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Don’t allow yourself to be disappointed just yet…

May 6, 2011

Last night I could not fall asleep. How frustrating when that happens. I got home from a music rehearsal and had a quick snack of some toast, and then tried to sleep. And tried to sleep. I read a bit. Tried to sleep. Read a bit more. Tried to sleep again.

I failed in the trying to sleep, but definitely succeeded in the reading.

Thank goodness

Now for a little note on Surfacing, Margaret Atwood’s second novel which is currently casting a shadow over my nightstand (actually, I took it to work today to read during my breaks, and so I suppose it is casting a shadow in my daypack at this very moment). For some reason it was grabbed yesterday instead of Hisham Matar’s In The Country of Men.

And I am thinking that was a mistake.

My mother and my brother both swear against Margaret Atwood. My experience with Alias Grace, one of my favourite novels, turned me into a fan. 70 pages into this short novel I am not sure I really know where it is going – I’m not sure it knows where it is going. I don’t know what it is about, or what it isn’t about. Every paragraph has an identity crisis.

This novel has certainly captured in the universe of 1970s Canadiana. Not a bad thing, but maybe, just maybe, not a good thing either. I’ll finish it, out of necessity – but I may come away with a bit of a sour taste, wondering how it is that Atwood managed to go from this piece of schlock to the glorious literary adventure I experienced in Alias Grace.

Regarding last night – because I am consciously trying to slow down my reading of these novels, I used War and Peace to keep me entertained in my restlessness. Damn, this is a great book.

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