Monday, May 08, 2006

There is a book about New Orleans

Now for the negative. Usually I pack enough books for a plane trip that I should be able to have something to read other than the Skymall catalog. this time I was stuck with one that simply failed and another towards which I was ambivalent. At least I had Land of Laughs, which was great.

The first one is Confederacy of Dunces. It's a fish out of water scenario with a man in 1969 New Orleans who feels he should be an aristocrat in medieval times stuck in our dreadful era. He is a pain to all those around him and talks in a pedantic and annoying manner. Maybe it changed but I flipped around and the main character continued to annoy me. I'm not one of these people who has to identify with the main character in order to enjoy it. I'd rather have repellent than annoying so this wasn't for me. The story of the book and its author are interesting, so you might find this worth reading. I should note I am deeply in the minority on this one, the 808 mostly postive reviews on Amazon certainly stand against my lonely view. I take consolation in the fact that neither Melissa nor Steve could finish it.

The other book is Cloud of Sparrows, set in 1862 Japan. We have a minor Japanese lord vying power while a spymaster opposes him. There is also a group of Westerners arrived for a variety of reasons, both obvious and hidden. There is a lot to like about this one, namely the descriptions of late Tokugawa Japan. I am putting it down though, which means it is not likely to be picked back up.


Anonymous said...

I am with you on Confederacy of Dunces and have always been a bit embarrassed to admit I didn't like many friends whose opinion I respect loved that book, and it's always talked about as one of the funniest novels ever. It just didn't do anything for me and I never finished it either.

On a completely separate note, the Bird Flu is coming to nightime tv movie drama land - "The Day After" of our time?

Tripp said...

Yeah more people I know dislike than like it now, so I feel better.

The Bird Flu movie is spinning some crazy excitement in the emergency management world, I think because they think people will freak. I just got a book on SARS which should give insight into the problem of outbreak management.

Imo said...

That book was an annoying bore.

Anonymous said...

Tripp, Steve's Dad thought it was one of the best books ever and I, who grew up down there and really loved N.O. and all its characters, including the ones from the 9th Ward who are well represented in Confederacy, really thought it was boring, sad and lost. MHM