Showing posts from February, 2015

Review: Natchez Burning

Full disclosure: I read only 571 of the 800 pages of Natchez Burning , and that was because the central story regarding long-unsolved civil rights crimes in Mississippi and the men who perpetrated them was really, really exciting. However, I stopped reading long after I should have. I found Greg Iles' depiction of women in this novel sexist. Men were characters with purpose, whose actions defined them and whose purpose was clear. Not so for women. In Natchez Burning , women are caricatures who smell like sex and whose actions are not honest or honorable. Women are described regularly with ample adjectives: beautiful, ambitious, desirable, wild, sexual or ruthless. Their actions need adjectives and adverbs, and they're reduced to hormones and a uterus. At first, I thought it was the failure of the characters. I thought maybe that is just how Penn Cage saw them. Maybe Penn Cage was the sexist. Alas, I should have taken a clue when Albert needed to turn on a fan to get a w

Poetry Wednesday: Reincarnation

Reincarnation Who would believe in reincarnation if she thought she would return as an oyster? Eagles and wolves are popular. Even domesticated cats have their appeal. It’s not terribly distressing to imagine being Missy, nibbling kibble and lounging on the windowsill. But I doubt the toothsome oyster has ever been the totem of any shaman fanning the Motherpeace Tarot or smudging with sage. Yet perhaps we could do worse than aspire to be a plump bivalve. Humbly, the oyster persists in filtering seawater and fashioning the daily irritations into lustre. Dash a dot of Tabasco, pair it with a dry Martini, not only will this tender button inspire an erotic fire in tuxedoed men and women whose shoulders gleam in candlelight, this hermit praying in its rocky cave, this anchorite of iron, calcium, and protein, is practically a molluskan saint. Revered and sacrificed,

Review: Gone, Girl

I was warned. Strangers and friends alike, people who share my taste in books and those who have no idea what I read, sent up red flags. "You will be furious by the ending of Gone, Girl ," they said, to a one. Yet, I did not listen. Hey, I survived My Sister's Keeper and Bridge to Terabithia (and so did the "throw across the room" books, but only because they were library books). I mean, how bad could Gone, Girl be? Worse than you'd imagine. I will try to analyze my disappointment without spoilers, but I may give away more of the plot than you wish to know. If you intend to read this book, proceed with caution. (I may discuss a few other airborne books, so be forewarned.) Let's start with the basics: Amy disappears under suspicious circumstances. The police see Nick as the most logical suspect. Both Nick and law enforcement uncover information and evidence that points to him. He looks guilty — but is he? The story is told in two voices.