Friday, August 21, 2015

C&P book review: Recycled Grounds

Because, I ask, why limit myself to Goodreads?

I read The Ground Beneath Her Feet when it first came out something like fifteen years ago and loved it. I gave it to Scott way back then, thinking he'd like it too, and he couldn't get past the first few chapters, complaining that Rushdie knew nothing about writing music, being in a band, etc. Needing something to read recently, I picked up my old copy looking forward to loving it again--and hoping to get the taste of Joseph Anton out of my mouth.

Alas, either Joseph Anton has ruined Rushdie for me forever or I've become a lot less tolerant (or, to put a nicer light on it, more perceptive) than I was in 2000. On this reading I kept thinking, "Oh, Rushdie is monologuing again." Page upon page of one character or another pontificating and, seemingly, most of the time the reader is supposed to take it seriously. Oh, there were still parts I enjoyed; the relationships of the parents of the main characters are all nicely portrayed with the sadness of how those relationships fray and are destroyed but the main characters? I just wanted them to stop talking.

It was like, I realize, the bit in High Fidelity (film or book, it doesn't matter) where the main character, Rob, has dinner again with Charlie, the perfect sophisticated woman for whom he was never cool enough, and realizes just how vapid she truly is.

If only I'd read this New York Times book review . . .

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