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Showing posts from July, 2012

Book 32 - Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

I didn't know this, but this book came out in 1961/1962 and was a finalist for a book award, along with Catch-22. The novel is set in 1955 and features April and Frank Wheeler as the protagonists. The book starts with an awfully produced and acted amateur play starring April and viewed by Frank ad their other suburban neighbors. Frank and April's relationship quickly deteriorates (although there is a question as to whether it was any good to begin with), with extramarital affairs a la Mad Men making appearances and April convincing Frank that they need to uproot the family (they have two youngish children) in order to move to Paris. Many unexpected twists throw wrenches into the plans...I don't want to give too much more away. I felt that this book was at heart a tragedy with the American Dream dying a death at the center of it all - Frank and April seem to have it all with a family, stability and a beautiful home in the suburbs and yet, they hate each other and their li…

Book 31 Buffalo Lockjaw by Greg Ames

I didn't know what to expect from this book. A book about Buffalo, NY (a depressed town) wasn't very promising. But I tried to keep an open mind. This novel is about a young man in his late twenties named James whose mother is in the grips of ever worsening dementia. James finds himself struggling with both the physical and mental decline that accompanies the disease - his mother is in a nursing home where she receives 24 hour medical care and hygiene care. He is keenly aware of the irony of the situation - his mother was a nurse who not only dealt with and cared for people with dementia and Alzheimer's Disease but also advocated for the right of the patient to make all of end of life cares including when to kill themselves. He also worries about his father, who now lives alone in a big house in Buffalo, visiting his wife everyday and getting older everyday without he (because James lives in NYC) or his sites (who is in the Pacific Northwest) around to help. I didn'…

Book 30 -Once Upon a Secret by Mimi Alford

There isn't a whole lot to this book - I mean, really, I think that people nowadays aren't all that worked up about extramarital affairs and Presidents post-Bill Clinton and we all knew that JFK had his mistresses so what was one more? And quite frankly, Mimi Alford's naiveté made her look more the fool than the President (although he did look cruel too - but again, we all knew that didn't we?). I found myself having to suspend my disbelief for some of it - really, Mimi, you (a virgin) let him have sex with you after four days of working in the White House? And then, when you went back to school, he called you on the communal pay phone all the time without fail and no one had any clue as to what is going on? Sure. Initially, I think it's quite clear, that I didn't feel badly for Ms. Alford - I found her to be a willing participant in the affair that continued for 18 months and included weekend trips during the school year and being whisked around the country a…