Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Book Rant "What Remains"

I love to read. I am one of those people who will get completely lost in a book for hours, even if it's something I have read before. Old books are like puffy comforters you can wrap yourself in. My favorite book would probably have to be "The Lord of the Rings." I realize that it is a trilogy but, I actually have it in one big book so there.
Anyway, about 5 years ago, I got involved in a bookclub. I mentioned it in an earlier post. This bookclub was about the serious books, the thinking books, ones that could possibly change your life. Some have done just that (Never Let Me Go). Some have been kinda, "eh" (Run Rabbit Run). I just finished the first book that tore me completely in two. It's called "What Remains" by Carole Radizwill. It is a memoir of her life but most of it comes from the time she was married to Anthony Radizwill, cousin to JFK, Jr. Carole also became good friends with Carolyn, John's wife. The book has wonderful qualities to it. The stories are wonderful, the time she describes as child is so vibrant to read. It's when we get into the part about knowing and marrying Anthony and moving into that whole social circle that drops me cold. Through this part of the book, her husband is battling cancer. Even with the love they have, and it does come through on the pages, she still comes off as a name dropper. She also scolds people she refers to as "tragedy whores" who were deeply upset with the deaths of John and Carolyn, were shown on TV etc, crying in front of their apartment. She sees it all as fake and thinks people that ask and talk about "Where were you when the plane went down?" as part of that category. She speaks in the story as if she has a lock on all the grief that was available, that no one else was allowed to be upset about their deaths. It made me angry that she made a big deal about knowing where she was when the Challenger blew up and made her want to be come a journalist but those who might have the same feelings about the Kennedys were somehow below her. After I made this realization, although I cried at the end of the book, I really came to dislike the author. I even looked up other things she wrote and interviews she did because I was really hoping that my initial reaction was wrong, but it wasn't. Every interview, every story about what she wrote, was exactly the same. All the same phrases used, all the same facial expressions. It was like a play.
The only reason I am writing about this today is because I could not get it out of my head so that I could write anything else. I felt like I had to get it out and my bookclub does not meet for another week. Unless I got this out, I would be writing boring posts for the rest of the week. I can't have that now can I?
If you do know this author and hate what I have said, feel free to tell me. It's just my opinion and I am totally willing to say it might be wrong seeing as I don't know her personally. It just really grabbed me the wrong way. I've read other memoirs about famous people that did not come across this way. If this was the only one I had read, I probably would not have felt this strongly.

BTW, I have "Goodreads" as a widget at the bottom of the page if you want to see what else I like to read. It's a great site if your a book freak.


Sue said...

Don't know the book or the author, but I am not crazy about name droppers. You, of course, are free to drop my name anytime you would like! (hahaha)

From yesterday's post, I think I would like the BYOB thing. It would be much cheaper! And you could actually fill your wine glass past 1/2 way!

BS5 Blogger said...

Hi Scargosun. I enjoyed this post and seeing a more meaty and challenging opinion - an interesting contrast. A good rant always works every once in a while (I have had two in 300 posts). I had not heard of the author either but will Google stuff now!

Glad you enjoyed your rant; your posts are always great but this one was differently so. My favourite bit was you telling us about having LOTR in one volume and saying 'so there'. Hee hee!

Have a good late afternoon and evening. It is Wednesday here in 18 minutes and I am off to bed.



Capt.Crunch. said...

im a book nut. thanks for the goodreads link.

Shelby said...

I heart heart reading too. I never seem to have time (I use that term liberally) to sit and do it. Although you're right, when you get into something, it's hard to let it go. I rarely make it through books when I feel like the author is using it as a soapbox. Sheesh.

Tiffany said...

Finally, someone reading something NOT recommended by Oprah!

I am looking forward to some "serious" reading.

Love the bog, if it's okay with you, I'm adding it to my sidebar.

Tiffany said...

Love the bog.. or love the blog. You pick.