Books and Plays

Okay, I’ve just popped some more codeine, as Damon came home and said: Your face is all swollen! I know that hurts, take a freakin’ pain killer already.

But I’m going to see if I can get in an update before it kicks in. If this drifts into incoherence, you will know why.

Damon has just been reminding me of all the things I said while under the influence, none of which I remember. Apparently the doctor was laughing because he said I asked questions pretty much non-stop, even after I was sedated. And then Damon says I told him about four different times on the drive home that my Dad recovered from his surgery so fast that his nurses were just amazed and how the Segers are all really good healers. I remember nothing after the needle went into my arm until I woke up in my bed as the anesthetic wore off.

So anyway, sorry to derail off into my teeth. They’re sort of defining my life right now. That and that someone seems to be cooking garlic bread nearby and it smells amazing.

Anyway, I’ve neglected my bottom-of-the-page book log but I’m getting back on the horse. I finished The Screwtape Letters. In the following days I tackled one book that I did my obligatory 50 pages and then dropped, because it just wasn’t for me. Some mystery with a title that read something like ‘The Snake, The Crocodile and the Dog.” Next up was Christopher Moore’s Dirty Jobs. Moore is one of my Dad’s favorite writers and I was so excited to see he had a new book and was coming to New York to promote it. So Damon and I went to Chelsea to see him. He gave a very engaging talk and then spent some time chatting with all of us. I got to tell him all about Dad and he signed a book to him, “Dear Jim, Keep this one, she’s read it. Your pal, Christopher Moore.” I’d told him that my Dad sent me all his books. But I had my own copy, which I got signed as well. I plead medication on the sloppiness of those sentences, by the way. I noticed curtholman mentioned the book and that it had bascially the same plot as A Pale Horse. It’s true, the basic concept is more or less the same. But the approach is terribly different. I don’t think the Moore book was total genius, but it’s definitely a fun read.

After I finished that I reread The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. I don’t really know what to say about that one, I haven’t quite worked it out in my head. Now I’ve moved on to The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I’ve seen the movie, but I’m finding the book charming. I’m a sucker for English moors, spooky mansions, independent you girls… Ask me how many times I’ve read Jane Eyre. Actually, I can’t tell you. But that sort of makes the point right there.

Before I close, let me tell you about the play we saw Thursday night. And yes, I’m going to mention my teeth again. Because it’s such a testament to how wonderful this show was that it was 2 1/2 hours long, and had two intermissions and one two-minute blackout; and I had to spend the whole evening with a smuggled in can of ginger ale pressed against my face in an attempt to dull what was by now pretty bad pain. If the play had been less than so so great, I would definitely have given up and gone home where I knew painkillers were waiting.

The play was Awake and Sing by Clifford Odets. It had a celeb-packed ensemble, which makes me a little bit nervous because I always view that as stunt casting rather than hiring really good stage actors. But most of them had theater creds. It was Ben Gazzra, Zoe Wannamaker (Madame Hooch!), Pablo Schrieber, Mark Ruffalo, Lauren Ambroze and two guys whose names I can’t remember. And there was a dog, which is always a good thing. The show is set in 1935 and is rich with dialogue that would put, I think, most actors to the test. But they were so good. The nut of the story is that a once-prosperous family is dissolving under financial and social pressure. Not so glamorous, but they really did such a beautiful job. Lauren Ambrose was the weak link for sure as she couldn’t quite sell the dialogue. I think she’s a good actress, just too modern. She was so great physically and reactively. But the others made it sound like this was the only way anyone ever talks and it was thrilling to watch. I’d like to give you something more cogent, but I think I’m just about out of steam. So if you’re coming to New York any time soon, Damon and I both recommend putting this show at the top of your list.

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8 responses to this post.

  1. I don’t think the Moore book was total genius, but it’s definitely a fun read.
    I’m going to cut and paste that line somewhere in my computer so I can just have it any time I review a Moore book. Because it just applies to everything that comes out of his pen.

    Reply

  2. I don’t think the Moore book was total genius, but it’s definitely a fun read.
    I’m going to cut and paste that line somewhere in my computer so I can just have it any time I review a Moore book. Because it just applies to everything that comes out of his pen.

    Reply

  3. My favorite Burnett book is A Little Princess. I adore that book. I liked a couple of Moore’s books too; those are fun reads.
    I hope your mouth gets better quickly. That’s awful, but I’m glad you were able to get it taken care of so quickly.

    Reply

  4. My favorite Burnett book is A Little Princess. I adore that book. I liked a couple of Moore’s books too; those are fun reads.
    I hope your mouth gets better quickly. That’s awful, but I’m glad you were able to get it taken care of so quickly.

    Reply

  5. oh my!
    you’ve had a rough spot here! i’m so sorry! you’re doing a good job, though. keep it up!
    i understand your weakness for “The Secret Garden.” has there been talk of spores yet? the spore talk kills me, and i have no idea why.

    Reply

  6. oh my!
    you’ve had a rough spot here! i’m so sorry! you’re doing a good job, though. keep it up!
    i understand your weakness for “The Secret Garden.” has there been talk of spores yet? the spore talk kills me, and i have no idea why.

    Reply

  7. Re: oh my!
    I’ve yet to hit the spores, but I plan on finshing the book this weekend so they’re in my immediate future.

    Reply

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