Friday, December 3, 2010

A Book to Read and Probably Reread, Probably Because ....

Wading in Plotless Wonder: Percy Walker's The Moviegoer

There are generally 2 types of fiction readers: Those that want a good solid story in the plot sense, and those that are looking for something else.

The story lovers are often into epic tales. Harry Potter's stories would fit here, but so would most of Steinbeck's books (certainly the big ones). Those looking elsewhere, on the other hand, are suspicious of plot. They aren't sold on stories that wrap up so neatly at the end.

I, for one, like both types. Then again I'm a Gemini.  So I'm fucked.

The story lover in me loves East of Eden, The Fountainhead, A Fine Balance.

The other in me loves The God of Small Things, Haruki Murakami and The Catcher in the Rye.

All this to recommend Percy Walker's The Moviegoer. But only to that other kind of reader. Cause I'm not sure I have the foggiest notion what the book's about, and I only just finished reading it a couple weeks ago. And while not fully comprehending where you're following the protagonist or why can be mildly irritating, it's also what makes the book rather mystifying and pretty uniquely amazing.

Roger Ebert, the reviewer, once said that Citizen Kane is his all-time favourite film cause no matter how many times you watch it you can never quite solve the mystery of the film. I have a strong feeling I'll be rereading The Moviegoer in the near future, cause I have no idea, and the plot wasn't clear or with much purpose, and yet the meandering nature of the story, and the utterly lovely paragraphs of description that Walker gives, mmm... yeah, I could wade in those waters again.

Like nothing I've ever read.

Oh, and it won the National Book Award the year after it was published - 1962.
So I'm not totally alone on this.

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