Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Two books done, two ready to go

I finished listening to The Ice Queen this morning.  It just went ON and ON, bashing me over the head with its symbolism, continuing about an hour and a half past when I thought I'd reached the climax, and then tacking on a surprise revelation that felt totally unearned to me.  Should you read it/listen to it? Noooo.

I finished reading Just Kids, though, and that was just great.  My only complaint, if it is one, is that it ended too soon.  I think the book could've covered many more years of Patti and Robert's friendship.  Her choice for when to end the detailed account of their lives together in New York seemed a little arbitrary, and since I was just eating up all her detail about the scene there, I would've enjoyed more. 

I've started A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore.  It takes place in the fictional college town of Troy, Wisconsin, which I understand is pretty much Madison. (Perhaps a small clue: Moore is an English professor at UW Madison.)  The main character is a college student, freshly arrived from a small Midwest farm town.  So far her description of life in her hometown seems a little unrealistically unsophisticated.  Maybe I'm taking a little issue with it since I'm from a small Midwestern town, albeit one only an hour and fifteen minutes from Chicago (that could make a difference). 

I also checked Plastic Fantastic by Eugenie Samuel Reich out of the library.  It's nonfiction about Jan Hendrik Schon, a physicist, fooling the scientific community by faking results on experiments to easily produce transistors.  I vaguely remember when this happened, back in 2002.  I'm intrigued - not just by the tale, but by the examining of scientific culture and how such a thing can happen.

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