Friday, May 28, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Bloggy McBlog Blogs. That's the focus of this week's Follow Friday, which I shamefacedly stole from Twitter. These are my favorite book blogs. Admittedly, I don't read a lot of book blogs because they're either boring, not funny (re: boring), or cover material I don't read. It seems most book blogs are about young adult literature (re: Twilight knock-offs) or heaving bosoms. If you have any suggestions for book blogs you think I would enjoy, please suggest in the comments.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
I approached Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory with fear and trembling; after all, it is supposed to be the man's masterpiece. Plus, Obama likes it- therefore, it must be close to holy. (see that sarcasm thing I did there? That was good). I try to approach all supposed masterpieces that way, mostly because they end up being God awful and boring.
Greene's tale is one of a “whiskey priest” in violent, revolutionary Mexico in the 1930's. The communists have taken over and are hunting down and killing every priest in the southern state of Tabasco. Our nameless hero manages to evade capture for a decade, getting drunk and committing sins of the flesh coughcough what else is new he's a priest cough cough. His arch nemesis is another nameless man- a lieutenant in the police force who had an unspecific bad experience with the church in his childhood, and now hates it with an all-consuming focus. Though Greene presents the lieutenant as blameless, ethical, and ideological, the man takes hostages from every village where the priest goes and shoots them until someone gives details of his visit.
What I Loved
For a catch me if you can sort of novel, the pacing is pretty slow. Greene is masterful at letting tension build slowly; I actually thought of du Maurier's Rebecca while reading this. You don't even realize you're clenching your jaw until the book is over. Also, Greene is almost a Catholic Steinbeck-meets-Hemingway, with his masculinity coursing through every sentence and his sometimes nonsensical metaphors. Of course, this is a Catholic novel by a Catholic, but it doesn't have the tediousness or cynicism of Evelyn Waugh. It's an honest examination of faith under pressure, and the excesses of a church out of hand. Greene is no sheep of a Catholic. He truthfully admits the faults and inconsistencies of his denomination. There is even an interesting conversation with a German protestant, though it does smack of plot device.
What I Didn't Love Because It Sucked
If you don't know anything about Catholicism, this book will be boring and fluffy to you. Never have I read the words sin, redemption, altar, wine, shame as often. In an increasingly humanistic world, books like this are becoming less relevant (or more relevant, depending on your point of view). Greene assumes here that everyone has a crisis of faith, forgetting that some people never have any to begin with. Also, he seems to forget that sometimes, things are pretty. Everything in Greene's Mexico is dirty, sweaty, dusty, smelly, and foul. He even describes children that way. It's unnerving.
3 stars out of your mom.