for those who are in or around sane

Monday, July 6

may & june books

cuz again, i'm lazy. or embarrassed. whichever - i only read two books in two months. i blame the weather and my travels (again). driving to and from lo's wedding in el norte, mn gave me plenty of time to get through an audiobook. it also made sure my eyes couldnt focus close-up for a good long time so i indulged in more mad men instead of finishing a tome i was given for my bday. ohhhh i loathe pete campbell!!!! the worm!

island of the sequined love nun - christopher moore
oh how i enjoy the chris moore books. folly, booze, sex and cannibalism. does it get better than that? tucker case stumbled into an easy life as a hopeless geek trapped in a good-looking guy's body. he manages to eff up his job as a private pilot (of a pink lear jet), almost castrate himself and in the process, manage to completely ruin his career. how better to redeem himself than to take a sketchy private piloting job for a mysterious missionary doctor on a barely-inhabited island in the pacific ocean? booze, island women and a brand-new lear 45 to boot!

he realizes things may not be as they seem when he wakes hanging upside-down from a coconut tree with a cannibal drooling at his side; his inept navigator - transvestite and friend of bats, kimi - unconscious beside him. the island of tuck's current fate is inhabited by the shark people - indigenous folk who are just insane enough (from massive amounts of coconut liquor) to survive off catching sharks, by hand, in the shallow reef. a reasonable substitute for cannibalism, no?

tuck is rescued when the tribe's leader has a dream in which their "god" - vincent bennidetti, u.s. air force, deceased bomber pilot tells him where to find the half-drowned man and his navigator. the shark people hand tuck over to the missionary and his hottie donna reed-style wife. after nursing tuck to health, tuck slowly begins to see the farce the "missionary" and his bi-polar sexpot companion are getting away with.

does any of this make sense? good lord of course not! it's chris moore at his best - ridiculous plot twists and turns, lots of alcoholism, sex and bits of psychoanalysis and actual history mingle together to create a riot of a story. i had a ton of fun reading this one on the ny subway system - it's the perfect short-chapter book for quick peeks and long laughs.

the plague of doves - louise erdrich
on the exact opposite end of the spectrum from moore we have erdrich. this was a wonderful rolling, multi-tiered story surrounding the native american town of pluto, nd. erdrich weaves together the generations inhabiting this area. at first each story seems complete and separate, but subtly and slowly the reader is escorted to the next story which has directly influenced the first and will continue to influence those to come.

i really dont want to say more about this book because it was such a pleasant surprise. each person's point of view we focus on is a separate short story. but the way erdrich weaves them together so effortlessly into a complete novel is a gentle, eye-opening, humorous and bittersweet experience. so i wont get into the details, but i will encourage all of my followers to pick this one up - audiobook or paper, it will be a rewarding experience.



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