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St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves is another mystical, wonderful thing. I found myself reading jaw-open, thinking How is she doing this? Like riding a horse, it took me a story or two before I could wrap my simple mind around Karen Russell’s impressive, jaunty vocabulary. But then I was off, galloping down hills and jumping over puddles, still reading when there was plenty else to do.
Aw hell. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit it here, but after several pages I decided I might be falling in love with the author. The idea only thickened as I contemplated what charming non-generic thing I’d say to her if given the chance at a reading, then what drinks I’d buy her at the bar, then whether I’d be better off taking her to the bowling alley afterward, or more creatively, sneaking into a neighborhood BBQ. You know the drill.
I picked #10 up because of the title, which might be my favorite ever (if so, this one definitely comes in second). All the stories are about children with family problems, and each of them (I think) live near water or aquatic life. All the stories are strange and haunting, enjoyable and hilarious. For instance, in one, some rebellious astronaut-raised children attempt to lure endangered baby turtles from their nest. You might have to dig, and if you dare snooze through a sentence (like I did, again) you’ll be in trouble. I’d put her next to George Saunders and Aimee Bender on my shrine of living authors it’d be foolish to aspire to. Most amazingly, the collection was published when she was 25. I’ll be ecstatic if I’m writing this good at 50.
*Progress update: Last night I got a decent start on #11. I’m reading it with a friend, which seems like a fun way to go. Also, maybe it ensures the probability that I will actually finish it. It’s a long one.. that’s what she said.
As far as young adult authors go, M.T. Anderson is about as good as they come. I figured this out last year with Feed, and Octavian Nothing Vol. 1 proved this even further. The Revolutionary War-era historical novel couldn’t have been any more different from Feed, which was a sort of sci-fi/satire love story. I’m not sure why it’s considered a young adult novel, apart from that being where M.T.’s market lies. Maybe because the narrator’s a kid. Anyway, I picked it up at the library in audiobook format for my Miami trip. This was after Carrie told me she’d bought it herself, remembering John Green loved it so much.
So young Octavian tells of his memories using the dialect of the era without a hint of blemish. It’s impressive. He is being raised by a team of scientists, and soon realizes why he and his mother are members of the household: they’re test subjects. Since Octavian’s mother was a queen in her own country, he experiences the life of a prince and slave all at once. It’s heavy stuff, perhaps better for something other than a caffeinated road trip. Still, I enjoyed every minute until about halfway through, when my attention span started to wane (probably around the time we passed Tifton, Georgia). This was especially frustrating, since more than anything I wanted to take in every word. Experiencing this again makes me wonder if I’m going into a sort of post-mature adolescence? There’s less acne, thank God. If I called it a Benjamin Button-like reversal of age thing, I’d be lying. I’ve always been this way.
I’d like to give Octavian another go sometime, but we’ll have to see. This was book #8. My thoughts on #9 will have to wait. I’m very tired now.
Some recent Google searches that have led to my blog:
I check this from time to time, and it always changes. The one thing that never changes, however, are the people visiting my blog to read about the Descendents and Steve Martin. Which leads me to wonder, should I be posting more about the Descendents and Steve Martin? I like the Descendents and Steve Martin, but what would I say?
How about.. I like the song “Hope,” and sort of like the pop-art design of Steve Martin’s website (which I didn’t know about until now, upon writing this post). That’s all I got at the moment. Or maybe after studying up I could recreate this blog to only offer information that has to do with one of these two subjects? Or, start a new spinoff blog, and call it something like The Gulf Steve/Milo Tribute? That last idea sounds miserable.
As always, feedback is welcome in the Comments section.