Eccentric Musings (jakaEM)

"I have undergone sharp discipline which has taught me wisdom; and then, I have read more than you would fancy." Emily Brontë


still figuring this place out - Jen W

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Currently reading

Friend of My Youth
Alice Munro
Progress: 115/288 pages
Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood
Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome Most of my review is in my comment, below. It was light and frothy for the most part - but his Seinfeldian digressions were more "purple prose pastoral" - an intentional affectation for character building I think, that we were not to take too seriously. Then again, what were we to make of these digressions overall? They often seemed to have an edge to them (again, a la Seinfeld) of meanness or - more generously - social satire. That's how I took, for example, the scene when they came upon the suicide. Unlike the others, that digression seemed to bear a weight that was in some ways out of place in this overall light-hearted and insubstantial novel.

I'll say too, that the tropes of work avoidance and Montmorency's one-note characterization as a fighter not a lover were getting a bit tired toward the end. That said, the novel ended just when it should have - it was neither too short nor too long. Which is - overall - the reader's advisory I'd give for it: light, generally farcical, and nostalgic with a quick enough pace and occasional dips into seriousness that will keep you interested, if what you are interested in is a diversion or respite from heavier or more serious tomes. A palate cleanser, I think, in the style of The Uncommon Reader. Recommended for those who like that book and Seinfeld and the literary territory that they mutually occupy.