Sunday, December 16, 2007

God's Aesthetic

You know, when you think about a giraffe and what it looks like, it's really a weird beast. It's like the large land equivalent of those strange, glowing, barely-real-looking creatures that live in the unreal places at the bottom of the ocean. The physics involved in a giraffe living on Earth--it's just remarkable.

Before I actually went after this book, Giraffe, I should have read the back. I might have found it interesting that two separate blurbs compare the work to a combination of Sebald and Kundera. Now, I don't even know who Sebald is. Kundera wrote a book I've never been able to read--not yet, anyway--The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Noah and I tried to watch the movie once in college. The fire alarm went off, though, and we both took the opportunity to creep away and not reunite to finish the movie. Since then, we've both called it The Unbearable Lightness of Boring. I try not to hold that experience against the book, though.

All this to say, this blurb makes me wary regarding this book.

I started out wary with Ha'penny. I loved Farthing, but I was worried because the somber, gloomy outlook that you're likely to get in an alternate history in which Hitler basically won was most projected in the plotline about the police officer, and that was the one that was going to continue in this book. I was worried that the lightheartedness of the girl's story would be sorely missed.

I underestimated Jo Walton. I might even eventually have to read her King Arthur fiction. Ha'penny is already clever, I already love the new main character, and I'm dying to know how Hitler turned out. The author clearly understands that Carmichael is a gloomy guy, and no one can handle a whole book about him. Go Jo!

I'm off the wagon, back at the library, and I absolutely love it.

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