29 May 2008


I lied. I finished Twilight yesterday morning before leaving for work, and I'm not reading Anna Karenina. I picked up The Good Fairies of New York again. It's still fairly flat, but I'll finish with it tonight or tomorrow.

It's not even the story that I find flat. The plot is good, the character ideas are good. But the execution is wrong. It sometimes reads like a daily comic, minus graphics. Very choppy and not enough imagery by far. The characters' manners of speaking are also awkward and not very naturalistic. I feel like I know what Millar is trying to do with it--minimalism akin to the telling of classic fairy tales--but I just don't think it works, not when your characters are not recognisable archetypes.

Following Twilight with this is making me feel like a very fussy reader. I think I'll try to get through Part Two of Anna when I'm done with Good Fairies. But Anna is a lot like a soap opera, without the satisfaction of steamy sex or over the top violent and melodramatic moments. I think the suspicion of this very thing is why I've been avoiding Tolstoy all these years.

I also added Dickens' The Pickwick Papers to my Summer Reading List. I might regret that decision eventually too.

My book-per-week plan should be back on track by the end of June if I keep tossing a couple of shorter novels between Parts of Anna Karenina. I think Funke's Inkspell and Pratchett's Sourcery are two good candidates for my next Anna-break.

Netflix sent me Stage Beauty, largely to do with English theatre in the late seventeenth century and focusing particularly on Edward Kynaston, one of the last male leading ladies before Charles II outlawed men in women's parts. I enjoyed it very much. Billy Crudup has a remarkably angular face, and, yes, is a very pretty man--though, in my opinion, much better-looking as a man than, as the movie seems to suggest at times, a woman. The half-hour long behind-the-scenes bonus feature was interesting. Tom Hollander's good-natured griping about Billy Crudup--excellent.

I was also supposed to get Stealing Beauty, but that didn't arrive. And they emailed me last night to say that Tron is being sent from New Brunswick, so there's no knowing how long that will take to get here.

The Lost finale is this evening, but I don't know whether to be excited or wary. I don't see how this season can end well.

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