Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Book Challenge 6.

Day 01 – The best book you read this year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Day 03 – Your favorite series
Day 04 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad

Day 6.

Most of the books that made me sad do so by association. AM Homes' the End of Alice makes me sad because she disowned it, and it was one of the books that changed my life. The Unbearable Lightness of Being makes me horrifically lonely, which I was when I read it in the middle of college after a weird time of losing friends and feeling too defective to recognize the making of better ones. Joyce Carol Oates' Zombie is the book that makes me sad, though, as it does nothing else. I'm still really dazzled by Alice and Lightness but in as far as Zombie is, to me, amazing, it is really nothing but devastating, and the language clears the way for it to be. It doesn't get very caught up in itself, although it is distinctly her work and reads a lot like Blonde, which I read just before I read Zombie for the first time (I was also avidly, avidly into Marilyn Manson, so that oscillation was de riguer). I read a lot about Jeffrey Dahmer in high school; sociopaths were a sincere passion, and he is an unusual one (in as far as Ted Bundy is such a classic one). Zombie makes me sad for my young self and sad for people in the book in a really enduring way that is not like a burst of cathartic sobbing, but sustained dread. Nothing happened for things to suddenly be bad, and nothing will trip them to make them better.

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