Saturday, October 06, 2007

Burning Down the House

An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England: Brock Clarke: I bought this because of the title -- you know that, right? I'm of two minds about this book. I expected it to be a lot funnier than it was, but on the other hand, it was still funny -- just in a different way than I expected. The main character, Sam Pulsifer, is released from prison, where he's been because he "accidentally" burned down Emily Dickinson's house and killed two people he didn't know were in the house. After his release there is a series of arsons involving other writers' homes. Of course, Sam is the main suspect, and he bumblingly attempts to prove his innocence. The story is well told but Sam is too passive a character for me; he is also a completely unreliable narrator. I was disappointed when Clarke reveals the arsonist -- I just didn't see the motive, or if it's there, it's completely trite. But then again, I was satisified with the ending of the novel; it was completely in character and made sense within the structure of the novel.
Book Meme
I got this from Hilda, and it's about books -- I couldn't help myself.

Hardcover or paperback, and why? Depends on the book -- if I know I'm going to keep it, I want hardcover, but if I think I'm just going to give it away eventually paperback is fine because it fits in my purse and I need a purse book.
If I were to own a book shop I would call it: I can't think of anything -- I'm not that imaginitive -- my favorite bookstore name has already been taken -- The Dusty Bookshelf.
My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is: Currently, it is this from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
The author (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with would be: I have to agree with Hilda on this one -- Harper Lee
If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be: Maybe Robinson Crusoe -- it might help me survive on the island.
I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that: backlights my book but isn't an e-book reader and never runs out of batteries (that part's wishful thinking.)
The smell of an old book reminds me of - The Dusty Bookshelf in Manhattan, KS, my favorite bookstore ever.
If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be: Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.
The most over-rated book of all times is: I actually have two: Moby Dick -- I have never been able to finish that book -- I just do not care about all that shipbuilding stuff. Number 2 is The Catcher in the Rye; I just find Holden Caulfield to be annoying, sniveling and whiney.


Lazy cow said...

Urgh, Holden Caulfield. But I would like to at least TRY Moby Dick.
In answer to your Raffaella Barker question: Babelbabe wasn't a fan of the Bridget Jones books, but loves Hens Dancing and the sequel Summertime. I adore Bridget Jones, but find Barker's books more akin to Diary of a Provincial Lady. They are charming.

sari said...

One of my best friends is from Manhattan, KS - how weird is that??

Iamthebookworm said...

Thank you for saying that about Catcher in the Rye. That book irritated me.

Katya said...

lc: okay -- that makes me think I should at least try Raffaella Barker.

sari: I loved that bookstore. They also had the best donuts ever in Manhattan. I always wondered if that store was still there.

iamthebookworm: You're welcome. That book always just irritated me too.