Monday, October 28, 2013

The Mailman Ran Over My Head

If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head.

With an opening sentence like that, I just had to keep reading, and, although not quite finished, I have not been disappointed.  This is our book discussion selection for November and I am anticipating a spirited discussion.

Why?  The humor in this book is build on stereotypes.  It's not malicious humor in my opinion, but because the people making dumb moves after dumb moves happen to be minorities, the opportunity to offend and be offended is there.  Poor Edgar is a half-breed - so you can see why this might rankle some.  His home life is awful.  As a matter of fact, when his head is crushed by the mailman's truck, his mother doesn't even get off the couch.  Again, you can see how this deepens the problem.

Edgar, this little survivor, tells us his story mainly in first person;  at times, when he is repeating things he heard about his life during his three month coma, or when discussing events in his seven year old philosopher persona, he flips into third person.  I can see where this would come off as an inconsistency to some while others would consider it a fascinating technique worthy of examination.

During Edgar's hospital stay, he room with three colorful characters who become a pseudo-family, which is good since he learns early on that his family can't or won't take him back.  In short order, he lands in an a home for orphan Indians where the discipline techniques are harsh.  Eventually, he is taken in by a dysfunctional Morman family.

Years ago, a friend serving in Nam (that tells you just how man years ago) sent me a copy of his favorite book ever - The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B. by J. P Donleavy.  My memory of that book is that is is filled with unmentionable circumstance and irreverent comments.  Re-reading books isn't something I do often, but I did order a copy of BBB, and will see if the similarities are there or if I have misremembered (is that a word?)

I'll let you know if my predictions about our discussion are correct, but you will have to wait a couple weeks for that.  Usually, I am whipping through our discussion title the week before we meet.  For some reason, I am waaaaay ahead this time.

My Nebraska email ppal and I have been having a discussion about Night Film.  Perhaps he will write a little something about it for a future blog.  Steve and I try to compare "Castle" notes each Tuesday morning, but now "The Blacklist" has caused some interference.  So many choices.

HAR musical and tweener are done.  Other directors are nearing the finish line as well,  We get together in early November to read the scripts and put together the order of the show.  Such fun!

Thanks for stopping by.