No, I have not gone illiterate. These past darkening, October-November, rainy, blustery weeks I’ve read The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and In the Spider’s Web by Jerome Gold. Wintry tales all.
Shipping took me northward to Canada’s Eastern-most province: Newfoundland. I like venturing to the north country, but why so many storms? Ice? Snow? I wish Annie had tweaked things a bit and made it warmer. Though, what’s not to love about a house coming unchained and sliding off its rock into the sea?
From there I moved on to Heart. Dark. Troubling. Unforgiving. Death by toil. A big angry god. Wresting valuable ore and shipping it out. Imperialism’s evils. Greedy, mind-warped conquerors. Hey guys. Guys. Listen up. You’re trampling on someone else’s land. Oh. I see. You brought guns as well as Bibles. Well, then. Go ahead. Be as greedy as you wish.
Then In the Spider’s Web by Jerome Gold. Highlighting the retribution-driven Washington judicial system which leads to such things as thirteen-year-olds serving twenty-two year prison sentences for murder.
Now, I’m reading a chuckler: Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. Set in the ancient history, long ago age of the dot-com bubble and its bursting. We’re talking pre-google, pre-You-tube, pre-collapse of the towers. The hoi-polloi at an elite Chicago ad agency are about to lose their jobs.