Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

My day so far

1. Read in bed
2. Shift to the downstairs sofa
3. This post

I am really tired although I didn't really go crazy last night. It was my friend 23's unofficial birthday, so a bunch of us met up to see No Second Troy at the Black Cat. Prior to that, we had drinks with my friend Pisces, who is in town with her new man. The band was fun even though we were being bumped by a raucous group of very drunk fans. Their vivacity and excitement was explained later when one of them told us they were a group of friends of the band from law school and in fact that most exuberant one was the wife of the lead singer. Okay, that makes sense. Plus the free shot that they shared didn't hurt; nor did the lead singer bringing one of our group up on stage at the end to play the tambourine.

Even so, I feel like a truck ran over me. Maybe it's partly due to the book I was reading. I was hustling to finish The Sparrow, which we're reading for our book club. I always teased one of our members for regularly not finishing the book and yet I almost didn't make it in time. (BTW: if you're a book club member, stop reading now, so I don't give you spoilers for our meeting tomorrow.) Anyways, it was a good read but it did give me pause when I ate pork for lunch after having finished it. I won't say more but let's just say it brought up some unpleasant turns in the plot in the end of the book.

I think for me a lot of what was lost in the book was the discussion of God and faith. I am not religious, and so a lot of the reasoning behind characters' behavior was frustrating. I ran into this while reading Eat, Pray, Love as well (that middle section with the beam of light coming out of her forehead - uh yeah, I pretty much skipped that part). Frankly, I think a better discussion of faith was done in The Life of Pi. I did like how The Sparrow fleshed out how a first contact with an alien species might happen, and it was strange how much the aliens in this book resembled those in Avatar. And it was interesting to see the future as how it was envisioned 20 years ago, when the book came out. For example, the Japanese owned everything in the book. Aw, remember back when that was even a consideration? Now it's the Chinese. Plus, in the book, there were still wars going on in eastern Europe and former Yugoslavia. Given the timeframe for when the book was written, I could see someone thinking that back then.

I was telling my colleague yesterday that I was reading this book and she said if I liked it, to let her know. I don't think I could say I disliked it - it was a really interesting story with more or less sympathetic characters and I thought the format of flashing back to the key points of how they got the group together for the exploration of the new planet and their experiences there kept everything from getting too intense (when it did, they'd flash forward to the quieter time of when one of the explorers was recovering from the trip). But there was so much assumed with this: that the explorers were simply doing it for the sheer intellectual and religious fervor of finding new worlds, that no one else besides the Catholic Church would be interested in seeking out life forms elsewhere in the universe, and that for god's sake, you wouldn't send some sort of guard or military personnel on a trip 4.3 light years away from Earth. Seriously, what the hell. Have they never watched ANYTHING on Syfy?


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