Friday, January 27, 2006

Who's Afraid of Blair Brown?

Drowning Ruth, my current book on tape (well, mp3, we are in the 21st century here, people) is read excellently by Blair Brown. I chose it based on her sample reading of a book I really wasn't interested in--she's very good. It's kind of a harsh book, about crazy people. It's interesting that I thought I must be coming close to the end and am only halfway through. There's no way for me to tell how far along I am unless I plug my mp3 player into my computer.

My misjudgment was not based on boredom but on the arc of the story. The child is growing up, years are passing. I'm starting to realize in a way I hadn't before that the story is full of crazy people.

Change of topic: Kathy was telling me about a book called, I believe, The Last Record of the Miracles at Little No-Horse. This reminded me of the story of Pope Joan, which I read about in a novel by Donna Cross (I believe), but which may or may not be a true story. Apparently Pope John VIII reigned for two years and then surprised everyone by giving birth on the side of the road (in the novel, she actually just starts to hemorrhage, if I recall correctly). Anyway, if it's a true story, all documentation of it was destroyed/suppressed for about three centuries, and she was only mentioned in the 1500s, 350 years after she supposedly reigned. So who knows?

But it's an interesting story--there's a lot of fiction (esp. YA, I think) about girls who disguise themselves as boys and beat the system; I'm about to reread The Lark and the Wren by Mercedes Lackey, one of my favorite such stories. But such a true-life scandal! It's very exciting to think that the world can be so unpredictable, the system so beaten.

Sorry; this is a little stream-of-consciousness. I'm a little edgy today. Monday's going to be a rough day at work; wish me luck.

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