I haven’t been excited enough to write much about the last few books I’ve read (except Lullabies for Little Criminals—LOVED it. Review coming soon). But here are some quick thoughts:
The End of the Alphabet
On his fiftieth birthday, Ambrose Zephyr is given a month to live. He and his wife, Zipper, embark on a trip around the world to all the places Ambrose wants to see, from A to Z.
This was a short, sweet little read, that’s beautifully packaged.
Barbara Gowdy’s latest is well-written and provocative. The story, about the abduction of a young girl, is told from various perspectives: Rachel, the 9-year-old victim; Rachel’s single mother, Celia; Nancy, the abductor’s girlfriend; Ron, the child abductor. I really didn’t enjoy the novel—I was uncomfortable with Gowdy’s empathy towards Ron. And I found the conclusion a little unbelievable.
Have any of you read it? What did you think?
The End of East
The End of East is Jen Sookfong Lee’s first novel. Set in Vancouver’s Chinatown, Sammy Chan returns home from Montreal to care for her aging mother. There she pieces together her family’s history in Canada, going back to her grandfather, Seid Quan, the first to emigrate to Canada.
This is an interesting multi-generational immigration tale, particularly the story of Sammy’s mother, battling post-partum depression while living in a strange country with a domineering mother-in-law. The prose is often powerful, but I felt most of the characters weren’t very well developed, especially Sammy’s. Overall, I was disappointed.
As for what I’m watching, we saw Babel this week (it took us two nights to watch it, it’s so frickin’ long). I’m kind of ambivalent about it. It was well-acted. I liked the individual stories—they were compelling and fairly well-paced. But the sum isn’t as good as the parts—it didn’t really come together for me. I think he’s saying something about how we’re all connected and we all make bad decision that have far-reaching consequences, blah, blah, blah. But it just seemed banal. The director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, is also behind 21 Grams, which I think was a far better film.
What did you guys think of Babel?
I saw the stage production of Edward Scissorhands. I really enjoyed it. One of our new Mommy Blogs Toronto contributors, Mama Drama, has written an excellent review of the show, here.
I made the most wonderful discovery at the show. Did you know you can order your intermission drinks in advance?! This is the best thing ever. You no longer have to choose between peeing and drinking. You order and pay before the show starts. Then, at intermission, you can make a beeline for the bathroom, and when you’re done, your drink is there waiting for you. That rocks.
Last night we watched Stranger Than Fiction. Loved it. Very clever.
I really want to get out to see Grindhouse this weekend, but I'm so pressed for time. Has anyone seen it yet?