makes me less of a cretin but that logic falls dangerously close to the Don King Exquisite Vernacular School of Sounding Awesome.

Stream of consciousness books are hard to read.  Its like when  your really cool friend wants to tell you his dream. Yeah, I like you, but no.  I wasn't there, it didn't happen and the way you are telling me that a dragon trying to scorch you as you were flying with Scarlet Johansson is just not working for me. 

To the Lighthouse, written by Virginia Woolf, who notoriously killed herself in kind of a cool way, has no dragons.  None.  Sure she wrote with an innovative technique, sure she captured the interior thoughts of a very dysfunctional family, but it still sucks to read. 

If you must know, the book is about a well-known philosopher father who is a straight up narcissist and his beautiful, co-dependant, busybody narcissistic mother.  They have eight kids.  Now this is where the fiction begins, I grew up the youngest of seven, I NEVER got to read a book alone with my mother and my parents never had a conversation alone between the hours of six a.m. and eleven p.m..  My family's dialog was: Dad: "Whose shoes are these? Pick up these damn things!"  Mom: "Your Dad is pulling in the driveway, clear a path through those Legos so he doesn't trip."  No interior dialogs and no exchanges with triple meanings.

One thing that is interesting about this book is that even though we learn the innermost thoughts of the mother, probably over 100 pages of her mind, minutia, and neurosis, she is summarily killed by a simple parenthetical.  Yes, beware of the parenthetical, because in this book that is where people go to die. 
(Help! I'm being suffocated by this closed parenthetical; Give me a dangling participle as a rope!...glug...glug...glug...dead.) 

Drinks: The good news is that it is set in Scotland. So drink with Scotch.  I like single malt. This is like saying you like diamonds.  Glenlivet's Nadurra is delicious and I like Balvenie too.  There is a whole lot of other Scotch that people have given me to taste but the names sound similar and I get confused.  I know just enough to know that I would read a book called To the Speyside.   

1 comment:

  1. Wasn't "to The Speyside" a song by Eddie and The Cruisers?