I am here. I feel boring today. Not really much to say. I finished Blue Angel. I reallly enjoyed the book. When I was discussing it with Toby yesterday (I won’t say what I was discussing as it will completely ruin the story) he said,
Sounds like good writing. If you go back and forth on how you feel about the main character so much.
I can’t really say much more without giving away crucial details in the plot and (assuming that someone else might read it) I will just shut up. I began reading Moody last night. We’ll see how that goes. :)
Recently, I have also been in contact with a friend of mine I haven’t seen or spoken with in years. And it seemed the more time that went by the harder it was to break the ice. On Friday, after a small shove from Toby, I called her and left my number and email. And it’s been great speaking with her again. She still has a great sense of humor and she’s still very much the consistant, pleasant person I remember from back then. It’s really done a lot for my mood the past few days. When you find you don’t really have much of a past outside of family and your head it starts to make you feel as if you’re floating—you may even begin to wonder if it was all true or if you remember it all wrong. So, this has given me smiles as of late. And I really like that.
I’m sure I’ll write more about this in days to come.
i took your rec and got blue angel. i finished it recently.
it was good, huh? i was kind of taken aback by it for some stupid reason, but i still really liked it. it, to me, was extremely well-written. again, i would say more but ? if anyone else is reading it….
well, now i REALLY want to talk about it.
i did find flaws with it. At times I felt it went on and on and at times I was annoyed with what he was doing. Thinking he was crazy and shit. But then towards the end i was sort of feeling totally for him. And I spent a lot of time last night taking it apart in my head trying to figure out what I may have missed etc. but overall I liked it.
Now I want to talk…
I just reread that bit and it made very little sense. :/ Damn.
no, i was with you there. it made just enough sense.
i saw flaws too- i spent a lot of time flipping back and forth- but i think ultimately (esp. w/ some of the stuff that happened at the very end) i really did feel for him-
are you on Y!IM or just AIM?
I am only on AIM but am always looking for new ways to blow off work. :)
what’s this you speak of?
Or we could just ruin it for others. I don’t have that many visitors.
what to do?
either way…Y!IM is just Yahoo IM, i am kind of IM retarded….either way is fine by me…
blowing off work=good, regardless of which IM is used, ha-ha. just let me know- if AIM is easier, than i shall download it.
and i am also reading retarded, yes, we could just ruin it for other people. i agree, or even concur.
So was it planned? By either party? Her? Him?
I saw the end as some kind of existential thing. Which sort of annoyed me and sort of appealed to me. It was like that scene at the end of The Stranger when he’s in jail, waiting to die and he looks out the window and realizes how beautiful it all is. Not sure if you read it, but this was a lot of the same. His entire life comes down around him. All of it. All because of some PC bullshit at a small College in Vermont over some girl who’s just nuts and he suddenly realizes even after all of this how beautiful and naive everyone (and him) will always be.
not rambling- that was coherent.
the thing about his daughter- at the very end- accusing him- really shocked me. i have been thinking about it since then. was he actually this sexual predator, and since we were seeing thru his eyes we were lulled into thinkig it was orchastrated by the conniving women around him?
or was he actually a fairly decent guy who made a bad decision and got screwed? and his daughter was a little nuts?
the daughter thing really did throw me. i also wasn’t big on the way it finished up- the little blurb about his new life- made me feel like maybe he WAS this shitty guy, that his old life could be so easily discarded (altho not really, right, because he was so distraught over the xmas season? but he did go and rent blue angel, i feel like he held onto his obsession w. angela).
o, and you know what else got me? 2 things
1 angela having heard the story of how he and his wife met and incorporting it into eggs and #2 the fact that she called him mr. renault (or whatever the teacher in her book’s name was).
i went back and forth between pity and disgust. for both swenson and angela, i guess.
did that make any sense?? and kindly disregard my god awful spelling, i apologize in advance…
Totally made sense, and actually I think I can say I was with you on most all of your statements.
I wonder if there is any critical explanation of the novel or any previous discussion. Maybe I should peruse the online world and check it out, perhaps I did miss something. (Incidentally this is what I miss most about school—group discussion).
And I have to say, your first idea about him actually being a sexual predator had never occurred to me. Now I need to mull over this for a bit longer as that would change a lot.
I (until now) just thought that Matt made it up to “get him back” for a). messing around with Ruby and his relationship and b). fucking his girlfriend. But who’s to say? After what you said, I need to toy with that idea again.
