The Martian Child

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Today's book, "Ten years ago, sf and fantasy writer Gerrold, a single, gay man, saw a photo of a towheaded kid bursting with life and fell in love. Gerrold eventually took Dennis, the child in the photo, home and began the work of earning the acceptance of a hyperactive, severely insecure eight-year-old who desperately wanted a father but thought of himself as a Martian and, therefore, probably unworthy. Gerrold's memoir is of the first two years of being Dennis' father."

Thoughts on today's book:

  • I picked today's book because it was the shortest one in my to-read stack. I probably shouldn't admit that, but why fight the truth. I had a really busy day today and a headache that lasted for half of the day - so I figured a short book was my only hope of actually getting a book read today. I also picked today's book because I heard the movie was terrible, which makes me want to watch it even more - it's sort of the movie equivalent of Don't look now, you won't believe who just walked in - and I like to read the book before watching the movie so I figured Why not. The book was kind of a mixed bag - it was pretty good for the first 100 pages or so and then got really sketchy for 20 or 30 pages, and then went back to being good again (not great, but good enough to justify spending a few hours on.) There were a few amusing parts, but nothing that was laugh-out-loud funny. And the brevity of the book resulted in the author skimming across the surface of a lot of the experience - but I guess I shouldn't complain about that since I was looking for a short book in the first place.

  • There were a few places in the book where I got kind of chocked up - of course coming from a person who cries like an idiot throughout the annual Home for the Holiday's special (a special that features older children who have been adopted as well as children who are still eligible for adoption) that's not really surprising. If you're not a ridiculously sappy kind of person who cries during Hallmark commercials than you should be fine. I, unfortunately, am so sappy that I've actually started crying before while describing a Hallmark commercial to someone (in my defense dear readers, it was a really good commercial).

  • I think my favorite part of the book was when the author started to feel like he was turning into his Dad just a little bit. I remember the first time I started to channel my Mother - it was in my Mary Poppins days and I found myself saying "Do I look like a maid," and then of course there's the classic Mom-standard, "This is not a restaurant." But, I'm glad to say, I kept my cool and I didn't completely descend down into the pit of Mom expressions - I have yet to say "You better straighten up over there," or "It's a long time till breakfast" (actually I think that might have been one of my Dad's expressions), and then there was my least favorite of all-time, "You need to cooperate" which in Mom land does not mean "everyone works together" it means "everyone caves to Mom's plans." And since my headache has still not gone away I think it's time for me to go "rest my eyes" - which is Dad-speak for "I'm going to be asleep in my easy chair for the next three hours."