Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vagina dentata

Current book: The World According to Garp
Pages read: 216 - 285

Well, hell. I started out liking this novel, moved on to dislike, and now I actively hate it. Seriously, Irving? I know you can do better than this 70s sexual deviance bullshit.

Helen starts having an affair with a graduate student in one of her courses. One night Garp finds out and tells her to break it off. He takes the kids to a movie so she can accomplish that, but comes back early to find her giving the guy one last blow job in his parked car in the driveway. The problem is, he doesn't see the car until the last second, and ends up rear-ending it. One of their sons is killed, one loses an eye, Garp's jaw is broken, Helen's arm is broken, and the unfortunate other man gets his penis inadvertently bitten off. (Do you see what I mean? What the hell is the point of scenarios like this in fiction? Honestly, can anyone explain it? Because I'd like to know.) The wounded family goes to stay with Jenny in her enormous house on the east coast, and they meet all sorts of herweird hangers-on there. After a while, the guy that Garp kicked out of his Duncan's friend's mom's bedroom (follow that?) shows up, too, to spend time with Garp because he loves Garp's books so much.

That's all so far. I can't wait to find out what disturbing and nonsensical plot twists are in store for me next. Seriously, though, I have some major issues with authors who like to torture their characters, especially when they have to delve into the realms of highly improbable circumstance to do so. There's just something about the events in this book that seem like a fun-house mirror version of reality. I'm disoriented and annoyed, just like at a real fun-house. I don't find that it gives me a new perspective, either, as I can only assume it's meant to do. It's just...degrading. It makes me feel bad about the world, bad about people, and even, sometimes, bad about myself. It certainly makes me feel bad about Irving.

Well, anyway, at least I get a break - I'm headed off to celebrate a very good friend's wedding, so there will be a hiatus from posting until next Tuesday, the 9th.

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