043) Casanova: Acedia Volume 1 by Matt Fraction and Fábio Moon and Michael Chabon and Gabriel Bá, finished March 18
What a writing cast! And the art is a style I'm very fond of! Okay!one week
The real problem with this volume is that it's really not long enough. They should have waited to make a collection. Why must they all be the same length? This was super intriguing, but some of what made it intrigue also made it dissatisfy. For instance, there is, if I'm counting correctly, three ongoing stories (one of which is superbrief and meta and may be ignored as far as this argument is concerned). Which means the pagelength is split between the two. Which makes both even slighter than they would normally be in this sort of collection.
That said, both stories are genre-bending bits of bitesize brilliance (or at least curiosity). But was it enough to stick with me long enough to read more next time?
042) Wolfie & Fly by Cary Fagan, finished March 15
two noncontiguous days
It's fun and super simple. If you're looking to break a kid into chapter books, this could do it. It's smart and reasonably witty. It lacks the madcap strain on impossibility that you see in, say, Roald Dahl, but it's a dialed down entry into that same genre.
041) Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab by Dave Dwonch and Anna Lencioni, finished March 13
two days over three days
I picked this up off the library's Adult Graphic Novels shelf and my nine-year-old read it before I knew it was in risk of being touched by a child. Luckily, this was okay. I mean---there's blood and ghosts and a demon and stuff, but nothing beyond your average Disney movie. Which is the great American benchmark for child safety.
Here's the story: cabbie picks up a fare who's been shot and dies en route to the hospital. The boy's soul is trapped in the cab and the cabbie feels obliged to solve the mystery of his death in order to, he hopes, set him free.
And so it goes.
What I like best about the book is its hints at richness---the sense that there is much more story to tell, characters to develop. The ghost in the cab is not close to the most intriguing element (though alas: it looks rather like it'll be adopting a ghost-of-the-week format going forward), but I recognize the value of less interesting stories while the larger arcs grow more naturally. Sure. That's fine. I get it.
040) An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen, finished March 10
What a play! This is a thrilling read and make no mistake. First we have what seems like a great victory of the liberals over the conservatives. Then we learn the liberals are exactly the same as the conservatives. Then we see our hero leap into a tragedy-sized abyss. Then we realize the tragedy will be less literal and all the more horrible therefor. Then we see that suffering is the actual heroism. Then we close the book and sit back and wonder if we were manipulated into the correct opinions, or tricked into the wrong opinions.probably a month reading only on some fridays
I believe all I’ve read of Ibsen’s before is A Doll’s House, and this play has many similarities. The mix of secrets-vs-disclosures within a family is different but present, and the hero is set up for utter tragedy, but by embracing that seeming tragedy, somehow finds a complicated and beautiful “happy” ending.
But along the way, Enemy of the People presents its themes with much more energy and vim. This would be a lot of fun to watch on stage, done right. And a film version should be rushed into production Right Now. THIS IS THE TIME!
Previously in 2017