(No cover image today, because it creeps me out, and I don’t want to remind myself of either the creepiness of the cover, or the crappiness of the prose.)
Published by Alfred A Knopf and purchased by me, to my everlasting shame.
Hamburger’s dad is a musician, and a bit of a snob about music. Whenever he hears any type of alternative or rock music from pretty much the 1980s on, he’s notorious for saying “That’s just crap.”
And that’s a pretty accurate summary of how I felt about this book.
I know that many people love this book. It was our book club choice for October, and one person in particular just raved about it. And it’s not that I don’t think people should love one another and be kind and help each other. I totally do. I just don’t need it phrased like this:
You were born together and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
And then there’s this:
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to muse.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
Dude obviously didn’t work for a government agency.
And finally, one last torturous excerpt…
Like the ocean is your god-self;
It remains for ever undefiled.
And like the ether it lifts but the winged.
Even like the sun is your god-self;
It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holes of the serpent.
But your god-self dwells not alone in your being.
Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,
But a shapeless pygmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening.
And of the man in you would I know speak,
For it is he and not your god-self nor the pygmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime.
To say I didn’t like this book would be a massive understatement.