It is only the second day of our Protest Action and already we are feeling anxious. Like, there are only five days in a work week! which means only FIVE BOOKS! which is WAY TOO FEW! and makes us feel like we felt on every single one of the SIXTEEN interviews we went on before securing our current illustrious position, where whatever harried HR person who was trying to assess our sanity/competence/ability to memorize exactly the preferred ratio of sugar-free vanilla syrup to espresso in potential boss's Corporate Coffee beverage of choice would ask us what our favorite book was and, even though we totally knew it was coming every time, we would feel like crying, because IF YOU CARE AT ALL ABOUT BOOKS YOU SHOULD FUCKING KNOW THERE IS NO ANSWER TO THAT WRETCHED WRETCHED QUESTION. We've been reading somewhere between two and three hundred books a year for the last, oh, say, at least two decades, which is a LOT of books to pick from, Author-friends, and we thought this little book-review project would be a lark but now it is making us want to weep with despair. Just so you know.
ALSO MAY WE PLEASE REMIND YOU NOT TO WRITE YOUR NOVEL IN "AN IMPRESSIONISTIC STYLE" PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO YOU HATE US? IS THAT IT? YOU HATE US, DON'T YOU.
Today's theme song: Tom Waits, "I Don't Wanna Grow Up"
No. 2: Donna Tartt, The Secret History
The Secret History was also a book we read at a very impressionable age, when we were enormously eager to depart the, shall we euphemistically say, intellectually cramped environs of our home turf and embark on our voyage to the storied realm of higher education, where of course everyone would be as elegant and brilliant as Henry and his friends, and we too would sit around fixing ourselves endless cocktails and translating Dante into Sanskrit out of sheer fabulous ennui. We have read this book so many times we sometimes forget it's fiction, and have on more than one occasion asked our Support Team if he remembers the time Judy Poovey gave Richard Demerol at that terrible party, only to remember mid-sentence that we are talking about imaginary people. The Secret History is that rarest and most perfect of things: a potboiler-hearted literary novel, a piece of literature that is, in essence, pure shameless crack, but so beautifully composed one does not feel the slightest bit of embarrassment at losing oneself altogether in its pages, half-expecting to hear Bunny's booming, honking voice at the window, shouting up a demand to be let in. Donna Tartt is a magnificently erudite writer, and an absolute master at creating that particular restless lovely nostalgia for a time that never existed and events that never took place; a gorgeous ache worthy of Fitzgerald, for a decadent world that is, despite its rotten core, immensely appealing. And, like Gatsby 's Nick, Richard Papen is an irredeemably unreliable narrator who wins you over even as you tell yourself you know better; so that you, like him, are so taken in by the trappings of wealth and brilliance that murdering two people comes to seem a regrettable but necessary inconvenience, and the ensuing inevitable fallout manages to impress itself upon you as tragedy rather than deserved retribution.