I have eaten my black eyed peas, watched fireworks from the comfort of the couch, and am now trying to cram as much reading into my days as I can, until I recover fully from bronchitis and have to attend to useful things 🙂
I’ve never read Hamlet, but I’m about to give it a try (gulp)! I am a good way through 1984, which so far has been very interesting. The main character, Winston, seems so lovable… but I skipped ahead to the end, and… let’s just say I was sort of disillusioned. But I’m going to finish the book anyway, because the ending does deepen the book’s message and Winston’s love story.
Yes, I know people all over the world would be furious to hear that I skipped to the end!!! ‘Is nothing sacred?” many of you are probably now demanding. But listen… is skipping to the end of the book disrespecting the author? I skip to the end of books because the characters are so well written they become important to me, like family, and I need to know if they receive an ending worthy of their good (or bad) deeds. A good ending in a book… ah! That’s almost more important than the beginning, don’t you think? And if my characters aren’t going to be given a good ending – not necessarily a happy ending, but a good ending – then why should I keep reading? Why not just imagine a better ending myself?
And, I guess I like to skip ahead to the ending because I’m lazy… but give me a break, I already struggle with anxiety! Why make myself be anxious about the ending of a book?
Anyway, I also started Beowulf. I had no idea it was going to be the most surprising book of all. I figured I knew the basic plot… hero meets monster, hero kills monster, hero celebrates death of monster… but apparently, I didn’t give the ancient British poets enough credit. Major spoiler alert down below:
Beowulf meets Grendel, a bloodthirsty monster who loves to kill people. Beowulf kills Grendel. Beowulf celebrates…
and lo and behold!
GRENDEL’S MOTHER APPEARS!!!
Terrifying, right? I mean, who knew that monster had an angry Mom? It blew my mind, and Kafka’s! (I think that’s Kafka…)
Anyway, I haven’t read the ending yet, but I know Beowulf survives. Still, I was pretty excited to discover that there was more to the story than Beowulf and Grendel’s clash, as epic as that was. And for all of you wondering, no, Beowulf isn’t that hard to read. At least, if you get a translated version. It isn’t very long, and it’s definitely an action story. And I have fun coming up with pronunciations for names like Hygelac, Ecgtheow, and Hrothgar.
So join me, and read Beowulf. It’s the charming tale of little Grendel and his doting mother. I guess you could say this book really emphasizes the value of family…