Wednesday, 27 May 2009

My Thoughts: 2 for 1

I'm being lazy and posting two reviews in one post - its been a lazy day, only 25 papers marked (I was aiming for 100), I joined a new gym but still haven't popped out to cancel the new one, most of the day has been spent dwindling time away.

I did however finish a book and read a short story.

The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby.
This is one of the many Nick Honby article collections that has been doing the rounds on the blogsphere lately so I had to pick it up to see just what all the fuss was about.
Hornby writes each month in Believer magazine about his thoughts on his months reading, along with comments about Arsenal football club (I support their rivals), his children and friendships with other authors.
The articles are generally short, witty and make some interesting comments on reading. However I was shocked that at the end of the collection I hadn't even written down one book title to search out.
I did enjoy the collection but won't be racing out to pick up the next book in the collection for a while yet.
999 (Non Fiction)
Non-Fiction 5

Now for the short story.

'When I Was A Witch' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
opening line:
"If I had understood the terms of that one-sided contract with Satan the Time of Witching would have lasted longer - you may be sure of that."
The narrator having oe of those bad days where nothing turns out makes a wish. A wish that the horseman she has just witnessed thrashing his horse could feel the pain he inflicted whilst the horse went free from pain. She is a little shocked when she sees the horseman wince and rub his head but thinks nothing of it.
The next day she makes another wish that all the cats which are trapped in the city die peacefully, and that anyone harming a horse is inflicted with an equal amount of pain. She gradually realises that these whimsical wishes are coming true and starts to make more and more wishes.
After exposing the lies in newspapers, making parrots tell the truth to their owners and killing off unhappy dogs Perkins-Gilman gets her narrator to express a wish that she herself was fighting for. She says:
"I thought of all the other women, the real ones, the vast majority, patiently doing the work of servants without even a servants pay - and neglecting the noblest duties of motherhood in favour of house-service; the greatest power on earth, blind, chained, untaught, in a treadmill."

I really enjoyed this story and I'm looking forward to reading more of the works in this collection


Scrap girl said...

What was the collection that the short story was from?

Nymeth said...

Yes, what's the collection? You really made me want to read the story!

I had the opposite problem with the Spree...I added way too many books to my wishlist. I'm easy to influence, especially when Nick Hornby is doing the influencing :P

katrina said...

From the Charlotte Perkins Gilman Reader