Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays

Miz B and Teaser Tuesdays asks you to: Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two sentences from somewhere on that page. Be careful not to include spoilers. You also need to include the title and author of the book that you're getting the "teaser" from... that way people can add it to their TBR lists if they like the teaser you've given.

This week's teaser comes from one of the funniest books I've read in a long time, Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea. I needed a light read and it feels good to laugh.

*"I thought I was completely too cool for my classmates, and couldn't comprehend how they could hang out at malls on the weekend. I much preferred spending romantic weekends in Hoboken with my twenty-one-year old accountant boyfriend who would wine and dine me at T.G.I. Fridays. I had no involvement with any extracurricular activities at school, mostly because the one time I tried out for cheerleading I was summoned to the nurse's office the next morning to be tested for scoliosis." (Big Red)

*These were probably the only 'appropriate sentences' I could find in the book that I'm willing to post on my blog. She is often distasteful, profane, and absolutely politically incorrect, but she is a comedian. And she is hysterical funny, not snicker-snicker funny but donkey-honkin' funny. And so I can forgive much of the inappropriate in the spirit in which it was written - to entertain.
Sometime's book jackets and summaries can be a bit misleading. They often tell you how fabulous a book is and how many awards it has won, but sometimes they fail to include some pretty important "need to know" information prior to reading. Case in point. I just finished The Kite Runner. It was on my TBR 2010 Challenge list and I had seen it on many favourites lists for several years.

The front cover reads in bold at the top, "New York Times Bestseller." It is followed by a quote that reads, "This is one of those unforgettable stories that stays with you for years. All the great themes of literature and of life are the fabric of this extraordinary novel: love, honor, guilt, fear, redemption.
It prominently displays "A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year" award.

Here is the Amazon.com review:
In his debut novel, The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini accomplishes what very few contemporary novelists are able to do. He manages to provide an educational and eye-opening account of a country's political turmoil--in this case, Afghanistan--while also developing characters whose heartbreaking struggles and emotional triumphs resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned over. And he does this on his first try.
The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy businessman in Kabul, and Hassan, the son of Amir's father's servant. As children in the relatively stable Afghanistan of the early 1970s, the boys are inseparable. They spend idyllic days running kites and telling stories of mystical places and powerful warriors until an unspeakable event changes the nature of their relationship forever, and eventually cements their bond in ways neither boy could have ever predicted. Even after Amir and his father flee to America, Amir remains haunted by his cowardly actions and disloyalty. In part, it is these demons and the sometimes impossible quest for forgiveness that bring him back to his war-torn native land after it comes under Taliban rule. ("...I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.")

SPOILER ALERT: I would like to add in the bits that this review failed to mention (the unspeakable).

Young Amir watches his faithful loyal friend/servant/ cleft palate brother as he is raped at the age of 12 by a child sociopath. He doesn't just stand by helpless, he lies, plots and manipulates until Hassan eventually leaves the only home that he and his father have ever known. Amir grows up pretty much a pitiful coward who intermittently whines that he does feel some remorse for his uselessness. Hassan grows up to return to the abandoned home of Amir's father to watch over and maintain it. He is forced from the home with his wife and shot in the back of the head in the street. And just to drive it home further, his young son is then taken by ... guess who... the young sociopathic rapist turned sociopathic Taliban pedophile. Pitiful Amir returns to Kabal to make retribution but not before the young boy is scarred for life and ultimately it is the boy that saves them from Aseef. Amir promises to take care of the boy and bring him to a new life in America. At the first sign of a test, about 4 seconds later, pitiful Amir breaks his promise to the boy and the boy slits his wrists in the bathtub. He survives, goes to America where he remains in a catatonic stupor and in the end the reader is supposed to feel triumphant because he smirked.

Don't get me wrong, I thought The Kite Runner was a good book, a decent read. But after wading through three decades of waiting for a jellyfish to go looking for his spine, I just wanted a straightforward tell it like it is, funny story. And I got it.


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