Monday, March 06, 2006

Ah-ha! Catching up!

It occurs to me that since this blog is really only updated when there's nothing else going on that it's sort of a chronicle of the lulls in my life. But, since it's focus is solely on my one sided little ramblings on the books I read, I guess that's okay.

It's a rainy spring night in Burnaby. I'm in the basement thinking about the government with Dylan and Mouse.

Golden Days by Carolyn See

Golden Days was recommended (and loaned) to me by someone whose taste in most things I admire quite a bit. Typically, her appreciation for books is no exception. Throughout my life there’s no doubt that this person has given me more influential books than has almost anyone else. So I approached Golden Days with a lot of excitement.

A hundred pages in, a little puzzled, I was still excited, hoping that the goodness would start anytime soon. But, alas, no. This book didn’t deliver what I expected it to ever, and, in fact, never delivered anything I even thought was very good.

Golden Days is the story of a young to middle-aged mother of two living in the California Hills. In the tumultuous months before nuclear annihilation she goes about her life, getting involved in romances, self-help cults, investment groups, and all the other hallmarks of late seventies era Californian upper-class WASP entertainment.

Then again. I wasn’t ever there. So I might have it all wrong. I give her credit for being true to time and place. I believe this is what it was like there and then. But for whatever reason, it didn’t work for me as sci-fi and didn’t work for me as social drama. The feminism [am I still allowed to use the word?] seems archaic in our post post post everything world. (For example, the nuclear missiles as male dominated cock fantasty thing has already been beaten to death by 2006. Already even a rock & roll cliché by 1985.)

And maybe that’s my biggest complaint. It’s an apocalypse where everything pretty much just continues as normal. I think. Hints of distant war, then a vague description of it’s aftermath through the same consumerist, middle-aged sunglasses. I understand Updike does the same thing in Towards the End of Time? Anyone?

A few months ago I might have had some details more clearly. And again, maybe it’s just a chronicle of a city I’ve never much liked in a time period too flaky to be retro, with no real payoff at the end.

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