In the Middle

I've always considered myself pretty tough when it comes to reading. By that I don't mean difficult to please (I'll happily read anything from Airforce Wives to Tolstoy) but more, difficult to freak out. I'll get scared by scary books, certainly, and grossed out by gross ones, but I can take it, right? I'm a complete wuss about movies, but books, no problem.
Here is what I am reading now.

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It's not that I'm scared, exactly, or censorious. I'm just…uneasy. I recognize that she's trying to grapple with the whole idea of morality and evil and moral responsibility (at least I think I do) but it feels, to me at least, that it's not quite getting through. Diana began to read this and abruptly stopped, and wouldn't say why. I went in to see what shook her, and it's been a somewhat interesting journey but discomfiting. I know I should probably wait to write about it until I've finished, and I can see what the author is really up to. And truly, I think dark humor and an exploration of the less-than-pure impulses we have is all to the good—Roald Dahl, Lemony Snicket—but there's something here that doesn't feel so good to read about. And I'm just not sure what I think.

4 thoughts on “In the Middle

  1. You are braver than I am, I can’t take movies OR books. Sometimes books are worse, they stay with me and scenes that I have imagined pop into my head when I least expect it. I am interested to hear more when you finish the book.

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  2. I’m reading a book of her’s right now called “The Reformed Vampire Support Group.” I’m having a really hard time getting through a book that should be fabulous — the premise is spot on — and I think my problem with it is that she writes in a very… snooty? way. Like she knows more than we do or ever will and why are we even reading her book because obviously we aren’t smart enough to understand. She even goes so far as to make a dig at Stephanie Meyer right in the body of the story. I feel like I’m being talked at and not to, if that makes sense. So, I feel you.

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  3. I read it and its sequel. I think what was so uncomfortable is the extreme moral ambiguity (though by novel’s end, that resolves also). What made most of my middle readers not want to continue on is the sort of technocratic details — tax shelters? for kids!!

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  4. Something about this reminded me of Storytime by Edward Bloor. He’s like Roald Dahl in that the kids are the only ones with any sense sometimes. Anyhow, Tangerine, Crusader and Storytime are three of my faves. I hope this wasn’t too much of a non sequitur…

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