Monday, November 5, 2007

Modern Library's Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century Quest: #95

Title: Under the Net
Author: Iris Murdoch
Judgin' The Book By Its Cover: I think I can see a lady... and a cat... or is it a puppet? Maybe it's a stained-glass window?

Thoughts: I loved this book. It was engaging, and its scenes varied from laugh-out-loud funny to achingly beautiful (the scene when a man sees the woman he loves on the other side of the Seine is incredible). I also loved the main character, Jake Donaghue, a sometimes-writer whose neuroses are as plentiful as his charms. He reminded me of Sebastian Dangerfield in his freewheeling ways, but without the wifebeating and cursing (so I guess they're not very much alike after all...). The book talks quite a bit about existentialism and philosophy, but it isn't dry at all. Also, it left me wishing that I had a movie star dog to walk beside me on the time-worn streets of London.

Here's a quote that I loved from the book about reading the first few pages a book: "Starting a novel is opening a door on a misty landscape; you can still see very little but you can smell the earth and feel the wind blowing." If you like the taste of that mustard, read this book!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Hot Wings and Fried Green Tomatoes

After the Ryan Adams concert at the HamBall last night and a feast at Justin Timberlake's Southern Hospitality tonight (not quite as delicious as Virgil's, but with a Stones and Crowes-heavy playlist, which more than makes up for that), I'm feeling a Dirty South weekend coming up. In keeping with the theme, here's a little Southern-themed factoid for you (courtesy of ESPN's college football coverage): apparently when Nixon was vice president, he visited Russia, and the only song that both he and Khrushchev knew was the Georgia Tech fight song, which they sang together. I can't think of a stranger duet than Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon singing Tech's song-- can you? If ya got one, let's hear it!

In related news, the one state below the Mason-Dixon line that's getting the evil eye from me these days is South Carolina-- their decision today to bar Stephen Colbert from entering the SC presidential primary race has senselessly destroyed 4,520,937 laughs before they were even given the chance to see the light of day...