Sunday, February 19, 2012

parlez vous strangebird?!

It has been a well measured exercise in persistence - requiring the devotion of both time and consciousness. "A Fraction of the Whole" by Steve Toltz is a mystery to me, no-more!

I finished page number 561 a few hours ago, but there's so much more to follow.  My book looks like a homage to the sticky flag. Ordinarily, I don't do this to my books...well, save for years 11 and 12 English Lit class, where quote marking was a necessary evil. But while reading this book, I just felt I had to mark every occasion that saw me wide-eyed, open mouthed - re-read a sentence or paragraph that had made an impression on me.  There were a lot of these occasions.

I cannot appropriately describe my feelings about this book - as I lack both the adequate vocabulary and experience to do so; but I can say that I found this read, one of the most enjoyable of my adult life. So many times, when I read a book, particularly a notoriously good one - I feel like I'm on the outside; one step behind the joke; isolated by clever words and unrelatable story. However, this was different. For want of a better way to articulate it - it seemed like the writer, Steve Toltz was speaking my language.

No arrogance intended.

* * * * *

Because out there in the real world, freedom means you have to admit authorship, even when your story turns out to be a stinker.

He held the photograph under my eyes. I don't know if faces can be the polar opposite of each other...this one grinned as if he'd been photographed on the happiest day of not just his life but all life everywhere.

The past is truly an inoperable tumor that spreads to the present.

I saw all the dawns come up too early and all the middays reminding you you'd better get a hurry on and all the dusks whisper "I don't think you're going to make it" and all the shrugging midnights say "Better luck tomorrow."  I saw all the hands that ever waved to a stranger thinking it was a friend.  I saw all the eyes that ever winked to let someone know their insult was only a joke.."

The game is an analogy for life: there are not enough chairs or good times to go around, not enough food, not enough joy, nor beds nor jobs nor laughs nor friends nor smiles nor money nor clean air to breathe.. and yet the music goes on.

I realised that her sweetness, the way she carried on with the people of the town, was her mask.  It was a good one, the best kind of mask there is: a true lie.  Her mask was a weave of tattered shreds torn from all the beautiful parts of herself.

The faces of a city take on a supremely cruel and indifferent quality when you wander through it in the midst of a personal crisis.  It's depressing that nobody stops to hold your hand.

These dumb, bored, unempathetic people are all around us.  We can't trust anyone to behave himself. We always have to be on the lookout.  Here's the case-winning example: it doesn't happen every day, but every now and then, people shit in public swimming pools.  That just says it all to me.

There's something disturbing about a thirty-two-year-old man putting his thirty-two-year-old soul into the mouth of a child...

Eddie, Dad's best friend, was a thin Thai man with a sleazy mustache who always seemed to be smack bang in the middle of the prime of life and not a day over.

The meaning of faith is our understanding w/ Creator that he will not eavesdrop on our mind's whisper to itself unless invited.

I think her love for me has nothing to do with me except proximity - wrong place, wrong time.

I ran & suddenly I was not alone: along came the shame of a man who all at once discovers he's been ungrateful so we ran thew three of us - me & shame & ingratitude running together like three shadows of three men who were running just ahead.

I'll teach you how to yell with your mouth closed & how to steal happiness & how the only real joy is singing yourself hoarse...& how not to leave the windows of your heart open when it looks like rain & how everyone has a stump where something necessary was amputated...

I couldn't see it but I knew the sun was around there somewhere - its yawn had lit the air.

..and I thought about how when the apocalypse comes there's bound to be someone with big hair standing in front of me...

That's the problem with people who suffer right in your face.  They can't so much as scratch their noses without its being poignant.

The moment stretched its way into infinity, then snapped back to about a nanosecond and rebounded, so all in all it lasted about eight and a half seconds.

There's little doubt that when the defining moments arise in which charatcer is molded, you'd better make the right decision.  The mold dries and sets quickly.

I saw him as a spider who woke up thinking he was a fly and didn't understand he was caught on his own web.

That's the great thing about blame: she goes where you send her, no questions asked.

It was as if a thread in my brain had become loose, but I was afraid to pull on it in case my whole being unraveled.

I remembered how Orwell described the future as a boot stamping on a human face forever, and I thought that all around me were boots, people so terrible that the whole human race should be punished for doing nothing to curb their existence.

See your doctor if loneliness persists.

SB xx

1 comment:

Rianna said...

I fear I will never get over this book....I'm yet to read something that comes close to touching it :)
So glad you enjoyed it :)
Love xxx