Monday, February 14, 2011

The Virtues of Nazi-ism and Facist Mentalities

That's what this book should be called. After 85 pages of James McBride's oh so fan-freaking-tastic "novel", it ranks somewhere along an essay I wrote I third grade while hyped up on sugar. Now I'm by no means the best writer or literary connoisseur out there. But I know what I like. I like authors who can tell a story, make it interesting, throw in some humor (if they're good at humor and if it serves to further the purpose of the book), and have a consistent theme or message of some sort that makes good reasonable sense. What I don't like however, is this amalgamation of an autobiography of the author and a biography of his mother (though it's written like an autobiography, you'd swear he was the world's first freakin' telepath or something), that complains about the issues of sibling rivalry and tries to portray a psychologically questionable Nazi-esque mother as sweet and caring. The way James McBride writes it, he wants you to feel sorry about the fact that she essentially turns her kids against each other in a form of in-house Darwinism, brainwashes them into being afraid of anything not having to do with school and Church, to the point even, that they fear sharing the most minute details of their lives, and finally enforces this with a strict purist Nazi-like policy of : Explore ze outtside und you vill be punished vit ze beatings. Alright, maybe I'm getting a little ludicrous. And to some extent I do feel sorry for Ruth. Being sexually molested and beaten by her father, I'd be more worried if she didn't have issues, that had to be horrible. But there's a point where you just can't blame a person's actions on their childhood anymore and you have to see that it's them. And Ruthie passed that milestone a while back. I suppose my giant rant about all of this is asking the question,"Why the hell is this a good book?" It's pretentious, has terrible morals, and quite frankly, some serious grammar issues. If there was ever one to unleash the flying monkeys on...

1 comment:

  1. Your response makes me laugh. You commented on Elijah's blog, but I think yours is better articulated. Your title is perfect. I think you need to keep reading--you may not like Mommy's methods, but you can't argue against her results. I can't promise you'll like McBride's style, though. His style is what it is. I think his story is inspiring...and infuriating at the same time.