Monday, June 05, 2006
Book Club Is Here! Welcome to Saunders Week!
Okay, so easy discussion question to start. Which story/stories were your favorite(s) and why? I think I’ve already written about my love for CommComm and In Persuasion Nation here, so I’ll start by saying that another favorite of mine was Adams. One of the things I love about Saunders is that his characters have what seem to be contradictory character traits. The narrator of this story is talking about “wonking” his neighbor Adams in the first paragraph, so we know he has a violent, angry streak, but we know right away that at least in this case it’s because he perceives a threat to his children. Okay, and let me pause right now to say that where Saunders comes up with a word like “wonk” I don’t know, but it’s so specific, and so perfect, and somehow in my mind, softens the violence of this man, like, makes it less threatening even though it seems clear that this wonking is pretty not good. Anyway, so but then the story goes on and we find out he’s kind of obsessed with Adams, and he thinks about the lengths he would go to to protect his kids, and then the last page and a half, in my opinion, are just so gorgeously painful, when he talks what he’ll miss about his wife and kids if he dies, yahhh!!! So, to come around to the point I was trying to make, here’s this guy who’s willing to battle violently because of this huge love. And it makes me think about so many things, like, I don’t have kids, but I’ve written a couple of stories now about characters who do, or are about to, and I have to say, I think I have more than a little Roger in me. I would totally, at the very least, think about wonking anyone who hurt my kids, and I don’t even have any yet.