Oh dear. I’m afraid to report that March has not been a very good month for me, and that includes the book challenge. A grand total of 2 books this month, which makes me about 2 or 3 books behind in my challenge But I intend to rectify that situation. Sickness and sadness held me back this month, but I’m going to turn that shit around in April, awwww yeah! Here’s the update on the pitiful achievement from March…
Book 9: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This was the March choice for the Waterstones Croydon book club; the reaction from the group was fairly mixed (which led to some spirited discussions), and I must admit that this was also how I felt about the book. I loved the descriptions of the decadent lifestyle, and the anonymity of Jay and hidden nature of his past actually made him as an intriguing a character for a reader to encounter as he was for the narrator, and I think that was the point. The female characters were by and large pathetic and hysterical, but wasn’t that the given opinion of women at the time? Ornamental, that’s how I felt they came across. Jay’s actions at the end disgusted me (his non-chalant acceptance of the hit-and-run, pathetic pursuit of a married woman years after their encounter with no regard for her current circumstance) even though they were no doubt intended to make him seem more complex, I think they just made him seem even more arrogant and selfish than I had first thought.
But the depiction of the lifestyle was clear and prophetic, given that the book was published before the great Wall Street crash, lending an eerie foreboding that the decadence and luxurious indulgence that defines the book’s characters is fleeting.
Book 10: The Regulators by Stephen King
The Regulators is about a small town that is quite literally torn apart one sunny afternoon, when strange things start to happen around the unassuming townspeople. After an innocent paperboy is gunned down on his route, the residents of Poplar Street are in a state of panic, and things go from bad to worse when the strange vehicles driven by bizarre looking characters – straight out of a TV show, it seems – keep reappearing and gunning down houses, people, anything that gets in their way. It’s got all of Stephen King’s trademarks – the supernatural elements, psychic powers in kids, references to 50s pop culture and fiction, with some good old fashioned violence thrown in for good measure.
It didn’t inspire me to read another book, it just made me want to read more Stephen King – that’s not a bad thing though. But I need to get back on the horse if I’m going to meet this challenge!