Tuesday, April 15, 2008

books and books.

A while ago, my friend Bviz recommended the book "The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." Even though I was still in my financial book reading kick, being the nerd that I am, I ordered it and started reading it upon arrival.

I read 19 pages and I didn't like it.
I went back to Suze Orman and her infinite financial wisdom.

Months later Mr. Junot Diaz wins the Pulitzer for "The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao."

Well, despite the fact that I kinda sorta hoped that sooner or later I would be the first Dominican writer to ever win a Pulitzer (that has always been the Oscar I give thanks for in the shower using a shampoo bottle), I was super proud that I can speak of a contemporary mainstream hero of the land of my forefathers, who is not a baseball player.

I even came home and picked up the book again.

After carrying it around in my bag for like a week, I finally started reading it again. The problem is that- again- I don't like it. And again, I am stuck in page 19 though this time I am trying to read more like a scholar than a regular Jane who just wants to read.

I feel guilty for not liking it. It makes me feel like I have bad taste and I DO NOT HAVE BAD TASTE (except when it comes to men apparently). It also makes me feel like I'm being condescending to someone who deserves my respect. I should boast about this book like I did of Mr. Diaz's feat of winning the prize.

Once I am done here, I am going to go and read some more.
I hope it grows on me...


PS- I hope you filed your taxes!

1 comment:

Gabemaster said...

Don't feel guilty, I think is perfectly fine not to like something that is considered "great" by the standards of our society. You actually have more patience than I do. When it comes to books and movies 10 is my magic number. By page 10 of a book I generally know if I am interested enough to continue until the end.
The same goes for the 10 minute mark of any movie, by then I usually know if I will like it or not. All that, is regardless of what book reviews or movie critics say. In the end I don't think there is such a thing as good or bad taste for anything. Strawberry ice cream will always taste better than chocolate, even if I'm the last person in the world who believes so.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...that also applies to literature. I have no doubt Junot Diaz deserves the Pulitzer and all the recognition that comes with it. But when the day comes that I pick up his book I will expect see some beauty within those first 10 pages.

If I don't like it I won't feel guilty. And neither should you, especially when you are not being shown some beauty within those 19 pages.