2/12/2008 12:57:00 am


Posted by Unknown |

I'm listening to The Kite Runner and reading All Quiet on the Western Front at the moment. Between the two of them they're quickly destroying my faith in humanity. It's like depressing novel week in Tomland at the moment.

Today I was struck, in The Kite Runner by the devastating effect of undesired grace. If you've read it, you'll know the scene where the servants decided to move away after being set-up for a crime they didn't commit. It was a horrid scene.

Lots of people have mentioned how hard it is to read The Kite Runner. I figured I'd be fine. Most things don't shake me much. But so far this book has. Not for the brutal rape scene that everyone talks about but for the scenes that followed. I found them so difficult I kept pausing my iPod and having to have some silence for a while. It's a good book, it's just making me unhappy. Actually it's getting a bit better now.

All Quiet on the Western Front is wonderful. It's not making me happy, but it's so well written, I just love letting it flow over me. One reviewer wrote on the back "The book conquers without persuading, it shakes you without exaggerating". That sums up how I'm feeling. It's disturbing because it doesn't try and convince you of anything. It just talks about life from the soldier's perspective and that does all the work it needs to do. There are no politics. Just the day to day life of the man on the ground. No right and wrong, good and bad. Just fighting and unhappiness. There is very little glamour in the book. I'm really enjoying (if that's the right word) reading it. It just feels so effortless. It's helping me feed my pacifist tendencies.

Plus I love reading classic books. It feels like I'm taking part in history.