Nov 21, 2009

2 for 1 review

     I started this entry about 5 days ago.  And I just deleted the single sentence I had written.  It's one of those days/weeks/weekends/months/etc.  On the book front I am doing great though.  Two more books off the list: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Stepford Wives.  As someone who was raised on the Gene Wilder movie and (unlike most people) enjoy the Depp version, reading Charlie was a bit of a wake-up call.  If you've ever read any of Dahl's works then you should know there's a deeply set belief in justice to a character based on who they are and how they act.  Mr. Wonka is in no way, shape, or form malevolent.  He is just a kookie old man who constantly gets befuddled when trying to deal with the children.  He is a bit obstinate, still acting partially deaf but it comes out at childish.  He genuinely cares for them but constantly claims that everything "will come out in the wash".  What that entirely means I don't know but I do know that Wonka is no longer holds a bit of a mad scientist air and instead falls under the absent-minded professor genre of genius.

     The other book, The Stepford Wives is actually written by the same author as Rosemary's Baby and if you've seen the movies you can start to guess the similarities.  There's a proactive female main character, a false and a true (deeper) conspiracy.  Also, there is no definite ending.  Sounds great.  Woo.  It was a short read, 123 pages, and should only take a few hours.  Definitely worth it but really, not a keeper.  I do want to read the other books by Ira Levin just to see if they also follow his pattern.  Also, according to the introduction by Peter Straub this is actually a satire, which I can also see.  The male reaction to feminism and gender equality illuminates that deep in the mind of men women are just inconvenient lower beings good for fantasizing and servitude.  The oddest part is that the main character's husband goes through the entire process from loving a real woman with, we can only assume, normal desires and regrets to idealizing and segregating the woman into an inconsequential and minor role in life.  Also they never explain if they kill the women or what so maybe there is more to the story.  I want to read a few critiques about the whole idea but at the moment I only know what Straub told me. 

     On the list coming up is Dahl's autobiography Boy: Tales of Childhood, which is a children's book as well and Primo Levi's The Periodic Table, which is a series of short stories written by a Jewish Chemist who survived Auschwitz.  So far it is just as good as I suspected it would be.
     I will update tomorrow if I have time about real life and my non-book projects but otherwise I expect to be detained by Retail Hell starting tomorrow and lasting until New Year's.

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