Dan is one of the most believable flawed characters that I’ve read in sometime. His struggle with alcohol, his early days in AA, and then his acceptance of the program all ring true and reveal, along the way, many facets of his character. Dan’s trajectory–his deepening sobriety and its fruits–is the reverse of Rose the Hat’s. Her increasing lust for the quality steam she could get from Abra causes her to make irrational decisions, allows her anger to control her, and drives her ever closer to her own bottom. Brilliant.
If you want to read a review, try this one by Margaret Atwood.
Tif Talks Books and Charleen at Cheap Thrills have been hosting a read-along for Doctor Sleep appropriately called Sleep Along (#sleepalong on Twitter). Between packing up my house, trying to buy a new one in another part of the county, and wrapping up two jobs, I don’t have the space left in my brain to participate in the event, but I look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts post-event.
Some of my favorite quotes:
–“Once upon a time Dan had promised himself he’d never get going with that habit, either. He had come
to believe that life was a series of ironic ambushes.” [Habits referring to his dad’s drinking and his mom’s smoking.]
–“Drinking was undoubtedly a part of it, but when you were down, some guys just seemed to feel an urge to walk up your back and plant a foot on your neck instead of helping you to stand. It was lousy, but so much of human nature was.”
–“The mind was a blackboard. Booze was the eraser.” [By far my favorite quote.]
–“‘What’s your favorite hymn?’ Dan asked [a woman who swears a lot]. ‘What a Fucking Friend We Have in Jesus’?”
–“Dan did not reply to this. If he told her [Abra] he had found his own first taste horrible, that he had also believed there was no big deal, no precious secret, she would have dismissed it as windy adult bullshit. You could not moralize children out of growing up. Or teach them how to do it.”
–Not a quote, but I love that he jabs Anne Lamont and Phil Caputo. Rube names of Apron Annie and Dirty Phil. LOL.
- A. Scott Berg’s Wilson: I put it aside to start Doctor Sleep and need to get back to it.
- Stuart Dybek’s I Sailed with Magellan: great short stories, but as often happens with short story collections I needed to take a break from it because the stories are intense. Will get back to it. Earlier this year I read William Stryon’s A Tidewater Morning and Flannery O’Connor’s Everything that Rises Must Converge, two powerful short story collections that I feel the need to reread before attempting to write about them. Powerful stuff.
- Carolyn Heilbrun’s Writing a Woman’s Life: I read this one years ago and when I was packing up my books it called to me for another reading. I feel like a bad feminist because while reading this an idea came to mind for a new story–one about a man’s life of adventure. Oops! But its just in time for NaNoWriMo.
- Roy Peter Clark’s How to Write Short: it caught my eye at the library. Short chapters, little nuggets full of powerful thoughts and motivation.
- JJ Marsh’s Tread Softly: a review copy of a mystery that I just started. The transitions are a bit confusing at times, but the story is engaging.
What’s going on in your reading life?