Monday, July 02, 2007

book review: the glass castle

The thing that kept me engaged was the surprise, the horrifying details of this childhood. Told in a plain way, this memoir recounts from earliest memory to recent past one woman's experiences in an extraordinarily eccentric father. She begins in medeas res, where we learn her parents are homeless and she is not, and we are whisked back to when she burned herself cooking hot dogs at the age of something like four. There is the standard formula: alcoholic father, abject poverty, a little crazy mother. I kept going because I was curious as to what would happen next, not because of the poetry of her language. Toward the end, we learn Walls is a journalist, and her paired down language makes sense--her matter of fact tone and even pacing. I would much rather return to Cherry or Liar's Club or Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight.


Brambleberry said...

How very interesting. A girlfriend was telling me about a very similar book she was reading. Wonder if it's one and the same?

Her take on the book was much the same as yours...disturbing and somehow captivating. Although, having written all this, I'm remembering that the little girl in her story lived a life of chaotic affluence.

Sorry to ramble. Seems my thoughts gather themselve in unexpected places. Thanks for the pondering.

michelle said...


I too have been extremely frustrated - but at what I couldn't tell you. I blame it on complete lack of any stimulation at my job that leaves me too much time to contemplate the mysteries of life. This can get depressing after awhile.

I'm hoping to take your advice - one thing at a time. Everything will work out in the end...and well...if it doesn't...that is why the alcohol exists, right? :)