Monday, August 18, 2008

Review etc

I will do a book review, below, but I first wanted to point readers to the nice community forum that Shelf Awareness has set up regarding Amazon's Kindle. Readers of Shelf Awareness have been writing in regarding sightings (or lack thereof) of the Kindle, and feelings about this device. Some points are interesting, anecdotes are somewhat informative, comments are a bit annoying and even borderline rude, but to hear this was frustrating:

Ellen Smith of the Hudson Library and Historical Society, Hudson, Ohio, had a money-saving tip for all e-readers. "Train commuters who are inclined towards e-books (or audiobooks, for that matter) should realize they can save themselves their hard-earned dollars by downloading books from their public library for free--so long as they DON'T use a Kindle. Amazon has not made its device compatible with any public library version (a product of OverDrive), therefore everything viewed on a Kindle costs money!"

Oh Amazon. Tacky.

My review:

Young author Robert Leleux wrote an article for the Texas Observer about a gay Texan writer named Edward Swift, who wrote about a town just a few exits down Highway 59 from where I grew up, and I enjoyed the article, so I first wanted to read Leleux's book, The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy, before reading Swift's Splendora. Leleux is from outside of Houston, like myself, but my mother is not nearly as, um... fabulous as his, and this book is about her, his fabulous mother, in a way that I found a bit unsettling. If you get along with your parents, fantastic, but Leleux cannot get enough of this mother, who speaks in quotable quotes, and anecdotes that could be 2 pages long become 10 pages of "I know, can you BELIEVE she did that?! I KNOW!!!!1111!!omg!!1!!" If he didn't use the c-word, this book would be straight-forward YA and that would be fine, but as a book for adults, it's a bit l-i-t-e; having said that, he's a young guy and it definitely has its moments, so here's hoping he keeps at it, maybe gets over his mom and isn't quite as moonie over his husband, and turns to fiction to create an alternate bizarre world, rather than stretching this one to fit our current idea of whacky gay memoir.

(PS I couldn't get through Splendora after finding it in the library, as it's endlessly descriptive with little to no action (at least in the first 60 pages), but I still support any Viking novel published in the '70s in which a cross-dresser returns to his small town in Texas, a town I know and perhaps fear a bit, in complete drag. As you can see from what I'm reading on the sidebar, I've moved to Capote for southern gayness, and Other Voices Other Rooms, a book I'm thoroughly enjoying, should take care of this current gay-southern itch.)

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