NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Friday, March 7, 2008

THE ORCHARD KEEPER by Cormac McCarthy




I told J.C. the other day that my initial reaction to this book was, "Huh?" But that I had read 2 previous Cormac McCarthy books and was used to this feeling. I was sure it would all come together in the end. Well, I've finished the book and here is my review: Huh?

I like to think I am a relatively intelligent reader. But when I get to the end of a book and couldn't even begin to tell anyone what it was about, what happened or how it ended, I can't help but wonder if it was the book or was it just me. I can't honestly say I didn't like it at all. McCarthy's writing has a magic all its own that keeps you turning pages even as you think to yourself, "I'm not getting this at all . . ." But for some reason, this one left me completely blank.

I like Cormac McCarthy. The Road is still seared into my memory, and Child of God, involving one of the most disturbing characters I've ever encountered in my reading (a necrophiliac), was one of my oddest, creepiest literary experiences. I wouldn't run around recommending Child of God, but images of it stay with me like an accidental trip through a nightmarish circus freak show. I will read others by him in the future, and I will probably revisit this one someday to see if I can figure out what I missed. Or if I missed anything at all. And maybe that in itself is the point.

Lezlie

9 comments:

Misty Dawn said...

Oh my - watch how fast I subscribe to your blog feed ;-) One of my best friends, Barb aka Skittles, sent me over here. Boy, am I glad she did.

I'm completely addicted to books. Also, if you visit my blog, which is titled My Dogs Keep Me Sane, at www.mistysmusings.com - you can meet my three Border Collies - Tag, Molly, and Maggie May. I think you and I could talk for a very long time ;-)

Lezlie said...

Misty Dawn -- Consider yourself my friend! We Border Collie people understand each other!! I'll be over to visit in just moments. . .

Lezlie

Lezlie said...

PS Everyone who has experienced Border Collies will love the irony of your "My Dogs Keep Me Sane" title. . . :-)

L.

J.C. Montgomery said...

The more I read books, and blogs, I find that it really is true (and not in a bad way) that intelligence is not so much important to reading as our emotionality. Some read with their brains, some their hearts, and others both.

Sometimes you don't feel touched at all. As you stated, "I will probably revisit this one someday to see if I can figure out what I missed. Or if I missed anything at all. And maybe that in itself is the point."

Interpretation is in the mind of the beholder, and someday this book may open itself to yours. If it does not, thats ok too.

I love this review for its honesty and for one of the best lines I've seen in a while: "but images of it stay with me like an accidental trip through a nightmarish circus freak show" .

Nice!

Have a great weekend.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

This happens to me from time to time. I feel like I need to ask another reader if it was just me or the author. Each time, it's the author. :) After THE ROAD, I haven't touched another book by this author. I stayed in a depressed state for days after reading it - ugh!

BooksPlease said...

Hi Lezlie, I have just found your blog and really like it. I have never read any of McCarthy's books but now I am curious. I'm not sure I would have finished The Orchard Keeper, but as you say the writing has a magic all its own I really will have to have a look at this book.

By the way I haven't written on my blog about dogs, but I'm a border collie fan too. We used to have a border collie/labrador cross. He was a great dog - I think I'll write about him, with a photo. I love the photo of your dogs and of Queen Cleopatra as well.

Lezlie said...

J.C. ~ I think I'm a heart-reader who's a wanna-be head-reader. In my fantasies I am a Ph.D. in Literature. :-) But in truth, either a book grabs me emotionally or it doesn't. That in itself doesn't make or break a book for me, but those are the ones I tend to remember later.

J. Kaye ~ The Road was harsh. I still loved it though, despite the bad dreams I had for a couple of days. . .

Books Please ~ Hello! I'm glad you found me! I visit your site quite often and I love your insights. If you decide to give McCarthy a try, I'll be very curious as to your reactions. And I'll be looking forward to your dog posts! :-)

Lezlie

joanna said...

Hey!
Well I won't be rushing out to buy this one! ;-) The Road is planned for this year though, I'm looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about!

Lezlie said...

Joanna ~ I can't blame you there! :-) I will also be reading Outer Dark this year, so we'll have to see how that one goes as compared to the others. Let me know what you think of The Road when you get to it.

Lezlie