Monday, August 19, 2013

A Tale for the Time Being

A Tale for the Time BeingA Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, what a rich, luxurious tale!  There is so much in this story, I don't know where to begin.  Or end.

A woman living on an island near Vancouver finds a Ziploc bag on the beach.  The bag contains a two diaries and some letters.  As the woman reads the diary, the reader learns about the diary-writer, a Japanese girl, and the bullying and family tragedies she suffered.  This story has so many aspects and facets, and all are woven in throughout to create a smoothly flowing stream of a story.

There is Zen Buddhism here, and friendship, and bullying and wisdom, and suicidal tendencies and naked hope and quantum mechanics. There's humanity, in all of its glory and shame.  This book sucked me in like the ocean vortex, an inexorable obliteration.  I went gladly, consumed by the poetry Ozeki used to relate this story.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 16, 2013


JoylandJoyland by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've always loved Stephen King's writing and his characters, but I didn't like the horror aspects of some of his stories.  This one has none of that (a little sip of supernatural, maybe, involving a couple of ghosts, but it works).  It's a fantastic story, written from the point of view of a sixty-something man looking back on one particular summer in his life.

Devin Jones spent a summer working at an amusement park, selling fun, learning the carny lingo (King calls it the Talk) and dressing up in a dog costume to dance around and entertain the kids.   He loved the work and the park so much, and was so intrigued by the story of a murder that had taken place there a few years previous, he decided to take a semester off from college and stay on as the park buttoned up at the end of the season.  He met a single mother and her son Mike, who was afflicted with muscular dystrophy and lived in a Victorian house on the beach near the amusement park.  Mike was my favorite character, an old soul in a young body.

Read this one to escape your routine and meet some new (fictional) friends - take a semester off and stick around to enjoy the lingo and sell some fun.

View all my reviews