Archive for gilbert grape

The Heights

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2010 by Sara Lilly

Peter Hedges’ comment inspired me to read his new book. I downloaded the e-book version to my mom’s Nook and then went to Borders and bought my own hardcopy.  I hate e-books. After a class last semester known among its students as “English Boot Camp” I am incapable of reading without a pencil or highlighter. I can’t pencil or highlight an e-book so paper is the way to go for me. My mom and I run a very informal book club between the two of us. We collectively enjoy the work of Russo, Nabokov and Khaled Hosseini. She has a love affair with the writing of Ian McEwan–I have yet to even read Atonement. I’ve discovered that she hates the British humor that I enjoy (Evelyn Waugh) and I don’t have much of an interest in detective agencies in Botswana. We’re a good match the two of us though.

Anyway, to get back to my original point. I drift a lot from topic to topic because my brain thinks faster than my mouth lets me speak or fingers let me type. Okay. Really, this time, I’ll start writing about what I set out to write. The Heights by Peter Hedges. I’ve only gotten to page 40 or so between last night and fifteen minutes ago when I sat at the counter at the Park Avenue Borders with my cold veggie burger, office-snatched Gatorade and 100-calorie pack of Cheez-Its. So far I’m surprised/impressed by a couple of things:

1) He’s like a chameleon with narrative voices. Aside from random moments here and there, there’s not  a breath of Gilbert Grape in the first person consciousness of either Kate or Tim.

2) It has a light Revolutionary Road aura. I loveeeee Revolutionary Road and The Heights is already far more comedic than Road was, (for those who have not read the book nor seen the movie, it’s a depressing tale of the pitfalls of suburbia) but something remains in it that constantly reminds me of the absolutely amazing Richard Yates novel.

3) The author has something about big age differences and sexual tension. Gilbert Grape had three notable hookups: one involved the title character who was 24 with a 40-something woman. Another was the title character with a 15-year-old and the last was a 16-year-old with a 27 (or 29?) year old. They’re all a little weird but it’s interesting–it’s like a moral dilemma. It’s a, “This is wrong but I can’t stop reading,” kind of thing. *edit: Why does this strike me as weird–I wrote an entry about me and a 28-year-old.

That’s all for now. Like I said, it’s page 40. I enjoy it so far though. I’m looking forward to reading more.

Oh, so in tradition of my last post “I Think I’ll Feign Fainting,” I started a short story called “How Max Mitz Feigned Fainting and Brought Down an Entire Corporation.” It’s the most ridiculous, absurd thing I’ve ever written. Maybe it’ll turn out well or maybe it’ll just be ridiculous and absurd. Who the fuck knows?

End.

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