Current book: A Good Man is Hard to Find
Pages read: 1 - 126
So my lack of prejudice was rewarded with mediocre, depressing short stories. I do not feel as though I've learned a valuable lesson. Also, I don't know about the people who made this list - this is the second "novel" that's actually a short story collection, and I'm annoyed. It's not the same thing, guys, and I refuse to count it as such.
The title story is about a family (grandmother, parents, and three children) who go on a road trip to Florida and get shot by escaped convicts. That's really all that happens, except that the grandmother is clearly an example of the old and genteel traditions of the South and fights against the modernization and death of chivalry represented by her children and grandchildren, who don't have her manners or sense of propriety. And yet, those manners and sense of propriety get her nowhere when the car breaks down and she tries to sweet-talk the convicts. They just kill her anyway.
All of the stories are about the deep South, and most are about families, in one way or another, breaking and destroying themselves, or about strangers betraying trust, or about humanity being sort of awful and ignorant in some other way. I'm not going to summarize each one, because, frankly, it'd be painful for both of us.
I don't like O'Connor, though I see why she's respected as part of American literature. Honestly, though, these stories would have been a lot more impressive in the 20s than in 1953, when they were actually written. I'm not sure they're as innovative as they ought to be in order to be included in the canon. But they're depressing and illustrative of parochialism, so they get to count as literature, I guess. If I were from the South during this time period, though, I have to say I'd be pretty angry about O'Connor's portrayal of the place. I'm not saying some of it's not fair - the culture of the American South can be pretty hard to take - but not everyone is ignorant and conniving.
I should finish on Monday, I expect, and I'll be happy to be shut of it.
A Clockwork Orange (5) A Good Man Is Hard to Find (4) A Passage to India (6) A Room with a View (3) A Separate Peace (2) Absalom Absalom (6) Achebe (5) Adams (3) All the King's Men (8) An American Tragedy (17) Atlas Shrugged (16) Babbitt (8) back from hiatus (1) baking (11) Baldwin (4) Baum (3) Bonfire of the Vanities (6) borderline (12) Brideshead Revisited (9) Burgess (5) Burroughs (1) canon (1) Capote (6) Cat's Cradle (3) Cather (19) cheesecake (4) Chopin (4) Conrad (5) cooking (25) Death Comes for the Archbishop (6) DeLillo (6) Dreiser (17) du Maurier (2) Edith Wharton (1) emergency (2) Ethan Frome (1) excuses (141) Faulkner (9) Felicia DeSmith (3) Finnegan's Wake (1) Fitzgerald (24) For Whom the Bell Tolls (3) Forster (19) Fowles (7) Franny and Zooey (2) Go Tell It on the Mountain (4) Grahame (2) Guest post (3) Hammett (2) Hemingway (5) hiatus (4) holiday (5) horrible (4) Howards End (6) In Cold Blood (6) In Our Time (1) Irving (6) James (25) Jazz (1) Joyce (1) Keneally (7) Kerouac (5) Kim (7) Kipling (7) Knowles (2) Lady Chatterly's Lover (6) Lawrence (26) Lewis (13) Light in August (3) London (3) Look Homeward Angel (9) Lord Jim (5) Mailer (7) Main Street (5) Midnight's Children (9) Miller (6) Morrison (1) Mrs. Dalloway (3) My Antonia (6) not a novel (4) O Pioneers (7) O'Connor (4) On the Road (5) Orlando (4) other books (7) page updates (1) Rabbit Run (4) Rand (24) Rebecca (2) recap (1) Rhys (6) Rushdie (18) Salinger (2) Schindler's List (7) Sinclair (6) Sons And Lovers (12) Sophie's Choice (10) Star Trek (1) Stein (5) Styron (10) Tender is the Night (10) The Age of Innocence (4) The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (5) The Awakening (4) The Beautiful and the Damned (8) The Bostonians (9) The Call of the Wild (3) The Fellowship of the Ring (5) The Fountainhead (8) The French Lieutenant's Woman (7) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2) The Jungle (6) The Lord of the Rings (16) The Maltese Falcon (2) The Naked and the Dead (7) The Naked Lunch (1) The Old Man and the Sea (1) The Portrait of a Lady (10) The Return of the King (6) The Satanic Verses (9) The Two Towers (5) The War of the Worlds (4) The Wind in the Willows (2) The Wings of the Dove (6) The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (3) The World According to Garp (6) Things Fall Apart (6) This Side of Paradise (6) Thomas Wolfe (9) To the Lighthouse (3) Tolkien (16) Tom Wolfe (6) Triv (2) Tropic of Cancer (6) unworthy (33) Updike (4) vacation (2) Vonnegut (3) Warren (8) Waugh (9) Wells (4) Wharton (4) Where Angels Fear to Tread (4) White Noise (6) Wide Sargasso Sea (6) Women In Love (8) Woolf (10) worthy (25)