Saturday, May 8, 2010

BOOKS: Lolita, The Plague and Holding The Man

So I spent a couple of months brushing up on my literature thanks to the super cheap and retro cool Popular Penguins range. I've bought I think about ten of them already and have started them all but only managed to finish some. Nabokov's Lolita was too uncomfortable and even though the writing was exquisite it was just too...damn...uncomfortable *throws book across the room, then quickly realising that it's a fragile paperback that deserves more TLC than its hardcover counterpart, runs across the room to pick it up from the floor*

Speaking of discomfort in literature, I highly recommend NOT reading Albert Camus' The Plague if you have even a slight fear of rats. I haven't finished this one too because despite multiple viewings of Ratatouille and constantly reminding myself that the rats in the book look like Remy the cute rat:

 And not like Ron Weasley's Scabbers the filthy rat,

 I was still unable to muster the courage to turn the next page.

One book I'm nearly finished with (emphasis on the word nearly) is Timothy Conigrave's Holding The Man. It doesn't have beautiful, lyrical writing like Lolita but it does have an incredibly moving (true!) story. It's the love story of Timothy and John Caleo and set in Australia. I was blown away by the honesty of the story and how emotionally charged thier love for each other is. I had to keep stopping at every chapter because each one elicited a sudden burst of tears and the fact that this actually happened made it more heart wrenching. Highly recommend this book.

The novel has also been adapted for the theatre and played in a sold-out season in Sydney two years ago (AAARRGGHH!) but fingers crossed they'll do another season. I would kill to attend a Sydney Theatre Company production of this.

Photos: MTC, Penguin, Remy


  1. Lolita the book makes me nervous...I mean, one girl at my school was reading it, and was sent to the office, her parents were called, the whole deal. Of course, it was fourth grade, that might've had something to do with it.

    The movie is surprisingly chaste--everything's implied. Nice description, anyway.

  2. I know what you mean. I started reading Lolita in the bus and I kept getting weird looks from all these old people.

    I've been meaning to see the film but ever since (half)reading the book, I just avoided it.

  3. Watched it @ Trafalgar Studio on Saturday, compares to what I gathered on youtube, the characters are quite a bit more developed than 2 years ago. I'm afraid it's not gonna be a classic, but it is a very very good play. Love it! Do hope you can have a chance to watch it in Sydney. Or, take a summer break here in London :)

  4. Lucky you! I wish I can afford a summer break in London, and maybe attend the film festival there too.

  5. I love Holding the Man, such a sweet sweet book. I cried during the last 5 chapters.



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