Sunday, February 20, 2011

Freshly Served Oddities Here!

Okay, reading further into The Color of Water,  it gets... better? I really can't decide actually. James McBride still kinda ticks me off with some of the situations he presents and Ruth is still pretty fascist, but it goes... somewhere. First let's start with James, specifically his apparent manifestation of what can be construed as either narcississm or just plain garden variety crazy in the fact that he kisses his reflection. I didn't know what to think of this really, it was kind of an "Oh... that's cool." moment, where you don't know what to say so you sit there and look really freaking awkward. But I digress. Then in every chapter, McBride tries to impart some kind of wisdom in the end. Sorry buddy, but I find your advice just a bit questionable. Okay that was a joke, but what really irked me was the fact that at the core, this is a story, a narrative. Tell the story for the hell of it sometimes, don't try to impart life lessons with every chapter. But that's just my opinion, and that and a quarter will get you 25 cents. Then we come to his dad, who by now seems to be McBride's idol. Until he ignores the fact that his dad is in the hospital for two weeks until his mom forces him to go. Then he says his dad isn't a man of dialogue, and that dialogue was his mom's job. Huh? What the hell? Last I checked, fascism didn't involve dialogue. It was more like, "I run everything, you have no autonomy, hop off." The only dialogue there had better be "Ja Fraulein." McBride confuses me the further I read into his book. Ruth, however, kind of redeemed herself in this section. Her childhood made me feel a little sorry for her. Not enough to pardon the totalitarian regime, but you know. But here is the one point this book made me crack up: The Jewish family had a German maid. Maybe I was a little delusional at this point, but hey, it was ironic to me. This whole Rachel vs. Ruth thing is kind of tiring though, you can't separate yourself into two people without losing something good in the process. And yes Elijah, I got your point on that one. So to wrap this thing up, if it seems like I don't have a clear direction on this thing, I don't. I still don't like it, but I need to convene with myself to see if I still hate it. It's like Portal, it confuses the crap out of you (feel free to let that whiz over your head, it's mostly for a conversation I had yesterday). But I stand by my question. Why the hell is this a good book?


  1. Haha, I thought that part was a little familiar.

  2. I think Ruth has lost part of herself by separating Ruth from Rachel, and I think that's one of McBride's points. I also agree with you that he does tend to dispell advice or platitudes in lieu of narration, and that can get tedious. I'm not claiming that this is a great book, and before you began reading, I cautioned that some of you would hate it. I think you have to forgive some of the simplicity of the book as McBride's attempts at colloquial language--that's just part of the style. Also, the book is a good story if you read it with a more open mind.