The Cat’s Meow

While I do love reading, there are a few instances where I have trouble finishing a book.  Either personal circumstances, such as needing to finish personal projects, inhibit my progress, or I find the book less interesting than other ones I have delayed reading.  Generally, the latter is the real issue.  I love reading fantasy and scifi novels.  Sometimes, I’ll read a work of realistic fiction.  More recently, I started reading more biographies, memoirs, and similar works or articles.  When the writing is mediocre or the subject of three or four chapters is one instance in a person’s childhood, which deserved only a paragraph at best, these books can be tiring.  However, a well written biography or memoir can be a secret gold mine containing trivia and insight concerning the current or past worlds.

One of my current reads is Vanity of Duluoz by Jack Kerouac.  I never read any of his other works, and this one was staring at me from the library shelf.  So far, it’s kind of a drag.  He spends the beginning of the book reminiscing about his days as a football player and lovable scoundrel and goof, which would be fine if it didn’t continue into infinity.  I’m close to the part when he begins his career at Columbia; I hope the book picks up from there.  Another point I find slightly irritating is his constant “dear wifey” references–they take the place of “dear diary” in this story.  Also, sometimes it’s hard reading about someone going on a personal journey when your journey demands more and more of your time.  Anyway, while I prefer not to waste time reading or doing something I don’t like, I like Duluoz‘s prose enough to make myself finish it.  Besides, I should read at least one Kerouac novel in my life.

PS:  I do find it interesting, as an American with strong French roots, to read about another French American.


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