Attacking Life with Comedic Jaws of Sarcasm. Recovering Dating & Relationship Blogger - Made it to Step 12 When I Got Married.

Crack of Dawn, All is Gone Except the Will to Be

My book reports from Greece. I know you were waiting with bated breath for these.

Women in Love, D.H. Lawrence. I read Sons and Lovers and absolutely loved this book. I couldn’t get enough, didn’t want it to be over, wanted more after it was finished. So, I chose another Lawrence classic, Women in Love. Uh…ick. I didn’t like it. What I loved about Sons and Lovers was that it was so timeless – I know of many cases where that situation (boy who is plucked as favorite of the mother can’t seem to find a woman who is good enough and ends up alone) happens today. I suppose that Women in Love is timeless as well with its theme of women who just are never fucking happy no matter who the man and what they do for them, but it just wasn’t as interesting or well written to me. Call me nuts.

D.C. Noir was my non-classic. Reading this on the middle of a practically deserted island still annoyed me because, let’s face it. I hate D.C. Why I chose to read a book about a place I don’t care for, only served to annoy me more. If that was even possible. There were a few good stories in there though. But not the one about the yuppie mom who took the doll she found in the alley behind her house in a “transitional neighborhood.” The doll belonged to a crazy lady living in the halfway house across the street from the Yuppie Compound, and the drugs inside belonged to a dealer who then put a hit out on the crazy lady. See, there is a such thing as being “too liberal” you assholes. That yuppie bitch should have minded her own business and left the doll where she found it instead of trying to give the crazy lady a “better doll.” Silly liberals think helping others is a game to make themselves feel better and to assuage their guilt. Thankfully the next book was better.

One of my favorite songs of all time is For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica. One of my favorite authors of all time is Hemingway. So Hemingway has a book called For Whom the Bell Tolls and I finally read that puppy in Greece. Typical of Hemingway (and Metallica,) it didn’t disappoint.

What I was most curious about was – knowing that both were about war, in what capacity were they linked. That is a horrid sentence I just wrote and I can’t figure out how to fix it. Anyway, it seems that the song is about the portion of the book that contains El Sordo’s last stand. “Men of five, still alive, through the raging glow, gone insane from the pain that they surely know.”

This one is a must read. And the song, a must listen. True to Hemingway’s style, you think you are there and you are left with your jaw open because you just have no idea where he is going. If I ever had a conventional church wedding (cough cough cough!) I would most definitely walk down the aisle to Metallica by the way.

The last in my pile was Ulysses. I have already made this confession to my friends, family and “friend,” so I may as well tell you all. I need the Cliffs Notes, or something. Momentary Academic soothed my ego by telling me there are whole grad classes on the book by itself. One Jordan Baker recommended I buy a certain companion to Ulysses to help my understanding, however, I sort of want to quit. Look, I read 200 pages of the highly touted “greatest novel of all time” or whatever. Can’t I quit? It’s just about a bunch of drunk Irishmen, and I’ve dated several of those so that has to count for something.

This whole Cliff’s Notes thing is really wearing me out. I stare at Ulysses every night and choose something else to read, usually Bazaar or Lucky, and coo over the clothes I’ll never buy, in anticipation of the day when I finally crack and just go buy something to help me finish this thing. And the day I buy it is the day I solidify my place in Loserville. Population: 1. Unless anyone else wants to fess up to not getting Ulysses either…


  1. mysterygirl!

    I, too, HATE Women in Love (which I read after enjoying Lady Chatterley’s Lover, which made it extra disappointing) but love For Whom the Bell Tolls. Yay! Glad you got the chance to read some really good stuff.

    But don’t knock yourself out over the Joyce– just put it on your shelf and wait until you’ve forgotten about this experience enough to want to give it another go. 🙂 I’ll admit that I have a copy of it with an ancient boarding pass marking my place on page 253. No shame.

  2. Patsy

    Back in 1999 or 2000, I can’t remember which, I had a copy of the “top 100 novels of the last century”, and since there were approximately 50 or so on the list that I’d never read, I made it my business to read them. I made the mistake of starting at the top of the list. You made it about 50 pages further into Ulysses than I did; so for that, I tip my hat to you.

    And what was that? Metallica at your wedding? I HAVE to be invited to that! Don’t worry, I’ll help you plan; I’m a pro.

  3. MA

    I wonder if the “transitional neighborhood” was mine?

