Friday, October 25, 2013

Books 161-170

161. City of God by E.L. Doctorow (2000)
162. City Primeval by Elmore Leonard (1980)
163. City Sister Silver by Jachym Topol (1994)
164. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson (1749)
165. The Clay Machine-Gun by Victor Pelevin (1996)
166. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (1962)
167. Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks (1998)
168. Cocaine Nights by J.G. Ballard (1996)
169. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (1932)
170. The Collector by John Fowles (1963)

Some modern stuff on here!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Rules were made to be broken.

Sometimes dealing with a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old has me spinning in circles.  One is old enough to know better (don't jump on the couch) while the other idolizes his big sister and does whatever she does.  Even the most clear rules are simply disregarded when they are having fun together.

The Cider House Rules is an incredible novel that is all about, well, rules.  While the basic point of the novel is the abortion debate, each set of characters has his or her own rules that they opt to follow (or not) throughout and the reader observes how these rules shape their lives.  For example, Dr. Larch feels morally obligated to perform abortions as well as deliver unwanted babies to be left at the orphanage.  To further his perceived moral imperative to do so, he breaks more basic, commonly-held rules such as not falsifying another person's medical degree and lying about a living patient's heart condition.  It is interesting to see how the dichotomy works between the characters' self-imposed rules and the external rules.  Most of the characters have no problems breaking the external societal rules when they find their own rules are more important.

This is a very, very sad book.  I really enjoyed it and the characters will stick with me for a while.  But it also definitely brought me to tears in parts.  And I found I could sympathize with the characters even when, like Dr. Larch, they don't necessarily agree with my own beliefs.