10.12.2007

Another Book Read

So, I had to do a book report on a novel or work that highlighted an urban issue. My first thought was to read Tale of Two Cities but another stipulation was that you can't read something you have already read. I enlisted the help of my neighbors, Ammon and Erin, to find a book. Ammon is a high school English teacher in West Jordan and I believe that Erin graduated in English as well and we (all 4 of us) like to discuss books. We have a collection that they continually give us, most of which we don't have time to read, but have every intention to. I told them I wanted a short read, considering I wasn't really thrilled for this assignment to be due so early in the semester and that I had plenty of studying to keep me busy. We went through their shelves (surprisingly quite a few for our size apartment) and found Winesburg, Ohio. I'd never heard of it, but he said it was an American classic and one that was really good. I took his word and read it this week for my class....
It was the wierdest book I have ever read. It is basically 24 short stories connected by one character, George Willard, and Main Street, the life blood of the town. I couldn't put it down, but not because it was so good, but because I had to write a paper on it. I wanted to put it down. I wanted to skip to the end (and thanks to Sparknotes, I did, and then read the last few chapters to take away some of the guilt) but if this is one of Ammon's favorites (which we all know he doesn't like favorites), then we clearly have different tastes in literature. And that's alright, because I still really like him, and his wife for that matter. They are always there when we need a cup of oats or toothpicks (we still have your box by the way) or a stud finder. The book was just a little too depressing for my taste, and though I generally like "coming of age" stories, there was nothing really redeemable about George at the end. It is very disjointed and had I given it more effort, I would probably like it more. I did like the Old Testament imagery though. The symbolism is very cool. I don't think it is coincidence that David Bentley, a young whippersnapper, picks up a rock and fires it with a ready made slingshot at his grandpa chasing him, hitting his grand-dad square in the forehead. Nor the part about Jesse Bentley taking David out to the woods to be offered as sacrifice. These people are weird in Winesburg, Ohio, and I, for one, sure hope to visit to see what the town is really like.

2 comments:

Kent and Leisy said...

Ammon hates Dickens doesn't he? And anything else anglo for that matter. I think, Taylor, that you and I have similar tastes - I think I'll skip that read. Sorry Ammon. - Kent

Kent and Leisy said...

I believe that Winesburg is just under three hours from our apartment. If you really wanted to go we'd take you. Or we'd let you borrow our car and go.
-leisy