Then again, his turning down Magda was probably brought up for credibility in the beginning, so the reader doesn’t think of him as a ‘typical guy’ but instead realizes what the PC crap can do to (what normally is) and great teacher and a decent guy who made BIG mistake. Ugh. I go back and forth. Again.
I HATE infidelity, so bringing that to the book made me fairly biased, yet I still (in the end) felt bad for the guy as everyone began to rip his world apart. I guess that’s what I meant by “great writing” to gain my forgiveness for cheating is quite a feat. :) (Not sure why I just said all that).
yes- especially w. ruby and matt making that up to get back at swenson- seems much more likely. i agree that he and magda’s noninvolvment was used to validate him. i also hate infidelty- so i was torn- feeling sympathy for him and feeling disgusted w. him- not able to control himself- supposed to be the adult here. i think it WAS great writing- to make people feel for him- while he was doing such a slimy thing. i go back and forth as to whether angela planned it from the beginning or saw the opportunity present itself and took advantage of it. i almost feel like it was planned- but what a weird thing- i’m not sure there. i also feel like i missed something. some of the parallels between angela and ruby really bothered me thou (1 reason that i had maybe less sympathy for swenson), especially when he went right ahead and compared them- with no shame- that got me.
His comparing Ruby to Angela was just odd. Unless, of course, he was trying to get out of this life he had for so long. If he was trying to bring it down, this was a perfect way of doing so. But who knows.
It’s sort of interesting it was written by a woman. Didn’t you think so?
yeah, i did. i guess it seemed to go with what most guys appear to be like- i (fortunately) am not aware of the sexual longings and views on life of 58 yr olds.
it was interesting, actually, cause right after i read blue angel i read how to be good, by nick hornby, which was from the point of view of a woman, and was also pretty well done.
i never really know what to think about books written by women from male povs nad vice versa. sometimes i wonder if it is an outlet for the author- depending on how they feel about the opposite sex, of course. i was pretty amused by all the anti-pc stuff in blue angel. i was also interested in the way the professors looked at their students- having just got out of college- it kind of caught my attention. working at a school now, i am always surprised at how much it seems that professors just flat out don’t like the students. the impression i got from blue angel was more of a feeling of wearniness, apathy. but then again, i only took one creative writing class in college, adn it wasn’t like the one described in blue angel. certainly no one wrote about sex with dead animals (great google results for you there, sorry) or anything like that. workshopping naything would have been impossible, because everything was clearly, painfully autobiographical. um, i forget where i was going with that…..yeah.
I read “How to be Good” (reco via Freakgirl) I really liked that as well.
We should ruin that for folks now. :) I liked that one more so than “Blue Angel” but they were both worth my time unlike that other book. :)
resa, what are you going to read next? We could keep this thing up, that way if something doesn’t make sense, I can bug you about it. :)
i don’t know what to read next. i am totally totally open to suggestions. or i could reread something i have read before. that woudl also be fine. i am so sad, because i had a couple of really really good friends in amherst who i used to trade recs for books with and now we are far away and i have nothing to read. well, ok, not really, but still it seems as thou i have nothing to read. :)
did you have a plan already for your next book? cause if so, i can just copy you, like i did w. blue angel.
how to be good was kind of weird. i keep grabbing it and opening it to random places and reading. i really fell like i missed something with that book, i think because it feels so unresolved. or it did to me.
yeah, i really fell. fell=feel.
but sadly, i was actually going for “felt”
I’d like to welcome all you newcomers to Mihow’s book club. Care to offer a sugestion for next week’s read.
:: Takes off reading glasses and comforter, goes to kitchen for glass of warm milk.
:: Takes off reading glasses and comforter, goes to kitchen for glass of warm milk.
Warm milk? Don’t you have some trouble washing down a dozen donuts with warm milk?
resa, I have Moody’s “Demonology” next. But I prefer novels for my weekends and this one is a book of short stories. I am heading to the bookstore this evening to get another.
Anyone? Ideas? ANYONE?!!!
ha ha ha
I was thinking about As I lay Dying (as i have never read it). But I’m not sure the summer should be filled with something so heavy. For reasons unknown to me, it seems more of a winter read.
whatever that means.
Warm milk helps you sleep. MMMMMMMmmmmmm Donuts!
reading helps put people to sleep. tv is where it’s at.
michele- if nothing else, there is always cat’s eye….
by now i have totally lost sight of why i am pushing it so much, i just am on reflex.:)
and i would be more than happy to read it again.
and tobyjoe, tv is still where it is at. (2 turntables, microphone. an automatic response to the the phrase “where it’s at”) i would be so sad without it. books AND tv. yay!
i burn books to fuel the power generator for my tv.