Monday, June 17, 2013

Big Brother... and other stuff... like Tilda Swinton and David Bowie.




About this book: 
I just read this book and wish i didn't buy it for my Kindlefire so i could loan it out. The author of this book wrote "We Need To Talk About Kevin" which was quite a book. It was the one written from a mother's perspective after her son shot up schoolmates Columbine style. (They made a good movie about it that starred that actress who is kind of beautiful and kind of homely, you know what i mean when i say that?.... Tilda Swinton....i think she is so unusual looking aside from being a really terrific actress. I also think that Tilda Swinton and David Bowie could be twins!)

In case y'all don't know who i'm talking about I'm going to go find a photo and post it at the bottom. ..... see what i mean? 

So anyway, back to the book....Big Brother is not about the latest NSA scandal or anything to do with losing our civil liberties as you can see from the book cover.... it's about family and it's about food issues. (But wouldn't that be kind of cool though if this blog was on the NSA radar?)

Big Brother is a story told from a sister's point of view about her jazz musician brother who hits rock bottom, and though he has lost everything, what he has gained is about 200 extra pounds of weight. Where he once weighed 163 pounds shows up to visit his sister after not seeing her for awhile and she is shocked that he has gained over 200 lbs. And it goes from there.

The novel (and it is a novel, though i have read the author did have a brother who was extremely obese) is about addiction, dysfunctional families, control issues and marriage. (Stuff i identify with. except for the food issues). The book also educated me about some food issues in a way i hadn't thought of before, and at the same time gave me enough knowledge to know that i can't ever really understand. Also the characters were really well defined.

I liked this book a lot, even  as i didn't like some of the characters! But then you weren't supposed to.  I like a book that can make me get angry at a character so much that i wish i could jump in the page and give them a piece of my mind. Lionel Shriver is a really good writer.

Shriver also has an amazing vocabulary and for that reason i was glad that i had the Kindlefire because i had to look up quite a few words. (Though it didn't take away from the story for me.) Sometimes writers get too esoteric or lyrical and i lose interest in all the prose. But not with this book.

For example, here are some of those words from Lionel Shriver's writing:

  • apocryphal 
  • parvenus
  • penumbra
  • asceticism
  • clafoutis

I do love the Kindle for that. I am merrily reading away and the word "garrulous" shows up and I  pretty much, kinda, sorta know what that word means in relation to the story but if someone were to ask me what the word means i would be stumped. (Though i would know how to spell it.)

So i love the Kindle for that.

By the way, can anyone use those 5 words above in a sentence? I cannot.

Tilda. Actually this is one of her better photos.
David Bowie


7 comments:

jojo cucina cucina said...

I lied about Other Stuff. right now i don't have any.

jojo cucina cucina said...

Actually i didn't lie after all since i went back and edited to add Tilda Swinton/David Bowie photos. I am sure I'm not the first one to make note of this.

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

I just finished Dan Brown's Inferno. I think he has gone downhill since Angels and Demons. I really tried to like it, but meh. My Kindle died the death of electrons and Amazon replaced it for me. I think I should get the warranty before this one runs out. I also finished The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking and and the New Gospel of Adoption. It talks about the Evangelical movement adopting children from Eithiopia ( check the news in Skagit Country about the Hannah Williams death case), Liberia,Rwanda and other African nations. It's chilling and true.
I'm going to reread The Great Gatsby but I refuse to spend money on the travesty of a movie.

But to tell you the truth I am addicted to solitaire on my Kindle and my casino game. Passes the time quite nicely. LOL.

jojo cucina cucina said...

I tried to read Dan Brown's DaVinci code and got one third of the way through. My pool friend Dorothy (who was alive back then) told me she had the same trouble, she too was about one-third of the way through. So when my husband Brian came over to the pool we both asked him to tell us how it ended so we could quit reading it. I never did see the movie either.

I was playing Angry Birds for a short period on my kindle last summer. But then i just thought it was stupid and never even came close to getting addicted to playing it. Maybe because i sucked at it.

susieatl said...

The Dan Brown "formula" is getting tired. But he does address overpopulation and the Catholic Church's role which is interesting. I have a close friend who is a devout Catholic except for the BC rule. She absolutely thinks the church is messed up on that.

I've been looking for a good book for the summer. I saw this as a recommendation on a list last night. I'll have to download it.

I also downloaded Fitzgerald's works and am reading a lot of his other stuff. Amazing how scandalous his stuff was back then and he only really alluded to sex. Lady Chatterly's Lover must have sent the public into a tailspin.

I quit playing games. I found out that the Facebook games still send requests even if you say no when it asks. I guess that is price you pay for free entertainment - you alienate your friends.

jojo cucina cucina said...

susieatl, have you read The Art of Fielding? I posted about that book awhile ago. It was one of my favorites last year. I have quite a stack of books to read for my summer time off. I am currently in the middle of three books. I still have finished The Kite Runner author's new book about Mountain echoes or something like that; i am reading The Human Stain by Phillip Roth, and a first novel book that i really like called A Land More Kind Than Home.

Reading books for me is a lot like dating more than one or two guys. I usually read more than one book at a time and what ultimately happens is i find one i like the most and that one gets all my attention and then i tend to forget about the other book(s). Sometimes reading more than one book makes it difficult to keep the stories straight.

In my brief dating career after my first divorce at the age of 28 i always hated going out with more than one guy because i had a difficult time remembering what i might have talked about to one guy and would worry about repeating my story but mostly i always liked one guy more than the other.

Re: Dan Brown - don't you hate it when an author gets 'formula'? I used to like reading Harlan Coben, John Grisham, Jodi Picoult. Now i won't touch their books.

jojo cucina cucina said...

I meant above that i have NOT finished the Echoes Mountain title .....it lost my interest with trying to keep characters straight. My SIL Marie had the same problem. One other book i liked this year was The Interestings because it started out in 1974 with high school aged kids through their 50's which is my era.