Print Story Tuppence more
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 10:45:55 AM EST) Reading, Watching, Theatre, Eating (all tags)
Reading: "Rabbit Redux". Theatre: "Donkey's Years"


What I'm Watching
Went to the theatre to see Donkey's Years: classic Michael Frayn farce from the Seventies that's been revived. Absolutely superb: brilliantly timed with intricately planned entrances and exits; witty script; excruciating accurately-observed characters. If you're in London, just go and see it.

Was worried that it would be dated, but it actually seems pretty timeless; since it takes place in a kind of nostalgic bubble: a gaggle of old college friends, one a government minister, return for a reunion. Doesn't seem to have many period references, except maybe to Industrial Action. Saw it with an American, and it didn't seem to be too UK-centric either.

Another thing that pleased me, since I'm very shallow about these things, was that it was a play that did a lot of scene shifting: lots of raising and dropping false walls and moving of furniture to create several realistic rooms and settings. That seems to be very out of fashion at the moment: these days you seem to either have minimalist sets, or one big static multi-levelled set that they move around on. Maybe one day I'll be cultured and will learn to appreciate an empty black stage with a black curtain and actors in black jeans and black jerseys.

Review.

Eating
Ate at the Woodlands restaurant afterwards (South Indian, vegetarian). Pretty nice but had amazing difficulty in finishing my food for some reason.

What I'm Reading
Nearly finished Rabbit Redux by John Updike. Much superior to the first one: Updike has trimmed out at lot of the pretentiousness from the prose, and added a lot more eventfulness to the story.

Overall it's definitely redux; following the same basic pattern where Rabbit splits up with his wife, and finds another more promiscuous partner which eventually leads to tragedy before his reconciliation. This volume has a lot more politics, as Rabbit spends time in the orbit of a black militant Vietnam veteran: has a fascinating slow depiction of Rabbit's attitudes alter, even slightly as they do.

It's set in 1969, and again portrays the period very well. Very much takes the downbeat view that was prevalent at the time of a dark time of war, unrest, despair and confusion; rather than the rosy haze of baby-boomer flower-power nostalgia.

Definitely worth reading. Would work as a standalone novel: probably a better place to start than the weaker first installment.

The character of Rabbit is less irritating this time, probably because he suffers more. Since the third one is called "Rabbit is Rich", will probably not read that one, at least for a while.

< ATTN BAY AREA INFIDELS, CT INFIDEL, AND ANA. INFIDEL | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
Tuppence more | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Updike by iGrrrl (4.00 / 2) #1 Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 03:39:44 PM EST
I can't read Updike.  It's a failing, I guess.  Not enough aliens or explosions.

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

I suspect he has a high irritant factor by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 07:41:52 PM EST
Or at least his characters do.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
I get that with vegetarian food by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 12:54:13 AM EST
Basically, there's only so many vegetables I can take.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

South Indian food by R Mutt (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 12:59:46 AM EST
Is essentially all vegetarian though.

[ Parent ]
Missed that bit somehow by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 01:06:01 AM EST
I thought you'd have been consuming mountains of dry, claggy pulses. South Indian cooking is about the only one (that I know of anyway) that gets vegetarian food right.

--------
It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
Yes by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #6 Wed Sep 20, 2006 at 09:12:00 AM EST
With South Indian food, you get the feeling it's meant to be that way. Other vegetarian foods seem to be desperately seeking meat substitutes and failing.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Tuppence more | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback