Friday, February 18, 2011

I Do Expect It To Be Amazing

It certainly has been a long time since I've been to this particular site, much to my shame. Frankly, I'm a notorious slow reader, not to mention that I have been devoting what time I can spare to my movie reviews. However, that is no excuse to leave the written word out. Words are important: after all, that is how the world began.

In any case, I have not forgotten the goal of The Index of Forbidden Books: to do what others in the world cannot, namely, read just about anything I damn well please. The only censor I have is myself. I don't need anyone telling me what is forbidden or what I can or cannot read. However, I should expand my goal to do something that Americans, tragically, are not doing: reading for sheer pleasure. Reading, for reasons I do not understand, is not popular. In truth, people are becoming so illiterate that adults can no longer tell the difference between 'to', 'too', and 'two'. I've seen people spell the word as 'h-a-v-e-i-n-g' and think it's correct. Contrary to popular belief, it hasn't been THAT long since I have been to high school, but don't people teach them about 'dropping the E and adding I-N-G' anymore?

I know: it takes time to read, and today, we are hard-pressed to find time to do so, what with 'texting' (or its oddball cousin, 'sexting'), Facebook, satellite multi-channels, and so forth. However, my personal failings, mercifully, can be rectified by simply carving out no more than fifteen to thirty minutes a day. That would equal 3 1/2 hours a week, which in the long run isn't that much to ask of anyone.

With that in mind, I've decided to go back and find something I haven't read before but have heard much praise for. In this case, it will be The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by the man above, Mr. Michael Chabon. The only thing I know about it is that none other than Seth Cohen on The O.C. was passionate about it, so that's a plus, right? The Cool Nerd who had a far more active sex life than most nerds I knew loved the book, so it must be good. Perhaps I'm being a bit facetious, so forgive my tone. I actually know very little to nothing about it, but I think it has something to do with comic books (a genre I don't care for--never read them as a kid). What is great about picking this title for my own Book-of-the-Month is that I go into it with no preconceptions, so I embark on a great adventure of my own.

It should be good, given the press it's gotten as a masterpiece. Frankly, I tend to be wary of anything that is labelled unimpeachably brilliant. For example, while I thought The Social Network was a well-made film, I am astonished that most of my fellow critics appear to masturbate to it, declaring it "the film of a generation" or "this (my) generation's Citizen Kane". What film did THEY see? Same goes for the comedic 'genius' of Russell Brand or Kanye West and yes, Jackson Pollack, damn it (a damn bunch of squiggles as far as I can tell). I'm always willing to reexamine my views on things. Growing older has made me more tolerant of things I do not understand or may have failed to appreciate at first viewing. Case in point: Fellini's 8 1/2. Therefore, I am going into The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay with a hint of trepidation. However, I hope to learn something about writing.

As I begin to read this book, I go into it a bit suspicious but optimistic, hopefull that all the hype will be justified. Sometimes it is (example: Precious), sometimes not (example: The Social Network). All right, then. Let the reading begin.