Book club night
I have just read a book by Joyce Carol Oates. We had our latest book club and the idea was to read any book by this author and then discuss it. S lent me "We were the Mulvaneys" and at first I took to it really well, reading it whenever I could. Then suddenly, desperation set in. It was so gloomy, so full of doom, so damn negative, that I couldn't wait to finish it. So the final third of the book I skimmed through, there were no surprises, everything had been hinted at and it was obvious what was going to happen, and the book ploughed on for an astonishing 454 pages (in my version). When I got to the end I thought, thank God for that! I will not be reading any more of her books, that's for sure. If she had written half that amount of pages then it might have been good but no, it went on and on.
The interesting thing is that Joyce Carol Oates writes very well, I would never say she didn't, but her negative outlook on life is really depressing. The book ended up being like a soap opera, it was so obvious who would do what to whom, who was the baddy, who was the goody, and the actual chain of events were so exaggerated, I couldn't believe it. And then of course there is a happy ending, so that's that, I have read one of her books and that's enough. Someone said that she, in an interview, has said that she actually writes about survivors, about positive things, and that is probably true, but if you have to go through 400 pages of doom and gloom the survivors only get a couple of pages at the end. And the journey is just not worth it, at least in this book.
However, our conversation was actually much more centred on the subject of Millennials, who they are, what they do, how they think, how different they are from us (in our 60s). And this is indeed an interesting subject. We had read an article in Time magazine shared by R and that's what set us off. Apparently these are people who were born between 1978 and 2000 more or less and are the most technologically informed generation to date. We also saw, some of us, a television programme on Canal 11 here in Mexico, where a student audience of millennials was asked to share what they do, how they think etc. I only saw the first 25 minutes or so but what I did notice is this: that they are permanently connected to the internet by whatever medium, be it telephone, computer, ipad, etc; that they are more likely to start up their own businesses rather than take orders; that they will say if they want to do something or not, that if it's "boring" then why should they do it; that they have a completely different attitude to responsability from us, and other things like that. It's actually very interesting and explains why the kids are sometimes hard to figure out. Anyway, we had an interesting conversation talking about our kids and others, plus school children (some of us are teachers), etc.
A really good evening actually and hopefully we won't have to read any more Joyce Carol Oates! Sorry to those who like her!