Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Science Fiction, Sibling Rivalry and 1930's Romance

How fitting to be reading "The Blind Assasin" as I make preparations for a vintage-inspired wedding. And how coincidental that the setting is exactly the 1930's.

I cried (again). Well, I cry easily over fiction. I loved reading "The Blind Assasin." Another reason to enjoy the cold and stormy Monday, which happened to be a holiday. I was also beginning to wonder when I would be able to read again for my own leisure. Well, enough of the background...

In a way, I found the disposition of Iris something I could identify with, being an elder sibling, an elder sister. All the things we do to protect and hurt the one who, at first, adores us and, later, who struggles to wrest our influence from their lives. I found the whole narration charged and intriguing, shifting among news and society article clippings, sections of another novel, sections of a novel within a novel within a novel, and the memoirs of an old woman. I loved the chaos and variety, something for my 21st century multi-tasking and short attention span to feed on. The love story was part 1930's film noir (I could already imagine Gwyneth Paltrow playing the woman in her Art Deco look ala "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow") and partly science fiction narration (which was characteristic of the 1930's and the Art Deco movement). Those were the sections of the book that I found to be highlights because of my affinity with science fiction in general and my love of good old fashioned romance.

It had an interesting post-modernist approach (the novel within a novel within a novel treatment) and was somewhat of a warning to would-be novelists: "Be careful" it reads somewhere in the book. What you write makes its way into the world in a manner that you can never control.

In the end, I could understand why it won the Booker Prize. It is a very engaging novel. On different levels, at that. Enough said: Another book I suggest for your weekend reading (though I have different reading habits... snatching it like snacks before bedtime and devouring over what little time I have during weekends). And now... back to work.

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