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text 2017-07-22 23:41
#24in48 Read-a-thon Check In #3
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever - Jeff Kinney
A Sultry Love Song (The Gentlemen of Queen City) - Kianna Alexander

Stopping for the night at 8 hours and 33 minutes. 30 of those minutes were used to read aloud to the kids (3 picture books and 22 pages of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever). After the kids were in bed I started A Sultry Love Song by Kianna Alexander and currently stand at 53% done.

 

Now I just need some sleep. Tomorrow more reading and grocery shopping is on the agenda.

 

Good night and for those about to pull an all-nighter, we salute you.

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text 2017-07-13 18:29
Reading progress update: I've read 83 out of 355 pages.
A Writer's Diary - Virginia Woolf,Leonard Woolf

It's fascinating to read Woolf's reports on how her books were doing in terms of numbers sold and reviews (especially negative ones) when we know how esteemed they became and how they continue to sell. Time always tells.

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review 2017-06-04 00:14
Edith's Diary
Edith's Diary - Patricia Highsmith

His mother was fighting a losing battle, Cliffie thought, because she was trying to fight the majority. The majority wasn’t even fighting back, it was just indifferent.

Oh, gadz, I wanted to hit most of the characters in this story. Repeatedly. With a shovel. Not only was this story of the suburban dream more of a nightmare, but Highsmith's detailed character description made the characters come to life more than I cared for.

 

Edith is looking forward to the prospect of moving from New York to Brunswick Corner,  a small town in Pennsylvania, where she hopes to settle with her husband and son into a calmer more wholesome life. But soon the suburban dream falls apart as the model family shows cracks:

Edith's son, Cliffie, is a despicable little horror (he tries to kill the cat a couple of times and that is just the start). Her husband turns out to be self-righteous, selfish coward. And Edith is left to bear the strain of all of it. 

 

What makes the book truly miserable is the way that Edith's cracking up is dealt with by the people around her, and so her keeping a diary, where she records a fantasy of a perfect life she imagines, becomes the symbol of her madness, her rebellion, as well as of the way society hides what is perceived as the imperfect, the damaged.

 

This is one of the most political works I have read by Highsmith. It heavily features Edith's (not necessairly the author's) thoughts on the Kennedys, the Vietnam War, Nixon, Watergate, etc. as a backdrop to Edith's alienation with her suburban neighbours.

 

Even tho I found it compelling, Edith's Diary is not a book I would recommend easily. It just really too depressing and frustrating to pass on to a friend. However, for the Highsmith enthusiast, this shows another side of her writing where she explores the connection between societal norms and psychological derangement.

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text 2017-06-03 15:41
Reading progress update: I've read 32%.
Edith's Diary - Patricia Highsmith

Well, this is depressing, but also another fine character study. As with anything by Highsmith, I expect this to take some unusual turns, yet.

 

It is really depressing, tho, and I will need the next book to be more ... fluffy.

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text 2017-06-02 21:54
Reading progress update: I've read 7%.
Edith's Diary - Patricia Highsmith

And we're off. :D

 

The towns' names may be similar, but there is no Grover's Corners feel to Highsmith's tale.

"That night, just as Edith was walking toward the bed in her nightgown, she remembered a dream she had had. In the dream, she had closed the refrigerator door, into which Mildew had been poking her head, and cut the cat’s head off. Either she had fainted in the dream or not realized what had happened, because later she had seen the cat walking around the house headless, and when she had rushed to the refrigerator and opened it, the cat’s head had been in there, eating the remains of a chicken, eating everything. Often Mildew stuck her head into the fridge, and Edith had to push her away with her foot before closing the door. Would Cliffie some day slam the fridge door on Mildew’s neck and say it was an accident? Edith found herself clenching her teeth. It hadn’t happened. It wasn’t true. But in her dream, she had done it."

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