August 11th, 2011

Update on the Co-habitational Reading Challenge

Well, Mark and I do agree that Irving is starting to rely more heavily on contrivances to make the plot work, but who cares when it is so funny? I was lagging behind in the reading, so when Mark was chortling away at my favourite scene in the book–the Christmas Pageant, of course–I wasn’t there yet and he couldn’t read to me. So when I finally got there, he made me read it to him, though he’d just read it to himself an hour before. So great, at few places I couldn’t speak, I was laughing so hard (mainly to do with the cows and donkeys). The kitten seemed to enjoy the read-aloud too; at least, he fell asleep without biting anyone, which is positive for him.

I’ve also been carrying the book around town and mentioning that we’re reading it, and reactions are always the same–everyone’s read this book, and everyone loves it. How amazing! My reading tastes aren’t avant-garde or anything, but I’m usually reading something most people haven’t heard of, or have *only* heard of but not read. It’s a rare pleasure to be able to have a fairly in-depth conversation about my current read with almost everyone.

A few people have made comments on how neatly Irving straddles the literary/commercial fiction line. One friend put it most succinctly when she said it wasn’t stressful to read, but she didn’t feel dumber afterwards. Actually, when I stop to analyze, I find the book pretty complex, especially th222222222 (kitten interference) the time structure. But as I read happily along, I’d don’t usually think about structure–I think about Owen, Johnny, Tabby and Dan, Grandmother Wheelwright, Lydia and Ethel and Germaine, and all the rest of them.

2 Responses to “Update on the Co-habitational Reading Challenge”

  • Frederique says:

    I read Irving’s A Son of the Circus about once a year and I always find 15 new things in it. Plus, he often puts in Toronto references!


  • Rebecca says:

    Would you believe I’ve only read Owen Meany and Garp?? I need to get on with this, 10 years later than most people. Ok, you rec that one, plus I hear good things about *Setting Free the Bears*…I have much to look forward to!


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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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