Sunday, March 16, 2008

I read my way to Ireland, again.

So, rather than take a proactive approach to my reading around the world, I am letting books come to me. Sounds rather enigmatic, I know.
It may be that I am a bit dilatory in this regard, but I have realized that most "for pleasure" books I force myself to read are boring (at least initially), even though as quickly as a month later I am fully capable of dealing with it...
This all came about as I tried to force myself to read Jack Kerouac... that was a freaking nightmare. I hated his books, I thought him to be... argh, I can feel the ire about how I though of him even now. Anyway, the point of this is that about 2 years later I picked up a copy of Desolation Angels by the beat leader of slackdom and selfishness and became a bit more sympathetic. But only a little. I did read more beat lit after that, but more as an ethnographer than anything else... I was intrigued by what made people choose that particular "way of life".

Desolation Angels

So what is key is that I had tried to read him before, but when another book came to me, I was ready, and after that one I was indeed able to read his bewilderingly famous "On the Road".

So, see all those words I wrote above and which you hopefully have just read?

Yeah, those are there to help explain why I chose this book to give me a new Ireland. I did love the first one I put up there, Angela's Ashes... it is a beautiful book, and it was about Ireland... but so was this one: The Celtic Riddle.

So why am I adding a mystery thriller when I can have that frou frou cover best seller? Because I learned a whole heck of a lot about Ireland from this one. It reads like a British (forgive me that Americanism) in that it is well written and proves that an author can have a lovely vocabulary (unlike a whole heck of a lot of American mystery/thriller writers) include a lesson in history, mythology and make the reader gain a whole lot more appreciation about a country than say... any of the Bourne Identity books. Not that there is anything really wrong with them, they just are not written in the same way. So, I am going to add this stop to Ireland over in my book list. Because I loved this book and learned a lot about a country I have visited and have ancestors from.

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