Orion Reads
a diary of books etc.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

One Flew East, One Flew West

and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Hmm, here seems to be a sign of how crippled my psyche has become: i both regret not reading Ken Kesey's masterpiece earlier because it's, well, a masterpiece, and also regret having now read it, because now it's no longer out there waiting for me to enjoy it again. .. Or something like that. Basically The Cuckoo's Nest floored me with its honesty and more significantly its insight into the relations between people, and between people and the world. Plus it's very well written. (why do i want to write "well-written" ?)

I've been putting off reading this book for years, figuring that it wouldn't be so awesome. I think i got that impression from watching the movie on TV as a kid with my pops.

For them as don't know, it's a story about a wild and wooly con man & brawler (with red hair and an Irish name, making him sort of a Brody O'Shenanigans) who gets himself commited to a mental hospital in order to get out of regular prison. In the hospital he finds an enemy in the form of the Head Nurse, who represents the will of the system to crush the individuality and spirit of you and me. They duke it out. It's amazingly good.

Gonna try to summarize it with just one quote here,
where our hero McMurphy has just learned than many of the people living crappy lives inside the hospital are there by choice, and could sign themselves out any day they pleased but don't.
The narrator here is the narrator of the entire book, a commited half Indian (american) who can hear and speak but pretends he can't:

I dropped back until I was walking beside McMurphy and I wanted to tell him not to fret about it, that nothing could be done, because I could see that there was some thought he was worrying over in his mind like a dog worries over a hole he don't know what's down, one voice saying, Dog, that hole is none of your affair - it's too big and too black and there's a spoor all over the place says bears or something just as bad. And some other voice coming like a sharp whisper out of way back in his breed, not a smart voice, nothing cagey about it, saying, Sic 'im dog, sic 'im!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Brief Update

am writing from buenos aires.

have many books to write about,
but will just give a quick list and a one-sentence thing here.

wow, i haven't written anything in here since House of Meetings !?

okay, going backwards.

about to read:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
by Ken Kesey.

currently reading:

A Good Man Is Hard To Find
by Flannery O'Connor.
This book is awesome. Stories similar to Roald Dahl, but even more violent and bitter, and set in the American South.

The Poincaré Conjecture by Donal O'Shea.
Another math history book. I love the math history.
This one involves the epinomous problem which is simple enough to state and seems quite trivial but has stumped mathematics for a century until ever so recently. It has to do with possible shapes of the universe.

Another biography of Isabelle Eberhardt, but i forget which one.

very recently read:

The Bookman's Promise
by John Dunning.
Not as good as The Bookman's Wake, but still fun enough.

The Summons by John Grisham.
Wow! I was expecting poor, but this surpassed. I hoped for at least an exciting plot. Seriously nothing happens, there's no meat, the characters are dull, the plot is sloppily thrown together, it's bad.

not so recently read:

For Whom The Bell Tolls
by You Know Whom.
Impossible for me to say enough good about this book.

The Royal Family by William Vollman
This ultimate downfall story traces the path of a man in circa 2000 San Francisco from lower middle class private eye to destitute, via falling in love with a street hooker named The Queen of Whores. Very well written, very crass, very depressing. Interesting because it has a lot of local landmarks and such in it.

.. many others.