Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Then we open again, where? In Venice!

I finished The City of Falling Angels over the weekend. It was aight. With a love for Italy and a love for Berendt's last book, anticipation was running high. It was satisfying to start, but lost its steam. In the same style as Midnight, he centers his slice of life stories around a central crime, in this case, the fire at the Fenice Opera House. Trouble is, there's very little drama surrounding it. It's more about politics and unions and scapegoats and money. If that's your thing, fine, but how about some gay hookers with questionable motives or maybe an over the top drag queen? I know, I shouldn't want the same thing over again, but even when it was so good the first time?

Note: The church pictured is the Santa Maria dei Miracoli, the restoration of which figures prominently in the book. Pretty, no?

At Bodhi's urging, and Oprah's I guess, I'm now reading A Million Little Pieces. I'm about 100 pages in. Harrowing shit.


freakgirl said...

I'm reading that right now, too. Harrowing, indeed. Except I read "My Friend Leonard" already so I sort of know how everything turns out.

Bodhi said...

Harrowing is one way to describe it. But then again none of us recovery folk came to rehab because we liked the hospital food, or thought we might just go to a meeting one day because the stories were better than whats on TV that night, and you get free coffee.

Active addiction, and for that matter early recovery, is often completely f**ked. Those fundamentalist religious types don't scare me with their supposed threat of hell in the afterlife. Dude, I have already been there!

I relate a lot to James, especially when I think back to my own early recovery. I was one incredibly angry, sick and confused young man. Full of booze, arrogance and denial. Thankfully, in the end I was also bloody desperate, and that was to be my saviour. A Million Little Pieces indeed, it took me years to glue this one time muthaf***er back together.

Seems another lifetime ago now. So much has changed I am barely recognizable from the person that I was back then. Thats why I love this book, and still enjoy hearing those personal stories in meetings. They hold up a mirror image to that old self, reminding me both of where I have been and how incredibly grateful I am for what I have now.

And for that James, and indeed for all those people who share their experience, strength and hope with me, my eternal thanks :-)

The Other Andrew said...

Have you guys read "Dry" by Augusten Burroughs? He's wicked funny as well, which helps. I still found that quite hard in spots though.

Michael said...

Freakgirl, is that like a sequel? We just met Leonard about 40 pages ago. As for how things come out, I'm assuming he's OK, since he wrote a book (well, two books it seems) and all.

Bodhi, I guess I knew it could be nightmarish, but please tell me that the extent of James' abuse is rare.

Andrew, I have read 'Dry'. Augusten is another of my crushes. He seems like he needs a caretaker AND he's just a filthy, dirty bird. That's a potent mix for me. After 'A Million Little Pieces' comes A.B.'s 'Magical Thinking', unless someone sways me to something else first. Lately I'm so amenable to being manipulated.

freakgirl said...

I suppose it's a sequel. I didn't realize the two books were related until I started 'A Million Little Pieces' and read an almost exact same description of that plane trip to rehab.

I've read 'Dry' as well. Enjoyed it, though not as much as 'Running With Scissors.' Also just finished 'Magical Thinking' and I loved it. I was literally laughing out loud at some of his stories. I'd also recommend 'Sellovision,' a fiction novel about working at a home shopping network. Really funny.

Michael said...

Oh, cool. That makes me even more excited about 'Magical Thinking'. I agree about 'Dry' vs. 'Running With Scissors'. It'll be interesting to see how the movie version of RWS comes out, eh? I also read 'Sellevision'. Good stuff.