Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blindness, Greg Bear, Final Destination 3, Pride and Prejudice

I finally finished Blindness by Josè Saramago. Sarah was pretty much dead-on when she described it as "lord of the flies for adults". The basic story is that everyone in a large city goes spontaneously blind. But not all once, it begins with one man and spreads to his doctor, and a few other people. The good doctor notifies the autorities of a contagious blindness, and the authorities round up the known blind and their partners and quarantine them in an abandoned asylum or something, which is where the Lord of the Flies stuff really gets going. I won't go into the details; you've surely read L.O.T.F. It's fairly horrible, and i gotta say somewhat repetitious and heavy-handed and i wouldn't have slogged thru it except that Josè is basically a really good writer. Eventually they escape the asylum and make it out to the world, where by now everyone is blind. Oh i forgot to mention the main character, the good doctor's wife, for reasons unexplained has not gone blind. She seems to be the only seer in all the land. The world at large is not much better than the asylum, but at least there it's just horrible squalor and not so much of the outright villainy of the asylum. I can't actually tell you how it ends because i couldn't get up the will to read the last ten or so pages, but i'm pretty sure it's a powerful portrait of the strength of the human spirit.

After Blindness i decided i needed some schlock, so i'm reading books by Greg Bear. Specifically: Darwin's Radio and The Forge of God.
Darwin's Radio is basically a medical thriller, which is a genre i never thought i'd set foot in, but apparently it's come to pass. Cutting right to the schlock: When the species as a whole is under stress, our DNA unlocks parts of itself which via pheremones turn each of us into a node in a giant computer which decides what the best next evolutionary step for the species is, and then implements it. Actually, i don't mind stuff like that. It's all good, right ? Why Bear has to have 90% of his characters be 100% motivated by sex, tho, is beyond me.
Moving right along to The Forge of God, it's an alien invasion book which is allright. Not great, but allright. Possibly it was doomed to non-greatness because it's a prequel, which i think is always a tough row to hoe.

Sarah and Tomy and I went to see Final Destination 3, ON PURPOSE! We actually made plans. FD3 follows closely on FDs 2 and 1, and if you like seeing annoying teenagers killed with Rube Goldbergian malignity, brother this is the movie for you. I think they plow thru 9 in detail, some of them twice, some of them thrice, and many incedentals. Nuff said. Oh wait, also, there's boobies.

Michelle and i were going to some celebration of cursing at Edinburgh Castle Pub last night, but it was sold out, so we walked over to the Great American Music Hall to see The Devil Makes Three, but it was fifteen bucks a pop and i for some reason was loathe to call the guys to see if we could get in free, so we wandered over to a movie theater and saw Pride and Prejudice (at nine and a half bucks a pop. Plus popcorn etc. Have you ever noticed that movies and show venues are similar in that they really gouge you for popcorn/drinks ?). P & P was probably as definitively good production of P & P as there will ever be. For what that's worth.
btw, not this one:

but this one:

P&P et ilk are full of amazing mansions. Castles. Marble columned amazements of castles. These dwellings are invariably inherited or stolen or foreclosed or whatever, but i've never heard a story of their making. Obviously somebody in the Darcy clan had to one day go By Jum, I'm Going To Build A Bloody Great Big House. It seems like those might make interesting writing, too. If you're into that sort of thing.

Up Next:
Kraddy is reading The New Pearl Harbor - Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 by David Ray Griffin, and i thought i'd give it a go.