Meredith's Challenge 2.0

52 books, one year. Stay tuned for more details.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

#39 At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neill

I took a Modern Irish Lit class a few years ago and I really liked it. My final paper was about the history of queer identity in Ireland and if I read this book then, it would have fit in very well. I also could have asked my very Irish professor for help with the history. True story, one of the funniest things I've ever heard was this professor, who had a bit of a brogue talk to his wife in Italian. Also trilingual? Damn, I'm really behind. This took the author 10 years to write and won numerous awards, which is why I read it of course.

I think that I'm too ignorant about Irish history to appreciate this novel. I liked the relationship between Doyler and Jim but the historical aspect went right over my head. It takes place right before and during the Irish Easter Revolt in 1916, which holy crap, sounded like a bloody mess. Even though I didn't really get into the story until the end, there were tears anyway. Just a few though, because the boy was in the room and one must keep her womanly secrets, no? (i.e. I'm a big softy and will cry at a drop of a hat, not really secret for anyone who's seen a movie with me).

So, Meredith is a cry-baby, doesn't know enough about world history and will probably not reach her goal of 50 books this year (sob!). I am in the middle of Devil in the White City, and I get the feeling that I'm going to wish that I could un-read it by the end. I think no more bed time sessions with that one, otherwise I may never go to sleep, again, ever.


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