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SkinnyDippingIntoBooks

Skinny Dipping Into Books

I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea.  and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.

 

I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,


Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.


time spent in that before bed reading slot:

5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago  2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.


How are common themes handled?

5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power  4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates  1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.

Where would you keep it post-reading?

5-Next to my bed.  4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.


Emotional response-

5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry.
3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 
2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.

Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):

5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy

Currently reading

The Complete Stories
Flannery O'Connor
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
Alissa Nutting, Alissa Nutting

Suffer the Me

Suffer the children - Craig DiLouie (

Many books, set in the concrete gooeyness  of other books of the same subject matter and genre try endlessly to avoid the stereotypical. They try clever, and often successful tactics as an attempt to avoid the mundane. The successes are plentiful. This one unfortunately stumbles, falls, and claws, bleeding, at, of all things HBO series.

The premise is simple, and twisted, and very original compared to other vampire novels. A disease descends across the world, grounding children below the age of adolescence to a halt. All cognitive abilities are stripped away, and without the assistance of others they will continue to decay and eventually liquify. Blood is needed for survival, but these elements are fabricated with an interesting take of vampire themed novels.

This is where the struggle for humanity takes up, and challenges parents to a game of their values, ethics and morals against the innate instinct to support their children's' life. What, and how will they obtain blood that is essential for reviving the children. How far will they go to endanger themselves and others in order to sustain—for one ridiculously small single hour—to hold, hug, and play legos with their once joyful Anne. To what extent will they embrace the the good ole times of drawing photos, dressing their children, and feeding them—and by a large extent getting poorer and poorer because these little vampire monsters.

It's an interesting concept, one that will attract and shock many readers. The book clearly, and slowly creeps into your psyche challenging your own worldview. It does this with a mastery not often found in horror fiction. In this way it is successful, and startlingly accurate. One can only assume that this is what will happen. Life will crush under the demand of these children. Businesses start to crumble, as the foundation (workers and demand) attend to their own personal and family obligations. Who has time to venture out to file papers, clean toilets, meet with investors, etc if they can only get a few hours with their children.

The author illustrated immense skill as he depicts how this behavior is the final straw for an economy, already weakened by an increase demand for oil, food, and well, the lack of needing children's toys.

But then it falters, and not in one or two ways, but a handful.

It borrows from already established shows and literature. The development of an alternative blood source echoes the widespread use of True Blood in the show True Blood. It borrows, in large gulps, from World War Z—to the extent that if I detail it it would gives away a large portion of the book. Lets just say that the sickness spreads in a similar way, reflecting the current situation that our little friends in the Walking Dead find themselves in season 3.

Then there was the lengthy, stagnate high school biology lessons. These portions weren't spread out across the book, but lumped together in paragraph after paragraph of sleep inducing long winded portions especially towards the end. Not only that, but David's friend Ben runs through chapter and chapter like a child in the Easter candy aisle. His role, as far as I am concerned was to elucidate on the scientific elements of the novel, which would have been a-ok if done in a skillful, quite manner. He served little function.

The narrative was scream inducing. Characters verbal expressions, particularly those of the children were dry, and for once in my life I'll use the comment that 'I failed to connect to any of the characters'. It wasn't that they were similar in content, but they were similar in their delivery, and this mending of verbal trends gave the appearance that they were in fact the same.

The children talked in a manner that was painfully unusual for their age. There were a few teenagers that managed express themselves in a developmentally accurate way. The younger children, however, had advanced cognitive processing that seeped into their portions of the narrative.

And finally the setup. The chapters are divided into sections—mostly David, Joan, Doug and Romona). For the first half up until the middle of the novel I didn't have a problem with this. It grew tiresome, however, when the narrative remained stagnate, and the emotional content felt flat. Sure people were angry, sad, and, well just pissed off, but it was so flat. Then we have some of the child victims take over whole chapters. Again, the narrative and cognitive processing was so inaccurate that it challenged my motivation to continue.

Now, I believe that this novel will connect with parents. Maybe you need to have children to really understand the motivations of the parents and maybe your children are super smart. You will possibly identify with struggling with your survival with that of your children. Some of you would most likely draw lines, while others will push forward totally dismissing the limitations of your bodies. You will most likely gravitate to the content, and feel little need to focus on the narrative. Good luck with that.