Saturday, June 4, 2016

Questions of Travel

Chosen because it was a Miles Franklin Award winner... you can bloody well bet I would not have picked it up on my own!  It is a challenge for me to read popular or modern fiction unless it has some element that makes it interesting for me (fantasy, etc.).  Not that I can't read it... I actually have two authors that I buy everything of;  Sandra Dallas and Fannie Flagg.  Both author's books have some pretty awful stuff happen in them but you always get something from each story as well as a restoration of faith in human kindness.  Or Miriam Toews' All My Puny Sorrows, it hurt to read that, but I did gain something important from the experience.
  It is just so much easier to read historical fiction because it is a reality far removed from mine, and I'm not crazy about all the sex, sordidness, misery and violence that seem to be so prevalent in some modern books.  I have a big problem with works that have absolutely no point to them.  I can  manage to read some truly awful stories and appreciate the effort put in to write them, like Voss for example, a truly awful human being whom Patrick White wrote quite beautifully about (he does seem to do that really well!).  
This book isn't beautiful and frankly, it was pointless.  I slogged through it, not really caring about these characters, not realizing where the author was taking me, until the very last page.  Obviously I didn't know what was important to this author, so when the finale came I was flabbergasted.  Actually my very first thought was "Well f**k me, I didn't see that coming!"  My next feeling was anger. Anger because of where the author led me, incredulous even that this is what she was working up to.  I've read something like this before when the topic was actually very insensitive and disrespectful of the real people who lived through the original ordeal.  Without giving away anything I can say that I read a real life account of this specific incident  on the last page, and I cried a great deal because the woman who wrote it was raw with pain and grief.
Maybe, at some future time in my life I might appreciate this author, but not right now!

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