Wednesday, October 6th, 2004
My attempt to re-read J.R. is now officially interrupted -- I did not get even as far into it as I did on the first reading of it. And let me say this about that book: it is beautifully written and often uproariously funny; but the plot is way too dense for my puny understanding to encompass. But. I will read it again in a few years and perhaps everything will fall into place.
The agent of disruption here is Philip Roth's new novel, The Plot Against America. I have been seeing articles about this for a while now and thinking, it sounds like an interesting premise; then there was a long review in Sunday's Times Book Review that really intrigued me; and whaddaya know, Monday afternoon found me in Coliseum Books handing the clerk my money.
And it's an interesting book, so far (about a quarter of the way through). Very readable and engaging, though I was thinking this afternoon the scenes move kind of predictably -- like I can see Roth setting up the scene and deciding what is going to happen in it. This is the first book I have read by Roth since I was in college, indeed since I was in my first year of college, when I read Portnoy's Complaint, Our Gang, and (I believe) Goodbye, Columbus.
Friday, October 8th, 2004
The Plot Against America becomes totally mesmerizing and difficult to put down, about half way through. Also it loses the annoying quality of predictability that I was complaining about last time.
Saturday, October 9th, 2004
Finished The Plot Against America -- what a page-turner! It's been a while since I found myself drawn so strongly back to the book every time I put it down -- all day today I've been either reading it or intending to read it while I do something else. Next on my list is Moominpappa at Sea.
I made pumpkin pie today, from the recipe in Sundays at the Moosewood, and it came out very well.
Monday, October 11th, 2004
We ate the rest of the pumpkin pie at the guitar jam yesterday, everyone liked it, especially Bob. I mentioned The Plot Against America to Janis, who grew up in Newark; turns out she grew up in the Weequahic section, and her mother was in high school with Philip Roth! (And to answer a question that I had while reading the book, it's pronounced "WEEK-wa'ək".)
Thursday, January 27th, 2005
Hey, anyone want to talk about Roth? I'm reading American Pastoral right now and really enjoying it.
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Check out Ellen's writing at Patch.com.