Monday, September 28, 2009

The Wild Glow of a Scientist

How We Are Hungry is the first work of Dave Eggers I have read. This book is a collection of short stories. It seems to me that I've been reading a whole bunch of short stories lately.

Egger's short stories range in length, some of them clocking in at less than two pages long. They aren't connected like A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing; each story can be read and enjoyed on their own. They vary in voice, some from a man's point of view and some from a woman's and they are all very distinct.

"Up the Mountain Coming down Slowly" was one of my favorites. It chronicles Rita as she climbs Mount Kilimanjaro. Eggers did a great job of describing the journey up the mountain and capturing the sad determination of Rita.

My other favorite was "The Only Meaning of the Oil-Wet Water" which a girl named Pilar visits her friend Hand down in Costa Rica. The two have a romantic encounter and surf. This story has the thoughts of the horses, clouds and shadows as well, which is a little of what I expected from Eggers.

"HORSES: It's never like we planned.
HORSES SHADOWS ON DIRT ROAD: I wish I could do more.
HORSES: We want violence, so we can kick and tear the world into thirds."

Some of these stories I wish had been longer, so I'm looking forward to reading one of Egger's novels. I own A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, so maybe that will move up on my to-read pile.

In other breaking news, I'm still in the process of reading 2666, but yesterday I finished part 4 so I only have one more section! This book is really interesting, but at the same time I feel like I can't read it for hours like I can with other books.

I've also kind of stalled out of The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I was really disappointed with the first story in it. Holmes catches the bad guy, but we never find out why he killed someone or even how Holmes figured everything out. Hopefully the rest are better.

Some people I know are rereading Hunger by Knut Hamson so I've started working on that as well. I read this book for a course in college and had a very interesting time with it. I would get so frustrated with the protagonist that I wanted to throw the book at the wall, and yet the book is so fascinating to me.

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