Monday, January 14, 2008

Maybe its another way to measure progress

There are books that are beyond me. I mean, that's not a particularly revealing confession, but it can be discouraging when those books are ones that generations of other people won't shut up about. For example, I have never made it through anything by Dickens, which makes me wonder if the common man of his day was smarter and had a longer attention span than I do (which is not such a great feat, after all).
One book I have failed to read is One Hundred Years of Solitude. It is the most directionless novel that I know of, so my attention span proved to be an obstacle to great for the book's other virtues to overcome.
Until last month, when my second attempt ended in success. What a book. Trying to describe it would be like trying to describe what it is like to be alive: you could think up any adjective and it would apply. That is my review of One Hundred Years of Solitude: Read it. Now.
Right now I am reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. This is mostly because a friend gave it to me for Christmas but also because maybe I have matured enough to read a book by an author I gave up on while I was in High School. It was a mistake for me to read Atlas Shrugged back then. I never even made it to the part where Taggart starts using Henry Rearden's new metal for his railroad tracks. (I assume this happens, because it was about to happen when I quit reading.)
This time around Ayn is much more interesting. Even though Howard Roark is a little too god-like, I can't wait to see what sort of stunt he pulls next.


Loki said...

Garcia-Marquez is crazy to read. It is like trying follow individual threads of yarn that have been woven into a scarf. You can follow it for a while, then you find your not even on the same thread, or maybe you are, but it is coming back from the other direction and you can't find the roots or core of almost any of it. That having been said, I really like "100 years." You just have to let yourself get lost and enjoy the ride somewhere in the middle. I would love to know what else you are reading?

an illdressed foolishwise said...

In high school I bought The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner... the book mark is still stuck in page 15 where I stopped reading.. I dont know when I will be smart enough for that book.

I got 100 years for christmas. I know i need to read it. I am almsost done with the book from the bookstore, so when i am, I will start

Kevin said...

I'm not sure if my earlier comment about One Hundred Years of Solitude made it to the site. In any event, I will say it again, I'm a big Marquez fan.

Awright13 said...

Go you for re-reading stuff. I'm teach Ann sometime this semester and I'm looking forward to her. I've never read it. the 100 years stuff is amazing though. Glad you enjoyed it. If you're going to try Dickens again I suggest _Hard Times_. I consider this "Dickens Lite". I say this because it has all his usual themes without the monotony of his usual length. We must remember with Charlie that he wrote all of his pieces for a newspaper that paid him per week and per word. A lot of his stuff goes on forever. _Hard Times_, however, does justice to his intent and still leaves you time to be productive in a day.

Dear Lovey Heart said...

the fountainhead is amazing! i hope you enjoy. Also i agree with awright13 I read hadtimes last year and enjoyed it quite a bit and i don't really have an affinity for victorian novels to begin with. Happy reading.