Friday, November 18, 2005

This week in books

This week, I've read After Henry and The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, as well as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Poor Harry Potter really suffers by comparison. I mean, have you read this book? It's dreadful. Formulaic, tedious, and far too long. I keep reading these stupid Harry Potter books so I can keep up with what normal people are reading, but it's just getting to be a huge chore. You have to slog through like a thousand pages of some mystery you don't care about, and Harry and his friends have these totally predictable teenage romantic longings, and then there's some big stupid battle scene at the end that you can tell JK Rowling is just putting in so that Chris Columbus has an excuse to set off pyrotechnics at the end of the movie. Yawn.

Also: the headmaster, Dumbledore, dies at the end of the book. And while I'll cry at almost anything nowadays, I didn't cry when he died. Know why? Because I was bored stiff! I was listening to the book while I was polishing the silver for Thanksgiving dinner, and I can't say I've had a more ennui-enducing afternoon in a very long time.

Now, Joan Didion, that's a whole other story. Razor-sharp prose, absolutely riveting all the way through. I won't ever think about grief in the same way after reading her new book. Wow.