Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Reading, again...

I'm in the middle of Willa Cather's My Antonia, and it is amazing. The book reads comfortable and warm, like a fleece jacket on a brisk Spring day. Her style is simple but not plain and meanders along with a willfulness I find fascinating. Even more interesting, it's being presented as the reminiscences of an orphan boy growing up in a small town in Nebraska, during the late 19th Century.

It's nice to read something I like, without reservation, after the last few books I tried to get into. One was a mystery by Donna Leon that went on and on and on about the casual life in Venice, Italy without any mystery. Nor was there anything in her style to keep me going, so I stopped after 80 pages.

Two others were books written for a gay audience that supposedly were on the dark side but were really quite juvenile. One dealt with a gay vampire that chooses a young man to be his mate and came across as a bad bloodsucker rendition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer without one ounce of that show's cool. The other used ancient Mesopotamian Gods mixed in with a few Greek and Roman and Egyptian ones to show their world was one big orgy, where the main god-guy was supposed to be gay but really did not like sex with men. Made him sick and scared. Weird.

I read them because I said I'd review them for a site. And did. And tried to be nice about it. But neither one was worth better than 2 1/2 stars. Nor were they truly erotic, even though they were seriously trying to be.

I dunno; maybe I'm jaded by my own writing. I've been told my work is vicious, at times, which I took as a compliment even though I don't think it was intended as one. OT's got a hard streak in it, but I now see this as preparation for what Place of Safety will be like. Reading Cather's book shows me you can do that without being harsh.

Something I want to strive for.

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