Thursday, April 14, 2016

Bookish Thoughts...

On Umberto Eco.  One week after Umberto Eco passed away, I spotted a copy of his How To Travel With a Salmon & Other Essays in a used bookstore, and I just had to buy it. I was feeling sad and nostalgic for his writing, but while I'd read several of his novels, I had never read any of his essays. For over a month now, I've been dipping in and out of them. The book fits perfectly in my purse, so I've been carrying it with me and reading it in waiting rooms and when standing in long lines. There are essays on "How To Go Through Customs", "How To Eat Ice Cream", and "How To Organize a Public Library". They're clever and witty and delightfully humorous. I never knew that Eco was so funny. It makes me miss him even more.

On duality.  I am tired of novels written in dual narratives. I'm also tired of novels that take place in both the present and the past. But I'm really tired of novels that combine dual narratives with dual time periods. Pick one, people! One POV. One time zone. Because dual story lines never end up being equal; one is always better than the other. And that's the only one I want to read.

Happy Reading!

14 comments:

  1. Amen! I hate when you're more invested in one timeline or character's POV and the author keeps switching.

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    1. It really slows down the plot and story for me...and when the author spends more time on the storyline I don't like as much? Ugh!

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  2. Dual narratives, two (or more) time periods, AND a prologue! A prologue is not a requirement. None of these things are intrinsically bad, but they have become imitated to the point of annoyance.

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    1. I forgot about prologues. I'm not a fan of them either; in fact, I tend to either skim them or skip them entirely. :)

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  3. What perfect timing! I have an Eco book waiting to be read on my bookshelf. It's great to know he has novels and essays for me to read.

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  4. I completely agree with you and it seems that more and more authors do the trick with the dual storylines in two different periods etc. Are there fashions or trends in writing perhaps?

    And Umberto Eco is indeed funny, I loved these essays as well! Glad you bought them.

    Kind regards,

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    1. It feels like dual POVs and dual timelines is a trend right now...one I'm really tired of. I hope they move on to a new trend, soon. :)
      P.S. I'm glad I got those Eco essays, too. He's such a good writer!

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  5. Oh, I'm so glad you mentioned the Umberto Eco essays -- I didn't know about them, and they sound delightful!

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    1. They are! Short, sweet and so funny.

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  6. LOL Lark! It seems the dual POVs are all the rage in NA these days. Some authors really pull it off, but others not so much. When it's well done, I'm happy with it as it permits me to live inside of two characters' heads instead of just one.
    I'm happy for you that you found Umberto Eco's essays in a used book store. I hope you'll share some more thoughts about them once you finish reading the collection.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. There are a few authors who can do dual POVs well, like Charlie Lovett, but I'd say the majority of them don't do it very well. But you're right, when it works, it can be fun to see inside two different characters' heads. :) Thanks for commenting!

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  7. Umberto Eco is another author that I haven't read yet. Your comments about his writing make me want to read something of his. :)

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    1. I love his writing; some of his books are a little dense, but well worth the effort.

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