March 10, 2011

Why are some so obvious, and some so hidden?

I just finished a book called Riding the Trail of Tears. It was a fairly enjoyable experience!

It also has passages like this one. BILLIONS??

But okay, so out of context, that passage seems really, really silly, at the very least. That’s kind of why I took the picture. But if I had to pick one reason why I really enjoyed the book, it’s scenes like that which really sold it to me.

You see, the book is incredibly stream-of-consciousness. Tallulah’s thoughts are just rolling across the page with very little editing. They’re just thrown out there, and you really get inside this character’s head, even more so than usual. Tallulah isn’t telling the story, so she’s not deciding what to leave out for the readers. We’re just right there, all the time, even for the most stupid little thoughts. So when she looks at some of these extremely hormonal college students, it makes sense that, on some level, her mind would go to sex. I find it very endearing that there’s no “editing” of her internal thoughts, and we see her wondering if the two college boys fuck, and how one would feel having to be the bottom. It’s, at times, inappropriate, but thoughts like that fill a person’s workday. It makes it clear she’s a character with flaws, and also a character who enjoys thinking about other people fucking, apparently. Maybe I’m weird, but I find that highly relatable.

There’s plenty of problems with the book. It has a weird premise for a narrator that goes absolutely nowhere, for instance, and a ton of stuff happens that seems to have absolutely no significance. But man, I enjoyed it all the way through, and I enjoyed it because Tallulah was such a strong character. She was very realistic, and easy to love, even as she attempted to picture her clients naked. I liked that about her. I’d recommend it to people who aren’t immediately turned off by the weird premise or that passage up there. It is, indeed, an entertaining read.

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