I think I'll do another 50 pages of this later tonight; the aim is to finish it up sometime tomorrow, to clear the decks for something like Clubland, or the graphic novel I have lined up. we'll see. meanwhile, Gogol has provided some backstory for the buyer of dead souls, and I was not sure that was ever going to be a priority. I was happy to see it come along. I didn't even know if the book was going to move beyond visits to landowners to buy the souls, but the narrative moved beyond that a while ago. anyway, this sure is a unique read--the time, the place, the people--but I'm in need of something different, afterwards.
enjoyable, causes a lot of smirks, I love some of the (translated) passages and paragraphs that pull back from the humor and embrace a larger perspective about life, people, what is transitory but important, the difference between speculating and judging--but I am already looking beyond what Russian Lit offers. this has been an eye-opener, and I'm glad to experience it, but the aims of 19th Century Russian writing will only be visited by me every now and then.
I haven't read something like this in a while, so it's a bit of a refreshing break from genre fiction. I've even laughed out loud several times. but I could not live off this type of novel. it is a welcome detour off my main road of SF, Mystery, and Spy novels, and worries that I would be bored or confused are gone. fun!
hoo-kayy...bravely confronting the Big Uknown--meaning, in my case, those great Russian Works Of Literature. I've done some Pushkin short stories, seen a Turgenev play, and I've steadfastly avoided intimidating Russian writing--especially in the long form--for many a year. and then I remembered, in my acting days I did perform in Gogol's The Inspector-General, playing the whiny little bastard who comes to town and is mistaken for, well, an Inspector-General, and thus has his ass kissed by everyone he meets, until it's time to get the heck out of Dodge. it was a fun play, and so, with fond memories of the Gogol way of doing Comedy (yes, I'm wimping out and picking a "light" Russian Classice--sorry, Anna Karenina, maybe one day...), I'm sampling Dead Souls. I almost put it away again, in favor of contemporary Horror or Fantasy, but I'll feel bad if I keep doing that. time to buckle down and take the big first step into this new world of Russian novels. new to me. I can tell you the first 15 pages were good.
heading into Part Three, and it looks as though the net may be closing around the Jackson family. the Gestapo has stumbled on the smallest of clues...
intensely fascinating at this point--with Sumner and Toquette agreeing to allow their house on Avenue de Foch become a nexus point for the French Resistance. the whole situation is incredibly tense, even a bit ridiculous, because Avenue de Foch had been turned into "Avenue de Gestapo", seething with Gestapo presence, the Gestapo Headquarters In Paris, homes requisitioned for use by Gestapo high-ups, and Nazis running marches and drills up and down the Avenue...right while an American couple (and even their son, sneaking around with chalk to vandalize swastikas with "V For Victory" graffiti!) commits to helping the very Resistance networks that all their new Gestapo neighbors are more and more intent on finding, torturing, and crushing. it's hard to believe a situation like this could exist--spies living on the same street as an army of their sworn enemies...and of course I fear for the family.
well, either his style picked up some finesse and smoothness, or I had an attitude shift when I decided take this a bit further tonight...but whichever the case, I'm happier. actually--some great sentences and rhythm established. the main text really only goes to page 230, before endnotes and index and all that stuff kicks in, so this should be a quick but very memorable piece of history to lose myself in again tomorrow.
hmm, it's going to be interesting to return to this "Women Rule, And All The Men Are Gone (except one)" series, after experiencing Wonder Woman. there is even a version of "Amazons" in this proposed future. and they are tough!
I generally prefer a little more flair to a writing style--this book features a simple, stark approach to storytelling, even a bit ham-fisted--BUT I can't fault him for keeping things moving. and the story--a true one--is gripping in and of itself; maybe no adornments is the best approach. in a few pages, Paris has fallen to the Nazis, and that ratty, horrid little Fuhrer has driven through to enjoy the victory...while Doctor Sumner Jackson, physician, lifesaver (even back in World War One, and now this!) stays to help the inhabitants of his adopted home.
Some of the art from the Wolverine portions of Wolverine: Meltdown (Havok sections done by different artist).
enjoying this all over again (many years since I read it last), and...it's kind of a Spy story! plus, the art is breathtaking.
this sounds enthralling--an American family in Paris during WW2 sees what is going around them and decide stay and function as spies, working with the Resistance. can't wait!
a lot has been revealed, but my gut tells me there's at least one last big, shocking surprise. anyway, shall finish this tonight, finally do my re-read of the Wolverine graphic novel I love so much, and then probably a Nonfiction pick.
a lot is coming to a head--and even being revealed--right now, but there are so many pages yet to go...t's a bit weird! it's incredibly delicious, but weird. anyway, barring an unthinkable detour, I have another new Mystery writer to worship!
it certainly seems as if I'll be taking a little trip to acquire more Nele Neuhaus novels very soon, or else there will be acute withdrawal angst later on.