Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 2012 Book List

This year I'm keeping track of what I read in Microsoft OpenNote -- along with what movies I've watched, recipes I've tried, and things I want to do/completed.  Being this organized does not come naturally, but because of my poor memory (and other issues) I have a hard time even remembering what I did last week.

Which is why I've decided to start writing on here again -- sort of to keep track of what I liked, what I didn't, and to help me actually do some writing.

First off -- I know I read in a very limited range.  Mostly children's literature.  But I'm trying to branch out.  Bear with me.

The first book I read this year was a new book that made me laugh as soon as I read the title:  "Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story" by Adam Rex.

Unfortunately, reading the book was akin to my experience with indie movies.  The first half is fantastic - brilliant, witty, original, unique, fresh, etc.  Then comes the second half, when there isn't enough action, in the writer's mind (or something) to keep hold of the viewer/reader attention.  So they bring in something sexual, something disturbing, something that doesn't really jive with the rest of the story.

The first half of "Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story" should be a movie.  It is fantastic -- the story of a fat nerd who becomes a vampire and has to come to grips with being a heavy fifteen-year-old for life.  He's got a friend, he's learning to turn into a bat, and he doesn't like the idea of sucking on anyone but a hot girl.  It's a riot.

But then comes the gross part.  And I'm not going to say anything other than that it was mostly unexpected and it probably hit a little too close to home for me.

And as for the ending?

I have no clue what the ending means or even what happens.  I tried re-reading it a few times and could not wrap my mind around it.  Which does not mean that the author dropped the ball -- it simply means I am not used to deciphering postmodern work.

As a beginner writer, I'm not very fond of critiquing those who have actually published work.  I can only say that I disliked it and try to figure out why.

Most of the time, I don't see the need for disturbing sexual situations.  There could be a redeeming theme, but that was not present in "Fat Vampire".  It didn't even make a case for whether it was good or bad.  It did serve as a catalyst for the main character to make some decisions, but even then there was an ambiguous quality about the entire situation.

I don't like ambiguity.  I'm all for a grey area (since there are things in life that are very grey), but when there are no truths to hold onto...well, I can't see the reason to do anything good if there's no reason other than that it's "good to do."  The logic in my brain cannot make sense of that system.

I don't know why I keep reading/viewing postmodern works.  I get disappointed almost every time.

But if you ever want to read the first half of a book, "Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story" is incredibly fun.

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