    I’ve only read one Lawrence book and at the moment I can’t even remember which one. 🙂

  4. homeimprovementninja

    For Whom the Bell Tolls is awesome. I heard that Hemingway would have upwards of 70 drafts/rewrites of a book before he thought it was ready. It shows.

    I won’t touch Ullyses. One of my few OCD habits is that I have to finish a book once I start it (no matter how bad it is) which is why I only read stuff that I am fairly confident will be pretty good. I have heard enough people giving up on Ullyses to avoid it.

  5. Velvet

    MG – You made it 50 pages further than I did! Well done! I need a support group.

    Patsy – That book sucks. How it made it to number 1 on the list is totally beyond me. And yes…Metallica…provided I were to have a wedding, which I doubt I would.

    MA – No, they generally labeled it as “Capitol Hill.”

    Ninja – I want to finish it, but don’t know if I can. Or will.

  6. suicide_blond

    ok the yuppie with the doll was kinda annoying.. but you had to laugh at the lesbian with the mini van….

  7. nato

    200 pages of Ulysses is 200 pages more of it than I’ve ever read. But then again, I’m more inclined to crack open a Terry Pratchett than anything from Joyce. I have, however, made it through the first chapter of this adaptation of Ulysses . . .

  8. barbara

    If you were doing all this heavy-duty reading, how did you have time to hate Greece? You were gone for only 3 weeks and managed to read 4 major classics!

  9. Dara

    Ulysses is the first book on the list that I’m reading from. Ulysses is also the only book — ever — that I’ve started three times but have not finished.

  10. wildbillthePirate

    You’re Nuts! There, you asked me to say it so I will. Have you read the book In the valley of Elah that the movie was made from? Good!

  11. Velvet

    SB – Lesbian with Mini van is the lady whose husband divorced her and she had to find a way to get the money to pay off the house? Chevy Chase? That story was AWESOME!

    Nato – I broke. I bought the Cliff’s Notes. You can borrow them if you want! And oh. my. god. I love that link. I have to make sure the PhD girls see (Jordan Baker, Momentary Academic and Mystery Girl.)

    Barbara – Oh, trust me. You can find time to hate Greece. I read on the flights, and at night in the hotel, and by the pool when I got to lay out at the hotel with the Pick Up Artist seminar.

    Dara – This is all your fault! I got the reading list from you! And it is printed and on my stack of “things to do.” So now I can blame you! Or make you read it with me.

    Johnny – I rely on you for this type of news. That is awesome!

    Wild Bill – Uh, no I have not read that book. I think I’m done reading for a while. Ulysses is going to kill me.

  12. Ulysses

    (What? You thought I wasn’t gonna comment on this one?)
    You are allowed to put a book down (easy to say, but somehow hard to do, I’ve finished some awful ones, only ever put one down. Though I might go back…). You also don’t have to mark off everything on your to do list.
    I think you’re not meant to carefully read Ulysses, you’re supposed to just go with it and let it work on you.

    P.S. I knew they were both about war, but I was most curious to find out what other parallels they have.

  13. Dara

    I stand by what I said in e-mail: We should have a Cliff Notes book club. At least for this one.

  14. nato

    It’s Friday and I really don’t want to work anymore. So, in answer to Velvet’s question “But always the master, hmm, what rhymes with dater and hater?” I submit the following forty-four choices:
    1. cheese grater
    2. alligator
    3. defibrillator
    4. elevator
    5. escalator
    6. deflater
    7. delator
    8. later
    9. straighter
    10. abater
    11. skater
    12. debater
    13. dilator
    14. flatulator
    15. freighter
    16. superoperator
    17. Ralph Nader (yes, I know, I’m pushing it . . . )
    18. pater
    19. and if you’re ignorant, potater
    20. calculator
    21. respirator
    22. rater
    23. satyr
    24. seider
    25. Lavater (Johann Kaspar)
    26. salivator
    27. sedater
    28. supplicator
    29. applicator
    30. tater
    31. creator
    32. castrater
    33. traitor
    34. mediator
    35. titillater
    36. titivator
    37. titrator
    38. idolator
    39. retaliator
    40. distillater
    41. mutilator
    42. darth vader
    43. evacuator
    44. waiter

    Why yes, I WILL go to great lengths to avoid work. Thank you for asking.

  15. freckledk

    You are such a geek for going out and buying those Cliff Notes, but at least you’re pretty. I still love you.

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