Thursday, May 28, 2009

Floating, elms, books, and such.

I slept in, luxuriously long, dreaming of random things. Faces, dogs, warmth, books, floating, wind, and elms. There were lots of elms. Probably this was remembrance of elms passed this past weekend.

And in the back of my mind, while I was floating around, I was aware of something sometimes moving, sometimes still, leaning up against me. Everytime I moved, there was movement. Back and forth across me, against me, beside me. Slowly, I awoke.

Serena gave me her distinctive "not amused" look. Yes, yes, it's getting to be midmorning, and there are important things to be done. For her.


But wait: I did mention a book, and there is one: Gentlemen of the Road, by Michael Chabon. This is a short adventure novel set at the time of the Khazar Empire, and the two main characters are Zelikman, a Jew who is described as skinny, pale, blonde, and dressed all in black, and Amram, an African of opposite stature. The two men have a strong bond and make their living by their wits. They are intriguing characters, but they are never fully developed. I would have enjoyed knowing more about the history of this friendship. Anyway, the two of them wind up getting involved in an adventure in which the stakes are much higher than usual, a very serious affair in which they guard and protect an endangered prince.

This novel may be short, but it's not a quick read; I found it to be slow-moving and bogged down with historical references that made the plot seem unnecessarily complicated. There is some fun humor, though I'm not sure I got all of it, and Chabon always works his magic with great phrases, but I think his longer novels may be more to my liking. Chabon has invented some wonderful personalities in his books, but Zelikman and Amram are pretty much stock characters, and this adventure lacks intensity.

Oh, well. Can't love them all, I guess, but I do give this one an A for being unique.


TLP said...

Serena looks more than "not amused!" She'd scare me out of bed fer sure.

Jocelyn said...

Just started Chabon's wife's book last night (THE BAD MOTHER). She might be a better interview than writer...but too early to tell. She said, in an interview, that she and her hubby are each other's best/harshest critics...seems like they might need to go to Critic School.

Tom & Icy said...

The kitten we have comes up on the pillow while I'm asleep or almost asleep and puts both paws on my neck and then rubs them back and forth like giving a massage. It feels pretty good, but I don't know why it does it.

Doug said...

When was the Khazar empire? And did Serena know about it?

Nessa said...

I would keep lazing if I were you. Take it while you can.

Tom & Icy said...

Oh, yeah! Love that picture of Serena! That's better than any you could download. That is a real trick getting a good shot like that!