Monday, June 21, 2010

War weekend

Directions for a war weekend:
1. Read Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers.
2. Read The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert
3. Watch the movie W.

I've been perusing in and out of The Photographer mainly because it is quite large and would be awkward on the bus. It is slow going as somehow looking at illustrations and photographs of a war torn country isn't quite my idea of bed time reading.

However, writing about war torn countries apparently qualifies. I stayed up Saturday night reading Fallen Angels (which is actually written for young adults) and woke up early to continue reading through the end.

Myers' writing isn't too gory, even though countless awful things happen. He describes both the "hours of boredom" and "seconds of terror." At the end of the novel you wonder how it is possible that he only spent around five months in Vietnam as even as a reader the experience changed me. Myers truly captures the feeling of being outsides of one's self during war: "We're all dead and just hoping that we come back to life when we get into the World again." Two purple hearts later, Myers did make it back to the World.

I wrapped up my weekend with a viewing of the movie W. Josh Brolin as George Bush was surprisingly convincing. I liked the arc of the movie. As a viewer, you got to see both inside Bush's personal history and inside the war decision room while he was president.

Then I broke my own rules and read The Photographer before bed.

It was all very heavy.

Don't worry, I've now turned to Kerouac's On The Road...

I am still waiting for the genius of it to hit me. It is all very stream of consciousness and I wonder if I was on drugs if I would like it more...or if I was a man...or if I was of the Beat Generation. I'm giving the novel time so I can decide if I agree with Capote who said, "That's not writing, that's typing," or Kerouac scholar (groupie) Theado who said, "The book is both a story and a cultural event."

Stay tuned.

"Rommel, you magnificent bastard...I read your book!"
General Patton


  1. War stories, war movies....I CAN'T. DO. IT. Remembrance Day I'm a complete touches me more than I can express.

    I watched Saving Private Ryan - I don't know what I was thinking?? scarred me for life. In fact, thankfully - I repressed most of the movie.

    Books though - I must admit I haven't tried a book about war. The closest I've come is People of the Book. It would probably do me good, it's worse to remain ignorant.

    I LOVE that quote "That's not writing, that's typing." I'm totally using that in my every day life!

  2. Jabba - Under no circumstances should you watch The Hurt Locker...EVER. I watched it last month and am still upset. That might have started my war thing, and I'm also on this history kick, and history seems to be full of awful occurrences. I want a new history where it is all smiles and fluffy bunnies.