The Wife

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Today is the end of week 14, so it's time for the chapter and page count.

For the week:
PAGES - 1,929

For the whole year so far:
CHAPTERS - 2,031
PAGES - 25,677

I also want to welcome all the new followers who have shown up over the last week or two. Even though I'm three months into this project, the excitement of new followers has not worn off yet. And I still can't quite wrap my mind around the fact that there people who actually want to read what I have to say - it's still mind boggling to me. So thank you to the new followers, the old followers, and those who are faithfully reading but haven't become followers yet. And for those who read but haven't become followers yet, all I have to say is: Come on, you know what to become a follower. All your friends are doing it. You would be so popular if you did. All the cool kids are becoming followers. Okay sorry, peer pressure time is over, I promise.

Today's book; "On the way to a big literary-award ceremony, the wife of a famous New York Jewish novelist—sick of his philandering, his self-importance, and his limited talent—decides on divorce. Her stingingly comic story of their marriage shows why. They met in 1956, when she was his writing student at Smith and he was the author of one very bad published story. Only after running off with his talented and self-effacing pupil does he burst into literary stardom. Although they have three (variously unhappy) children, he has always been the real child in the family, dragging her along to the fĂȘtes at which he is flattered and flirted with while she drinks her jealousy away. Wolitzer never really develops her characters and savvy readers will guess her surprise ending quite early on, but she has great fun satirizing an all too recognizable stratum of literary life."

I really enjoyed today's book, which surprised me because I recently attempted to read another book the author and I got so bored with it and didn't finish reading. But I never hold that against an author because I believe in literary second chances - there's always the possibility an author could have started out not as great and then gotten a lot better or an author can start out with a great book and then slowly go down hill from their. It happens with TV all the time - Golden Girls didn't even really hit their stride until a few seasons in, and do we even need to talk about how badly Roseanne went down hill in the last few years - so I figured, why can't it happen with books. Of course reading a book every day has given me the freedom to do that - I'm not sure I would be so willing to give authors another shot if I had a really limited amount of time for reading.

I have no idea why, but today's book keeps making me think about movies and TV shows. I guess it could be that I'm experiencing TV withdrawal. I'm getting the shakes - but it's my own fault, I never should have cut down so drastically all at once - gradual would have been better, or maybe I need a TV patch or some TV gum to get me through this rough spot. First I was reminded of a movie when the book's main characters were discussing an author who was rumored to have been afraid of fruit. It reminded me of the scene in Notting Hill where Hugh Grant's character is on a blind date with a woman who is a fruitarian. For those of you who have never seen the movie, here's the transcript of that scene:

Keziah: No thanks, I'm a fruitarian.
Max: I didn't realize that.
William: And, ahm: what exactly is a fruitarian?
Keziah: We believe that fruits and vegetables have feeling so we think cooking is cruel. We only eat things that have actually fallen off a tree or bush - that are, in fact, dead already.
William: Right. Right. Interesting stuff. So, these carrots...
Keziah: Have been murdered, yes.

Then later in the book the main character, Joan is asked by her college professor if she is free Saturday night. She jumps to the conclusion that he is asking her on a date, only to discover that he wants her to babysit his child so that he can go on a date with his wife. I read that part and I kept thinking Why does this seem so familiar? And then I realized that the same thing happened on an episode of The Brady Bunch. Marcia had a crush on her dentist, and she thought he was asking her out, and then was devastated to the point where she "just wanted to die" when she found out the truth.

I think I should just go watch some TV and get it all out of my system so I don't end up mentioning TV in tomorrow's blog entry - which would make it the third blog entry in a row with a TV reference in it.