Blog Archives

Exploring Dark Matter

Ok, so “Dark Matter” is the first thing I’ve read from Blake Crouch—or the first exposure I’ve had to his work given the tv adaptations of his work too—so I’m not sure if he’s super pretentious and that comes through naturally in his writing, or if his characters are all so astoundingly in love with themselves and their own brilliance, and he’s just that good at capturing it.This is an interesting story, but it feels hampered by how little I care about the actual characters. At this point I’m barely a third of the way through it, and it feels like I already have an idea of what’s going to play out—so either I’m astoundingly brilliant or there are some twists coming.

It’s reminding me so far of “Predestination”, the movie based on Robert Heinlein’s short story ‘All You Zombies’, although that was focused on time travel and the interweaving manipulations of timelines rather than exploring multiverse theory.

While I really enjoyed “Predestination” I’ve never read its source material, and after hating reading Heinlein’s “Stranger In a Strange Land” I’m a little hesitant to check it out. So I wonder if this might be a similar situation; that I might enjoy adaptations of Crouch’s work—‘Wayward Pines‘, ‘Good Behavior’ for tv and eventually “Dark Matter” itself as a film—more than I like his writing itself.

Or maybe I’ll enjoy this more as it gets going—like I said, there are probably some twists coming….

Listening to “Long Way Down”

There’s such a rough poetry to this story, a rhythm that carries the shaking, emotionally charged and physically unsteady words that I’m not sure would have been as captivating had I not listened to the author read it himself.

It needs to be performed and witnessed to be experienced, and Reynolds acknowledges as much in the interview that follows the audiobook edition as he explains why he wrote it as he did.

There is a universe of all the unwritten backstory that populates the neighborhood surrounding this short novel, that surrounds the elevator Will rides as the ghosts of his life; his father, uncle, friends—one by one enter and tell their story, their stories, the stories that are all connected, linked together like chains around the living left behind that drag Will down.

These stories piece together the reality that their violence obscured, and Will begins to understand how the rules he has lived by, that his world is governed by serve only to keep them all locked in an unending cycle of ignorance and violence.

This brought to mind several things I’ve read recently, and quickly, for subject and style this should be read with:

📙Walter Dean Myers’ “Monster”

📕Angie Thomas’ “The Hate U Give”

📘Kwame Alexander’s “Swing”

📙Elizabeth Acevedo’s “The Poet X”

📕John Edgar Wideman’s “Brothers and Keepers”

📘James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Reading the Intentional and Not So Intentional Absurdity of Catch 22

I never had to read Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22” in high school but chances are if it had been assigned I wouldn’t probably wouldn’t have finished reading it. The novel is a too-long absurdist, occasionally funny, often sickening accurate and poignant, novel set during the Second World War, of a bunch of men screaming louder and louder because no one is listening them, while sexually assaulting most of Italy.

Weaving throughout the narrative exploration of a myriad of damaged soldiers is the emotional and psychological cost of toxic masculinity, on those wallowing in it as well as to everyone they come in contact with.

The greatest expression here of this cultural malignancy is the bureaucracy of war; whereas war is wage to provide a hierarchy for men to exploit one another, and that bureaucracy is then maintained to continue to wage a futile and pointless war that creates victims as much in those who are bombed as those who are bombing. Perhaps those who order the bombings can be said to be immune to the effects of this culture and the war it wages in reality, but they most certainly have a form letter explaining to  “Mrs., Mr., Miss, or Mr. and Mrs. —” that it is they who are the real victims in all of this. 

But I also have to wonder how the new Hulu adaption of the book will address the cultural and sexual shortcomings of the book in today’s Me Too and Time’s Up movements. Or will that charming and wistful reminiscing of the good old days when a fraternity gang raped two underage girls be excised entirely from the retelling?

Catch 22 Hulu series

It’s certainly a difficult book to read, and one difficult to say was enjoyed, despite the humorous moments. But for its stark, absurd illustration of the power of communication, miscommunication and misdirection to corrupt and damn, and the effects of war, of unchecked and unrestrained aggression it is an important story to experience. And one that, despite being dated in some aspects, is just as relevant today in the lessons that still need to be learned and the warnings to be gleaned.

Follow me on Goodreads to see what else I’ve been reading.

Friday's Thoughts

Cries. Laughs. Eats. Sleeps. Thinks we should live life like flowers do.

Adventures of a Bibliophile

nevertheless, she persisted

Milk + Beans

Spill it - you know you want to.

Narcissistic MIL

Life with a personality disordered mother in law.

Stories For All

Aspiring Writer. Short Stories. Poems.

The Griffin | Canisius College

The voice of Canisius College since 1933

the716dailynews

THE 716 BUFFALO NEW YORK

Preferred Services of WNY

Proudly serving Buffalo and Western New York for all your home improvement needs.

%d bloggers like this: