I spent the second day of the year reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Varying thoughts ran through my head, from the sweeping proclamations (I will never, ever get married) to the self-deprecating musings (no one’s going to kiss me the way Nick “tastes” Amy huhuhu).
And of course there’s the series of what-the-fucks and how-the-hells since Gone Girl is a crime thriller that, true to its genre, delivers the right amount of revelations that made me want to keep on reading.
The premise is simple: Amy Elliot Dunne goes missing on the day of her fifth wedding anniversary. An investigation unfolds and everything pins her husband Nick Dunne as the prime and only suspect.
I finished reading Chuck Klosterman’s Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto weeks (or months?) ago. It was interesting, although there were parts that I couldn’t fully appreciate because I wasn’t very familiar with the topic (e.g. MTV’s The Real World).
Sometimes when people go nostalgic about the 90s, I feel out of place for reasons like 1) I was literally a kid back then and was therefore too young to appreciate grunge, 2) I’m not from a rich family so those game consoles and polly pockets were unheard of by my purita promdi self, and 3) I wasn’t raised in the US or in Manila so I find some of these pop culture 90s trademark a tad too alienating. But I digress.
I read this book ‘blind.’ Aside from learning via Wikipedia that Jeanette Winterson is lesbian, I had no other knowledge about JW and her works. Consequently, I had no idea what to expect from this memoir.
Reading it, I found out that JW was adopted and had had the misfortune of having an abusive adoptive mother. This book is about her childhood for the most part — how her religious and ‘apocalyptic’ mother had shaped who she is, her sexuality, and the vantage point with which she views the world. The latter pages also explored her search for her biological mother.
And yes, the title is very intriguing. Oo nga naman.
TL;DR At best, a story like this may deserve a spot in GMA 7’s afternoon drama block but definitely not in primetime.
Joyce Maynard’s Labor Day is narrated by Henry, a 13-year old kid who lives with his depressed mother in a semi-secluded part of an American suburb. They go to a grocery store one scorching summer day, then go back home with Frank, a recently-escaped convicted murderer.
We have to suspend our disbelief. Sure, this kid and his mom, Adele, will bring a complete stranger back to their house. Of course they won’t panic the moment Frank’s “WANTED” face appears on TV and the newspapers. Frank tells them his story: he accidentally killed his cheating wife. His baby—who apparently was not biologically his—accidentally drowned because Frank’s senile mother died while giving the poor infant a bath. Frank, therefore, is not a bad person.
TL;DR Junot Diaz writes some crazy awesome immigrant lit, although his female characters are pushed to the margins of this otherwise pleasing collection of short fiction.
I meet Yunior again.
I first encountered him in Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a book I can only speak of in superlative synonyms of awesome. I’d even go ahead and say that anyone who didn’t enjoy it is either lying or being a racist (hehehe).
This time, I decided to read Diaz’s short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her. Most of the stories, except for one, is about Yunior, a Dominican Republic native who immigrated to the US as a kid. As the title suggests, the stories in this book mainly focus on capturing the experience of a relationship once it starts rolling downhill.
TL;DR It’s an interesting, tongue-in-cheek sci-fi that gets funnier and philosophical in the latter third of the book.
Let me start by saying I am not a sci-fi fan. A friend once lent me all of her Dune books but I never got past the first few chapters. I have not even watched any of the Star Wars movies in full. You may kill me now, sure.
That said, getting into Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was a bit of a struggle for me. The only reason I decided to read it was so I could get the deal about the towel reference — something about the towel being “the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” That factoid didn’t really do anything to forward the narrative. It’s just that: a factoid in the Hitchhiker universe.