Linkateria is actually probably more interesting than this today.
What have I been reading and watching? Nothing that I can't complain about!
On Beauty, by Zadie Smith
Yes, she is a good writer. Damned beautiful to boot. But why, oh why, was this book more stuffed with coincidences than Repo Man? The son falls in love with a girl who just happens to be the main character's biggest rival, who just happens to cross the pond to teach at the same liberal arts college as the main character, who just happens to have a wife who makes fast friends with the eccentric wife of the rival who...oh it goes on. And on. And in the end? I did not care a bit.
The Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen Carter
This is a mystery in an academic setting that would have rocked my socks at 350 pages. At 650, I was weary and pissed off by the end. After 450 pages, I just kept reading out of sheer cussed determination to finish the damn thing, as if it were a charity marathon or something. It also has an extremely unlikeable protagonist whose assholeness is surpassed only by his wife's bitchitude.
White Noise by Don DeLillo
I know, I know, a Modern Classic. Winner of every award that could have possibly been thrown at it. Taught in college literature classes.
This was my first DeLillo, and I could tell from reading it that he is a great writer. His use of language is clever and interesting. His characters seem quirky and real. That does not, however, mean I liked it. I could have seen myself being blown away by it when it was published in 1985, when sarcasm and ennui and befuddlement with modern life were all the rage. Now it seems a little dated, faded, past its prime.
It is quite prescient. The main character is the chair of Hitler studies at a university. In 1985, that was probably jaw-dropping and shocking. But we live in a world where a college professor proclaimed the 9/11 victims "Little Eichmanns," so maybe DeLillo's main crime is that he didn't go far enough.
And to switch mediums: Entourage on DVD.
Just because I don't have a TV doesn't mean I can't WATCH TV. I finally started watching the first half of the first season of the HBO show "Entourage" this weekend. Basically it is "Sex in the City" for Hollywood boys.
It is well-written, interesting, has some great characters, especially the agent. All men. While "Sex in the City" was driven by the female characters, at least there were some interesting guys thrown in the mix. Not so much with Entourage. With the exception of the small part of Vince the Star's publicist, every woman in the show is a throw-away part played by a Gorgeous Young Thing.
The boys live in a world made by men, for men, where women exist to be beautiful and disposable (at least in the first half of the first season). I would have found the show a lot more interesting if there were some stronger women characters.
Ok, your turn. Read anything good lately?